You Are the Holy Grail, Part 2
In my previous
article, YOU Are the Holy Grail, I wrote about the three
expressions or aspects of YOU,
using the analogy of a ship to make distinctions among the three
versions of “you.” I
referred to them as “me, myself and I.” (Click
here if you'd like to read Part 1.)
as the BIG I is the omniscient character up in the crow’s
nest of the ship with a higher point of view.
This is the Holy Grail that everyone is looking for…outside
of themselves. The me
is the Captain, which is in charge of making choices and decisions.
Myself refers to
the little “i”s.
The little “i”s are
the saboteurs; they are the parts that have faulty subconscious
If the Holy Grail
is YOU, then it’s
imperative that you “Know Yourself!”
That phrase is the inscription that was written on the Oracle
of Apollo of Delphi, Greece, 6th century B.C., so the
notion has been around for a long time.
Why is it so
important to know yourself? That’s
a fair question: your power and clear decisions come from within,
from an inner self that is powerful and wise.
You must learn to use your strengths more effectively and at
the same time develop an awareness of your weaknesses and learn how to
enough, you might automatically assume that you know yourself, but
that definitely is not the case.
You actually have to study
yourself! This is why there is such an emphasis on trading
psychology at the Van Tharp Institute.
An aspect of
knowing your self is
gaining an understanding of your personality type.
Your personality type can cause you to win or lose in
trading; you might have heard Van and me discussing this on one of
his Psychology of Trading CDs.
We discuss both the
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as well as the Enneagram.
I believe that between these two personality typology
systems, all behavior can be accounted for.
The Myers-Briggs deals with “normal” behavior, and the
Enneagram covers healthy, average and unhealthy behaviors.
Carl Jung, a noted
Swiss psychiatrist, developed a theory of personality to explain the
normal differences between healthy people.
He calls it your “psychological
type.” Based on his observations, Jung concluded that
differences in behavior result from people’s inborn tendencies to
use their minds in different ways.
As people act on these tendencies, they develop patterns of
behavior. When YOU
know your pattern of behavior, you can work at your peak.
psychological type theory defines eight different patterns of normal
behavior, or types. These
patterns of normal behavior result in preferences,
which are divided into four groupings, or dichotomies. It is
vital to gain a very basic understanding of how your personality
strengths and weaknesses impact your trading.
In this article, I
can only briefly introduce the four dichotomies of the Myers-Briggs:
Extravert/Introvert; Sensing/Intuition; Thinking/Feeling; and
dichotomy has its inherent strengths and weaknesses that need to be
understood through further study. Here, I will present a simple
explanation of what each dichotomy reveals.
Extravert/Introvert dichotomy has to do with where people (traders)
prefer to focus their attention and get energy. Extraverts are
energized by the outer environment and people and like to talk
things out. Introverts
are energized by their inner world and like to work out ideas by
thinking them through.
Sensing/Intuition dichotomy refers to the way traders prefer to take in information.
Sensates are factual and concrete and they focus on details and
see the big picture and patterns.
Thinking/Feeling dichotomy has to do with how traders prefer to make decisions.
Thinking types are objective and solve problems with
logic and analysis. Feelers
are subjective, display empathy and won’t make a decision until
they assess its impact on people.
Judging/Perceiving dichotomy addresses how traders deal
with the outer world.
Judgers (having nothing to do with the word “judgmental”) prefer to
operate in a systematic way, get closure and want control over their
life. Perceivers like to
stay open to change and possibilities, and let life
So, what does
personality type have to do with trading? Personality
type influences your thoughts, emotions and actions.
Because your thoughts, emotions, and actions (TEA) drive your
trading performance, they must be consistent with achieving good
trading results. Have
you ever been in the market and not followed your plan because some
emotion came up and seemed to take over your thoughts? That’s
one of those little “i”s
at work. That is a
weakness that needs to and can
me give you an example of how a personality strength/weakness can
actually lead one astray and away from his/her system.
I was working with a trader a few months ago who was having
difficulty following his system.
A lack of trust had arisen that was related to his being a
thinker-type on the Myers-Briggs.
Usually, we see thinking and analysis as wonderful traits and
positive assets for a trader. However,
thinking can be a
For this trader,
sometimes his thinking was causing him not to
follow the rules of his system. When events transpired in the
market, instead of just following his system, he would begin to
over-analyze the situation. The
more he analyzed, he would come to the conclusion that he
knew better than his system, and he would throw out the rules
and consequently lose money. We
had to work with the part of himself that was relying on his own
thoughts and over-analytical assessments instead of his tried and
true (back-tested) system. Through
our work together, he learned to use his analysis to his advantage
as well as trust his system to do what it was designed to do.
Both Van and I
emphasize the importance of knowing your personality strengths. When
you are armed with that knowledge, you can then capitalize on your
strengths and eliminate your weaknesses.
Of course, it takes self-understanding and
inner work. However, the
reward is that you then have a definite edge in trading.
Have you already discovered through your own experience that
your personality weaknesses are costing you money? Are you ready to
take charge and fully utilize the YOU
that is your personal Holy
I have alluded to
the Myers-Briggs as one system of personality typing.
There is another typology system called the Enneagram, which
literally reveals a map of trading psychology.
It is important to be able to locate where you currently are
on that map and to know how to move closer to your destination of
consistently profitable trading.
I will write about the map of the Enneagram in a future
edition of the newsletter.
Libby Adams: Carol "Libby" Adams, Ph.D., D.D.,
author of Voices of Selves, is the Executive Director of the Academy
of Self-Knowledge . She is a Master Practitioner of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)
and specializes in Transformational Meditation™, a process she has
developed and used successfully with hundreds of students over the
past fifteen years.
Libby has developed a 4-Part Webinar Series that
goes into even greater depth on the subject of personality type and
how it relates to your trading. To view a free introductory Webinar
entitled Your Personality
Type Can Cause You To Win Or Lose When Trading
and click on FREE WEBINAR.
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