This is a guest post by Holly Burns
“There is no normal life that is free of pain. It’s the very wrestling with our problems that can be the impetus for our growth.” – Fred Rogers
Like countless others, I grew up watching the magical world of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. I remember his soft spoken and comforting nature, and his willingness to accept me exactly as I am. As a child, it helped me appreciate the people around me, and maybe more importantly, accept and forgive myself for not being perfect.
But as we get older, we all eventually leave that safe and friendly neighborhood. We venture out into a world with difficult relationships, unfulfilling jobs, and financial pressure. We demand more and more of ourselves and each other. We can lose sight of the things in life that bring us joy; leading a meaningful life, helping others, and loving and being loved.
Many of us trade as a means to achieve these things. We trade for financial independence so we can spend time with our families, or so we can volunteer, or pursue our life’s passion. The more personal it becomes for us the more pressure we put on ourselves, and inevitably, the more mistakes we make. The fear of failure or of disappointing others can be paralyzing for many traders, which is why we emphasize relying on price action rather than feelings. By religiously following trading rules and proven strategies, we limit the chances that our emotions will get the better of us and lead to a costly mistake.
But as Mr. Rogers says, there is no life that is free from pain, and there is no trading life free of losses. It’s important that we learn from our mistakes so we can grow as traders, but it’s just as important that we learn to forgive ourselves for our missteps and accept ourselves just the way we are.