In this article, we will looking at the 4 keys to your trading kingdom. They are major components to getting the trading results you want. Let’s list them briefly:
Goals are extremely important as you begin trading, and goals are designed to help you objectify and prioritize your steps to become a consistently successful trader. However, the precursor to setting those goals is to “see” your destination specifically and clearly. This vision is an outgrowth of the “why” you are trading in the first place… your purpose. It ties the what-matters-most in your life to the what-matters-most in the trade. This is where your passion is put in the service of propelling you toward that destination. Jim began his trading session by imagining himself doing exactly what was necessary to maintain his A-Game at the platform (trading his plan, following all of his rules and keeping all of his commitments).
The next key is to have your beliefs in alignment with your vision. You’ve got to believe in your ability to learn, to be curious, to maintain a course of action and to generally believe in yourself. Now, this doesn’t mean that there are no challenges. On the contrary, as with Jim, you’ll want to uncover any limiting beliefs lurking just below the surface and neutralize and extricate them. In the same vein, nurture your positive beliefs by being self-aware and monitoring your thoughts in order to dispel any negative “out-of-alignment” thinking and turn that thinking around. Of course, you’ll want to have confidence (belief) in the trading set-ups, procedures and rules of your system, just as Jim did. This is supported through back-testing and using feedback (documentation) so that you are measuring and verifying that your set-ups, procedures and rules are working for you.
3. A Strategy for Actualizing the Vision
A strategy is a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. When you do anything (good or bad) you are using a strategy. Many traders fall into bad patterns and habits that stem from negative programing in their past. They are caught in strategies that don’t work; and they use them over and over expecting a different result. What is crucial is to develop your strategy for making that vision a reality. This goes for your internal data (thoughts, emotions and behaviors) as much as it does for your mechanical data (everything that has to do with the mechanics of the trade – charting, news, planning, execution, exiting, etc.) You’ll want to create a strategy for how you will prepare and engage a mindset with an attitude that has altitude; meaning that you employ mental/emotional tools – as Jim did with his centering and grounding device – to ensure that you remain on target, on task and on purpose in your follow-through.
4. Managing your state
An internal state is a condition of thinking and emotions. It is a mindset that encompasses beliefs, internal pictures, biases and memories. For instance, consider the emotion anxiety. It stems from thoughts that are anxiety producing such as watching the price action inch towards your stop-loss. However, the state of anxiety would also include memories of times that you were taken out of a trade and left behind to watch it hit what would have been your target, along with the sounds, feelings, and sights of that memory. Internal states are what govern your days and your trading. It is critical to “manage” your internal states using the internal data strategy that was mentioned in the above.
There you have it. Your trading is serious and you’ll want to give yourself every edge. When you are in the trader trenches it is imperative that you bring and maintain your A-Game at your platform. Your best is the only thing that will create the conditions for consistent positive results. Let’s face it, results is the name of the game. This is what we teach in “Mastering the Mental Game” Online, XLT and On-location courses. Ask your Online Trading Academy representative for more information. Also, get my book, “From Pain to Profit: Secrets of the Peak Performance Trader.
Written by Dr. Woody Johnson, Online Trading Academy Instructor. Dr. M. Woodruff Johnson has actively and successfully traded stock options, forex and futures since 2000. He is the former Executive Director of the Kaiser Permanente, Watts Counseling and Learning Center. He holds certifications in Accelerated Learning, Neurosensory Development and hypnotherapy, and he is a Certified NLP Master Practitioner. Dr. Woody is also an Associate Professor and teaches graduate psychology courses at Pacific Oaks College and Ryokan College. He has provided clinical staff services in hospitals and community clinics as well. He has a passion for helping others to achieve their goals and get the results in trading and life that they desire. Dr. Woody has been using mind/body healing techniques both professionally and personally with much success for many years. He is the author of “From Pain to Profit: Secrets of the Peak Performance Trader.”