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The Persona Effect

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A week ago I setup a whatsapp group with 8+ of my childhood friends, with whom I share an unbreakable bond despite us living all over the world. What is unique is that we grew up in a small coastal city and essentially spent our entire 12 yrs of school together in one classroom forming deep unconscious understandings of each others psychic makeup. On the whatsapp group we have laughed so much that our respective partners and families think we have lost it.  Each night after repeated failed “good night, this is the last comment” we eventually sign off way passed midnight and in some cases passed 3am; but as 45 yr old men there is something drawing us back compelling us to share our memories and our life experiences.

Tonight is the Jewish festival of Purim where it is customary to wear fancy dress (masks) this together with my whatsapp group got me thinking on a more profound level and I think the insights I will share below might have a beneficial effect on your trading.

As a student of Jungian psychology I need to lay a contextual framework that will provide the tools to “uncover” the insight.

The persona is a complicated system of relations between individual consciousness and society, fittingly enough a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon other, and, on the other, to conceal the true nature of the individual.

The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious (1928).

Whoever looks into the mirror the water will see first of all his own face. Whoever goes to himself risks a confrontation with himself. The mirror does not flatter, it faithfully shows whatever looks into it; namely, the face we never show to the world because we cover it with the persona, the mask of the actor. But the mirror lies behind the mask and shows the true face.

Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious (1935).

The amazing thing about long lasting childhood friendships is that we get to see and know a person before the layers of persona are added to the persons psychological makeup. When in our whatsapp group the persona we have created to fit into the societal norm of our lives comes out during our banter, it is simply not tolerated. The zillionaire, accountant, doctor, salesman, economist, trader are not who we are, they are not welcome in our group discussion, we are Steve, Al, Kev, Titch, Mike, Grant …….

In psychological terms when we become too attached to the persona we have created we become psychologically damaged and experience moods and complexes that in many cases have detrimental impacts on our psychological well being and our daily lives. Jung describes our task in life as one of individuation where we uncover the layers and discover who we really are and in the process become more whole.

So what has this got to do with trading, and PsyQuation, I can hear you asking?

I believe it has everything to do with trading. I think traders obsess over the persona they create to the outer world. Be it

  • the computer coding genius,
  • the nerves of steel iceman trader,
  • the big balled trader who puts enormous positions on a trade,
  • the ultra disciplined methodical trader.

It is important to realise these are layers to our personality they are not who we are, these characteristics do not define who we are, rather psychological wholeness requires us to disintegrate these personas.

Engaging on a whatsapp group where friends who really know you and slap down any persona grandstanding is one method, another is the PsyQuation alert system that helps you peel away the layers that your biases would like you to think is who you are as a trader. Just like the Jungian individuation process helps you become the emotionally stable – real you, the same individuation process applies to traders and we believe PsyQuation has the ability to help you overcome the persona effect and become a more “whole” trader.

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