Monday, November 23, 2009

How to Overcome Frustration in Trading: Part One

A while back, I wrote on the topic of steps to take to break patterns of frustration in trading and suggested resources for traders who find that frustration is interfering with their trading.

Much of what is viewed as a loss of discipline is actually the result of impulsive decision-making under conditions of frustration.

What that means is that you can best work on mastering frustration when you are actually in a frustrated state. It is difficult to prepare for making decisions in the heat of battle when you're in a cool and collected state.

This is where guided imagery is particularly helpful. By mentally rehearsing frustrating scenarios (such as missing a trade or getting stopped out) and including in the rehearsal a mental walk-through of what you want to be doing to handle the frustration, you can prepare yourself for adverse scenarios. This is very helpful in avoiding impulsivity, as you gravitate toward the positive coping that you've been rehearsing each day.

There are a range of brief therapy techniques that are effective in combating frustration. Check out this earlier post on short-term change methods, as well as Chapter 7 of The Daily Trading Coach, which describes behavioral techniques for overcoming stress.

In my next post on the topic, I'll address frustration from a different angle.