Sunday, January 03, 2010

Trading Success, Fear, and Endurance

"What makes a great endurance athlete is the ability to absorb potential embarrassment, and to suffer without complaint. I was discovering that if it was a matter of gritting my teeth, not caring how it looked, and outlasting everyone else, I won. It didn't seem to matter what the sport was--in a straight-ahead, long-distance race, I could beat anybody.

If it was a suffer-fest, I was good at it."

Lance Armstrong
It's Not About the Bike
p. 23

"You can lash out at people, you can get mad at yourself--you can even end up hating yourself without ever realizing that fear is the interference, the block in the road of progress. Fear only causes me to react. Fear only causes me to wait. Fear moves me away from effective action. When you find yourself acting like a jerk, stop for a second and just ask yourself, What am I afraid of here?"

Richard Machowicz
Unleash the Warrior Within
p. 61

What do you fear most as a trader?

Embarrassment of loss?

Being wrong?

Losing a dream?

How does your fear manifest itself?

What negative trading behaviors do you engage in to mask your fears? Getting mad? Walking away?

There's much to be said for trading as an endurance sport. One of the things successful traders learn to endure--and overcome--is fear. And that starts with a simple question: What am I afraid of here?