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5 Things to do before Trading

To become a successful trader, one of the skills you’ll need is a successful mindset. Developing mental strength is similar to the way one would go to the gym to build muscle, it can be done with proper training and patience. Failures and obstacles are to be expected, but it’s how you overcome them that matters. So, here are 5 tips to help you build the required mindset:

  1. “I can do this”. A negative mindset filled with doubt and lack of confidence clusters the brain and affects one’s ability to make judgements. Trading comes with profits and losses, there is no changing that, but it’s how you overcome these obstacles that matters. This mindset will help you sail through the rough seas, it will allow you to keep on track. Failures are not there to make you give up, but rather they serve as a lesson to help you get stronger.                                            
  2. Stay committed to your goals. Success and change does not take place over night. Staying committed and persevering is the crucial factor. It takes time, hard work and focus on the process. By staying committed to your goals you will overcome your challenges. You are a lot closer than when you started.                            
  3. Don’t dwell on past losses. Due to our biology, we are wired to feel pain and losses (as discussed in last week’s article) more than gains. Mentally strong people do not dwell on the past or to try make back what they have lost. Acknowledge your mistake, learn what to do next time and move on from your mistake. No revenge trading!                                                                                                                                        
  4. Understand that patience is not about waiting. Patience is not waiting and then expecting something to happen. It’s the active process of doing lots of small things with the bigger picture in mind. While one result may not get you all the way there and it may take a lot of little things to get there, it’s the forward moving momentum that matters. Working hard each day on the little things is progress, even though you can’t see it, the progress is there. Here is a basic example: if you aim to only make 50 points a day, 20 days a month, using a position size of 20c per R500 capital, after two and a half months, you would have doubled your account. Here is a TED talk on this very topic for some perspective: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQMbvJNRpLE                                                                                         
  5. Talent doesn’t beat hard work, when talent doesn’t work hard. Obstacles, pain and challenges come in two forms 1. those that hurt you or stop you, and 2. the ones that change you for the better. Learning from these will bring change, growth and confidence. To become successful, you have to overcome the obstacles to reach the other side.

Ryan Mowatt, The Performance Coach

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