”At the table, you are your own worst enemy.” – Stu Ungar, the world’s greatest poker player.
In front of the charts, you are also your own worst enemy. Give 100 people the same strategy is going to get 2 of them to come out as a profitable trader, and the other 98 will go in loss sooner or later. This is the eternal truth in the trade, and also the reason why there is no universal ”Holy grail”. You need to finally get that into your head.
YOU are a ”Holy grail” and at the same time, you are also the one who keeps you from getting your own ”Holy grail.” It is actually good book on this topic, written by psychologist, Dr. Alan Schoonmaker, called ”Your Worst Poker Enemy”. I can also recommend it to traders. I first read about how our mind manipulates us, when we are under pressure. The same thing in the trade – most of us are under pressure as soon as the trade is opened. Many of us are under pressure before we put on the trade because it wants to make a million dollars in the here and now.
Let us take a look at the two main reasons why we sabotage ourselves
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These two are the cause of all psychological problems you have in your trade – impatience, anger, frustration, fear, anxiety and greed. They derived all from the unrealistic expectations and is in a bad train of thought from the outset.
Unrealistic expectations has occured, please from false advertising and claims from people saying they did 1000 dollars to a million dollars and you also can do it. No, you can’t. Even if their claims would be true, it is a lie! Why do you think you would be the next ”outlier”? Are you so special? First, you need to achieve profitability in any way. Then you can think about how you can earn money profitability. But you can not start trading with the aim to make a fortune out of nothing, no. When you are profitable, you have many options – signaltjänster, mentoring, money management. So this is real money in this industry, NOT in any other way. So your goal should be to become profitable. It should be your ultimate goal. But before this should be your first goal be to protect your money at any price. A closer look at the emotions that are sabotaging us will reveal that they are all our own creations, as all emotions are, by the way.
Impatience arises because you want everything and you want it now. If you need to earn 20% or more per month just to cover your costs or to reach your unrealistic expectations, it can likely lead to over-trading, over-dimensioning of your positions and the imposition shops. Anger is a result of both unrealistic expectations and poor balance between work and private life. You have to find other things outside of trading in order to meet your prestationbehov. The frustration will also reach you when you are profitable – despite the fact that you are better than 99% of the traders, you will never be satisfied because you can’t reach your monetary goal that is too high. This will lead to frustration and eventually you will lose everything you have done in the first place.
To not understand the expected value and not have a longer-term things makes you feel fear and anxiety. If you have monetary goals, will, of course, every trade you lose to steer you away from that goal. But losses are inevitable. Anxiety on the other hand, will be hitting after a winning trade. You feel like you finally ”made it”. But the next time you will probably lose. You must accept losses as a part of the game. An absolute must-have.
To have unrealistic expectations against your trade allows you to take on too many positions, large positions, holding them for long, increases your profit and so on. A poor balance between work and life, where your happiness is dependent on how much money you have in your bank account, will also encourage this feeling. The thing with our mind is that most people are controlled by it. It tells us what we should think, when we eat, when we sleep, when we should be happy, when we should be sad, we are a lekboll in our subconscious. But we actually have the power to control our thoughts and our feelings, we have the power to get our mind to play with us instead of playing against us, but this requires a lot of mental strength and many simply do not have the strength or are not aware of how to manipulate themselves.
Within the trade there are many things we can control and we must focus on these to create a piece for ourselves. If you can control what you feel for your trading by letting go of unrealistic expectations, to see things and create a productive framework for your trading through a healthy life, why would you then not be able to make it in the real world?
Would you rather feel frustrated, angry, depressed and disappointed in yourself by having a completely wrong definition of success, or would you rather move your focus to a healthy process to learn, improve, and promise yourself that you will work hard? It is up to you. And remember, when you are in a rough spot, don’t let your mind take over you because it really is your own worst enemy, but it can also be your best friend. Learn how you can control your mind.