Are You Still Stuck in the Past?
By Dr. Andrew Menaker   
January 10, 2012

The cure for New Years resolutions - NYR Let's get real for a moment.

It is the second week of January and I'm assuming many people have made at least some progress in forgetting about their NYR. Seriously. These things rarely work. Why?

There are lots of reasons why. But there is one reason that tends to permeate. Ending unwanted habits or beginning new ones involves the cooperation of your subconscious mental activity; it often takes more then will power, which is conscious mental activity. Some people will describe being ‘stuck’ even after recognizing what is happening – repeating the mistaken behavior. When trying to eliminate a behavior or mistake that we’ve repeated many times, we can only address what keeps us stuck if we understand why we got stuck in the first place and why it feels safe to continue to be stuck.

Here’s what you need to know. Getting ‘unstuck’ involves some discomfort, the discomfort of new territory. And generally, we avoid discomfort. Another way to say this is you avoid discomfort by ignoring, ‘forgetting’ or ‘minimizing’ the negative consequences of the unwanted behavior.

What we have to do instead is recognize that we gain far more by working through the discomfort, learning from it, and then making better decisions based on what we learned. But that takes work, usually of the variety that most will not be interested in, or if so, they will likely approach it improperly. This is very important. This is how we learn to act in our own best interest as a trader. This is the opposite of what many traders do, acting in a way to avoid discomfort. The discomfort of waiting for a legit entry, the discomfort of holding and managing a winning trade, the discomfort of bailing out of a losing, etc.

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