The Hesitant Trader

The Hesitant Trader

The hesitant trader

[People chattering] 

[Jamal] Do “trading hesitations” mean—low self-esteem?… Oomph [shudders] What’s the major cause of—hesitations?

I once met Qetsiyah… Qetsiyah (or Tessa as she prefers) was one of the most indecisive humans I’ve ever—come across. Tessa had some major issues with making decisions… As little as, “What will you eat?”… She would mull and dawdle over it for hours.

Ta-ta… I’ll always laugh at her situation… But, I realized that—people like that sometimes have self-esteem issues… most come off as—Insecure

[Inhales] Qetsiyah’s case was different… Maybe she just hid hers pretty well.

 [Grunt] Or… I mean it’s kinda tricky. Self-esteem issues (insecure) or just—poor at decision making (dilly-dallies). If you are an expert, what’s the correlation? 

Anyway, [smirks] Tessa is me; I am Tessa. 

What do I mean… [tuts] Well, for starters… I’m really not a perfect human being… Pfft… I already told you my story—here!

But, I didn’t talk much of… My personality. So, what’s my personality?

[Chuckles] My friend Tessa would always tease me with—my zodiacs. Pfft… She’s a Libra; Likewise me. If you haven’t heard—Libras are popularly known for their… indecisive nature. It’s not ephemeral—Mostly inevitable.

So, hug a libra today… Let them know they don’t have to mull over that food-choice-making decision. 

The Hesitant Trader …A Personality Check

[Pants] Wait, before I dive into how I became… the hesitant trader …[exhales] Hold-up… I left you hanging (did I mention I’m also forgetful… not ignorant—just forgetful)… Uh… I’m supposed to carry you along. Anyway, back to reality…

What’s my personality?

Firstly, [Mimicking Joe] …“I’m not perfect, I’m human—We make mistakes.” When it comes to making decisions… I’m definitely failing the—Class. A beautiful “f” is all I’ll get. 

[Gasps theatrically] Decision making—A fail, Confidence—Hmm, uh, heh… Now that I talked about it, I have areas in my life I’m not confident of. Can I call that being insecure? (still think it’s connected)… 

If we’re being totally honest, we all have our insecurities. Some—their looks; others—their work.

What else… [Pondering] Um, yeah… Trust issues! I have mad trust issues. 

[Sighs] A big plus… Failure! 

I hate the word; I hate to fail. [Groans] can’t stand the thought of it. Literally, I give up too easily because… Once I fail, once… twice… I quit trying. I’m practically scared of—failure. 

That guy… Creed—would serve as a mentor. He practically took a punch for a living. Me… I’ll run, yield… whatever I can do to avoid that situation.

[Exhales] I stand to be corrected… But I think there’s a word for it… Atychiphobia!

Lastly, Impatience [Laughs]… This one—I mean I’m usually always in a hurry. My mom (Sylvia… a beautiful human) has a nickname for me. Heh… Butterfly! 

She has her reasons… But, thinking of it now—It’s probably because I’m always on the move (literally). 

Know Your Roots

[Pen dabbling] Honestly, before you begin trading, I’ll suggest you do a—personality check. Most times… what’s holding you back from becoming the next “Cue Banks”—might just be inborn.

I’ll tell you… It’s really not easy getting rid of a personality—Not to speak on changing it. In reality, change is tough—but needed. 

You know, there’s a big difference between… “Hesitate” and “Hesitant”. One’s an adjective—the other, a verb!

[Gasps and chuckles] A verb is an action word or… Whatever your teacher told you in school. You are still in the action right… It’s really not you. Hold that thought!

[Guffawing] This is the tricky part… The adjective. I mean when something is a verb… it doesn’t hurt right (well most… since we’re speaking of actions. A punch will.) Now, Imagine it as an adjective… 

An adjective on the other hand—describes a person. Now that action has become a leach. It’s now a part of who you are.

In some cases, that’s bad.

[Mulling] Should I leave you to figure out… which is which?

Pfft… Don’t worry I’ll help.  

To hesitate means—to pause… Verb. To become hesitant… keyword “become” (adjective) means… [Chuckle] You are now—cagey, unsure, reluctant, dubious (ouch), undecided… the list goes on. 

The question here… is it a good thing—or a bad thing?

