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“I don’t really need to do screenshots. Trading is for smart people. Because I am smart, I will become good at trading soon enough. It takes time to send in screenshots – time where I could be in the market looking for another trade.  I view turning in screenshots as a waste of time. Besides I know what I did right or wrong in the trade. I don’t really need someone else telling me (and everyone else) what I did wrong.  I don’t really need to spend 15 hours a week on the webinar because I pretty much get everything right now. Thanks for the software and indicators. They are pretty cool. Peace out.”

Signed….a card carrying member of the 95% club


The sentiments above represent the mindset of someone who will join 95% of the masses and lose money as a FOREX trader. Renowned Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck describes such thinkers as people with a “fixed mindset.” They believe talent is inherent: you either have it or you don’t. They believe hard work is for people who aren’t talented.  Individuals with a fixed mindset always have the excuse, “If I really tried, I could do it… but really trying is a sign of weakness.” Also, because hard work takes them out of their comfort zone, they’ll stop trying at the first sign of an obstacle. People with a fixed mindset are hyper-sensitive to criticism because in their minds they are rarely wrong.  They also don’t like seeing others succeed because that only exposes their inadequacies. The reason people with fixed mindsets think the way they do is because their desire to look successful is greater than their desire to actually be successful.

The imaginary letter writer above wouldn’t be able to stand sending in his negative trades. He wouldn’t want anyone to know that he failed at something and then couldn’t bear the thought of actually being criticized in public. It is simply too much for his ego to handle. Because his image is the most important thing, he will give some credit to others but only if he can maintain an air of “coolness” while doing so. Eventually, he will give up on FOREX trading because he can’t stand the losing.

We see this frequently in the sports world. A kid will grow up with athletic skills superior to his peers. He wins at everything. People start calling him the next LeBron because he has never had to work to win, he develops a sense that he should win simply by showing up. He graduates high school (barely) and signs with a big time college program.  At this point, everyone expects to see him in the Rose Bowl, the Final Four, or the World Series. Then… he is never heard from again. Why? Because he meets other athletes just as talented as he is but with a different mindset … a mindset that propels them to higher levels. Below is a quick synopsis of the Fixed vs. Growth mindsets from Dweck’s book entitled, “Mindset” (you can click on the image for a larger view). In the next blog we’ll take a look at the Growth mindset and how it affects trading.


-Todd Carson


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