Belief Examination Paradigms
Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
beliefs create your life. Whatever
you believe creates your reality and that’s what you experience.
Those might be strong words for some of you, but that’s
probably because you don’t believe what I just said.
And, of course, you get to be right about your beliefs;
that’s why it’s important to start examining them.
you believe about yourself is what you experience about yourself.
Whatever you believe about the market is what you experience
about the market. Whatever
you believe about your trading business is what you’ll experience
about your trading as a business.
And if you don’t believe you have a trading business, then,
of course, you don’t. In
my opinion, you do have a business; it’s just not likely to
succeed because you don’t treat it like one.
psychological workshops (and even in some of our systems oriented
workshops) you examine your beliefs.
So let’s take a look at one belief and put it through a
process I call the Belief Examination Paradigm.
One belief I hear all the time from many of you is the
belief, “I’m just an
average investor,” so
let’s put that one through the paradigm.
1: What Does This Belief
Get Me Into?
might be the same thing as saying, “What does this belief mean for
me?” But as A
Course In Miracles says, “nothing has any meaning except for
the meaning you give it.”
don’t really have this belief, but I’m going to imagine that
I’m someone who has it and answer it according.
You might have this belief and find that the answers you give
are totally different than mine. If
so, it’s just because your meaning is different.
are some possible answers:
I still think I
can make money in the market because the market generally goes up by
10% a year. If I can just be patient, I’ll make money.
I can turn to
people who claim to be really good to invest for me… like the best
I just buy stocks and hold onto them, hoping I’ve
picked the right ones.
I can get by just reading a few
newsletters and watching CNBC.
I think I can
make money in the market, even though I’m average. If not, why
would I invest?
I tend to listen to people in authority for
I have a simple
understanding of the market.
given your understanding of the principles of successful investing
that we teach, how would such a belief help you?
But before you answer, let’s do the other steps.
2: What Does This
Belief Get You Out Of?
answer might be different for everyone, and, again, I’m just
pretending that I have this belief.
I don’t have to
spend a lot of time on the market because I’m just average.
I don’t have to
do anything complex.
I don’t have to
treat trading like a business because the average person doesn’t
I don’t have to
do a lot of work to ensure my success.
I don’t have to
develop a working business plan to guide my investing because I’m
just average and the average person doesn’t do that.
I don’t really
have to have a system either… perhaps I’ll just follow other
people’s advice because having a system would get too complicated.
responses might be different but these are some of the possible
answers. Again, do you
think this belief might help you?
Let’s look at the third step.
3: Who Gave You the
Was it your parents? Your peers? The media? Or did you deliberately pick the belief for yourself?
Your answer might be, “Well, I’m not sure, but I don’t do much
and I’m just like everyone else, so I must be average.”
In other words, you probably got the belief from everyone
else… the media, your peers, etc.
4: What Is the Evidence
for the Belief?
this one should not be hard because you are always searching for
evidence to make yourself right.
You should have plenty of evidence for your beliefs:
Well, I have a 401K
like most other investors.
I don’t spend a
lot of time on the markets, so I must be average.
I’ve made very
little money in the markets, so that probably makes me average.
And I lost 45% on
my retirement accounts in 2008, sigh, so that’s probably average.
5: Is the Belief Useful?
you have thoroughly examined the belief by asking the other
questions, you can now ask how useful the belief is.
And a related question would be “Is there a much more
useful belief that I can substitute for this belief?”
might you answer that? Here
some possible reasons you might think the belief is useful:
I don’t want to
do a lot of work, learn a lot of things, or do a lot of research.
This belief allows me to have an excuse not to do that, so it
is useful. (If this is
you, please examine what you just said.).
I didn’t make a
lot of money and this is why, so it’s useful to let me know why.
here are some reasons that you might think the belief is not useful:
My investing is a
joke because I don’t take it seriously.
I spent 8 years learning my profession, yet here I am trying
to make better money in the markets without doing what it takes to
be a professional. No,
it’s not useful!
I need to examine
myself. I need to treat
my investing like a business and have a business plan.
I need to have some well-researched systems. The whole idea
that “I’m average” is not useful at all because it is keeping
you beginning to see the impact that your beliefs might have on your
experience as an investor/trader or even on your life?
6: Can I Pick Something
More Useful or Does the Old Belief Have Charge?
the nice things about beliefs is that as soon as you decide a belief
is not useful and find a more useful belief, you can usually adopt
the more useful belief. So
let’s look at a few more useful beliefs:
According to Malcom
Gladwell, the best people in the world have to put in at least
10,000 hours of practice, and I’m on my way to being one of the
I’m in the
process of learning what is important to be a successful investor
and doing whatever it takes. That
includes examining myself, developing a business plan, and
developing systems for all types of markets so that I consistently
you think you are an average investor, what happens when you try on
one of those new beliefs? Perhaps
you feel a lot of fear —“What if I put in a lot of time and I
still lose money?” Perhaps
you feel dread —“I already went to school to learn my
profession. You mean I have to learn more?
That’s too much work, and I don’t want to do it again.”
says that the old belief has charge, and you need to release the
charge. When the charge
is gone, you can adopt much more useful beliefs.
But as long as that belief is attached to negative energy in
your body, you won’t be able to release it.
The good news is that people can get rid of charge.
(We show you how in the Peak Performance Home Study Course
and in the two Peak Performance Workshops—PPTS 101 and 202.)
powerful do you think this Belief Examination Paradigm could be
for you? What if you
spent three days examining your beliefs about yourself, your trading
business, the market, systems, etc. You
dig inside yourself to discover the beliefs that are running your
life. When you do that,
you can start getting rid of the old beliefs that don’t serve you—either by immediately adopting a more useful belief or by
getting rid of the charge and then adopting the more useful belief.
is why our Blueprint Workshop is so powerful.
First, you get to see all of your beliefs and how they run
you. Second, you get to
see the big picture about what is important to trading success and
how you currently fit into that.
And, third, and most importantly, you get a complete
blueprint of what you need to do to be successful.
Blueprint Workshop will be offered in Sydney, Australia next month
along with Peak Performance 101 (to help you get rid of the charge
on non-useful beliefs) and our new four-day Advanced Peak
Performance 202. It’s
a very powerful combination. I
know some of you are travelling over 10,000 miles to go there, but
we’ll offer these courses in Cary, NC as well in 2009.
But for those of you who live in Australia, New Zealand,
Singapore, Hong Kong, China or Japan, this is an exceptional
opportunity to get all of these workshops together.
Don’t miss it because it is not likely to happen again for
Van Tharp: Trading coach, and author, Dr. Van K. Tharp is widely
recognized for his best-selling book Trade Your Way to Financial
Freedom and his outstanding Peak Performance Home Study program
- a highly regarded classic that is suitable for all levels of
traders and investors. You can learn more about Van Tharp at www.iitm.com.