Jake is attending a party at his brother’s house. Old family friends are freely spreading gossip. Many are bragging about their recent accomplishments, and showing off their latest prizes. As a trader, Jake is the center of attention. Everyone is hoping he will reveal a hot stock tip or regale them with his latest winning trade.  Everyone thinks Jake makes $1,000 a day, just like the traders they see on late-night infomercials. But Jake thinks quietly, “At least I can save face. I’m glad they don’t know what my life is really like. I feel lucky when I make $1,000 a week.” When Jake gets home, he feels down. He wonders why he doesn’t make more money as a trader. He thinks, “I wish I were more successful. I wanted to have wealth and fame like a Market Wizard, but I make less than an entry-level broker. I feel like a failure.”

Have you ever felt like Jake? Jake is beating himself up because he is not living up to his expectations. He is comparing himself to top-notch traders and is drowning in a sea of self-pity. When you feel down, it’s necessary to pick up your spirits. There are two ways to regain your optimism: you can dream of achieving great wealth and recognition by thinking, “I’ll get there if I keep at it,” or you can learn to accept your fate and appreciate your inner-worth.

If you dream about and hope for riches, you’ll feel great in the short run, but in the long run, you’ll end up chasing rainbows. If you actually trade like the one in 10,000 who become a Market Wizard, such a thinking strategy will work. But most novice traders don’t make it that far. It’s much more useful to appreciate your value as a trader; learn to appreciate your actual trading talents, whatever your skill level is. Value your inner-worth.

Relative to many traders, Jake is doing well. He makes a good living as a trader. He has nothing to be ashamed of. Rather than engaging in fantasies of what might have been or what could be, he would feel better if he just appreciated what he has. He makes a good living, works on his own terms, rather than punching a clock, and he works at a profession where he can express his creativity. Trading is a fulfilling profession. It is inherently rewarding. But when you start thinking of what should have been, you feel beaten.

It makes little sense to compare yourself to others. Don’t beat yourself up for failing to live up to your fantasies. When you don’t appreciate the positive aspects of your life, you are not acknowledging the fact that you have inner-worth. Don’t let your account balance determine your inner-worth.

When you question your inner-worth, you feel pessimistic, but pessimism is never conducive to financial success. Respect your talents and abilities. Appreciate your trading abilities and build on them. Work at your own pace and on your own terms. If you are not a Market Wizard, don’t feel less than worthy. Who cares if you are not a Market Wizard? Be yourself. If you appreciate your inner-worth as a person and as a trader, you’ll achieve the success you’ve been seeking.

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