Fear Of Success by Ari Kiev, MD
This psychiatrist, who teaches strategies for successful trading, discusses the identification and management of the fear of success.
Success takes conscious commitment to a future result without any certainty or guarantee about the outcome. This requires a willingness to relinquish the certainty of past habits and beliefs and enter into the uncertainty of the unknown, guided only by a larger inner vision. Even when successful, few people are able to sustain repeated successes; few have ever won gold medals in successive Olympic Games competitions and fewer football teams ever have won back-to-back Super Bowl games, in part because of the reluctance to commit to the tasks involved in achieving such a goal.
The fear of change and the fear of the unknown often lead traders to blow up immediately after successful trading runs or avoid success altogether. These traders are not prepared to take responsibility for continuing to do what it takes to reproduce the successful results. Why is this?
Many traders have been socialized in terms of such contradictory values as "doing their best," "looking good" and "not losing." Few, if any, have been reared to do what it takes to produce results in line with specific objectives. More fearful of looking like "losers" than being motivated to succeed, they prefer to stay in the "comfort zone" and play "not to lose."
Further, some traders characteristically take a loss after winning. Attached to a grandiose sense of their own abilities, they may stubbornly hold on to a sell position long after it has turned around and should have been covered. Such traders are reluctant to face failure or declare their loss and start anew.