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What The Nun II Can Teach Us About Trading Psychology

August 22, 2023

With horror movie franchise The Nun returning to the big screens, here’s something that might come as a genuine shocker: Sister Irene’s world of gothic scares is the perfect backdrop for learning how to navigate the topsy-turvy world of the financial markets.

If the thought of bear markets and red candlesticks sends chills running down your spine, here are some invaluable lessons that The Nun II can teach you about navigating fear and the psychology of trading.

Strap in.

Navigating the Unknown 

H.P. Lovecraft famously said that the oldest and strongest kind of fear is that of the unknown. This concept is precisely what horror movies like The Nun and The Nun II capitalise on. In these films—a nun, steadfast and resolute in her beliefs—is abruptly thrown into a realm of unfamiliarity, left to contend with malevolent spirits and demons.

Similarly to Sister Irene and Father Burke, traders are familiar with navigating through unfamiliar and daunting territories. In fact, it’s one of the first lessons most of us learn: the future can’t be predicted with any certainty. 

However, if there is one thing that unites horror movies and the world of trading, it is the fact that scary things hidden in the shadows are (relatively) far less scary when brought into the light.

Much like blood-curdling jump scares only work when you can’t see what’s coming, the most terrifying things for a trader only exist when they decide to trade in the dark. In the absence of knowledge and research, all manner of catastrophe could potentially arise. While often repeated to the point of cliche, it’s a truism that certainly bears repeating: do your due diligence!

Embracing Fear as Catalyst 

Within a landscape frequently dominated by fear, traders would be wise to draw inspiration from Sister Irene. Under incredible amounts of stress and duress in the first The Nun movie, Sister Irene nonetheless responded to her fears with an equal amount of grit and courage. In doing so, she was able to overcome the demon Valak where a multitude of others failed.

In the same way, managing emotions can help traders channel negative reactions into positive actions. This is a crucial first step to mastering trading psychology and ultimately building the right mindset to handle the ups and downs that come with trading.

While fear can admittedly be overwhelming, acknowledging and managing its existence can be transformative. In fact, it can empower individuals to overcome both literal challenges and metaphorical demons. Just as characters in horror movies harness fear’s power to fuel their journey, so too can traders leverage fear’s energy to navigate the uncertain terrain of trading with purpose and poise.

Discovering Opportunities in Chaos 

In the world of trading, things often don’t go as planned. Similar to what happens in horror movies, these moments can be the scariest and most confusing. But just like in those movies, these tough times can surprisingly bring the most interesting chances for growth and success.

In The Nun, Sister Irene faces a chaotic moment when she realises that her fellow nuns aren’t real and that Sister Victoria made a sacrifice to stop Valak from taking over her body. Even though this was one of Sister Irene’s lowest moments, it also gave her the idea to use Sister Victoria’s vial with the Blood of Christ to close the rift that Valak was using to escape. This moment showed how even the hardest times can lead to the biggest opportunities.

Traders should see losses and difficult situations in a similar way. Maybe a loss can help you notice something you need to fix in your trading strategies. Perhaps the loss could push you to find better investment options. Whatever the case may be, by learning from setbacks and using them as stepping stones, you can build the resilience needed to thrive in the trading world.

Being Comfortable With Fear 

The fear of the unknown—of making the wrong decisions—is something that traders experience on a day-to-day basis. Much like the demon Valak, the uncertainty of making a critical trading mistake lurks around every corner, leaving traders dripping with anxiety.

Nonetheless, just like the movie characters who find themselves thrown into the midst of scary circumstances, traders will eventually have to accept that fear is part and parcel of their own reality.

Rather than trying to will charts to move upwards indefinitely, the most realistic way to navigate an unpredictable market might be to implement a sound strategy and trust it to pay off over the long term.

The next time you encounter news or major events that threaten to throw everything into chaos, remember to take a deep breath, keep a cool head, and allow rational decision-making to guide you from the darkness into the light.

Banish your inner demons and bring your mental A-game to your next trading session. Open your live VT Markets account here and seize the opportunities that await.