Self-Serving Bias

self-serving bias

Most of us have a good reputation with ourselves.

You associate all of your financial successes with skill, but all your financial failures with bad luck or the “unfair” market.  Rather than admitting and learning from your mistakes, you ignore them, bury them, make excuses for them, and blame them on others or external factors that prevented your genius from shining through.

Isn’t it better to learn from your mistakes, rather than to pretend you haven’t made them?

The question “What have I done to deserve this?” is one we only ask of our troubles, not our successes. Why?

Self-awareness should be your distinguished trade.

How can you dodge the Self-Serving Bias?  Well, do you have at least one enemy?  Good.  Invite him or her over for coffee and ask for an honest opinion about your strengths and weaknesses.  You will be forever grateful you did.

Being mindful of self-serving bias beckons us not to false modesty but to a humility that affirms our genuine talents and virtues and likewise those of others.

“If a man didn’t make mistakes, he’d own the world in a month.  But if he didn’t profit by his mistakes, he wouldn’t own a blessed thing.” — Jesse Livermore (legendary stock trader)

“I was wrong; and the only thing to do when a man is wrong is to be right by ceasing to be wrong.” — Jesse Livermore

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