Think Like A Trader Blog

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Tough Times Come To Us All

 Reading Time - 4 Minutes

Tough times come in trading. They come in life. They cannot be avoided.

What a morbid start to a blog post, right?

But it is true and if you can accept that it is true, and has always been true, then you can focus on the other side of the tough times, on the emergence from them as a better, stronger person.

Now this is a trading blog, so I am going to focus on trading, but as mentioned, this relates to all aspects of life. For trading, tough times can be summed up fairly simply – they are either strings of losses, when nothing seems to be going right and you want to give up, or they come after runs of mistakes (which usually also include losses) where you feel like it’s an impossible task and you’ll never be able to achieve your goal of becoming a competent, profitable trader.

The first thing to point out is that it’s normal. You are not the only one to feel this way and to struggle, nor will you be the last. In trading especially, I see it all the time, and I have been there more times than I care to remember. Even now, after a string of losses I still feel my head dipping and that little voice of doubt and self-criticism speak up. I can let you in on a secret – every trader feels the same way. Those who have been doing it for ten years and those who have been doing it for ten months. It doesn’t go away; we simply learn to manage it.

When things are really getting tough and you can’t seem to figure a way forward, the danger is that you let it snowball. That fear of making mistakes and losing money ironically leads you to take more risks and lose more money!

Trading is difficult. I don’t care what all of the ‘gurus’ tell you on their shiny YouTube video adverts. It IS difficult. You are dealing with uncertainty on a daily basis. Humans don’t like uncertainty and our mind jumps into fight or flight mode. Great when we are in danger, but not so much when we are trying to take an unbiased view on the market.

So when times are tough what should you do? Well, first of all, think back to a time when you felt this same way. When everything seemed like it was crumbling around you and you could never move forward. And look at you now. Since you’re reading this, I know you survived it. And what’s more, I bet looking back on it now, it seems to have blurred around the edges and doesn’t seem quite as insurmountable as it did.

When it comes to trading, after the hard work has been put in to learn the methods, you need – MUST – turn the focus inward if you want to succeed. Anything and everything that can help you remain calm under pressure should be studied. I don’t care if that means you sit on the floor chiming bells between your fingers and chanting for an hour a day. If it works, it will help you improve and it will show you a little bit of light that you can head toward.

Everyone struggles. Only you can take the steps necessary to come out the other side.

I hope you’ve all had a great trading week! And I hope any Irish readers have a great Paddy’s day!

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