Learning from Trading Losses

By | January 15, 2013

Most of us want to be as perfect as we can. We do not want to experience failure or setbacks or roadblocks.  In fact, most of us have been raised that failure, in any case and at any time, is ‘bad’ and success is ‘good’.

So if that is the case, then thinking in a very simplistic and logical manner, one would say that you avoid failure and welcome success. You do everything you can to avoid failure.

Even if it means NOT TRYING.

I laughed the first time I listened to Napoleon Hill’s Seminar, “Your Right to be Rich”. He asks the energetic audience to tell him how many times they think it is that someone will try something before he/she gives up.  After he asks the question you can hear people in the room throwing out various answers, and the most audible one is a person who says, “Once.”

Hill retorts with, “Once?  Once?  Aren’t you thinking you are being a bit generous?  Once?” He asks the audience if they’ve ever heard of the man who can’t do a thing because he doesn’t think he can do it.  He finishes by saying most people DON’T EVEN TRY ONCE!!

They think about it, realize that they “can’t” do it or they might look stupid or fail, so they don’t do anything.

                                                                                                                     Avoiding Failure.  Because it is “BAD”.

You all know what I’m talking about, right?  We’ve ALL done this before.  You see the pretty girl or handsome gentleman across the room but you don’t go say anything to him/her.  Why not?  Fear of failure.  Fear of rejection.  You didn’t even TRY ONCE!

                                                                                                   Failure is GOOD.  Failure is NECESSARY.  

If you are not Failing, you are not living.  You are not growing.  You are cautiously doing the safe things you’ve done before and not expanding your horizons.

So you have to think of failure as something that HELPS you.  Denis Waitley talks about how “failure is fertilizer”.  Why?

                                                                                                    “Because it stinks but it helps you GROW.”

That’s a pretty powerful image.

So, LEARNING from defeat or failure is critical.  Failure and defeat tell you that you are trying new things.  You are learning.  You’re following that natural path in the universe of getting from point A to point B.  It is NEVER EVER a perfectly straight line.  There are all sorts of things that will push you off your path and it’s your job to adjust.

Start moving to where you want to go and if it’s someplace significant you will be displaced from your path. All you have to do is re-aim and get back on target. And don’t give up.

A guided missile that gave up when the first gust of wind hit it would be absolutely useless. The onboard computer simply measures and notices how far it is knocked off course and then readjusts the stabilizers and thrusters and gets back on course.

What does YOUR on-board computer do when something knocks you off course?

I know people who cry.  Get sad.  Get angry.  Get depressed.  Get aggressive.  Get wreckless.  Give up.  What do you do?

This trading game we are in – it’s not for people who can’t handle failure.  The failures and setbacks that some traders will experience in this game can be quite severe.  In order to make it in this game you MUST have thick skin.  You must persist.  You must get up off the ground, dust yourself off, look forward at your ‘foe’ sternly and say ‘bring it on’.  You must learn from defeat.

So how do you learn from defeat?  It’s a couple of steps:

1) You must frame defeat and failure correctly. What I’ve been talking about here hopefully will help you do so. The three words, “Failure is fertilizer” can do it.

2) You must study your failures and defeats closely and with objective eyes so that you CAN LEARN from it.

3) By doing # 2, you will help yourself move forward because you will not repeat those SAME MISTAKES or experience the same Failures over and over again…at least not more than a few times.

4) And finally, by experiencing # 3 you will move on to a ‘better’ set of problems and failures that you GET TO solve and break through and move past.  Constantly moving forward, towards your goal.

One thought on “Learning from Trading Losses

  1. DINESH

    OHH!CLASSICLY SAID SIR! QUITE INSPIRATIONAL TO ALL TRADERS!

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