Monday, April 28, 2008

Success, Failure, and Fear Go Hand In Hand

Speculating in markets is a difficult challenge that will test your emotions more than you can imagine. From birth, we gravitate towards things that make us feel good and run from things we fear. If you take this instinctual action in trading, you will lose. You must understand that proper trading is not easy and you don't want it to be. If it were easy, everybody would be doing it and making money but that is just not the case. The people who do well overtime are the ones who understand that the path of learning and practicing takes time and is always a bumpy road. The key difference between those who fail and those who stick it out and succeed is that the successful ones embrace the bumps in the road. They realize that the bumps are needed failures that allow them to grow. You see, when you experience failure, it is really success letting you know that you have identified a flaw that needs to be corrected or removed.

I grew up playing hockey at some of the highest levels. When I was very young, I would watch other players in practice and admire the ones who never fell down. As a kid, no one wanted to fall down, lose the puck, or make a mistake in practice. However, very soon I realized that the kids that fell down often ended up being the best players at the end of the season. I always worked hard in practice but began to understand that the only way I would fall down is to work harder and take myself OUT of my comfort zone. That set off a chain of events that helped shape everything in my life and always will. I would skate harder and harder in practice and made sure I fell down almost every drill. As long as I was falling down, I knew I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone which meant I was growing and getting better. I then took that thought into games and realized that I had better change my way of thinking there also. If I focus on the other team as the opponent, the best I will ever be is a little better than they are. If I focus on myself as the opponent, I will never stop growing and improving. Instead of being scared to fail, I now understood that success is IMPOSSIBLE without failure.

Most people are afraid of failure in any part of life, especially trading. You have to understand that failure does not happen TO YOU, it happens FOR YOU. It is an opportunity to grow. When you shift your mind and think this way you will smile with each failure, knowing that you have just identified a flaw that needs to be corrected or removed. Adversity is scary in the moment but it is always when we grow the most. How wonderful adversity really is.

If you are one of many who are in the middle of the bumpy journey toward self empowerment through market speculating, stay encouraged. You will make it to the peak if you realize that the valley is NOT your permanent residence. Never forget, to become a butterfly, you must want to fly so bad that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar. Growth and change always go hand in hand with failure and fear.

Have a great day.

- Sam Seiden,