Your Inner Trader is a **** — How Self Talk Destroys Your Trading
A big part of trading is a mental game, but the chances are your mind is working against you.
You might have hoped your inner voice would be on your side during the ups and downs in the markets. Guiding you, providing mental clarity and helping you navigate the uncertainty. But in reality, it’s probably filling your head with negative self-talk, distracting you during big decisions and convincing you you’re nothing more than a worthless gambler.
Luckily I have some good news for you.
There are things you can do to not only stop that negative inner voice but to actually take control of it and turn it in your favour. In this article, you’ll get started with that process by first understanding how negative self-talk affects your trading.
What Is Inner Talk?
Despite all the great advice that we should be living life in the present, this isn’t something we’re biologically built to do.
Of course, it’s a good idea to be more present, but unfortunately, that’s not our brain’s default state. Naturally, when our brains are unengaged we revert to thinking about the past and the future.
On average, we spend about 30–50% of our daily awake time in this default state and a lot of that involves being in an internal conversation with ourselves.
It’s been estimated that our internal talk runs at a rate of 4000 to 6000 words per minute. That’s about 30 minutes worth of ‘out loud’ talking at an average speed.
This internal voice does a lot of good for us, but it also causes a lot of harm.
As humans, we are built with a negativity bias and our negative inner talk causes us to narrowly focus on the source of our negativity, excluding everything else.
A study from 2010 found that what participants were thinking about was a better predictor of their happiness than what they were actually doing. So you may even be succeeding at what you’re doing, but if that inner voice tells you it’s no good, you’re still going to be unhappy.