People with the same goals often think alike and usually have many similarities. William James once wrote: “… if you want a habit – act like you have it. The Central Nervous System can’t distinguish from real experiences and strongly imagined ones. Acting as if has remarkable powers.” Today, a common cliché is “Fake it ‘til you make it.” The only difference between you and great achievers is that they put forth a disciplined effort. With the same effort and a strong strategy to follow, you can achieve the same level of success. As you emulate a role model while working toward your goal, you are like a child playing dress up. Every time you imitate the successful behavior it becomes more and more a part of you. Actors spend months studying a part before they play it; but when they know it they are completely believable.
Modeling is an extremely proficient way to break down or “code” what you see as a role model’s or mentor’s successful actions. As the saying goes, if someone can do it, anyone can learn it. Modeling is a state of curiosity and selflessness. It is a desire to listen to, watch, respect and learn from others as well as yourself. Modeling is process over content. Process or the “how” something is done is arguably more important than content or the “what.” The process is where skill is focused to create the end result. There are countless ways to do anything; but there are ways that are effective and there are time-and-energy wasters that might get you to the same result … eventually. Modeling can take many forms. Some of your most fundamental skills have been acquired through modeling others. Babies and young children are expert modelers. Only when they start learning by more traditional methods do they begin to lose this skill.
Modeling also involves mentoring or “sitting next to an expert.” This is an excellent way to model skillful behavior. The subject being modeled can also benefit from being modeled by learning from feedback on how they structure their experience. Even if someone does something well, it doesn’t mean that they know how they do it. Quite often behavioral strategies, that is the detailed “how,” is not in the trader’s awareness. This will become evident as you ask “why” questions focused on elements of the mentor’s process. With this awareness the “unconscious competent” can achieve greater consistency in the skills they have. A few years ago I had enlisted the help of a mentor to assist me with my futures trading. As we traded and my questions became more detailed I noticed that on a number of occasions I asked the same question 2 or 3 times to ensure that I got it and at first became confused because she changed her answer. It became clear that she was operating “intuitively” in some cases and hadn’t actually coded her process. We then began to break down her protocols and eventually identified what had been out of her awareness. This feedback also increased her results.
Uncovering the strategies necessary to trade consistently well involves observing personal program(s) that are sequences of mental and behavioral codes. For instance, how you do what you do when you walk, talk, drive or read? Normally you don’t think of how you do these things, but they constitute a code of behavior. The programs that make them happen are managed by your unconscious mind. These are known as strategies. When you have the strategy for how someone manages his or her experience, you have the key to reproducing that experience for yourself. Trading has context, specific patterns that produce excellence around things like planning, rules setting, position sizing, money management, technical analysis and fundamental analysis; but these are not all. There are ancillary aims and concepts that indirectly support your success. Often really successful traders share that they give service to the community—a notion of giving back, which reminds them that they are a part of a larger community and that this perspective helps them to remain grounded in the face of greed. Secondly, they have a purpose that illustrates why they desire to be successful. They have a skill in using metaphor and visionary thinking. Winning traders are able to create a sensory rich vision of success that creates a subconscious passion for what matters most; that is, keeping rules and following their plan. They also have a dedication to sequential and purpose-driven protocols, i.e. effective routines that develop strong habits leading to skill-building around rule based methods.
Identifying a role model or mentor isn’t as difficult as it may seem initially. Online Trading Academy has a number of avenues that you can pursue in order to secure one. For instance, the Power Trader Nation community online is one place. Additionally, the Extended Learning Track affords another great opportunity to get a role model. The important point is that modeling is extremely helpful to bringing your best to the platform and trading in your highest and best interests. Your A-Game is the only game that will consistently get you the results that you want. You’ll want to provide yourself with every “edge” possible.
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.”