Life, they say, is a journey, not a destination. The same can be said of trading. In fact, this old aphorism will help you understand how to become a successful trader, if you let it.
How often do you feel frustrated or even angry with your trading results? You made some money in the market, then you lost it all. The feeling that can wash over you when this happens is something no one else will understand unless it’s happened to them, it borders on despair.
What if I told you that you could avoid ever feeling this way as a result of your trading performance? What if I told you there is a way to eliminate the negative emotions and feelings that often cloud your mind as you trade?
The ‘key’ lies in a mental shift you need to make. You will need to become less fixated on money and profits and more fixated on the process, the game; the ultimate mental test we call trading…
The psychological ‘trap’ of trading
Here’s the ‘big secret’ of trading that no one is going to tell you about when you’re learning how to trade: You won’t make money in trading if you’re only involved in trading to make money.
Think of it as a mental ‘trap’ of sorts.
You have got to have genuine passion and interest in trading, in the process of it, the mental tests trading brings, everything. This is how you succeed long-term in anything in life, trading is no different.
If you don’t have this passion and interest in trading, you will fall into the trap of only focusing on money and profits, and this is simply not conducive to the proper trading mindset. Think about the following points to help you understand this better…
- When you are overly focused on making money in the market, you are much more likely to trade too much. Over-trading, is the direct cause of most account blow-outs. If you let greed and the ‘need to trade’ get the best of you, you will eventually just end up gambling in the market until you lose all your money.
- Focusing too much on profits and making money as a trader will also cause you to risk too much per trade. Risking too much on a trade is a quick-route to becoming overly-emotional. By risking more than you’re comfortable with losing on a trade, you’ll be far too attached to the trade to make rational decisions as the trade unfolds. In fact, you’ll probably be so attached to the trade that you’ll be glued to your trading screen, watching every little tick for and against your position, which will cause you to fiddle with your trade too much and mess it up, rather than just leaving the market alone and coming back a day later and checking on it, without interfering.
- When you remove your focus from money and profits, you have more mental time and energy to focus on the mechanics of trading, i.e., on becoming a good trader. Doesn’t it just make logical sense that to make money in the market you need to first become a good trader? Of course it does, you’re thinking to yourself right now. Yet, why do so few traders focus on actually becoming a good trader? It’s because they’re too focused on making money! They get so blinded and excited by profits and dollar signs $$$$$, that they forget to put in the necessary time and mental effort to learning and mastering a trading strategy and practicing good money management, which is ironically the only way to make those dollar signs gravitate into your trading account.
- Remember, as I said in the introduction; Trading is a journey, not a destination. What that basically means, is that to become a consistently profitable trader, you have to focus on the process of trading, not on making money. Once you really get interested in the process of trading and your goal switches from ‘making money’ to ‘becoming a good trader’, the money will start to accumulate as a result. Focusing too much on the ‘destination’ of ‘making money trading’, is simply going to develop all the wrong trading habits in you.
Professional traders are genuinely interested in trading
Professional traders view trading as a game, a challenge, something they love, the ultimate mental test of ‘them against the world’. Trading is something that about 90% of people cannot do successfully over time; a huge challenge to tackle with deep rewards. If this challenge does not excite you, does not make you passionate and interested in becoming a good trader, then trading is not for you.
Trading is definitely not a get rich quick scheme, despite what many beginners seem to think. If you eventually become a profitable trader, it’s because you are genuinely interested in the challenge of trading and you want to get good at it. The fact that doing so happens to make you money, and potentially a lot of money, is nice, but I am telling you that the mindset you need to get into in order to make that money, is one of not caring about the money, no matter how ‘weird’ that might sound to you, it’s true.
It really is no different than any other profession or specialized skill in the world. For example, in order to become a respected and successful surgeon, you do not just focus on the money a surgeon makes, obviously…everyone would agree with that. A surgeon must focus on the process, on the education and training of become a good surgeon, for years. Then, as a result of the interest and passion that he or she had which propelled them through all the necessary training, they eventually became a successful and respected surgeon. The process of becoming a successful trader is really no different at all…
You do not just become a successful trader because you ‘want to’. You become one because you’re interested and passionate about trading and you want to put in the necessary time and effort to developing your trading skills. The fact that doing so will make you a lot of money, needs to be an afterthought, not an all-consuming goal.
Your all-consuming goal as a trader, should be to become the best damn trader you can possibly become, if you genuinely do that, and ‘ignore’ the money and profits, the money and profits will ironically begin to become attracted to your trading account more and more over time.