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Reality Check – Our Brain Is Designed To Be Easily Sidetracked When Trading

As traders, we are inherently designed to be drawn towards novelty/intellectual challenges and be easily seduced by whatever comes our way as the next best thing. However, without realising, this takes our focus away from the task at hand. This contributes more than you think to system-hopping.

I had a conversation with our Discord colleague Lee Rocks the other day. I thought the exchange is so valuable that I’d be doing the community a disservice if not shared with you all.

Lee had in mind introducing some additional trading software [unrelated to the strategies taught] to users as part of the Discord mentor room. He’s developed some pretty useful semi-auto trading software in the past, ans so, quoting him, he stated that “it wouldn’t be too difficult to get this into a position where I could make this available to people.”

My immediate reaction was that I’ve seen this script play out many times over. The more goodies available, the more easily side-tracked we get. If you wonder why that is, I suggest you keep reading, as the answer will hopefully be very enlightening for those of you struggling at swinging from one to the next shiny object.

It’s important not to lose sight of the number 1 goal the mentor room is intended for, that is, provide the students with an ecosystem to stack the best chances of being profitable. The more additional trading software features that we throw into the mix, esp if unrelated to BT/CSM/TT, the more distraction it creates. Even confusion I dare to say.

As traders, we are inherently designed to be drawn towards novelty/intellectual challenges and be easily seduced by whatever comes our way as the next best thing. However, without realising, this takes our focus away from the task at hand that we are meant to concentrate most on (BT, CSM, TT). This contributes more than you think to system-hopping.

Committing to a specific process in your trading day in and day out through spaced out repetition is critical to build the skills required to succeed at this game and have longevity. Plus, impatience to let time manifest those results acts as a big hindrance too. The most important and often under-rated aspect is to have the ability to duck all the distraction coming your way.

Only if that shinny object adds on top of your existing arsenal to refine things it’d be a valid option. Otherwise, the vicious loop of system hopping makes its way back for the zillionth time. Too often, by the time we are fully aware of our focus drifting away, we are so off track that it’s very hard to return back to that spaced out repetition that, once, had us enthusiastic.

Why? We are wired to seek short-term thrills, novelty, new intellectual challenges, shinny objects… in other words, activities/outcomes that keep us hyped & entertained. That’s why trading will never be a job where the masses can succeed, because the masses have a tendency to fall under these predictable traps.

Does this resonate with you? When we are told that a strategy is just the tip of the iceberg, some of you still not realising of why our brains are not designed to succeed in such a game, would start to understand why the component of psychology has a weighting that far exceeds any other to determine our chances of success, way more than the strategy itself.

The best case scenario is to create routines that brings us contentment/pleasure from the process of trading.

But how do u find that pleasure? Let me quote Yan here, a student of the CSM course, who really gets it: “Showing up on time, staying alert and focused, acting according to the plan etc. If we tick all the boxes during the day, we should count it as a successful day and derive pleasure from it – regardless of whether there were trades or not, losses or profit.”

About the author

Ivan Delgado

Ivan Delgado is a decade-long Forex Trader. Feel free to follow Ivan on Youtube. Join thousands of traders who follow Ivan's insights to increase their profitability rate by learning the ins and outs of how to read and trade financial markets. Ivan has you covered with in-depth technical market analysis to help you turn the corner.