@Zmoose12 wrote an honest and excellent post about his negative March that left him sick to his stomach. I sat in my office yesterday listening to an underperforming trader share how miserable his past losses have made him feel. We have learned from The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin that we can use this anger as fuel to trigger elite performance. But how do we do this as traders?
I have had these feelings/runs. Many other traders have had these feelings. The successful traders find solutions. The traders certain to fail make excuses and blame others. The market is trying to eliminate you and you now must push back. So push back then with everything you have. Find solutions and do all the work necessary to succeed.
When underperforming use that frustration to sit down and make a list of all the things you need to do to turn your trading around. All the things. And then make a plan to start doing all of these things. And then do these things. Just do them.
An excellent solution is to sit down and indentify your favorite set ups. Write them out. Give them names. See yourself making these trades. Visualize making these trades from the information you have from this Friday’s session. See yourself making that ETP breakout trade, RIMM breakdown play, CAT support play, etc. And then spend some more time visualizing making those best plays from your playbook.
Call up your trading buddies and pick their brains about setups they most like for Monday. If some make sense to you then visualize yourself making those trades. Then visualize yourself making those trades again. Call your trading buddies back and let them know some trades you are thinking of making the next trading session. Say those setups out loud. Call your trading mentor and do the same. Ask your trading mentor about the setups he is considering. Will they work for you? If so, then visualize making those plays. Prepare your mind for success.
Go do something fun. Get your work in so you do improve but then find some time to de-stress.
When that next trading session comes, prepare thoroughly on the Open searching for the best set ups for you. Lower your tier size. Visualize making these best plays. Talk to those around you about these plays. After you have made these trades, journal in detail why they worked or didn’t. Brand your winning trades in your head and search for more like them. Put up a positive day no matter how small. Just put up a positive number.
There are so many more things you can do to help your performance: watch the tape, watch the tape as a group, spend some time on a trading simulator, talk with your mentor, keep a detailed trading journal, trade only your best set ups, trade them with less size to improve your chances of success, when positive on the open lock in your profits and ensure a positive number, etc. There are solutions for improving your performance. If you’re only going to be angry and mope around after a bad trading streak, then you are not competing and honestly deserve future losses. Channel that anger into performance.
You can be better tomorrow than you are today!
no relevant positions
Followed the links from this article and discovered why I was trading so aggressively in March. One of the links said too much opportunity leads to trading aggressively. March offered too much and my mind wasn’t prepared to handle it.
Totally agree with this post. Prior to March I took a step back, studied what was going wrong, invested in my plan and had a ripper of a month. Thanks smb for the great articles and advice.