No matter how much I am trading the Market, it never fails to fascinate me, always providing new lessons. It can be a harsh teacher sometimes, but always fair. Unforgiving of any mistakes, it always keeps me in check.
Being a trader is a conscious choice I have made. Being a miserable, losing trader is a choice I was making for many years through unnecessarily fighting the Market. I have never won – not even once.
Every day I face the same choice over and over again – to follow the Market, being grateful for every lesson it patiently teaches me, or to fight against it, making it into a vicious enemy I can never win against.
Being a trader is not always easy, but it is only me who can turn this vocation into a miserable pursuit of psychological stress and financial pain. And it is easy to find myself struggling – all I have to do is start expecting something from the Market.
Expecting to be right. Expecting to know the future, predicting the price. Searching for certainty where there is none. Refusing to accept the contradiction. Trying to avoid discomfort.
Unacceptance of the way the Market is – the only cause of frustration, confusion and, ultimately, suffering that many traders experience daily.
I cannot find a good trading system. The signals my system is giving me are really poor.
How do you act, what do you feel when you believe this?
- Frustrated – “No matter how hard I try, I cannot be successful with such a poor trading system”
- Depressed – “I don’t even want to trade anymore, I have tried so many systems and all them don’t work! The Market must be purely random after all.”
- Apathetic – “It’s not worth it, there is no point to continue. I must be a complete failure!”
- Lost – “What do I do now? No matter how many systems I try, the signals are still poor!”
- Disorganized – “I might as well just take random trades”
- (after a couple random losses) Hesitant – “I am not sure I should take this next trade…”
While it is true that a trading method is still necessary in order to be successful on the market, it will be of no use while you have so many conflicting beliefs about trading. After all, how many trading methods have you tested properly? By that, I mean taking 30-50 trades, without hesitation, in real account (demo just doesn’t cut it – better open cent account and risk $0.50 per trade), precisely following one method, not adjust any rules whatsoever?
In my experience, we are often impatient to get the positive results and so we cannot even stand a couple losses in a row, thinking that something must be wrong with our trading method. Of course, this is interrelated with our refusal to believe in uncertainty – we want to know what the outcome will be before we place the trade.
So let’s try and turn this around and see what happens:
The trading system I have right now is good enough for all practical purposes. I will not judge it until I collect live track record of at least 50 trades following this method.
How do you feel now?
- Liberated – “I can concentrate on the Market instead of constantly reading forums in the search of the next Holy Grail”
- Calm – “All I have to do is take the next opportunity, as defined by my trading method”
- Confident – “I know that the next trading opportunity will be provided by the Market. I know that whatever its outcome might be, it will take me a step further on my path towards trading success”
- Interested – “I wonder what the next trading opportunity will be? What lesson will it teach me?”
As was already mentioned before, when you have a proper trading mindset you might not become profitable in an instant. But you will be open to progress in your endeavors freely, without any internal resistant. The Market will teach you how to trade, it will become your friend, not an enemy – but you must take the first step.
Trading can often be very difficult to manage as a business, when you are doing it all by yourself. Every single day you have to get up in the morning and repeat the same tasks over and over again. It can quickly become frustrating, especially in the beginning, when you are not really seeing any outcome of your hard work.
If you have to motivate yourself every day to get started, there is a problem already present. You are not a trader just yet, because you have to overcome the resistance that is constantly present in the background. Think about some other areas of your life, your hobbies, what really interests you? Do you have to struggle to get started in these areas?
Unless we learn to do all the tasks related to trading with enjoyment, we are not traders. We are simple trying to force ourselves into becoming what we are not. The only way to solve this problem is to work with our beliefs.
Try asking yourself, what is it that generates resistance to trading work in your mind? What beliefs do you hold that constantly come up and often do not allow you to work for 8 hours straight with ease and joy?
Here is a sample list:
- Trading is boring
- It is not “right” to speculate (due to your religious, political or any other beliefs – examine those)
- Trading is too difficult
- I need someone to tell me what to do in order to do it right
- I don’t like working alone
- I can’t work from home
- I don’t want to spend so much time at the computer every day
- My family/friends do not believe in me succeeding and so I can’t take my trading seriously
- I am too disorganized
- I am lazy
- I am not smart enough to trade
- I cannot concentrate well enough
- I don’t like getting up so early
- I don’t like going to sleep so late
- I am not lucky (examine your beliefs related to trading being “just luck”)
I could easily continue the list on and on, but the whole point is for each of us to discover our own limiting beliefs.
Let’s examine the first belief, “Trading is boring” in more detail.
- I could care less where the Market will go (great, you already have one of the most important components of a successful trader!)
- I don’t understand the Market (do you have to?)
- I don’t enjoy analyzing the Market (the better you get at something, the more you enjoy it – I did not enjoy practicing guitar the first couple months too)
- It is too difficult to keep all the information in my head (make notes, take screenshots, write a blog!)
- I am too tired and I am falling asleep as I watch the Market (review your sleeping schedule and eating habits, make sure you drink water ALL THE TIME, review your alcohol/smoking/caffeine addiction)
Once again, this is just an example of how we must take each of our beliefs and break them down into aspects in order to discover what is really limiting our full potential.
Unless you are ready to become self aware and look inside yourself – trading is not for you. Stop wasting your time, your family’s money and go find something you can be truly good at.
The Market can do nothing to hurt you, nothing can cause any damage to your reality, so why is it that we find it hard to just relax? How much easier our job would be if we would follow the Market, instead of following our thoughts about the Market?
The reality of the Market can never do anything that would cause you stress. Only your interpretation of the Market – your thoughts about it – cause emotions and prevent you from being detached.
Yes, it is important to have a trading system – a framework inside of which you view the Market. A trading system will cause you to interpret Market’s actions, so it must be constructed in a way that avoids all inner conflict. However, if you are unaware of your thinking, even the best trading system will fail because you will not be able to follow it precisely. You will never notice when faulty thinking enters your mind and causes you to choose incorrect interpretation of the information Market puts in front of you.
Until we learn to just relax and listen to what’s going on inside, there is no point to try building a trading system. The conflict our unconscious mind tries to hide will be projected into our trading and ensure our failure.