Trading is more than what meets the eye and trading is not just about being able to read price charts, understand support and resistance and look for trading opportunities with a high reward:risk ratio.
You don’t have competition and you only have one enemy as a trader: yourself.
Trading is like a mirror and all your strengths and weaknesses are directly projected back at you and at your account balance.
If you are impatient in your life, chances are that you’ll also be impatient when it comes to waiting for trades or staying long enough in profitable trades.
When you are emotional and impulsive with your spouse, kids or your coworkers, you’ll also be emotional in front of your charts.
If you like to procrastinate when it comes to work, studying, chores or working out, you’ll most likely also not put in the time and effort into your trading.
You see where I am going with this…
Trading is a mirror and a multiplier because once we take money into the equation, every weakness of ours becomes larger than life and our inabilities end up costing us a lot of money.
The ‘aha’ moment – my story
In order to become a profitable trader, you do not only need to work on your charting skills, but you also have to work on yourself. And that is why I believe that good traders are the “better” human beings.
Once you become aware of your shortcomings (through the act of journaling and trade review) and you see how they really impact your trading performance, many traders will then look at ways how to better themselves.
This was certainly the case for me…
I am by nature a very impulsive, impatient and over-reactive person. I probably don’t have to tell you that this lead to a lot of losses early on in my trading. It took me years to figure out that my personality was also impacting my trading.
It was a revelation but also a tough pill to swallow because I started seeing all my weaknesses for the first time in my life.
Over the past 8 years, my quest to becoming a better trader helped me better myself in all areas of my life.
I had to learn how to cope with my emotional and impulsiveness. I tried many things and found out that a hard workout in the morning was a good valve to release energy so that I could trade calmer. I also started mindfulness and meditation for that matter, I stopped watching TV for good, I don’t gossip, I stopped drinking coffee and caffeine as well and I use other hacks to help me deal with my emotional responses.
If you’d know me, you’d know that I am also very impatient with practically everything. But over the years, I managed to “tame” myself so that I am now even able to trade the high timeframes where patience is critical on so many levels. It took me years of reflective and inner work to understand how bad impatience really is and that I need to cope with it. I worked on it in my personal life and then it also helped me become a better trader overall.
Triggering a chain reaction – how to better your life
Once you see how a healthy body and a healthy mind benefit your trading, it starts triggering a chain reaction. I was amazed by the results in my personal and professional life so I wanted to see what else is possible by optimizing my life.
I started eating clean, I do sports 3 – 5 times a week, I meditate daily, I read 2-3 books a month minimum, I optimize my sleep, increase my work productivity, I listen to podcasts that stimulate my mind, I cut down on social media and other outer noise factors and I always look for ways to improve myself.
Every time I try something new and I see that it improves my life, I get excited and I want to try other things that can maybe benefit my life.
Optimizing my lifestyle has become this hobby of mine and it is addictive because you see how it makes yourself, your personal life and your work life better.
Where do you start? Gaining momentum
Ok, I know this is A LOT to take in and many people will feel overwhelmed now. So where do you start?
I wasn’t always at the level where I am now. I used to smoke 2 packs of cigarettes a day and my only daily activity was walking to my car so that I could get more cigarettes. I ate junkfood regularly, drank too much and fed my mind with garbage only.
But one day I had enough and I quit cigarettes. Once I saw how good I felt without them, I changed my diet slowly too, then a few weeks later I started going to the gym and I felt much better overall. Once I saw that I had more energy and I was feeling great, I looked for ways to feed my mind and I started reading books like “The Alchemist”, “The monk who sold his Ferrari”, Tony Robbins books, Og Mandino, Jim Rohn and so on.
And on and on it went…
You see, I started from 0 and had I looked at the final outcome and how far I had to go, I would certainly had been demotivated and given up early on. But if you just take it step by step, you can see the daily and weekly improvements and you feel motivated to do more and improve further.
So do not feel discouraged or overwhelmed by the task ahead. Just start somewhere and start small. Make sure that you set achievable goals that you can do right now. Don’t make it too hard initially – you just want to get going and then once you see the change in yourself, you don’t want to stop and you gain momentum.
Here a few resources and tips around improving yourself and getting motivated:
- The Alchemist – my favorite book of all times
- Edgewonk’s trader development – our journal and trader improvement program
- Runtastic is a great app to make your running routine more fun
- Headspace or Calm are great apps to start with meditation
- Future Authoring Program – get clear about your goals, your vision and more
- The body you deserve – great program by Tony Robbins
- Tradeciety trading premium course – learn our system and focus on tune out the noise
Trading Psychology & Mental Edge Course
Click to read more: Psychology & Mental Edge Course