How Most Traders Fail

By Rich Friesen

August 7, 2023

Hope and despair, How most traders fail

Yes, most traders fail to realize their dreams.

Yet most traders continue to try harder doing what they have been doing. Although it doesn’t seem rational, we as humans with our human brains continue to hope that tomorrow will be better.

It is this hope that keeps us going. But then we lose hope. Then the dream crashes.

We lose confidence in our strategy and more importantly in ourselves. Then we flounder and look to new gurus, new indicators and new strategies. All this in an attempt to revive the hope that we need so badly.

Trading is one of the most rewarding professions in the world and because of that, it triggers both the best in us and the worst in us. The major problem we as traders face is that our brains are built for survival and work well in the jungle of our ancestors and the jungle of work.

But our brains’ mechanisms for trading do us more harm than good. At the Mind Muscles Academy we call these ingrained patterns of behavior NEMES, or Neuro Meta Structures. This frame of thinking gives us traders a big boost when it comes to creating the new behaviors that serve us better.


Once we recognize our repeated trading mistakes as “NEMES” or patterns in our brain, we are then relieved of the guilt and shame of moral failure. It is not our fault. No more blame or self-criticisms. Just acceptance that our brains are reacting how they were meant to react.

The good news is that once we identify these unwanted behaviors as NEMES, it is possible to create new neural connection, patterns of behavior and trading actions that serve us better and lead to consistent results.


Neuroplasticity! Neuroscientists used to think that our brain power was fixed, but for a couple of decades now we have known better. We can intentionally create new neural connections that lead to new behaviors that get us to our goals.

If the solution is creating new neural connections, then we can be far more effective than if we are changing behavior with sheer will power. We now have a method of change that maps to our neurology. We can get off of that roller coaster of hope and despair.

Here is the productive model we have developed and refined with our private clients and our Mind Muscles community:

  1. Define the current behavior and then the preferred behavior
  2. Locate the trigger that activates the unwanted NEMES
  3. Create exercises and simulations to experience the preferred behavior
  4. Make commitments to your fellow traders of what will be changing
  5. Measure your progress
  6. Allow yourself to notice and appreciate your progress and how good that feels
  7. Take your behavioral success to your fellow traders for celebration.

Creating positive new trading behaviors can be accomplished on your own by following these steps. However, it helps to have specific guidance and access to online courses that you can refer back to and do the exercises whenever you need to.

It has become apparent that all of us improve more rapidly with the right kind of community support. Our online courses create a foundation for change, but community expectations and support create clear channels for enjoying successful trading behaviors.

Want to get off of the roller coaster?

Create a new path for yourself that involves changing what you believe and how you behave. More “discipline” will only add to pressure. Follow the steps above and always celebrate even your smallest success.

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Stop Fighting Your Brain!

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