It’s an absolute pain in the rear end when your trading goes so good but then your performance kind of falls off.
It feel like you climbed Everest to get where you are, and success is yours. Moreover, you have the profits to show for it. But then somehow, you self-sabotage or you relax all the things you were doing properly and give it all back. Your P/L drops right back where it was in the beginning, or even lower.
It sucks, not only because you lost money or wasted time, but now you’re right back where you started. You measure yourself by your P/L and that’s not right, that’s not you. You’re light years ahead from where you started, regardless of your trading history. What you need to practice is the art of staying on top so you can build on your successes.
There are several things that yank you down from the top. In this article, we’ll examine them and turn your mindset around, which will positively ripple through your trading career.
When we practice hard, we expect results and we’ll automatically continue practicing to get better and better. However, two things will eventually happen, and overcoming these makes the difference between the elite and the rest.
The first thing that inevitably occurs is underperformance or losses. Material loss in our trading account, if not knowing why it happened, is psychologically devastating. Naturally, as a trader, you’ll relax your efforts. You’ll stop doing all the things you’ve done right that got you confident and brought you a solid return. I have a message for you!
When you need something to happen in order to feel good, and it doesn’t happen and you don’t feel good, you are going to slow it down.
However, if you don’t need it to happen and you feel good anyway, the idea alone is satisfying to you. You are feeling happy regardless and continue working, and continue to feel joy.
When success happens, boy you feel the full benefit of that effort. Your happiness isn’t contingent on some outcome, you are happy because of the process and potential. You know you don’t need it in order to feel rewarded and whole, and that’s how you are a winner.
You’ll be fulfilled and joyful while you take steps forward and feel it even more when you gain consistency.
The key is to love the process. Researching relentlessly pre-market, planning trades at the Weekend, and journaling your trading performance is what you want to fall in love with. A loss is a drop in the ocean considering you’ll still be trading for decades to come.
The second cause for loss of momentum is your dopamine. It’s our natural happy hormone that got our ancestors eager and motivated to hunt, gather and generally do things to survive.
Nowadays, our brain releases it every time we find or win and/or even hope to find or win something. It’s a highly addictive hormone but it comes with a rubbish side effect. As much as it drives us to excel at a task from the get-go, as soon as we reach the goal, the positive effect will die down. Y
ou’ll only get another shot of dopamine from the same task if you do it bigger and better. The same results won’t automatically create the same feelings, thus its not the same shot of dopamine.
Now relate this to Trading. Once your motivation dies down because your returns are peaking, you’ll relax all the right efforts that got you confident and brought you a solid return in the first place.
Shifting our momentum fuel from dopamine to another source is the answer for success beyond initiation. If our fuel to accomplish something exceptional is not dopamine but something else, something self-replenishing and infinite, in theory, we’ll be able to keep going at a pretty decent pace for a very long time. We can push our exploration further and deeper and see how far our process can take us. I find that very intriguing and exciting.
There is another hormone that generates motivation to push you to do work and make it feel effortless. It’s called oxytocin, a happy hormone that our brain releases and, unlike the former dopamine, if nourished, it’s evergreen. You’ll feel it the first time from your mother at birth. It’s a strong bonding hormone you can’t just call upon when you feel like it, or can you?
You’ll need to build a relationship with the subject to evoke those strong feelings of safety and bonding in order to release oxytocin. It’s not a hard thing to accomplish, it comes back to falling in love with what a you do as a trader.
Most of us traders, including myself, think of markets all the time when we’re not busy staring at screens. In a way, we have already established a strong relationship with our trading business. There is enormous potential if you consciously admire it and enjoy the process of researching, executing, and evaluating your efforts.
The Art of staying on top is an art because the right way is your way, just like some painters like to use fingers instead of brushes or prefer decorating ceilings to canvases. You too, dear reader, have the potential to unlock your untapped knowledge, to allow your effort to build on your success and make much more money from your trading business.
Remember to avoid P/L fixation and enjoy the growth process too. Celebrate the wins to feel the motivational surge of dopamine, but be mindful that it wanes. Fall in love with the adventure and the process and feel the habitual instinct of oxytocin.
I thank Yvan for the opportunity to capture your eager attention. If you don’t know how to read market flow across different assets, and don’t understand the logic behind price movements, head over to www.speculatorstrading.com where you’ll experience how to link market fluctuations with logic, and eventually call them ahead of time yourself.
But take Yvan’s course first, because without the right mindset, you’re just a Lion with the mind of a cat and that’s a pet not a predator.