As a trader, have you had occasions when you just could not pull the trigger and afterward you were mad at yourself?
Have there been times when, as soon as you pulled the trigger, you started doubting yourself?
You are not alone. There are a lot of traders who go through this.
Studies have shown that when traders consistently do not succeed, it's not because they aren't smart, don't work hard or aren't lucky. It's because they simply don't understand how successful trading works.
There are different factors contributing to not being as successful as you want to be.
One factor might be that it is a new market for you and you do not have enough experience in how to deal with this market.
Another reason might be that at one point, you lost a great deal of money. You might be afraid of making the same mistakes.
Thirdly, it might be that your personality traits are not a match for the markets, systems or mentors that you are following.
The fourth reason is that you might be afraid of losing money, period. If you are in this category, then trading is not the right business for you. In trading, you will lose money. The challenge is how to cut losses faster and how to let winners run longer.
If you are in the first three categories, there are 8 steps that you can take to enable you to confidently pull the trigger and have more wins.
Be prepared. When selecting a market, select one that matches your personality.
You all have heard the saying that “people do not change.” The fact is that it is very tough for us to change. Instead of trying to change who you are, why don’t you adopt a market that fits your personality traits?
You really have to prepare yourself technically and emotionally. Learn the skills that you need to trade the markets. Select the systems that match who you are.
Limit your input. Whatever markets you are watching or news you are listening to, you’ve got to limit your input. You cannot listen to all of the information and do everything. Your brain cannot absorb it all. It overloads and just shuts down. You may have heard the saying “a confused mind does not make a decision.” You’ve got to limit your input.
Trust Yourself. Once you have done your research, chosen the trading methodology, trading system and trading mentors that match your personality, and you have a gut feeling, trust it.
When in a study asking top CEO’s what had made them successful, do you know what their responses were? It was their gut feeling. They followed what they believed was the right thing to do.
Take Action. I know this sounds obvious. However, I have seen people who have studied and paper traded for about 18 months. They have headed investment clubs and talked about strategies, yet they still have not pulled the trigger.
You just have to do it. Nothing replaces the actual experience. You can start very small. Only invest the money that you can afford to lose. Think about it as the cost of education.
We are not defined by our abilities. We are defined by our choices. What are you willing to choose?
Be Present. What do you do when a trade goes against you? How do you react? Do you get angry? Do you blame yourself? Do you go into denial? What happens to you?
Are you missing opportunities? Are you overtrading?
This is the time to use the pause method. Take a break. Do not make any decisions. Step back. Change your focus. Where you focus, you’ll spend your energy and that will create results.
Look at the market objectively and concentrate on the next deal. Think of each trade as an individual deal. Evaluate it by using your system and make a decision based on your rules.
Think about basketball players. They cannot concentrate on the shot they did or did not make. They have to look ahead to their next game and next opportunity.
Be Resilient. At the end of each day, look at what worked and what did not work.
- Did you follow your system?
- Were you self-disciplined?
- Were you reactive or proactive?
- Did you play to lose, or play to win?
- This is a good time to set your strategy for the next day. What can you do differently tomorrow? Forget the losses, but not the lessons. Create contingency plans.
Celebrate for taking action. If you had an up day, that’s great! If you did not, celebrate even harder.
When you get mad at yourself, you tend to retreat into your shell. When you celebrate, you acknowledge taking action. You give yourself permission to go forward.
Have you seen babies when they start walking? When they stand up and fall down, what do their parents do? They encourage the baby, because they want the baby to try again.
Create an Environment that accelerates your success. Who are the people surrounding you? Are they encouraging you in your business? Are they successful themselves? Are they telling you what you need to hear or just what you want to hear?
Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them”.
We need to surround ourselves with the people who encourage us in our business, tell us what we need to hear and who have been successful themselves.
In summary, the rules of pulling the trigger confidently are:
- Be prepared.
- Limit your input.
- Trust yourself.
- Take action.
- Be present.
- Be resilient.
- Create an environment that accelerates your success.
By following these simple steps, your career as a trader could potentially become more effective, more rewarding and ultimately, more successful.
Don’t be afraid to pull the trigger!
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