“My wife doesn’t support me. After every trading session she looks at me with critical eyes.”
“My parents want me to get a real job. They believe trading is just like gambling and I’m addicted.”
“All my friends think I’m delusional because I believe I can make money trading.”
“When I trade, I can hear all the other critical voices telling me I can’t do this. And when I hear those voices, I become reactive and my trading goes to hell.”
“Every time I have a losing trade, I feel the pressure of friends and family closing in on me.”
“My dad sits on my shoulder while I’m trading and criticizes everything I do.”
All of these comments come from Mind Muscles members and clients.
What is the core issue driving all of these struggles? How do we thrive with our belief in a world of freedom, optimism and abundance when we live in a world of doubt, judgment, criticism and scarcity?
“Whenever we are confronted with the experience of moving forward, we are also confronted with the experience of having to allow others to be where they are.”
Kaskafayet paraphrased by Carl Buchheit, NLP Marin
The answer isn’t trivial. It requires real intention over time. This article can only point a flashlight in the dark to help you find the path that works for your unique situation.
This issue is especially challenging for those of us who grew up in a world of scarcity and fear. Because we know this world so well, it feels part of our survival mechanism. When we step outside of the familiar, our closest communities want to draw back into the familiar world. Because this familiar world is also part of our subconscious programming, it is so easy to get triggered and step into old beliefs and reactions that no longer serve us.
“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”
Michael Corleone – The Godfather: Part III
Most of us, myself included, have adopted beliefs from our families and culture that no longer serve us. With our work together in our courses, live meetings, and private coaching, my clients are able to create a world for themselves that honors their values, feels better in the moment, and gets them to their goals.
In this world, a new set of beliefs emerges that is in rapport with their deepest selves.
When we step into new beliefs and a new identity, we also step out of what is acceptable in our relationships. As we step into these new beliefs that serve better, we are also stepping out of the beliefs of our immediate family, our family of origin, our friends and larger communities. This new state of being creates a disconnect and even a threat to those we love and those who love us.
Your beliefs and limitations are an adopted and/or created construct. This threat is created not only because it introduces a conflicting new belief system, but introduces the possibility that what we hold as true is simply a construct and belief. If we look at all the belief systems in the world, philosophical, psychological, political, religious and economic, it is obvious that these conflicting ways of looking at the world can’t all be true. It is obvious that they are simply constructs to help each of us navigate our world we find ourselves in.
Our survival brain wants certainty. However, the thought that what we believe to be true is only a construct that can be changed, creates a threat to our survival brain. Not only does it introduce uncertainty, but threatens our belonging to our communities that give us the needed human connection.
We are responsible for the constructs we create. Once we recognize that our belief systems are simply constructs and that these constructs can be changed, then that opens the door to a higher level construct in which we are responsible for the outcomes and processes of our lives.
How do we live as a trader in a non-trading family and community? Bringing this back to our trading world – Mary Jo announces to her husband that she is committed to being a successful trader. However, he has grown up with the belief that the only honest way to make money is through hard work. Mary Jo is challenging a belief system that has helped him thrive and survive. Her husband disdains the wealthy who haven’t, from his point of view, done the hard work to earn the money. Mary Jo making money trading three hours a day is outside of his ethical values. When Mary Jo has a great week, what message will her survival brain send her?
How do we stay connected? So how do we as traders both stay connected to our communities and those we love, and still maintain the integrity that we are building as successful traders? This is the question that I have been getting from my students in the “Conversations with Money” course. As they step into new worlds of success, they face the challenges, judgments and criticisms from their communities, both explicit and implicit.
This challenge seems to come from our external world. This dynamic is challenging for those who have depressed spouses or other family members. This dynamic is challenging for those who have family and community who live in a world of scarcity. It is challenging for those whose community has given up hope for the future and lives with little meaning in their lives.
However, the challenge resides in ourselves. Even with our new belief systems and a more positive identity, we still have these old processes in our own brains. At the Mind Muscles Academy, we call these NEMES or Neural Meta-Structures. As a result, it is easy to be sucked into our previous state of being and identity, or become very defensive in order to hold on to our new beliefs.
What can we do? Here is the work that I have done in my own life to help manage the constructs from my past that no longer serve me.
I now intentionally and with full awareness step into the world that I have left behind. If I have the opportunity, I will say aloud words like this:
“I am now stepping into a world of anxiety, depression, or scarcity. My own beliefs are of optimism, hope and plenty. I fully understand that the world I am stepping into is created by these people as the best choice they believe they have available. I accept and love them as they are. I also accept and love myself, my identity, my beliefs and values as they are”.
For example, I grew up as an Evangelical Christian. My father was the preacher in all the churches I attended. I also went to a conservative evangelical college. I now no longer hold these beliefs as true. However, I fully appreciate the community that I grew up in, their positive intention to live better lives for themselves and their communities, and the support they give each other in good times and bad.
I need not be defensive or angry at their beliefs. I can intentionally step into a church with an open heart and an open mind and appreciate each person I meet there.
I also am part of a community whose political philosophy is very different from my current one. I used to not be able to tolerate any differences from what I felt to be “true.” When I intentionally and with clarity step into the worlds that are different than mine using the exercise above, I am able to step into those worlds fully and completely without giving up my own personal integrity.
It is your intention that matters. If you find that your intentionally created world is not accepted in the communities of people you care about, you cannot only survive, but thrive with these differences. It takes time and commitment to create that higher level state of mind. This requires some repetition to make it smooth and easy. But I invite you to make the effort. For me, this ability allows me to live in multiple worlds, maintain my friendships, be happy in my family and still maintain the new and ever evolving maps and models that are now serving me better.
After all, my own current “truth” is simply a temporary construct.
Feel free to comment below – let me know if this posts resonates with your own experience.
A veteran broker and floor trader, Rich went from the "worst trainee trader ever", to building one of the most consistently profitable options trading firms on the Pacific Exchange by training his traders using neuroscience. Rich also holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, a B.A. in Philosophy, and is a graduate of the Gestalt Institute in San Francisco along with Master’s training in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).
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Totally agree with all of it
I followed these steps and wrote down my thoughts. It helps tremendously to think this through and to see the positive intent. Thank you for sharing this.
And, yes, my current truth is only a temporary construct. Once I understood this a while back everything became different. In trading and in life. Very powerful. Thank you.
Colleen, let me know how this exercise impacts you state of mind. Love to hear about how we can improve the exercise.
Martin, keep me posted on your progress. Yes, that is my experience also…when I let go of the idea that at any point in time I was the one person in the world that had the absolute truth…what a feeling of freedom and creativity replaced the need to defend the “truth.”