Throughout my 10+ years in the stock market, I’ve made over $3.5 million trading stocks and options. (It still blows my mind writing that.)
But despite my success, I still need to work on my personal development.
For example, I should be enjoying my vacation in Israel right now (with little to no trading on my mind)…
Instead, I’m filled with an overwhelming feeling of regret.
You probably know I took some massive losses recently on my Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC) put trades. Now I’m feeling the pain.
Why do I feel like this? Is there something wrong with me?
Asking myself these questions led me to dig deeper into human psychology and, in particular, the science of regret…
Let’s break down the 3 key things I learned from my studying…
Regret Affects You Not Only Emotionally, But Also Physically
When we experience regret, we usually think about how it makes us feel emotionally.
But surprisingly, regret can cause physical symptoms as well.
That’s right. The feelings of helplessness and remorse associated with regret can lead to physical problems with your immune system.
A recent study showed that test subjects who expressed less overall regret reported experiencing fewer cold symptoms.
Bottom line: Regret’s not only bad for your mind — it’s bad for your body as well.
Regret From Inaction > Regret From Misaction
This one truly spoke to me, so listen up…
Repeat after me, Evolvers … It’s worse to miss a trading opportunity entirely than it is to execute the play and blow it.
Studies have shown that the regret tied to inaction is much more painful than regret tied to misaction.
In other words … If you have an incredible opportunity in life, TAKE IT.
Even if it doesn’t work out in the end, the regret you feel from misaction will be more tolerable than if you hadn’t taken the chance in the first place.
I’m constantly reminding myself of this fact after my regrettable trades from the past few weeks. And I suggest Evolvers do the same anytime you feel regret creeping into your mindset.
Regret Is a Normal (and Helpful) Human Emotion
At the end of the day, regret is an unavoidable aspect of being human.
And honestly, after doing a bit of research, I’ve realized we should be happy that we experience it.
After all, if you don’t regret your mistakes — you’ll never improve upon them moving forward.
This circles back to an idea I mentioned last week … embracing the pain of losing. If you don’t feel the pain, you’re unlikely to find the motivation to improve.
So next time you’re feeling an overwhelming sense of regret, don’t sweat it…
Instead, think of regret as a form of mental pain that exists for the same reason — to help you become a better trader.
As traders, we go through cycles.
Sometimes we’re super hot, nailing every play. Other times, we lose our grooves.
And quite frankly, I’ve lost my groove recently…
Some recent subpar plays — and missed opportunities — have left me consumed with regret.
But regret can have many positive aspects as well. And I hope today’s lesson has helped you see that.