[Birds chirping] You know, according to Walter… The word “hesitant” is grouped under—Neutral. 

This means… [Scoffs] it can serve as a positive or negative component—in a human’s life. For me… I think Sir Walter didn’t know the difference between the two (hesitate and hesitant)—Cos’ when you become “hesitant” It’s bad, terrible, negative… Another word for bad will suffice.

How Can One Become Hesitant?

[Wind whistles]

Mr. Oxford says, the word “hesitant” comes from the Latin word “haesitant” meaning “being undecided”. 

[Jamal exhales] There are different ways one can become—Hesitant. I mean Oxford says, “Being undecided”…. But, what leads to that?

[Shudders] How do you become this thing, this person… I mean [chuckles] it doesn’t just show up overnight—There’s a trigger!

What’s that trigger?

Well, for starters… The most common trigger is—Fear!

[Sighs] The funny thing is… This person sometimes becomes “this person” without realizing it. You condition your brain into having a—Defense Mechanism.

Remember… when you hesitate, it’s normal. But, when you repeat this… over and over again. It builds into a habit.

This habit… becomes a part of you. When faced with that—situation again, you become this person (the hesitant trader).

Bringing back my character flaws… Pfft—I spoke about that earlier. There’s a development… Each with its own story. 

Here are the flaws in my personality and… Ways one can become hesitant:

  • Atychiphobia (fear of failure)
  • Trust issues.
  • Insecurities (Low self-esteem, self-doubt…)
  • Impatience.
  • Indecision.

[Tuts] You must think I have big issues. But, I mean I wasn’t born this way. 

Someone once said, “To know why you are hesitant, you have to know its roots”… Just like an Armed robber trying to rob someone—but dilly-dallies to pull the trigger. 

Like I said earlier, It’s not an entirely bad thing… till it becomes a habit. Till you literally become a—Coward!

Generally, you are just plain scared of—The consequences and outcome!

How It All Began…

[Instrumental Playing]

Uh… Okay, stop with the music. This isn’t theatre.

[Music stops; Jamal sniffles… begins writing on a new leaf] You know growing up… My mom was the kind to compare my life with the neighbors. She’ll say, “Why not be like Tony… look at Lynn she’s so great in school”—I would be so pissed, cos’ I hated being compared.

[Grunts] I feel like my whole life I haven’t felt—Good enough. If I wasn’t good enough for her; I wasn’t good enough for me.

In my previous article, I remember asking, “… Does your community affect your success as a trader?—It might be someone, something…” Our mind, lifestyle… It’s like a staircase. The further we go; the higher the influence. 

[Shudders] the more… the habit or constant comparison is inflicted—the more the damage. 

Developments…

Off topic… Parents—Please do better. Stop the unnecessary comparisons. 

Imagine being compared every day of your life. These character flaws (listed above) start to develop… It becomes a lifetime problem. You’ll never feel good enough…

Trust issues—developed because I don’t even trust myself (I mean what if I mess up). I don’t trust people… Humans can be weird. [Sighs] Also kinda grew up isolating myself due to these comparisons. 

My mom would shout, “Don’t go out”. Imagine staying locked up all your—life.

[Chuckles] Don’t get it twisted… I’m not writing this so you pity me. No!… I’m just letting you know that… Sometimes, your problems are stuck… inborn… Most times, you don’t even see it as a problem. [Laughs] you basically grew up thinking it’s normal.

Atychiphobia, self-doubt, impatience, indecision… are all basic end-products of my childhood lifestyle.

You’re scared of failing because… If you come home… You are about to be spanked. Funny… Schools don’t even help—cos’ Charity or whatever that woman called herself… Began at home.

[Gasps, shivers] Now you’re scared of trying, scared of pulling the trigger, scared of the consequence, scared of the outcome…

The Hesitant Trader

[Cracks arm, Huffing]

Uh… my arm hurts from telling you this story… Anyway, [Mulling] You quit… run away from all your problems. The question is, “How long do you keep running”

Cowardice becomes your daily practice. I mean why try—when you’ll be damned. 

[Jamal yells] The hesitant trader is a story of a cowardice trader… A trader ruined by his own childhood lifestyle, A trader stuck in a loop because—growing up had more negatives than positives.

Someone who has been running all his life—Afraid to move on, afraid to give up… afraid to try. This trader is stuck… stagnant… afloat.

