Doing what you don't want to do
Millions of humans do this every day. Some do it only once in a while, and others do it on an ongoing basis. Shooting Oneself in the Foot is an English idiom which captures the seemingly insane, subconsciously driven pattern of human behaviour that makes people do what they don’t want to do.
The phenomenon of Shooting Oneself in the Foot is especially prominent in the area of trading the markets.
The above presented chart shows the price action of gold. The red arrow shows the almost vertical ascent of the prices from point A to point B.
To enter a buying trade towards the top of this arrow is what Shooting Oneself in the Foot is in the realm of trading the markets. Thousands of traders have bought gold at the top of the red arrow and now are sitting on it in the vicinity of the point C.
This page of my Toronto Hypnosis Clinic website is about the greatest paradox of the human life.
This paradox - a form of an utterly idiotic, self defeating behaviour - is the result of the negative subconscious conditioning, which you may have already noticed playing havoc in your own life.
Read on, and see how - without being forced into it - people do what they don’t want to do.
Some time ago I became interested in the following question: Why is it so incredibly difficult to make money trading the markets - why most of the people fail in this endeavour - even though the rules of the successful trading activity are well known and well described in so many publications?
Treading the markets for a living is one of the most difficult ways of earning consistent profits. If it wasn’t so, nobody would ever go to work.
Why would you go to work if you could turn your computer on - anywhere in the world - and with a few clicks generate enough profit to cover all of your average daily expenses and possibly much more.
Some people are able to do this. They live lives of freedom which seem to be like the unreal fairy-tales to those who are caught in the common grind and limitations of the conventional ways of employment.
But again - what makes it so difficult? What is the difference between the 5% of the successful traders, who happily trade for a living on a daily basis, and the 95% of the failures, when both of these two groups have access to the same easily available knowledge and information?
In order to discover the answer to the above presented questions I have decided to enter the trading arena, and find out the answers for myself, through my own trading experience.
What I discovered amazed me more than anything else that I have ever observed in the realm of my mind’s subconsciously conditioned, unexplainable behaviours.
My mind blowing discovery has been well described by one of the most successful, contemporary traders - Linda Bradford Raschke - in the following words: “Much of trading is learning not to beat yourself. Oddly, the majority of traders know when they are making mistakes”.
And yes! To my utter amazement - just as the above quotation says it - as I was attempting to squeeze profits from the markets, I would find myself time-and-time-again, engaging in the trading behaviours which I KNEW, would most likely generate loses.
In other words: Before entering a trade I KNEW I WAS MAKING A MISTAKE, and yet, in spite of this knowledge, I would put a trade on.
It is beyond description of how mad at myself, and how frustrated I was, finding myself unable to stop this utterly idiotic, financially damaging behaviour.
In spite of the psychological torment of consciously observing myself sabotaging my trading-profit-objectives, I remained engaged with the markets.
I realized that as I suffered, I was also learning something incredibly precious about my subconscious conditioning, which kept on making me do what I did not want to do.
As I was searching the literature for the examples of the bizarre mental phenomenon of DOING WHAT WE DON’T WANT TO DO, I realized that the phenomenon of the subconscious conditioning making people do what they don’t want to do has been known for thousands of years.
One of the earliest descriptions of its workings comes from the Bible, where in Romans 7:15, St. Paul says: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do”.
Not doing what you know you should do
No need for anyone to try to chop your head off.
If you are like most of the people, you are more than willing to put an ax to your own head in many departments of the human existence.
People - driven by a great variety of negative subconscious conditionings - spontaneously, and totally against their conscious will destroy themselves financially, health-wise, relationship-wise and otherwise.
Another way in which my negative subconscious conditioning used to manifest itself during my market plays was an utterly frustrating / totally idiotic form of behaviour which could be best described as: NOT DOING WHAT I KNEW I SHOULD DO.
The following image explains what I mean by not doing what I knew I should do.
The red arrow points to a bar with a very long tail. This kind of bar doesn’t show up on the charts very often but whenever it does show up it is almost always followed by the significant movement of prices.
The image which I’ve presented above shows one of the examples of my idiotic market-related-behaviours, when such a profit-announcing long-tailed-bar would appear right in front of my eyes, and yet in spite of my knowing about its price moving potential I would NOT put a trade on.
In other words, I would NOT DO WHAT I KNEW I SHOULD DO, and only later, while looking at the significant price movement, I would lament my INEXPLICABLE PASSIVITY in face of the obvious need for action.
Would you like to know whether or not I still BEAT MYSELF as I attempt to play the markets? Whether or not I still enter the trades KNOWING that I make mistakes? Whether or not I still don't enter the trades which I KNOW I should enter?
The good news is: I don’t do these things very often anymore. This doesn’t mean that my occasional trading activity has become profitable. It is still just a subconscious-conditioning-research-project that helps my hypnosis practice to evolve and become more effective.
Would you like to know how I was able to overcome my negative subconscious conditioning which used to make me do what I didn’t want to do, and not do what I knew I should do, as I was attempting to play the market?
Well, my answer to this question is going to be deceptively simple. I’m going to tell you that the intense psychological pain of watching myself fail financially - even if only on a very tiny scale - time-and-time-again, eventually pulled me out of my negative subconscious conditioning by its sheer force - much like a dentist pulls out a rotten tooth.
Most likely, I would have been able to attain my liberation through becoming a student of someone who had already overcome in his own life my psychologically painful condition.
But in the realm of trading, those who are successful don’t really have time to engage into teaching activities. For them time has become very precious because it makes a lot of money - much more than a teaching could ever make.
What follows is that the teachers of the “successful” trading - with a very few exceptions - are teachers simply because they cannot really make it as traders. This state of affairs leaves the tormented - by their negative subconscious conditioning - souls pretty much to their own devices in the realm of trading the markets.
In many other areas of the human life, the teachers of the psychological freedom seem to be able to do their work quite successfully. My own - more than a quarter-century-long - hypnosis practice is one of the examples.
The rest of this page of my Toronto Hypnosis Clinic website will be devoted to the presentation of some very interesting - and sometimes super entertaining - examples of the negative subconscious conditioning, which makes people do what they don’t want to do.
Some years ago a client of mine got himself possessed by the euphoria of investing all of his money with a man who promised him 25% return on investment.
He not only invested all of his money wit the supposed market wizard, but also started recruiting others in order to collect a very high commission which the wizard had promised.
When I tried to point out to my client that he got himself involved with a Ponzi scheme, he accused me of putting him down with negative suggestions and terminated our sessions.
We had a little talk after he had already lost all of his money. He told me something that sounds rather mind boggling: “I knew that it was a Ponzi scheme, BUT I didn’t want to believe it”.
In other words, my client - driven by his negative subconscious conditioning - did what he did not want to do, and as a result of it lost all of his money.
The second - super entertaining - example of how the subconscious conditioning makes people do what they don’t want to do have been placed for you to enjoy right below. May it stimulate in you the awareness of how you end up doing what you don’t consciously want to do.