Society Has Conditioned Us to Believe That Failure is Bad:
Through years of conditioning, we’re essentially all hypnotized. Because when we hear the word “failure”, we automatically think about it in a negative light. We’ve been punished by authority figures in the past for our mistakes, and as a result, we now become ashamed of ourselves for making them. The sad reality is that most of us are so scared of failing that we stop ourselves from thinking differently, trying new things, and worst of all, achieving our true potential.
But good and bad is only perception. So what if we changed our perception of failure to something more productive? What if we viewed failure as good? The objective truth is that failure is simply feedback, and if used correctly, it can take us down the right path. When we think we’ve failed, we feel pain, but pain is just a reminder that there is something important to learn. We oftentimes try to avoid pain because it hurts either physically, emotionally, or financially, but it’s what can ultimately lead us to success.
Trading is Full of Failure – Losses Are Unavoidable:
In trading, we will lose a lot. But any pain we experience is there to help us grow. So we need to embrace it with gratitude. When we choose to face the pain head on, it can teach us everything. Maybe the pain is trying hard to tell us that we need to figure out why we keep losing when we’re trying so hard not to lose, or that our position sizes are too large because it’s causing us to feel unnecessary stress, or that we need to put stop loss orders in place because we ended up taking a larger loss than we intended, or most importantly, that our beliefs and perspectives aren’t in harmony with the characteristics of the market environment.
The good news is that we don’t have to be helpless victims to our past thoughts and experiences. Once we decide that failure is feedback, we can use that feedback to become more self-aware and grow. The more we tell ourselves that failure is good, and the more we use that new perspective to make positive changes in our lives, the more we train our brain to generate new thought patterns and habits. With weight and repetition, our brains can actually grow and form new connections through a process called neuroplasticity. Generating new thought patterns to acquire better perspectives and habits is much like physical fitness: when we endure the short-term struggle in order to achieve a positive long-term result, our brain will make those associations, and over time, we might actually start to enjoy the struggle because we associate it with the long-term reward.
If We Want to Improve Our Trading and Our Lives, We Need to Learn How to Fail Well:
Ultimately, if we want to evolve toward our highest potential as humans, we need to go where our problems and pains are. Because focusing on the lessons we can learn from those problems and pains will teach us everything we need to know in order to generate solutions to them. As long as we learn something productive from “negative” experiences and make progress toward a better outcome next time, then we’ve learned to fail well. If we fail well, then there really are no negative experiences for us at all.
The hard work is in the confronting and reflecting phase of pain. But giving ourselves the chance to analyze the pain is exactly what will give us the wisdom to resolve it. And once we learn something meaningful from it, there’s no reason to dwell on it anymore. Living in the thoughts of our past failures without trying to find the lessons in them is completely unproductive. So it’s time to stop viewing struggle and failure as something negative because having that perception only induces immobilizing fear that holds us back from moving forward. In any endeavor we choose in life, our ultimate desire is to grow, improve, and overall, continue to make progress toward our goals. Failure is the best tool available to help move us toward our full potential.
Learn More in the Trading Success Framework Course
Written by Matt Thomas (@MattThomasTP)
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