Change can be difficult, even when you want to change. Why is it so hard to do what you say you want to do; and not do what you say you don’t want to do? Firstly, humans are creatures of habit. Doing the same thing in the same ways fosters a level of familiarity and comfort…even the habits that are not in your best interest. Humans seek comfort and pleasure and, by the same token, want to avoid discomfort and pain. Now, what is paradoxical is that in your determination to avoid discomfort and pain you can actually cause it by succumbing to ego driven defense mechanisms that were created ostensibly when you were quite young. How does this happen? Well, when you were young, let’s say a toddler, and you broke something that mommy really liked and were yelled at, you felt shamed; or in early elementary school and you were called upon to answer a question you didn’t know the answer to prompting cruel laughter from your classmates and a stern disapproving look from the teacher, you felt humiliated. Then, your all protecting ego would say, “…see, you are bad because you made mommy angry so you mustn’t play or you’ll get hurt,” or “…you are not smart so you must be quiet so that you don’t get hurt again.” The experiences and others like them create what is called a neural network of encoded sense stimulations. In other words, they connect everything that you saw, heard, felt, smelled and tasted with the thoughts and emotions you felt at the time. This neural network of brain cells are connected electromagnetically and electrochemically to sensory stimulation and will “fire” every time a similar experience/event happens in your life.
So, as you grow similar things happen, you break something, or people laugh at you, or you do something that otherwise incurs the ire of those in authority or that you look up to. Then your ego says, “…see, I told you, that is not for you to do because you are not good enough, smart enough, talented enough or deserving, or whatever else it might have associated to this original experience. These become unconscious conversations or limiting core beliefs that lurk below your awareness level and that conjure up all manner of additional negative emotions like disappointment, rejection, anger, frustration and many others. This is how neural networks get connected to other neural networks and form very strong barriers between you and your ability to effectively challenging yourself in order to grow. These neural networks that continue to fire together will “hardwire” together, meaning that they become like a well-worn trail or a deep rut or cavernous scratch in a vinyl record. When that happens, the default behavior then becomes avoidance and anxiety based. You are then operating from a position of fear. This type of default behavior strives to remain in the comfort zone where there is no growth. You cannot grow in your comfort zone, you must get out. Growth requires stretching, tearing and breaking out of old tissue physiologically and old psychic constrictions psychologically.
To put it another way, as you grow from a child you form relationships with everything around you (people, places, things, creatures and the like). Each one of these relationships has an internal depiction or (neural network) that is constructed by all the chemicals reactions in your brain that include feelings and emotions. If you change that relationship then the network breaks and reforms. Think of how it feels to break up in a relationship with someone. Even if it is a good breakup it is quite painful and fraught with emotional turmoil. That is how change occurs on any level of your thinking, feeling and doing. When you are doing battle in the trader trenches it is crucial that you do so with your highest and best self…your A-Game, in order to maximize your trading profits. Of course, in order to do this you must continue to create the conditions in your mind to manifest the results that you want.
Written by Dr. Woody Johnson, Online Trading Academy Instructor. Dr. M. Woodruff Johnson has actively and successfully traded stock options, forex and futures since 2000. He is the former Executive Director of the Kaiser Permanente, Watts Counseling and Learning Center. He holds certifications in Accelerated Learning, Neurosensory Development and hypnotherapy, and he is a Certified NLP Master Practitioner. Dr. Woody is also an Associate Professor and teaches graduate psychology courses at Pacific Oaks College and Ryokan College. He has provided clinical staff services in hospitals and community clinics as well. He has a passion for helping others to achieve their goals and get the results in trading and life that they desire. Dr. Woody has been using mind/body healing techniques both professionally and personally with much success for many years. He is the author of “From Pain to Profit: Secrets of the Peak Performance Trader.”