Believing in “fake it till you make it” actually became a reality. The difference is, this trader—didn’t make it. That life… A fake!

Most of us… traders—Are like the hesitant trader …who can’t pull the trigger because of their—emotional and mental baggage.

[Tuts] Here’s a quick one… You start trading, get excited… post your wins but never your losses. Uh… Ego—Another commoner… for this trader!

Why do you think some traders don’t post their losses… Why do you think they apportion blames on the market…

Simple—They are runners. In reality… most of us are running from the truth. Hard to accept, hard to swallow—Like bitter paracetamol. 

What’s that truth? We are our biggest problems. We can’t accept it… because most times we don’t know or We practically can’t imagine the thought of starting—again.

Pfft… [grunts] “Everything is connected”.

[Crickets chirping]

[Jamal squeaks] It’s a little dark but I’ve got to finish. So for this trader—quitting is usually an option. We have more traders quitting every single day… some depressed and others—Get stuck on the demo cos’ they can’t take the risk of losing… How else will they get customers?

They need to display… impress and deceive. Remember “fake it till you make it”. 

What Are You Scared of?

Heh… [chuckles]

Don’t pay any mind to your social media traders. Most of them are like the hesitant trader …It’s like a drug… that constant need of online gratification. But, in reality… they’re stuck!

So… since you’re still here—I’ll ask this question… What are you scared of and why are you scared of… what you are scared of?

The reason for that question is—for a solution, you need to conquer your fears first.

Everything in life has its past… The biggest problem is—most times we don’t heal before moving on. I know people would blab about letting go… But, letting go isn’t the only solution. You need to heal!

These emotions build… as I said, You don’t just become hesitant overnight. Once you start to avoid or… run away from your problems continuously—The damage becomes more visible.

[Jamal whispering] Can I let you in on one of my biggest fears… why I think it’s from not letting go and How it’s been haunting me. 

[Sniffles] It’s actually a very sad story. So… I won’t be specific about the details.

July 25th, 1873… A call came in. I remember it being a—fellowship day (before I dropped out). A feeling I couldn’t shake popped up… I felt it in my guts—Something was wrong!

[Rain pattering]

[Shrieked] Oh!… No, it’s raining… The sick feeling got worse. Crazy—I thought. What’s wrong, what’s happening…

I left for my house.

[Phone buzzing] Hello… Who’s this?

Jamal [pause]

[Anxious and terrified] What! What’s happening—tell me… [Pertrified]  Please tell… (was sure of that feeling now) me. Please!

[Caller] Jamal… Your mom [sobbs]… Your mom’s dead!

[Bewildered] Uh… Heh… What! you’re kidding right? No!… no that’s not possible… No-o-o-o

The After-Math

[Reality] At that moment I could say all the “No’s”…  It won’t change a thing.

But, the funny thing was how fast I moved on. I don’t even think I grieved or mourned. The next day (after the burial) I was on my way for a competion. It was like… nothing happened.

No one knew anything. I didn’t talk about it—completely dismissed the fact that I just lost my Mom.

[Chuckle] So the question was… I moved on right—But, did I heal?

No!… I didn’t. Well, at that moment—I thought I did. It all began to make sense when I completely shut everyone out. You want to know why…

It’s cos’ I didn’t want to end up like my—Mom. 

This woman lost everything… I have dreams, there are stuffs I need to do, countries I need to visit—I was so obsessed with making it, making money that I became so desperate. 

[Pause] That right—there… Became my biggest problem.

Fear… cos’ I just can’t lose, impatience—in my mind, there was no time—Life’s short, and Trust issues… Where were you guys when she needed you (No one helped). 

The harder I tried… The more I failed. 

Self-doubt (a memory that’s been stuck… Maybe my mom was right “I wasn’t good enough) resurfaced again… Then came indecision. What could I do? How was I going to succeed?

[Exhales] I moved from one job to another. Once I failed, I quit… I’ll say, “Maybe it isn’t for me”.

[Whispers]

So you see… Just one issue, one problem—haunted me for years. I kept running and I must say… I’ve been running ever since.

My question for you reading this… Right now… is—What are your fears and what’s being chasing you?

The Hesitant Trader …Reality!

[Wind blowing]

Yawns… Okay, I’m trying to round up—I need sleep.

