Trading Educators Blog
Getting Rid of Ego
Have you ever wondered how to get your ego out of your trading? Have you wanted to be market-centered, but find yourself consistently being self-centered?
One thing I know for sure: your self-concept has to be separate from your trading. You began as an individual long before you ever thought of trading. And you exist as an individual beyond the time you spend trading.
When personal self-worth gets tangled up with your trading, it not only damages your concept of your personal worth, it sabotages your trading.
You must not allow your trading errors to ruin your feelings of self-worth. You must not internalize the mistakes you make. You have to avoid feelings of guilt, persecution, and despair.
You must learn to divorce your ego from your trading.
In my first manuscript on trading, "Trading by the Book," I said that trading is a business in which there is no competition. I meant that in the sense that the only competition in trading is yourself. The market is impersonal. It doesn't know you or care about you.
Your job as a trader is not to will the market to go where you want it to go, but rather to discover which way the market is going and join it – get in step with it.
That means total surrender of your will to that of the market. Surrender to it and go with it. If you set your will against the market, you will invariably be smashed. Forget being right! Concentrate on the fact that the market is always right.
Uncertainty is a part of trading. But we cannot allow uncertainty to become part of the image of ourselves. Consider, are you making any of the following ego-centric mistakes?
How can we separate our ego from our trading? How do we keep from taking trades personally? How do we avoid internalizing what happens in the market, good or bad?
One way to separate our egos from our trading is to build fences between ourselves and our trading.
Realize that it's "okay" if you are not right about every trade. It is not important to be right. It is important to execute and carry out your trading plan with consistency and discipline. Give yourself permission to be wrong about a trade.
Realize that taking a loss has nothing to do with your self-esteem. Tell yourself that taking losses is a part of trading, that it has nothing to do with your self-esteem. Give yourself permission to lose from time to time. Your ego must remain intact regardless of what is happening in your trading.
Erecting appropriate fences between yourself and your trading maintains your ability to separate yourself from your trading business.
There is more to you than your business. You are more than your trading. A proper fence informs you that the results of one trade are not to be confused with the results of all of your trading. Fences guide you as to the difference between the past, the present, and the future.