Tuesday, February 23, 2010

MINDSET IS THE KEY FOR TRADING SUCCESS

When I talk with struggling traders I can sum up most of their issues in one word...MINDSET. Of course, the right methods, training, technical skills and market knowledge are all a must when it comes to successful trading but I think many underestimate the value of also working very hard on creating a positive environment in the mind. After extensive research I have learned that the mind can be trained for success. So what is success ? According to Earl Nightingale, the "Dean of Personal Development", it is...the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. In essence, if you have a goal to be consistently profitable as a trader and are doing the things necessary to become such, you are already a success. Many times as humans, we get ahead of ourselves. In this age of microwaves, fast food and internet access we have forgotten that patience is still a virtue. Why is it that 95% of those who enter the arena to become a trader fail ? Well, there can be many factors but I truly believe that it comes down to one major thing...a deep belief in their eventual triumph. I liken anything worth while in life and especially trading success to the planting of a garden. We do not see the fruit of our labor immediately. It takes a true commitment on our part. We must prepare the land, plant the seed, water it regularly, keep out harmful agents, and be patient for the growth. The plants do not develop on our time scale but rather in the amount of time nature has decided. However, the laws of nature say that if we do what is necessary we will see the plant come to maturity and then can enjoy the end result. Much like the garden in the physical realm, we must plant that seed of belief in our minds and take great care to let it grow. How can one do that? I have found that reading quality materials, finding a mentor to guide the way and writing down your goals and plans are essential. In many vocations, especially trading we need a support structure. When a new tree is planted most times it needs a support structure until it is mature enough to stand on its own. We are no different. Since trading is almost all mental, we can second guess our abilities, our commitment and even our self worth. However, by feeding our mind things like books that detail the successes of other individuals, songs that motivate us to succeed and continually verbalizing our belief in ourselves as no less qualified to be successful than those who have attained it, we will begin to shape our mind and prepare for the end result...a profitable trading portfolio. I also think that a mentor who has achieved the success we desire is paramount to our development. The mind can be a very difficult animal to tame, but it can be done and YOU are worth the effort.