Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Many traders believe that there’s a strong tendency to sabotage our own efforts. Consciously we want to succeed, but unconsciously our psyche wants to fail. Well, for a few people at least. If a person has a deep-seated need to fail, there’s little that can be done without professional counselling. For most people, however, the tendency for self-sabotage isn’t as fatal. It lies just below the surface of our consciousness and we can identify and reduce its impact if we look hard enough. It’s vital that you identify whether or not you may be secretly trying to sabotage your efforts, and if you are, take steps to make sure it doesn’t get the better of you.


The most common reason people sabotage their efforts is that they are secretly doing something that they don’t actually want to do, or they are afraid to honestly face the realistic consequences of their actions. Some people may trade for the wrong reasons and they secretly know it. For example, many novice traders may have been attracted to trading in order to earn substantial profits quickly and achieve a higher standard of living. Unfortunately, trading isn’t “easy money.” It takes a great deal of time and effort, and the big payoffs for all the hard work may not be realized for several years.

In addition, substantial investment capital is required to trade successfully. One cannot plan on making enough money to survive from a $5,000 account. Although some novice traders refuse to admit it, they know that it is unlikely that they will be able to achieve their objectives. They are secretly discouraged and want to quit trading. It’s unfortunate. There’s a good chance that they will sabotage their efforts by making trading mistakes because they secretly know they will likely fail, and they want to speed up the process and just get the worst of it over with as soon as possible.

They will eventually lose their $5,000 and mistakenly believe that trading profitably was a pipedream. In contrast, if they had acknowledged that it was unlikely that they could have turned $5,000 into huge profits, they could have taken specific steps to gain the education and experience they needed to eventually become a consistently profitable trader.

They could have used their $5,000 to take trading classes or pay a trading coach for instruction on how to trade. They could have taken an extra job or could have budgeted their money carefully, in order to earn additional trading capital, so they could actually have enough money to cover drawdowns and commissions and survive the learning curve.

The point is that if one doesn’t acknowledge that one may not actually believe he or she will be successful, it is likely that he or she will fall prey to self-sabotage. If, on the other hand, one faces the unpleasant reality that trading may be harder than he or she had thought and that success isn’t likely to come easily or soon, specific action steps can be taken to develop a long term plan for achieving lasting profitability.

Make sure that you aren’t sabotaging yourself. Acknowledge your limitations. Don’t secretly hide from them. If you can be brutally honest about the actual chances of success, you can take active, decisive steps to achieve your long term objective of becoming a winning trader.

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