The Value of Self-Doubt in Trading

Photo Credit: Roo Reynolds via Compfight cc

The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death. – Steven Pressfield

I’ve struggled with self-doubt for most of my life. I’ve never had very good self-esteem. Anything you may have noticed to the contrary is likely part of the confident facade I have constructed in order to appear more confident. It’s all bullshit.

All of the time I have spent dealing with my self-doubt issues has viewed the existence of that doubt in a negative light. The natural assumption is that if I had more confidence in myself, I would be more successful. Pressfield turns that line of thinking upside down.

He suggests that if I were fully self-confident, I would probably be full of shit.

As traders, we are constantly running into these self-confident types. They are the assholes on twitter who have been trading for three months and think that they have mastered the craft. They are the frauds who pick fights with traders who are attempting to learn from each other. They are the ones giving tips and touting subscription services.

As it turns out, having a little bit of self-doubt can be helpful in trading. It keeps us honest. It makes us more likely to admit we are wrong and get out of a position that isn’t working. It makes us open to the possibility that our strategies are not as good as we would like them to be. It gives us room to learn and grow as traders.

Don’t be embarrassed by your self-doubt. It might just be your biggest advantage over the competition.

Photo Credit: Roo Reynolds via Compfight cc