Denise Shull — The Role of Emotions in Decision Making, Resolving Mental Blocks, Performance Coach to Professional Athletes, Understanding the Feelings, Experiencing Peak Performance, and More (#169)

The Nishant Garg Show

“Every performance improvement anyone can want is on the other side of a better approach to the so-called negative emotions.”

“If you keep considering feelings your enemy, you are war with yourself. If you embrace your emotions as information, they become much more friendly. You actually reduce the odds of acting on them by making them explicit or conscious.”

Denise Shull is the CEO and Lead Performance Coach at the human performance and decision-making consultancy, The ReThink Group Inc. Leveraging her unique combination of expertise in Neuroeconomics and Modern Psychoanalysis she has developed The Shull Method™ a unique approach to mental skills which prioritizes emotion in the pursuit of peak performance and the resolution of psychological roadblocks.

After working at IBM, Ms. Shull’s Wall Street career began in 1994 when she traded at one of the first E-trading firms in Chicago. She moved to Schonfeld Securities before being invited to run a desk in NYC in 1997. She founded ReThink in 2003 and continued to trade financial futures through her membership at the Chicago Board of Trade through 2009.

Her 2012 book, Market Mind Games: A Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk has been reviewed as the “best of its genre” and a “veritable Rosetta Stone of trading psychology.” In 2015, Shull was invited to consult with the writers on Showtime’s drama BILLIONS and in 2016 Bloomberg Tradebook released the Trader Brain Exercise based on ReThink’s IP. In 2017, Shull and ReThink delivered HEADSx, a robust talent assessment tool used by select hedge funds to hire exceptional talent. In 2018, her work with Olympian Lindsey Jacobellis was featured in the New York Times.

A highly engaging speaker, Shull has delivered talks at NASCAR’s Hendrick MotorSports, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, MIT, US Ski and Snowboard Association, Harvard Business School, CFA Societies and Leaders in Sport among others. In 2019, Shull is featured on REAL VISION – the disruptive financial TV start-up. She has also appeared on CNBC’s Halftime Report and Squawk Box both in the US and Asia. FORBES, WSJ, FT, Bloomberg Markets, and New York Times’ Dealbook have run profiles on her while FOX Business, Bloomberg, Cavuto, PBS and The Discovery Channel have also invited her commentary.

She holds a Master of Arts in neuropsychoanalysis (1995) from The University of Chicago. Her thesis research, “The Neurobiology of Freud’s Theory of the Repetition Compulsion,” was republished in 2003 in the Annals of Modern Psychoanalysis and was cited in 2013 as one of the first papers written in neuropsychoanalysis. She is also a 2009 alumnus of Harvard’s Kennedy School Executive Education program, Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance.

Get her book Market Mind Games: A Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk

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Connect with Denise:

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Book: Market Mind Games: A Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk

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Show Notes:

  • I thought I will start by asking you about your passion in a snowboard, as a skier into mountains, you are very much into nature. So how did you develop this passion and when?
  • How often do you go for a ski?
  • When you go for a ski, how do you feel internally? What emotions does it generate inside of you and in your heart?
  • For someone like me who has never ski in my entire life. So what would be the first learning as tip for someone like me?
  • You mentioned about church. So while growing up, did you go to church with your parents?
  • Why do you think people usually lie about things?
  • When you were nine years old, your father explained to you, what is a Stock? Do you remember what did he tell you about it?
  • Could you explain to us a little bit about you and what you do for the people who may not be aware of?​
  • At what age did you start investing in your own personal life?
  • What was your motivation to get into trading in 1994 If I remember the year correctly?
  • Who is a floor trader?
  • What is the difference between trading and investing?
  • Do you recall any instance when you lost your own money in trading?
  • When you go through pain, it could be in losing money or it could be any area of your life. How do you manage that painful emotion? What practices do you have in your day-to-day life?​
  • It can be very difficult for a lot of people to just identify the feeling. There are so many emotions. How do we name that we are feeling – disheartened or hurt or sad, angry, frustrated. So what are the practices to cultivate this kind of framework?
  • You coach athletes, people who are in entertainment industry, people who are in hedge fund investing and many other C-suite leaders. So at what point in your life, did you decide to go for performance coaching?
  • “Rethinking Thinking”
  • How do we make better decisions based on intellect and emotions and feelings?
  • Understanding the difference between intuition and impulse indecision-making​
  • Relationship with money in decision making
  •  In 2016, you coached Olympic award winner, Lindsey Jacobellis. How did you coach her? She was already winning at the top level. What did you tell her?
  • When you were working with Lindsay Jacobellis, what other practices did you recommend to her?
  • What do you do when you wake up in the morning? What are those first few activities in your​ morning?
  • Role of Desire in Peak Performance
  • Do you have any mindfulness or meditation or Buddhism practice to cultivate self-awareness in your life?
  • What is your relationship with your personal relationship with fear​?
  • You are a very busy person and not everybody in the world can have access to you and your performance coaching. And what would be the additional resources or books you’d recommend to us to really work on our mental blocks and achieve mental performance?
  • What are you most excited about emotionally these days and in the upcoming years?
  • And, much more

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