Trading is a tough game.
Without the proper tools, it can be almost impossible to succeed as a trader. But with so many forums, ebooks and trading products out there, where do you start?
It can be really confusing and you might feel like you are going through the spin cycle of a washing machine.
I've certainly been there.
But not to worry. In this post, I'll show you the three things that you need to equip yourself with to help keep you grounded, and on track.
…and no, it's not a magic indicator.
These general concepts will help you long after you have given up on that last trading robot or holy grail. I will also give you specific solutions that I have used and recommend.
1. Trading Community
“No man is an island.”
– John Donne
If you have ever been on any of the public trading forums out there, then you have probably lost some faith in humanity.
Yeah, it can get ugly.
The forum posts usually start off with the right intentions, but then things quickly degrade to name calling and third grade potty-mouth.
So then why would I tell you that you need a trading community?
Well, you need to choose the right community. A friendly and supportive community can make all the difference and see you through the tough times and help you develop.
As you might know by now, people in your everyday life might not support your trading dream. In fact, many will be downright against it.
Therefore a great trading community or even just one or two traders that you can consult with, can make all the difference.
This is a group of people who have a common goal and their participation in the group creates a synergy that makes all of the members better than would be on their own.
So if at all possible, find a solid group of traders that you get along with and keep in contact with them regularly.
I would highly recommend joining Walter Peter's Naked Forex Community. It is the most supportive community that I have seen so far.
With most groups, the instructor leads the group and everyone else follows…and that is great.
But what makes Walter's community different is that he also seeks out trading methods that members of the community are trading successfully and gets members to share it. Everyone helps out where they can.
A totally different type of community and more of a true mastermind group.
You can also follow my Forex Traders list on Twitter. It can be another great way to start talking to successful traders.
Next, you are going to have to upgrade your mindset to become a successful trader. You have probably heard this many times, but what does this actually mean?
Well, I'm going to break down the three areas of mindset that you need to start focusing on right now, in order to give yourself the best shot at success.
Let's get real, sometimes trading is going to suck. You are going to have a losing streak, you are going to be frustrated and you might want to give up at some point.
But the only way out is through.
If you start breaking down and not following your rules, then you are setting yourself up for revenge trading and a huge loss.
So find ways to develop your mental toughness. You can train for something outside of trading, like a sport or some sort of certification. You could also pretend that you are down 10% in a month and try to come back from it in a demo account.
Here are some other suggestions…
I would also suggest that you learn a new skill that you have always wanted to learn. I've taken up archery.
When you are a beginner again, it can be a lot of fun. It can also teach you how to push through the frustration and improve.
An Abundance Mindset
This can be a tough one to overcome, especially if it has been drilled into you for your entire life.
Have your parents or friends ever told you that money doesn't grow on trees, or that you need to work hard for your money?
Yeah me too.
Well, it wasn't their fault.
That is the reality that they know and it has helped them get this far.
So when you start making some money by just clicking your mouse a few times, then your conditioning is going to start kicking in and you are probably going to sabotage yourself and find a way to give that money back.
It sounds weird if you have never experienced it, but if you have, then you know how it can creep up on you without any warning. The cause is very subconscious but the results are real.
But that doesn't have to be your reality.
Do something every day that will increase your awareness of the abundance around you.
For example, here's something that I noticed the other day. People here in the US have easy access to tap water.
Not all of that tap water is completely drinkable, but we have access to it.
A lot of people complain about the poor quality of the drinking water in their area. That's a scarcity mentality.
But what are bottled water companies doing?
They have taken that exact same water, cleaned it up and they sell it back to us for a profit. These companies make millions a year from something that is freely available to the rest of us.
Opportunity is all around you…if you are open to recognizing it.
If you have the opportunity to go to a Millionaire Mind event, I would highly recommend it. The events are free, but they try to sell you upgrades during the event.
You don't have to buy anything, if you don't want to. In fact, I would suggest that you don't. They can be quite expensive and since I have not taken any of them, I can't tell you if they are worth it or not.
However, I can tell you that the free seminar is totally worth it and it can change a lot of ideas that you have about money. It can seem a little over the top in the beginning, but they are only doing that to break your mental patterns and set the stage for change.
If that is a little too much for you or you don't have access to an event like that, then you can start small. One exercise that has helped me is the Infinite Bank.
You can read more about it here, but essentially, you carry a $100 around in your wallet at all times, but never spend it. That's not a lot to most people, but it is enough to buy most things that you see at the store.
Then throughout your day, you imagine all the things you can buy with that $100.
By the end of the day, you may have spent over $1,000…at least in your mind. You will notice that this can increase your feeling of abundance.
…and you will never be caught without cash at a cash bar 🙂
Just remember to replace it, if you do end up using it.
This is something that I feel is one of the biggest negative feelings that you need to overcome, if you want to become a great trader. It is easy to beat ourselves to a pulp when we have a losing trade or we don't fill out our trading journal.
…or any of the dozens of things that we do as traders.
But that is only going to make things worse.
Remember though, it's not your fault. As humans, we are programmed to look for what can go wrong and be prepared for it.
Therefore, we naturally look for what is wrong in a situation. We also seem to be particularly hard on ourselves.
This can be useful when we are trying to learn something, because we strive to get better. But more often than not, we take it too far and are too hard on ourselves, which leads to a downward spiral.
When we are able to forgive ourselves and see the situation more objectively, we can benefit from even a bad situation. We can learn what we did right, what we did wrong, and we will hopefully learn how to avoid that situation in the future.
Close your eyes for a second and take a couple of deep breaths. OK now imagine that you are in the movie Big. Or if you prefer something with more action, something like Face/Off.
Whatever the case, imagine exchanging bodies with your best friend. You are in their body and they are in yours.
Now imagine that you have just had a losing trade.
But just as you are about to beat yourself up again, you look in the mirror and see your friend's face looking back at you. You are in their body, after all.
When you see their face, could you say the same things to that face that you would say to yourself? Would you call your friend stupid or berate them for always getting things wrong?
Of course not. You would encourage them to suck it up and move on.
At least I hope so.
So treat yourself like you would treat your best friend. With love, understanding and encouragement.
I would also recommend reading Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach. It can help you smooth out a lot of those rough corners in your life and help you see yourself in a different light.
Finally, you need to get educated. But you probably know that already.
However, many aspiring traders try to get by with free education on the internet because they are too cheap to pay for it. While you might be able to get the right education for free, you will save a lot of time by paying for an education from a reputable educator.
The problem with free education is well…it's free. So you have to sort through a ton of crap information, in order to get to something that works for you.
There are going to be opinions from everyone who can bang on a keyboard and thinks that they are a trading expert.
When you seek out reputable traders, you will have a method that has been proven to work. Then you have to tailor it to work with your personality.
Here are some of the paid resources that I recommend. There aren't too many of them. But that's the point 🙂
But don't limit yourself to that list. There is a lot of great trading education out there.
Discover what works for you!
Having the right community, mindset and education are the keys to becoming a successful trader. Many people focus on one or two of these things, but without the third, you will have a really tough time.
It's not always easy to find things that work for you, but keep searching, because they are out there!
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