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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Run Your Own Race

by Dr. Pipslow

Many years ago, horsemen invented blinders to keep their horses focused on their work. Blinders are pieces of leather attached to the horse's bridle that prevent them from seeing anything except what's in front of them.

Without blinders, a horse can see almost completely behind itself without turning it's head and can be easily spooked by movement or objects it doesn't recognize. By having fewer distractions the horse is more dependable and stays focused on getting the job done.

As a trader, I always discovered that whenever I started comparing my trading performance with other traders, my performance would usually worsen. This "distraction" cost me lots of money in terms of losses.

While I hardly watch television, I admire Oprah Winfrey so I watched an interview of her on the Biography channel one day. She and the interviewer were discussing her success and she made the comment that comparing herself to other folks in her business always made her take a step backward from her goal. Her words made me realize that even highly successful people experience this.

Don't compare yourself to others. It's tempting in the modern, competitive world to constantly ask, "How am I doing?"

It's easier said than done, but you should NOT allow how well you do compared to others affect how you feel about your inner worth and feelings of success in life.

Comparisons are useless. Run your own race.

Like the sport of golf, you alone are the one who needs to hone your trading skills. You are the one who must find a method that matches your skill level and personality. Comparisons to other traders just make you feel frustrated.

Don't constantly think you are trying to beat others to an imaginary finish line. People who achieve great things work independently and on their own terms.

They don't care how others are doing. They follow their own timeline, follow their own passion, and look INWARD for where to go next.

Notice how I said inward, and not outward. They look inward for where to go next.

How you perform has nothing to do with how others perform. All comparisons will do is torture you. You will feel jealously or envy.

When you see that you are doing relatively poorly compared to a fellow trader, you are likely to think distracting thoughts such as, "Why can't I do as well?" or "I must not be as good of a trader as I had thought."

To maintain motivation, focus on improving your past performance record, rather than looking at how other traders are doing.

You usually don't know what factors created their performance records, so comparisons can only mislead and hinder you. They could just be on a lucky streak or have a market wizard standing right behind them on every trade providing advice.

Put your "blinders" on. Don't look at anyone else's record but your own. Everyone has a different learning curve.

Run your own race.


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