Success or failure is a product of your attitude.
In trade talk, we hear quite a bit that to succeed, you need to master trading psychology, but most traders fail to wrap their minds around the concept.
It’s one of those subjects that you know when you know.
No one can teach you, and certainly, no one can drag you into it.
Yet it is one of those things that happen behind the curtains directing the play of your trading act.
You don’t see it, but you can see its trail.
That’s what makes trading psychology the toughest hurdle to a consistently profitable trader.
Traders who have hopped over it look back stumped 🤦♀️ at how and why it took longer to figure it out.
Just like riding a bike or driving a manual car felt like something you could never learn.
When the consciousness – of keeping the bike on the road as the legs peddled anticipating the next fall – stopped, you knew how to ride a bike.
You couldn’t walk back to pinpoint the exact thing to attribute to the skill you just conquered, but you knew you could now race down the street like you were born to rule the Tour de France.
If you were like me, my trainer kept saying; you can, even when I screamed, I can’t, he repeated, you can, give it one more shot, yes you can.
The more I heard his voice, the more the voice in my head faded.
Soon, the voice that mocked that I could never balance on two wheels was replaced by my instructor’s voice.
So I pressed on despite the repeated falls. Seeing blood gush out of a burst vein only strengthened my resolve to learn how to ride a bike. (It now makes sense why I never quit trading despite the colossal losses.)
To break the rut of perpetual loss and playing the endless game of you take, you give with the markets you need to change that voice between your ears.
Trading psychology will remain that big word, an uphill task you will never crush until your attitude towards trading, money, failure, success, loss, and life in general changes.
A wimpy attitude and success can’t share the same space. It’s like darkness and light; the two can never share the same space. That’s just how it is.
If you, my friend, pit the genuine desire to succeed as a trader against contrarian attitudes you feel so powerless to let go, you will always lose money.
Why? Because your contrarian attitudes will always win.
So, I invite you to let go, let go of every mindset that questions your potential to succeed, and start rewiring your mind with winning attitudes.
How attitudes impact trading results
To understand how attitudes impact your trading, let’s learn from scientific mind studies.
What my bike instructor was doing with his encouraging words as it turns out is a psychological hack of a positive attitude.
To understand the correlation between math performance and attitude, researchers from Stanford University plugged 45 kids to an MRI machine while asking them to do some basic arithmetic.
“Images from the brain scans revealed that the hippocampus, a brain area linked with memory and learning, was significantly more active in kids with a positive attitude towards math.
It appears it’s not just that children like subjects they’re good at. It’s also that liking a subject helps students’ brains actually work better.”
You can hack your trading results by just changing your attitude towards trading, money, failure, success, loss, and life in general changes.
When your positive attitude reaches a certain point, it discretely and decisively tears down the lousy trading habits that saddle the trader you want to be.
How A trader can develop winning attitudes
It starts with the mind
An attitude is a state of mind.
You, therefore, need to enlist your mind to develop a winning attitude.
The fastest route to developing a winning attitude is practicing mindfulness, be present, and take captive of every thought running through your mind.
Question every thought. Observe how the thoughts affect your heartbeat.
How do they affect your trading? Do they make you fear and then miss trades.
Do your thoughts drive you to take profits soon because your warped attitude is that the market is out there to take your money?
PAUSE. Question. Then deliberately trash negative thoughts.
Change the voices you are hearing
Some of my close friends and family have rebuked me for trading forex. They are convinced forex is gambling – a scheme from the belly of hell.
Their perceptions in some unexplainable way infiltrated my mind, and for years I was more of a gambler than a trader.
Somehow, I knew I had to break from the hold of my family’s attitude.
But I couldn’t cut family ties, not for forex, not for anything this world could give. I love them; I need them – they are all I got.
To break free – I had to divorce my trading life from my family affairs.
When it comes to cutting ties, you have to be brutal.
Every voice around you that only rises to tear down your trading pursuits has to be silenced.
Remember, you can’t question your abilities as a trader and expect to be successful at the same time. It’s that simple.
Hang around people who believe what you believe.
The eagle doesn’t nest among the guinea fowls.
As I said earlier, you need to still all the naysayers to your trading ambitions.
That doesn’t mean you crawl into your cocoon and vouch to make it on your own so you can come back to prove to everyone for the last laugh.
I tried it. I lost.
Hang around people who are positive about trading and life to build a winning attitude quickly.
The more people around you affirm that you can succeed – that, Losses are just the cost of business; before you run, you walk, before you walk, you crawl – the faster you build a winning attitude.
Join a Facebook group, follow some great traders on twitter, meet up with trading buddies over coffee or kayaking – what a way to release the tension trading builds up.
Define and refine your trading edge.
A member once shared in one of the trading communities I am in a trading experience.
He watched a fellow trade with 50+ lot sizes. They trade the same strategy and have an equal account balance, but he couldn’t see himself trade that big.
Consistently his friend makes profits month after month. Yet because he plays it “safe,” he never seems to go past a certain level.
The difference between these two traders is confidence – confidence and trust in their trading edge.
If attitude can loosely be defined by the amount of confidence one has to defy the odds, then you should know confidence as a trader only comes from absolute certainty in the ability to earn consistent profits.
When you are confident, you never question your ability to siphon money consistently from the markets.
No amount of positive vibes will make you money when you don’t have a tested and proven trading strategy.
So, work on your edge. Go back to the basics and create a trading strategy and system.
Take one day at a time
The mistake most rookie traders have is expecting to make much money fast from trading.
They expect to learn everything about trading in one day. One minute they are hyped by the potential of forex, the next they are in a forum or YouTube, the next, they are opening a live trading account.
It takes time to make money from trading, as is developing a winning attitude.
Coming up with a trading strategy takes time.
Proving your trading edge takes what feels like a lifetime.
You learned to speak English over months or even years of conscious and unconscious practice.
Take it one day at a time.
Keep piling up on the things that boost your confidence and positive attitude, simultaneously tearing down every negativity that questions your ability as a trader.
One day at a time, my friend.
One day, the epiphany moment will hit, alas, it’s actually this easy to make money from the markets consistently.
Oh, the amazing journey of trading.
The things we learn to grow as traders set us apart.
Not only do they help achieve your immediate goal to become a better trader, they sprawl, affecting every other area of life.
A winning attitude will not only secretly morph you into a consistently profitable trader; it will change every other area of your life.
I dare you to believe that you can go past the short term losses. I dare you.