In the last few weeks I’ve kind of been ‘on a break’ from looking at making trades because I’ve realised there are some psychological bits and pieces that I need to sort out. (ok, ok, some huge dirty great rocks)
On the plus side I actually (now) have the means to get inside my own head and root about for answers. As I wrote here I started meditating regularly well over a year ago now.
The fact that trading prompted me to even start doing this means, even if it ends up nowhere, meditating has really changed my life so I’ve not wasted my time. This isn’t the right post to get into the muck and bullets of that statement so back to the first paragraph…
It’s clear to me that through all the stuff I’ve learned about the technical part of trading there isn’t really any more to cram into my brain. Where I am now on this is all about application and probably has been for at least the last three months. I can keep ‘information gathering’ but that’s really all it will be in the vast majority of cases.
So we get onto the super duper part of application. Applying the knowledge I have in the market. Exciting, right?! Hmmmm… not so much. In fact I have discovered a number of challenges.
- I absolutely cannot get out of bed in the morning
- I have a lot less ‘self-discipline’ than I thought
- Definitely under capitalised due to my life circumstances
Point number 3 is something I’m working on (hey, work – gettit?) but I’m going to have to come back to that one elsewhere. However points 1 and 2 have definitely been the source of endless frustration. Being generally pissed off at yourself for something that you can’t seem to overcome despite a lot of ‘good intentions’ is not healthy.
So eventually after a lot of sitting (i.e. meditating) and when this quote hit me in the face from somewhere I figured it out. First the quote: –
habits – you make them and then they make you
What I figured out is that from a quite young age I’ve been in the habit of rebellion. Now this doesn’t mean I’m some sort of anarchist 😉 it just means that early on (as a teenager) for a number of reasons I had to define my own identity and in part was only able to really do this by a certain degree of non-conformity. This could also be described as ‘f**king things up’ 😀
Now where this really becomes a problem is that ‘rebellious voice’ may have served me for a time as a teenager but I’ve let it stick around and it’s significant influence has become something of a habit.
Doing stuff for yourself and that ‘I’ll show them’ approach may work to solidify a sense of self when you’re 16-24 but it’s now quite counter productive.
What I’ve come to realise is this part of my inner world stopped rebelling against ‘others’ (or my parents) a long time ago and then took it upon itself to rebel against my own desires, wishes and intentions.
Read that last bit again. As soon as I became functionally independent that part of me decided it’s ‘job’ was to rebel against what I’m looking to do!!
Now clearly this part of me didn’t want to die so it had to be very clever and keep very well hidden so I have made progress it’s just maybe not with the speed and precision I could have.
It’s job is to rebel, to pull in the other direction. If I want to go left it wants to go right. If I want to improve my diet it’s busy convincing me that it’s ok to eat chocolate in the morning with my coffee (loaded with sugar).
Now the strategy might be to apply more self discipline. I can tell you now this doesn’t work and it’s tiring as hell. Why fight, fight, fight with a part of your own mental landscape? It’s just too hard and I’m smarter than that.
So what have I done? I have re-tasked this part of my rebellious self away from being an internal ‘blocker’ or guardian to have an external focus.
This is how it works. My higher self want’s to go to the gym. Rebellious me doesn’t want to and starts coming up with all sorts of reasons and justifications not to. Here’s the conversation…
Me: Right, time to go to the gym
Reb: No I’m tired, why not coffee rather? Do it tomorrow etc. etc.
Me: Hi Reb, you know this isn’t your job anymore right?
Reb: What?! How did you notice me?
Me: I’m aware of you now – you’re job is now to look out for external stuff ’cause you’ve grown up. You’re built to push back on stuff out there not ideas from within
Reb: Awww, but it’s harder!
Me: Yes but let’s go to the gym and I’m sure you’ll get the chance to do something later.
Reb: OK, but give me an example so I know what to look out for.
Me: Ok, like someone trying to take advantage or use emotional blackmail or manipulate you (us)
Reb: Right, external stuff as we discussed!
Me: Absolutely partner.
I get to go to the gym and don’t carry a stack of crap around associated with not going the gym/eating cake. Since I figured this out (last week) it’s actually been pretty cool seeing this in action although of course this new habit of correctly focussed rebellion isn’t bedded in 100% yet.
Sometimes it’s not more positive pressure that’s required but less negative influence – maybe from an area that’s hard to accept.
Who knew I was still such a rebel? I didn’t 😉