Friday, May 20, 2016

A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy. 
Brian Tracy

Most people have similar end values, but each of us experience them differently. This is simply because of both major and subtle differences in our beliefs. Beliefs take two forms: Broad generalizations about life, people, and things; and rules we use to measure the worth of our own and others' actions. Rules are more definitive. Rules determine, in our minds, the things and events that must happen in order to experience results in a particular way. Rules take the form of "if, then" statements such as "If I make a million dollars in the market I can quit my job and then I'll be happy" or "If I make a mistake on a trade, then I'll learn from it." All of us have our own unique set of beliefs and rules, and it is this unique set that gives each of us a distinctive personality. 

One of the attributes of a successful investor is self-confidence. Feeling self-confident comes from recognizing your personal worth and effectiveness. How you feel about yourself depends not so much on what you actually do, but how you judge what you do, and how you judge what you do depends on your beliefs about what it takes to be a worthwhile person. To gain self-confidence, you must establish standards that make it possible. Suppose, as a successful trader, your standard is to cover your overhead and make a profit each month. Now suppose, instead, that your standard is to net $1 million dollars each month. It would be hard to be self-confident under those circumstances. Set your goals high, but be easy on yourself in setting standards for evaluating your self-worth. 

Your beliefs are the ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy. Your subconscious is gullible - it believes what you tell it to believe. If you believe you don't deserve to be successful, it won't let you be successful. If you believe you don't deserve love, it won't let you achieve love. If you believe that you aren't intelligent enough, it will make you stupid. Believe me when I say to each and every one of you, you are intelligent enough! 

The statements we make to ourselves and the questions we ask are both a cause and a consequence of our beliefs. When you say something to yourself like "I am so stupid!", after a losing trade, you are both stating and reinforcing a belief, however briefly you may think it is true. You may not mean this in a fundamental sense, but if you say it often enough and especially in a highly emotional state, then your mind is very likely to start believing it. 

When defining new rules that you want to adopt, remember to rig the game of life so it's easy to win. Rules that allow you to feel passion, love, happiness, success, and so forth don't have to be difficult or even impossible. We all need challenge in our life, but there is more than enough challenge in striving, for a constant progression of goal achievement without setting ourselves up for failure. Life is too short, too precious, and too full of potential to waste time by setting ourselves up to experience life as futile.

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