Sources of conflict
Conflict in thoughts is inevitable. You may not agree, but it actually adds excitement and interest to life. The problem arises when fundamental values clash. One of the methods of eliminating conflicting thoughts is through the knowledge gained from mental exercises. Using knowledge at the right time is a powerful skill.
When you have two closely related values, they mostly tend to conflict with each other. There are a set of traders who are primarily interested in making money. While others like trading because it is challenging, exciting, and fun. Low-risk ideas, which are profitable most of the times, are the least exciting factor for traders. Thus, there is a conflict between the values of success and excitement.
To solve this conflict, open two trading accounts. Keep one account size small and other big. Use the smaller size account whenever excitement is involved. Trade using the bigger account with a conservative attitude to build your wealth. If you cannot afford to maintain two accounts, then lower the value of excitement.
You should have specific criteria for measuring your success. Also known as an evidence criterion is another source of conflicting thoughts. Let’s say your two primary goals are “success as a trader” and “self-respect as a person”. For the first case, your evidence of success would be making 50% on your investment every year. The evidence for maintaining self-respect would be not to lose money in the market. Not making any money is better than losing money as it can drive you nuts.
The criteria that you have developed above are conflicting in nature. First, both are difficult to achieve at once. Very few people can make 50% a year consistently. Few or no losses are even more challenging to achieve.
If you feel you have established unrealistic goals, change them immediately. Criteria are easy to change than changing your behaviour.
Remember that the evidence criteria are conflicting, not the values itself. A successful trader always needs to take small losses to make big profits. But if you believe that you lose self-respect if you lose money, you will have trouble taking those loses. The small loses can turn into big loses in no time, and then you neither have self-respect nor success in the market. So it is best to have evidence criteria that do not conflict with each other.
Self-respect is no doubt very important, but “no loses” is not a criterion that should be used for self-esteem. Instead have evidence criteria such as being true to yourself, helping other people, making 20% a year from the market. Note that none of these self-respect criteria conflicts with your market success.
Changing your values
You now know that beliefs and evidence criteria are dynamic, not static. You can make changes to your beliefs to have long-lasting success. You need to be cautious while following the procedure of changing your values. One such technique is changing the submodalities of your belief. It involves a simple 6 step procedure.
Step 1: The first step is to consider a belief that you value strongly, and then determine how you represent it to yourself. Make a detailed representation. Answer the following questions while deciding:
- Can you make a visual picture of the belief?
- Are there any sounds developed with your belief? If you hear voices, whose voices are they?
- What kinds of feelings are associated with your belief?
Step 2: The second step is finding a belief that you consider weak or neutral. Again determine how you represent that belief. Answer the same set of questions asked above. This is useful for determining your belief.
Step 3: The third step is to compare the strong belief with the weak or neutral belief on each of the questions. Note down the differences. Some of the differences will be critical to you if not all.
Step 4: The fourth step is to determine what would happen if you were to change the belief. If you change the belief, will you be creating problems for yourself? Close your eyes and think of the consequences of changing the belief.
Step 5: The fifth step is to make one belief like the other one. You make the weak belief strong by just following the simple procedure. You could weaken a belief to make it weaker. Make a list of the differences and make changes one step at a time. Don’t be in a hurry. After you have made the changes, observe if that is bringing any changes to your trading performance. If it is, then probably it is a suitable belief for you. In future, you may only need to focus on this belief.
Step 6: The sixth step in this process is to test the change. What difference is the changed belief making to your behaviour? If you did notice any change, then make a list of what is causing the change between weak and strong belief.
Each person has different beliefs and different ways of representation. Work on strengthening a process belief. Make sure that any belief you adopt, it should be in such a manner that you should be able to change it again when needed. Keep your beliefs positive.
Strengthen the belief of having the ability to make money and keep strengthening it. Do not keep the belief that you already have attained something, when in reality, you don’t have it. This could get you in trouble. Some of the most useful beliefs will be shared in the upcoming articles.