Thursday, March 09, 2017

Trading With Peace of Mind

Looking backward at what we did right or wrong and looking forward at what could go right or wrong: both are distractions that keep us from being fully focused on what markets are doing here and now.  To be focused in the here and now, we have to achieve a degree of peace internally.  That means placing both past and future into a perspective that does not color our perception of the present.  It's when we're overconfident or underconfident, excited or frustrated, that we're performance focused and no longer fully market focused.

So how do we learn to keep ourselves centered in the present?  It turns out that three short-term approaches to psychotherapy are particularly helpful as sources of change techniques for those seeking peak performance.  Those approaches are behavioral methods, cognitive methods, and solution-focused methods.  On March 23rd at 4:30 PM EST, I will be offering a webinar for the folks at that walks traders through how to use these research-tested techniques in real time to deal with such issues as regret, fear, and frustration.

I recently met with a developing trader at SMB who has achieved a startling degree of success thus far in 2017.  He trades actively every day, so he has enough trades under his belt in the year to demonstrate that his success is more than random luck.  What he's done that has worked well is:

*  Learn from an accomplished mentor on the trading desk;
*  Keep score on his trading and quickly figure out what he is doing right and wrong so that he can make constant improvements;
*  Work, work, work on his mindset so that he is as clear-headed and receptive to market patterns as possible.

It is through the use of meditation and other methods--as preparation and in real time--that he has accomplished the work on his mindset so that he can be fully focused on the learning.  A major step forward has been the internalization of constructive self-talk.  If he misses a trade or if he takes a loss, he speaks to himself the way a coach would speak to him.  His internal voice moves him forward; it doesn't keep him chained to the past or caught up in the future.

All of us have that constructive internal voice.  We demonstrate that in the close family relationships, friendships, and romantic relationships that we've developed.  Once we can speak to ourselves in ways that we would speak to those we care about, we place past and future in perspective and free ourselves to be fully focused on the present.  In most cases, it's not a matter of learning new skills.  It's a matter of learning to apply the skills that we already have.

Hope to see you at the webinar!

Further Reading:  A Powerful Technique for Changing Your Trading Psychology