Friday, April 03, 2015

Three Things We Can Do To Boost Our Trading Performance

Hurdles seem small when we're on top of our game, and they can feel insurmountable when we're not.  The best traders I've known are those that work on their performance when they're on top of their game and they work on it when they're not.  Their competition is not just with markets, but with themselves.  By focusing on getting better, they end up staying profitable.

So when we're at those valley periods, the great things we see can be overwhelming obstacles or inspiring goals.  Here are three things traders can do to turn discourage into courage:

1)  Renew, re-energize - No one can deliver peak performance when they're mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted.  As the recent post points out, we are most likely to sustain the discipline to reach our goals if we renew our resources.  There is no sustained work quality without life quality.

2)  Reach beyond yourself - The best way to clear your head is to get out of your head and engage in something outside yourself.  By finding a positive motivation far greater than the frustration you may be feeling, you tap into new sources of inspiration.  Frustrated with your work?  Double down on the parts of your life that mean even more to you than your work.

3)  Set yourself up for success - What do basketball coaches do when a player goes into a shooting slump?  They call a play that allows the player to take a high percentage shot.  Make an easy basket or two and suddenly the rhythm and confidence come back.  An important path to success is always having goals, always making sure they're challenging and meaningful, and always ensuring they're attainable.

It boils down to this:  Winners take care of themselves when they're down.  Losers kick themselves when they're down.  You are always coaching yourself, in how you approach success and in how you approach defeat.  Peak performance requires peak self-coaching.

Further Reading:  Finding Your Zone