The Effectiveness of Affirmations

Fact or Fiction?

Thoughts and Actions

We’ve all heard of positive affirmations… Stand in front of the mirror, tell yourself something, and eventually it will come true right? Sounds great in theory, we could just talk our way to an 8 figure trader!

But what’s the truth?

I believe two things to be true.

  1. Affirmations alone are useless, if you say something your subconscious doesn’t believe they have no power.
  2. Affirmations combined with actions are amazingly powerful.

So what’s the difference? Let’s say you want to become a more disciplined trader and you decide to deploy affirmations to help you. Each day you repeat to yourself:

“I am a disciplined trader, I stick to my trading rules, and every decision I make is in line with my long-term trading goals”

All good positive stuff. (Studies show you should make the affirmations positive not negative, I will do X, not I won’t do Y). But if a few hours after you’ve said these things you are trading at the opening bell when your rules say wait for 10 minutes, they lose all power.

Your thoughts and actions must be aligned to make it work

In other words, doing what you say you are going to do, or at the very least making a dam good effort to do so gives everything more weight. So when you are telling yourself “you’re a disciplined trader”, your brain remembers the small wins you had the day before. When you stuck to your rules, when you fought the urge to overtrade, and when you walked away when you said you would.

It remembers all those little details and all of a sudden you start to reinforce that behaviour with affirmations.

Your brain starts to go:

“Ok, so this must be really important to this guy, not only is he spending time making statements, he is actually trying to conduct himself that way too. Right, I’ll make sure we move towards that.”

Now I’m a trader, not a neuroscientist but I’ve found a lot of value in taking that approach.

My thoughts and actions MUST be aligned.

And any reinforcement I do with affirmations needs to be in line with my daily actions.

Today, think about your trading goals.

How could you double down on:

  1. Acting in the correct manner
  2. Adding an affirmation routine that reinforces that action

If you can find that sweet spot I believe you can summon an affirmation superpower!