We can cheat on our dreams, just a little each day and no-one will even notice. An extra coffee with a friend, another sitcom while enveloped in the comfort of the couch, a Sunday sleep-in… and BLAM – another week has gone past without you working on your trading plan, and without developing the skills you need that will rescue you from your hum drum life.
Yes, I’m talking to you. And me as well. (Well… maybe not in the investing arena, but there are certainly things that I procrastinate on too).
Everyone does. It’s part of human nature. However, when we cheat and we don’t do the hard things in life, it’s corrosive.
It rusts your soul and little by little, it erodes the very fabric of our dreams and goals, until we’re so far away from what we really want, we can’t get excited or passionate about anything. Before you know it, making lazy and weak choices becomes a habit, and it infiltrates every area of your life.
This is the essence of a mid-life crisis. Things seem boring, everything seems like a repeat of everything else, and all of a sudden you’re jaded.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Small feats of discipline can really help you overcome your own inertia and add a sparkle back to your eye.
I challenge you!
Tomorrow morning, I challenge you.
Before you get out of bed, lie for a few minutes and ask yourself: “Am I really happy?”
Have a think about it…
While your brain isn’t yet in gear for the day and you’re chasing away the last remnants of the dreams you’ve had that night, take some time to reflect.
And, if you’re not happy, ask yourself for some solutions. What would it take to make you happy? Is that ‘something’ within your control? What would be the first step towards making this come true?
You may think you’ve got unlimited time up your sleeve, but if you are between 30-50 years old you have around 2500 weekends left here on planet earth.
Holy cow! The clock is ticking.
If you’re not going to pursue the things that really give you a buzz and put a spring in your step, no-one else will, I guarantee you that.
I coach hundreds of traders, and I do take my job seriously. Sometimes though, I see my traders take the easy option.
They do the fun stuff, and the other things that are more demanding seem to pile up on their desks. Success is more about discipline than talent. It’s built on the back of the habits you form, and the commitments you make.
When you truly desire something, your habits and actions will align themselves with your priorities.
You’ll find yourself doing things that are congruent with where you want to be in life, and you’ll be granted some bonuses along the way as some things you’ve been desiring miraculously fall into your lap.
I caught up with my girlfriend for a heart-to-heart the other day. Her husband of 25 years has just caught himself a swimsuit model, so he’s in the process of starting a new, shiny life – whereas my girlfriend is in shock.
Like most of us, she’s got a few extra spare tyres where none previously existed, and it’s hard looking in the mirror when she knows that her ‘soon-to-be-ex’ is looking at the perfection of his new plaything.
Jealousy. It can cut us from being a confident, capable adult – into a tantrum throwing, needy 2-year old.
And it’s not just in relationships. It’s also with trading.
So often I hear traders whining about ‘how come I haven’t worked out how to do this yet?’, or ‘he’s so clever, he’s made so much money – it’s sending me around the bend!’. We compare ourselves to others. We look at their strengths and our own flaws and constantly feel like we’re not worthy.
Confidence expands us. It makes us feel like there are boundless opportunities and that we are capable of magic.
Jealousy shrinks us. It shrinks our mind, it shrinks our energy, and we become less. Less capable. Less resilient.
Make a pact.
Make a pact with yourself this month.
Aim to be the best investor, and the best person YOU can be.
Don’t compare yourself with others. Ignore them.
Focus on yourself, and realise that you are worthy of success. Control your mind so that every time it strays and you think about yourself unfavourably because you’re comparing yourself with the achievements of others – stop, and change tack.
Stop mid-sentence, if you’re talking about it. Force yourself to become more independent and less needy.
Every time you feel jealous, consciously realise it, change direction and think of something you’re good at.
I can guarantee you – there is someone who admires one of the things that you do better than they do. If you were as good a friend to yourself as you are to others, you wouldn’t let yourself be sucked down the jealousy spiral.
You are worthy of success, and you deserve it. Now, reach out and grab it.
Investing Success Guilt?
Sometimes just as our horse looks like it’s about to win the Melbourne Cup, we reign it in and dribble towards the finish line in last position.
