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交易心理 3

(2009-03-31 13:45:17)


Now we’re going to start zeroing in on exactly how you can align your mental environment in order to accept the risk and function like a professional trader. Most of what I’ve discussed up to this point was designed to get you ready to do the real work. I’m going to teach you a thinking strategy that has, at its core, a firm belief in probabilities and edges. With this new thinking strategy, you’ll learn how to create a new relationship with the market, one that disassociates your trading from what it typically means to be wrong or to lose, and that precludes you from perceiving anything about the market as threatening. When the threat of pain is gone, the fear will correspondingly disappear, as will the fear-based errors you are susceptible to. You will be left with a mind that is free to see what is available and to act on what you see.
Getting to this carefree, fearless state of mind, in spite of being burned over and over again, will take some work, but it’s not going to be so difficult as you may think. In fact, by the time you’ve finished reading this book, most of you will be amazed at how simple the solutions to your problems really are.
In many respects, a state of mind or perspective is like software code. You could have several thousand lines of perfectly written code, with only one flawed line, and in that one flawed line there might be only one character out of place. Depending on the purpose of the software and where that flaw is in relation to everything else, that one misplaced character could ruin the performance of an otherwise perfectly written system. You see, the solution was simple: Fix the misplaced character, and everything runs smoothly. However, finding the error or even knowing it exists in the first place can take considerable expertise.
When it comes to the ideal trading mentality, everybody is a certain psychological distance away. In other words, virtually everyone starts out with flawed software code. I use terms like clicks or degrees to indicate psychological distance but these terms don’t imply a specific distance. So, for example, many of you will find that you are only, let’s say, one click away in perspective from the ideal mind-set. That one click could represent one or two erroneous or misplaced assumptions you have about the nature of trading. As you reflect upon some of the ideas presented in this book, your perspective may shift. To use the analogy of software code, that shift would be equivalent to finding the flawed line in your mental system and replacing it with something that works properly.
People normally describe this kind of internal mental shift as an “ah, ha” experience, or the moment when the light goes on. Everyone has had these kinds of experiences, and there are some common qualities associated with them. First, we usually feel different. The world even seems different, as if it had suddenly changed. Typically, we might say at the moment of the breakthrough something like, “Why didn’t you tell me this before?” or, “It was right in front of me the whole time, but I just didn’t see it” or, “It’s so simple; why couldn’t I see it?” Another interesting phenomenon of the “ah, ha” experience, is that sometimes within moments, although the amount of time can vary, we feel as if this new part of our identity has always been a part of who we are. It then becomes difficult to believe that we were ever the way we were before we had the experience.
In short, you may already have some awareness of much of what you need to know to be a consistently successful trader. But being aware of something doesn’t automatically make it a functional part of who you are. Awareness is not necessarily a belief. You can’t assume that learning about something new and agreeing with it is the same as believing it at a level where you can act on it.
Take the example of my client who is afraid of snakes. He is certainly aware that not all snakes are dangerous, and that learning how to make a distinction between the ones that are dangerous and the ones that aren’t would not be difficult. Will learning how to make these distinctions suddenly cause him not to be afraid of “non-dangerous snakes”? Can we assume that his awareness will drop down to a level in his mental environment where he can now interact with snakes without fear or immobility? No, we cannot make this assumption. His awareness that some snakes aren’t dangerous and his fear of snakes can exist side by side in his mental environment, as a contradiction to each other. You could confront him with a snake and he might readily acknowledge that he knows the snake is not dangerous and wouldn’t hurt him; but, at the same time, he would still find it extremely difficult to touch the snake, even if he wanted to.
Does this mean that he is doomed to be afraid of snakes for the rest of his life? Only if he wants to be. It’s really a matter of willingness. It’s certainly possible to neutralize his fear, but he will have to work at it, and working at anything requires sufficient motivation. Many of us have what we know to be irrational fears and simply choose to live with the contradiction because we don’t want to go through the emotional work that is necessary to overcome the fear.
In this example, the contradiction is obvious. However, in my many years of working with traders, I have uncovered several typical contradictions and conflicts surrounding the issues of risk and responsibility, where holding two or more conflicting beliefs can easily cancel out your positive intentions, no matter how motivated you are to be successful. The problem is that none of these contradictions are really obvious, at least not at first glance.
Contradictory beliefs, however, aren’t the only problems. What about assertions like “I’m a risk taker,” that traders typically assume have dropped down to the functional level of a belief when, in fact, the underlying dynamics of the way they perceive the market indicates they are doing everything possible to avoid risk.
Contradictory beliefs and nonfunctional awareness represent flawed mental software code; code that destroys your ability to stay focused and accomplish your goals; code that makes it seem as if you simultaneously have one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake; code that gives learning how to trade a mysterious quality that will be challenging in a fun way at first, but usually turns into pure, unadulterated exasperation.


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