The Pain of Being Wrong

Yes, there is nothing wrong with being wrong; but I have not forgotten that it is actually quite painful if not uncomfortable to acknowledge to oneself of being wrong.   It sure took me a long time to “get used” to the pain of being wrong.  Because I’m now used to the pain, I don’t have any problem executing my fail-safe plan (stop losses or lock in profit after giving back a chunk or so) even though I feel the pain.

Unfortunately, our need to be right is somehow ingrained into our mind; it is as much as our ego is an integrated fabric of our consciousness.  Without our ego, will The Fly even care about setting up this site for us mortal to pontificate our thought?  Do we even care to share?  Will we even trade?

With ego, pain WILL be a part of being wrong.  Yes, mental pain.  The kind of pain there can bring tear to your eyes even in the absence of physical pain.  Yes, this is the wonder of our powerful mind; so deal with it.  So, what can we do with this pain of being wrong without the use of narcotic to dull it.   No, you are not permitted to use alcohol either.

What I found out in my journey of trading is that the best way to snip this mental pain right off with only a small “ouch!” exclaimed from your mouth is to acknowledge your being wrong as earliest as possible.  The big pain comes when you simmer on the being wrong for too long.   As each our mind can only tolerate so much pain; the longer you take to acknowledge your being wrong, the more painful it becomes.  Usually, at the end, it is our “fight or flight” survival instinct that kicked in to relieve our severe mental pain by capitulating at the end.  And as most may fear, our capitulating at maximum pain somehow have a 50/50 percentage chance of happening right at the bottom (or top if you are short) of the market.  Nevertheless, capitulation always provides a much needed relief from the pain that has been bottling up for too long.

Bottom line, learn to recognize and acknowledge your being wrong as soon as possible and then take the immediate step to remedy this wrong as soon as you can.  With practice, you may not feel much of a pain at all.  There will be occasion that you may exclaim an “ouch!” a little louder than normal; but it sure beats screaming in agony because you are dangerously reaching capitulating point.

You see, with our mental design that comes with our ego; mental pain is a fact of life when we are wrong, why not make a habit of snipping this pain right off your back by admitting to being wrong sooner before it becomes a painful boil in your mind?

In the world of trading, the most convenient and easier way to acknowledge and admit to being wrong is by the use of stop loss.   The additional benefit of using a stop loss is that the act of using a stop loss means you are entering into a trade with a plan.

Good Hunting!



Categories: Trading philosophies and thoughts

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2 replies

  1. There is a lot to be said for this protocol. Once you recognize a mistake, fix it ASAP. The process may cause pain but as OP says that pain grows over time. Sometimes with alarming rapidity. Fix it and move on. Well played sir

  2. “Sometimes with alarming rapidity”

    Unfortunately, most people will only find out this after their prolonged hesitation..

    Thanks for reading!

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