Accepting your faults, accepting your problems, accepting yourself… Helps this trader. 

When I realized… I was the problem, everything changed—Cos’ asides every fault I’ve listed about my personality… Ego kills! I didn’t have to place “ego” as one of my character flaws—I know I’m not a proud person. Just listing it in case that’s yours.

Once you have an ego, you won’t be able to accept your wrongs. If there isn’t “acceptance”… There would be no room for the growth of the hesitant trader.

Ever found yourself in this situation…

You plan a trade… You know deep down—within you that you did the assignment (sticking to your strategy) but, once the trade presents itself—You become a chicken… get scared and can’t seem to have the b*lls to take the trade.

Pfft… Heh… Has that happened to you before?

[Tuts] Happens to the best of us… you know. Doing that over and over again—makes you the hesitant trader …Well, your welcome to the club.

Here’s a welcome quote:

“A Moment of Hesitation… May cause a lifetime of regrets”

[Soft jazz playing]

There’s an end product though. Do you want to know?… The end-product is usually—Guilt!

Cicero said something… He said, “Guilt is present in the very hesitation—even if the deed hasn’t being done” Hesitation itself is defeat. Opportunities have been missed because of hesitations, Lives have been lost because someone, a doctor—hesitated.

The Market Waits For No Man!

[Pen scribbling… Birds chirping]

[Jamal narrates] In the market… Each candle matters, each second counts. Do you know how many traders have blown account because… They hesitated. 

Most people don’t realize that… If you decide not to decide, you’ve already decided. But, you lose your power of—Choice.

So all your indecisions are personal choices. Personally… [Chuckle] thinking about it now… There is no indecisive person. Cos’ again… If you decide not to decide, you’ve already decided.

The most important skill a trader needs to have—Making decisions on time. [Sighs] I think I just let out a secret the books… won’t tell you. Ssh!

Just like time, the market waits for no man.

“Hesitation of any kind is a sign of mental decay in the young, of physical weakness in the old.”
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

Most traders become successful after 2 years—while some… 10 years. Sometimes—it’s due to series of hesitations made. The popular saying, “Doing the same thing over and over… and expecting a different result” just justifies that. 

[Laughs softly] Reminds me of Mr Robert’s quote… “On an important decision one rarely has 100% of the information needed for a good decision no matter how much one spends or how long one waits. And, if one waits too long, he has a different problem and has to start all over. This is the terrible dilemma of the hesitant trader [my words]…decision maker”.

Heh… The million dollar question should be… Will there be regrets?

The Hesitant Trader …Final Words

Am I still that trader? The answer to that question is… a solid—Yes. 

[Jamal mulls for a minute… then exhales] 

You want to know why… It’s cos’ it’s my personality that requires a series of growth procedures. These changes/procedures aren’t easy to overcome. They take time.

So [sigh] This is my journey and since we’re basically alike. Why not join me in actually—tackling this and stop running away from it.

We need to heal; we need to grow…

Practice these…

Here are steps I’ll be taking for this growth:

  • Acceptance: you have to accept this person; you have to accept you. Be truthful to you!
  • Think then act: Listen! There are many analyst out here (trading industry) but, they are really broke. Simple… they think without acting. If there’re no actions—then it’s hesitations… No in-betweens!
  • Understanding fear: You can’t be scared… of your fears… you need to understand it. So I’ll ask again—what are you scared of?

You know, after my mom’s death… my fears haunted me (dying without realizing my goals) I don’t know if I’ve fully understood it…

Cos’ I once suffered from series of—panic attacks. Mine might take a while. It’s necessary we know our fears and understand it. 

  • Limit your research: When you learn a lot of stuff, you get stuck—mental blocks. You don’t want that. A strategy is enough to make a buck.
  • Accepting the power of “good enough” by trusting that you can’t hurt you. These decisions are yours—I want to believe you won’t do anything to hurt yourself—right? If so… You need to trust every decision made.
  • Lastly, [chuckles] Heh… this is a hard nut to swallow—but, Failure is better than hesitation.

So…

Knowing that—It’s a day at a time, a step at a time. Change is tough… But, change is needed.

If you want to tackle this with me… 

Let me know—leave a comment below saying, “I am the hesitant trader”… As you know—the first step is… Acceptance! 


All my articles are entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of lazyluchi’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities are entirely coincidental. 

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