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Dorn: Traders, Are You Talking To Yourself?

Thursday, 16 Apr 2009 | 3:43 PM ET

Goconfidently in the direction of your dreams!
Live the life you’ve imagined. - Thoreau

The way you talk to yourself is crucial to trading and living success because your brains are speaking, listening and learning. Thoughts determine actions through a process called “entrainment.”

This is a fancy way of saying that we become what we think and believe we are.

The psychologist William James knew this over 100 years ago. He said that if you form a picture in your mind of what you would like to be and keep visualizing it day after day, you will become what you visualize. A large part of training the brain for trading success is to frame your thoughts in a positive way. This seems difficult for most of us because of the constant negative messages (Negative Automatic Trainings or NATs) that we received as children. The first word most of heard was “No!” Think about how many “Just say No!!” messages you see and hear every day.

Re-arranging (entraining) these negative thoughts negative automatic thoughts ( NATs) to positive automatic thoughts ( PATs) takes time and effort, but you can do it very successfully. If you can see it or dream it, you can become it.

Our trading service will tell you exactly what to trade, where to get in, where to get out, and where to set a stop. At the same time, it will educate you about the art and science behind the trade, and this will be augmented by psychological insights of the trade.

Yet, with all of this, there will be many that will not take these trades. I know this because I used to be one of the people that didn’t trust, didn’t believe and ended up chasing, getting in when it looked so right, buying high and selling low There will be retributions, excuses and regrets for not taking the trades. Some of the trades will work beautifully and others will not-that is the nature of trading. Yet, it will be the ones that don’t work that will get the attention. This is where your NATS try to take over the PATS, and try to find any and every reason for not doing something. In the heat of trading battle, we find that we are often our worst enemy.

Why is this? Because many of us have trained our most powerful trading and living tool---our brain—to lie to us. Even with all the blessings we have, we worry. We listen to the media as it feeds the needs of our primitive (rat) brain with images of real or impending doom. “If it bleeds—it leads and we certainly have more than our share of bleeding to go around. The media is not making this up. Things really are nasty and ugly out there and The Big Rollover has only just begun. Instead of getting stuck in this mess, now is the time to raise ourselves up and out of it. We can and must make our own sanity and take this opportunity to survive and prosper.

Always remember that the difference between CAN and CANNOT is only three letters. These three letters can determine the direction of your life.

How do you make a start and take just baby steps to get you to your goal of being the person you really are? How do you get to that truth within you that is greater than all of your fears?

Have a goal or a target that continually steers you in the direction of your vision.

Keep your mind’s eye on that goal and walk away from anyone or anything that feeds your rat brain with NATs. NATs are energy vultures that feed on and weaken you.

Never be afraid to make a mistake. Mistakes are feedback mechanisms that teach us. Open yourself to yourself to receive and learn from these, rather than punishing yourself for making them.

Entrain (learn) the PATs. These will feed back on themselves in a way that will be reinforcing to you and give you courage to continue on the path to your target.

Learn to trust yourself. You are more powerful than you can ever know. You have ultimate control over each of your thoughts, feelings and actions. You have power and strength to control yourself.

Find your unique ability. Nurture it because it is a precious gift that you give to yourself and others.

Never lose sight of your dreams and know that if you can dream it—you can do it!

There are 1,440 minutes in every day.

Take the first three minutes to give PATs to your trading brain:

"Today I will trade with discipline. I know the risk and I will control my risk. I respect the power of the markets and I am responsible for my actions. I am humble and grateful for any gifts I receive from the markets. I know that there is another side to every trade. I will plan my trade and trade my plan. I am becoming a better trader with every passing day. When I lose, it will be small and when I win, it will be big. I am on the road to trading mastery---one trade at a time.”

"Whenever a negative thought concerning your personal power comes to mind, deliberately voice a positive thought to cancel it out"…Norman Vincent Peale

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Dr. Janice Dorn is the only Ph.D. (Brain Anatomist) and M.D. (Board-Certified Psychiatrist and Addiction Psychiatrist) in the world who actively trades, writes commentary on the financial markets and manages a subscription-based website. Dr. Dorn has been trading the gold futures markets full time since 1993. She has written over 1000 articles on trader and investor psychology, and mentored over 600 traders and investors.She writes on all aspects of trading psychology and provides a real-time trading service on her website: TheTradingDoctor.com.

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