Making changes in life—and in trading—can be scary. Every change is a voyage from the more known to the less known. The pull of habit and safety can become a weighty anchor, grounding us when we long to soar.
This morning, a wise trader suggested to me that people don’t fail to make changes because they lack motivation or because they have some need for self-sabotage. Rather, people long to make changes and still can’t sustain change because they have other, hidden commitments.
When you desire to change your trading or your lifestyle or your relationships but find yourself stuck re-reading old life chapters, it is because something in those chapters pulls you back. Disrupting your overt motivation to change is a hidden motivation that has been operating in the background all along.
The trader who cannot bring themselves to take more risk has a hidden commitment, perhaps for safety. Until that hidden commitment is actively engaged and addressed, it will work at cross-purposes with the desired goal.
How do you happily integrate hidden commitments with personal goals? The first step is to become aware of those commitments—and to recognize that they are there for a (usually good) reason. In the next posts in this series, we’ll examine the change process and how traders can bring their real selves closer to their ideals.