Two Special Reports to Improve Your Market Performance 

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Level zero of self-sabotage says that we are just robots. Everything happens by chance and you might improve the odds by learning a few rules. Everything is caused by something outside of you and you must learn the cause and effect relationships. Self-sabotage at this level would consist of not learning the rules. People who think psychology doesn't play a part in their trading are more or less operating in this model.

(By the way, this isn't good or bad, it just is).

Anyway...self-sabotage level one...is the Matrix model. We are programmed to do things and somehow the programming becomes flawed and you have to fix the programming. I think this is NLP 101. But it also doesn't produce very deep changes in my opinion.

Self-sabotage level two makes the assumption that we are creative beings. We create things and then don't own the creations...we think they are separate from us. This is Avatar and some basic spirituality. Much of my work has been at this area. For example, someone who doesn't think psychology plays a part in their trading results is not owning their creations. And as long as it's working, its okay, but when it stops working then the creation becomes the enemy. So instead of dis-creating it, it becomes the problem. Its a deep topic so if you want to understand it better, look at the reports below. -- Van K. Tharp

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Part One, Page 1 of 7: 

One of my passions in life is to model things. When Iíve modeled different aspects of human excellence, Iím always amazed at how people seem to be almost hard-wired to do things the wrong way. Letís look at a few examples:

I first modeled the trading process and the Peak Performance Home Study Program was born as a result of this. And, what I discovered was that most people do all of the wrong things almost naturally. For example, they tend to cut their profits short and let their losses run. They focus on picking the right stocks (and being right about them) as opposed to position sizing and exits. They get emotional about their trading. The list could go on and on and all of it appears to be some form of self-sabotage.

Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom came about as a result of modeling the area of trading that seemed to be the least psychologicalósystem development. I wanted to know "how do traders developed good systems." And, once again, I discovered that most people do all the wrong things. Itís almost second nature to them. For example, they concentrate on the entry portion of system development, often to the exclusion of critical items such as exits and position sizing. In fact, this bias is built right into most of the commercially available software for system development. That software is designed to optimize historical entries and will not even permit decisions that have to be made simultaneously at any given moment in time such as position sizing decisions. Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom listed 25 different psychological biases that affect trading system development and all of them are basically some sort of self-sabotage.

Most recently, Iíve been interested in modeling the wealth process. The wealth process is so simple that almost everyone, including those with a minimal education, can become infinitely wealthy. However, most people do everything they can to prevent that from happening. They go deeply into debt to obtain "consumer items" on credit. And that process starts as soon as they earn money, perhaps even earlier if they are in college. Furthermore, when they become successful, most people simply go further into debt because they can afford more debt. As a result, you often...

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Part Two, Page 1 of 8: 

In last monthís issue of Market Mastery, we examined two models for self-sabotage. The first model, I called the Matrix model after the movie by the same name. In that model, we are assumed to be programmed to perform the way we do and to lead our lives the way we do. Most people are unaware of that programming, so they act as if everything is normal. However, if you realize that you are programmed, then you can reprogram yourself to perform at super-human levels, just as they did in the movie, The Matrix.

We looked at a number of different techniques for reprogramming and they all involve transforming some belief that weíve adopted thatís not very useful. However, if we look at the underlying assumptions of what they are doing, the assumptions are not too sound.

For example, are we given our beliefs or do we choose them? Are we creative, spiritual beings or are we robots? If we are robots, then who programs us? And even if we can reprogram ourselves, isnít that some sort of choice? Doesnít that suggest that perhaps there is a better model?

The second model that was given is, in my opinion, a better model. It is the Creative Model. (See Figure 1 on Page 2). Basically, this model says that we form a belief that creates our experience. Self-sabotage occurs when we donít want to have the experiences that we create from our beliefs. Once created, however, we typically disown our creations and give them power. And what you resist tends to persist, thus giving them even more power. They become solid and real.

Just to refresh your memory, Figure 1 presents the Creative Model for Self-Sabotage. Remember in this model, you create your experience, but simply are NOT willing to experience your creation. Instead, of thinking, "I created this experience," you simply think that this happened to me and resist it. As a result, you give it your own power.

Incidentally, the Creative Model was totally made up. Itís just a model, but it is also an example of the model itself. For example, if you believe it, then it becomes real for you. I prefer to simply say, "Itís useful." In addition, this model, if correct, also validates the Matrix model. If you believe...

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Last revised: January 25, 2012