January 25, 2022

Perfectly Imperfect: Why Learning from Mistakes in Trading is the Smart Path to Success

By Sona Mathews

The era-defining writer George Orwell once commented: 'The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.'

It's a concept that goes against everything we are taught and aspire to from a young age, but the basic premise of Orwell's quote is true both in life and in trading – the road to happiness and success is littered with mistakes, and these are vital learning experiences.

Perfectly Imperfect: Why Learning from Mistakes in Trading is the Smart Path to Success: eAskme
Perfectly Imperfect: Why Learning from Mistakes in Trading is the Smart Path to Success: eAskme

Perfection is, in many walks of life, impossible to achieve, and while striving for it can be considered a noble path, those walking the walk are doomed to failure and upset, that is, if they cannot accept anything less than 100%, 10/10, A* or whatever the metric may be.

When it comes to trading forex and other assets, perfection will manifest itself in a session of profitable trades – selling at a higher price than what was paid.

Is this possible?

In theory, yes.

But is it likely?


And it would prevent traders of all experience levels from benefitting from the vital learning lessons that these volatile markets can deliver.

The learning curve:

When you are a complete newcomer to trading, you will have good days and bad days in buying and selling forex – this is a lesson that some cast aside, believing that they have a 'knack' for the trading game that guarantees perfection.

Those individuals are soon outed as fools.

Once that shock to the system is experienced, the now slightly-wiser trader can begin to heed their lessons.

One of the perks of using a brokerage service in trading assets, such as the Apollo Finances broker, is that you can open a position with as little of your capital as you wish.

And so, to that end, learning vital lessons is a process that doesn't have to – literally and metaphorically – break your bank.

Other brokers allow you to open a demo account.

This is an even more advantageous position – you can commit to 'paper' trades that enable you to see how your transactions would have performed without risking a single dollar.

The lure of trading is that real money can be made. Many of us are seeking a secondary form of relatively passive income or even carve out a new main career for ourselves – the so-called modern millionaire.

But you might well learn that trading isn't for you the hard way – that is, by losing all your invested capital, if you routinely seek perfection and, most importantly, don't take on board the lessons that the markets give you when your 'perfect' strategy is outed as nothing more than hit and miss or a shot in the dark.

It's nigh-on impossible to achieve perfect trading because the markets are so volatile and unpredictable, and only those armed with a crystal ball would be able to profit with every transaction.

On top of that, your trading strategy might be riddled with flaws that only reveal themselves in time – often, newcomers to the markets will enjoy early success and believe they have 'cracked' it.

It's only when the harsh lessons of the market are experienced that traders learn the pursuit of perfection is a fool's errand and that simply seeking to make more profitable trades than 'losing' ones is as close to being perfect as they need to be.

Embracing imperfection:

When writing a resumé or answering questions at a job interview, it's a fact that when quizzed about weaknesses, respondents often say that their main flaw is 'perfectionism' – not being satisfied with a project until every minute detail has been perfected.

But isn't it funny that we consider perfectionism a weakness, even if the intention in these scenarios is to give ourselves a back-handed compliment?

Counselors and therapists offer sessions to those who suffer from perfectionism.

A lengthy research piece in the Harvard Business Review also reflects that seeking perfection can be considered a psychological flaw that needs remedying.

In that HBR piece, there's an interesting quote from a business coach who claims that perfectionism is 'rooted in fear and insecurity.'

That is, the fear of being considered less than perfect by our work colleagues, family, and friends, that fallibility is somehow to be avoided at all costs.

In the workplace setting, perfectionism can slow you down, creating a bottleneck in project delivery as you meticulously go over every detail in your pursuit of perfection.

To that end, your perfectionism could cost your business money.

It's only when we heed the lessons that our inevitable mistakes teach us – in trading, at work, and in life – that we can improve and grow.

So the key takeaway point is that we can enhance our journey to perfection by being imperfect.

Who'd have thought it!?

If you still have any question, feel free to ask me via comments.

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