There’s guilt but we can’t put our finger on the source. We want to go back to bed; we want to get up and party. We feel unloved and unlovable. We’re disgusted. We hate our lives. We hate ourselves. – Steven Pressfield
Most everyone has entertained these depressing thoughts and feelings at some point in their lives. As traders, this type of thinking can completely derail our execution. No matter what type of approach or time frame you trade, showing up with negative thoughts in your head is a sure way to blow up your account.
Furthermore, we often deal with these types of feelings by medicating ourselves with whatever vice we prefer. Pressfield points out that the unhappiness pushing us towards those vices is the Resistance hard at work against us.
He suggests that we combat this form of Resistance by separating ourselves from our material desires:
We unplug ourselves from the grid by recognizing that we will never cure our restlessness by contributing our disposable income to the bottom line of Bullshit, Inc., but only by doing our work. – Steven Pressfield
Now this is not something traders really want to hear. Not at all.
I would venture to guess that almost every trader who reads this became interested in the stock market because of the financial rewards that are possible. We started trading because we want nice stuff.
I sure do. Lexus. Beach house. Boat. Month long vacations at the Breakers like Livermore used to do. Fancier watch than the fancy watch I already bought. I want it all. This is a big problem for me.
Those material desires are exactly what the Resistance uses to create unhappiness. It seems that the only way to achieve trading success, and success in life, is to not care about the fruits of that success. Ironic, isn’t it?