For investors and traders it is no different. Some are intent on giving back their winnings to the market.
They wrap up their fears in a wispy veil of sophistication as they tell their friends over Martinis: “The market conditions are no longer optimal” or “The volatility in the market is the killer”.
These are just excuses. Mediocre investors blame. Excellent investors look within. The same thing happens in the property market. Sure the words and terms differ slightly, but the meaning is the same.
Most of us at one time or another have experienced success guilt. Things came just a little too easily, and someone called you ‘lucky’.
At high school, I was not a sporty girl. I got asthma easily (in the days before adequate medication), and I lacked a lot of confidence. However, the one event in which I really excelled was shot put.
Jody was my nemesis. She was a strong, strong girl, and I looked weedy and pathetic beside her. However, with a shot put in our hands, we were well matched. Form 4 – she beat me. Form 5 – she beat me by a narrower margin. Form 6 – I won!
I beat her fair and square. The feeling of victory was short lived.
Talking to her after our event, she said: “You were so lucky!”
Lucky? Lucky that I’d trained my arm to be a mighty weapon of fury? Lucky that I’d worked so hard each day after school so my performance looked effortless?
However, her words hit me at a deep level. Was that a head cold I detected in her voice? She did sound a bit sniffly. Perhaps that was it. That was why I won. Under usual circumstances, she would have thrashed me.
The rainbow of victory had been snatched by the storm cloud of ‘success guilt’ and self doubt.
When I spot this tendency in investors or traders, I know that I have to stop them from turning their inner termites into the Terminator. I’ve seen it time and time again.
A investor focuses, does well, and then exceeds their financial comfort zone – only to give away all of their profits, plus a little more for good measure.
I remind them of the following things:
1. The market is an equal opportunity employer.
There are incredible success stories of people who became gloriously successful from every strata of society, both genders, any age, while overcoming every obstacle.
Don’t believe me?
I dare you to spend an hour listening to and reading all of the success stories on our Rave Reviews web pages.
Just look at all of the property millionaires that Michael Yardney has created. There will be someone just like you who simply didn’t listen to their own excuses.
I’ve never met a successful investor who was a victim. Stop saying “Poor me” and start saying “Why not me?”
2. You can LEARN to be a success.
You won’t be a ‘Michael Yardney’ overnight. Not even Michael Yardney became an ‘Michael Yardney’ overnight. It took dedication, years of practice, and a certain bald-headed, dogmatic, ‘never say die’ attitude.
Some of our Mentor Program members initially didn’t believe they’d be able to learn how to invest or trade well – but with our prodding, encouragement and cajoling, they’re full-time traders today.
3. Watch your self-talk
Who needs enemies when you’ve got your own inner lunatic to seed the corrosive, creeping doubts in your own mind.
Catch yourself when your self-talk is leading you to feel unworthy of success, or belittling your efforts. Stop mid internal sentence and steer your mind in a more positive direction.
Build up your mini-accomplishments the way you would a lego set – one block at a time.
4. Give yourself a pat on the back for ANY movement in the right direction
Feeling worthy only comes after a series of achievements.
That’s why people who strike gold by winning Tattslotto tend to give it all back within 5 years. They hit the big time without the minute, incremental steps required to help their unconscious adjust to that influx of money.
Once you’ve written down your plan, you’re allowed to smile a little smugly. Realise you’re in the top 5% of investors. Know that this will make a difference to your entire trading career. When you do a small thing well in the markets, give yourself permission to admit you’ve done well.
Savour your successes, even the little ones. Know that anyone who decides to stop making excuses can be just as successful as you are. You have my permission to achieve, without the guilt that others may feel should accompany your success.
Get over it. Get on with trading well and following your trading plan. You owe it to yourself and the people you love.
The best possible thing you can do right now to cram success into your year is to dump the negative self-talk and get to work on writing your plan for success.
If you don’t know where to begin, and you’re keen on trading the share market, I’ll help you out by giving you my trading plan template at www.tradinggame.com.au. It’s free, easy to follow, and will help you finesse your plan so you’ll be ahead of the other 95% of traders out there.
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