The words we use matter. Words have power to shape our outcomes and direct our way through the future. Language is connected to our deepest emotional centers and affects us in profound ways. Steven Pinker makes the point that it is the artifact of language which distinguishes us from other species far more than the physical fact of our opposable thumbs.
Our language is our most powerful artifact. Our pattern making, adaptive, evolutionary brain manipulates these word symbols, loaded with deep seated layers of meanings and thereby creates the world that unfolds in our consciousness after the shaping has occurred in the subconscious.
Imagine the following case, where a trader has researched and validated a particular strategy through a combination of rigorous back-testing as well as live system prototyping. The system uses relatively tight stops in order to take advantage of short, sharp intraday moves. Over the past couple weeks, the trader has seen decisions to exit be immediately followed by reversals in the direction of the original trade. Because of the strategies lack of re-entry rules and criteria, he has had to stand aside and watch profits accumulate that are many multiples of his original risk. It has happened frequently enough that the experience is beginning to cloud his judgment with respect to future trade decisions to enter and exit. The trader says to himself: I can’t believe how stupid I am to be exiting and not re-entering.
Left unattended, the word stupid will sit and fester in the trader’s psyche, charged with negative emotions which accumulate until he reaches a threshold of built up emotional charge that triggers an extreme reaction at a most inopportune moment.
The trader could have just as easily chosen the following words to characterize his behaviors and decisions: “I am grateful for the discipline, foresight and strength of character to adhere to my rigorously tested rules, which prevent me from exploding my account. I will add this new potential opportunity to my research list and discover whether or not I truly have an edge through re-entry or whether this is another example of the pattern matching brain’s selective memory that is in force.”
I think you can readily see which self talk is healthy and professional and will lead to better future results, Choose your worlds carefully and install positive learning loop words.