Out of all the excuses that I hear from traders, the most common one is “I don’t think I can do this, it’s too hard”.
They say this even though I can quite clearly see they have everything they need to become a successful trader. It’s simply their own self-doubt and hesitancy getting in the way and blocking their path to success.
It’s difficult to watch this self-doubt as I know from my own personal experiences the freedom, joy and excitement that can be achieved by taking away the feelings of uncertainty. But they cannot quite see this themselves and it’s not a nice place to be – eager but scared.
And I know what it’s like, I’ve been there before…
You can envisage the satisfaction that comes from executing your own trading plan with professional accuracy. You can imagine how great it would feel to finally stand up to that horrible and demanding boss, because you have an income on the side and no longer need the job. You know that your family will be proud of you and full of praise as you’ve become who you were meant to be… But the self-doubt clings to you and puts a quiver in your voice.
And you know you’re capable of stepping up and claiming the trading world as your own, but you continue to hear that whiny weak voice from deep down – “What makes you think you can do this?”
But I know you are waiting for your opportunity to take a leap, you’re just concerned about the risk involved. What you need to understand is that there is a risk to step up – just ask any successful trader. The only time they changed was when the pain of not doing something became too great. They could no longer ignore their calling.
Apparently, the famous novelist – Charles Bukowski – used to offer some cunning advice to writers who asked him for his opinion on their pieces of work. He told them all that they were pathetic writers and that they would never have a future, no matter how skilled they were. He felt that this was a kind alternative because if that young writer was reliant on Bukowski for his support and opinion, they would never have the guts to take a leap of faith and make it big, using the power of words. Harsh perhaps? Effective, it may seem.
Sometimes I think my business partner, Chris Tate, is a bit like Charles Bukowski. He’s a grumpy man on the outside, but he’s focused on unleashing your full trading potential, so that your eventual results might just surprise you.
As a full-time trader, the savage truth is that you will only get paid for your good trades’. There is no double time, or over-time rates. Traders live in a results-based economy, not a time economy, like people who have ‘jobs’.
Most new traders are incapable of acknowledging that they know very little about the financial markets. When the markets are jumping around more than a kid on a trampoline, an inexperienced attitude can kick in – thoughts such as ‘just give it a whirl’ and ‘got be in to win’ can creep into the mindset. It’s thinking like this that will see your hard-earnt savings thrown away.
Remember; we won’t get rewarded by throwing money into the markets.
So, it’s time for a bit of self-reflection. Which of these trader traps have you fallen into lately?
1) No Accountability
Many traders fool themselves by doing busy work, instead of profit work. If the work you’re doing is not going to contribute directly to your bottom line, do you really need to be doing it?
A good way to counter this issue is to find a friend who is also looking to be held accountable for a certain goal or task. Get them to name a goal that they want to achieve by a certain date, and then diarise when to follow up on their progress. You can do the same where you tell your friend your goal. Now you are both accountable and more likely to move ahead with your goals.
2) You Have No Vision
I’ve been running our Mentor Program since 2000 and in all that time, I’ve learned some very unique lessons. The best traders from our Mentor Program can see, smell and taste what they want out of the markets and their trades. The more accurately you can see your future, the closer it will become.
Lazy traders may not necessarily be lazy people. It’s just that they’re yet to form a unique, vivid and positive image of their future which excites them enough to get off the couch.
3) You Don’t Take Smart Risks
Successful traders are willing to get out of their comfort zone and try new things. It can be scary to go into the unknown, but to have more in life, you must take smart risks. Look at the down side as well as the upside, and decide if you can live with both.
One of the risks you’ll have to evaluate is to decide whether you should invest in the markets yourself, or whether you’ll need to use someone else’s services. There’s no right or wrong answer – it’s simply up to the individual to decide based on the time they have available and their skillset.
About the author
Louise Bedford is a full-time trader and author of some of the best-selling trading books, including The Secret of Candlestick Charting and Trading Secrets. Grab her free Special Report called ‘How Much is Your Self Talk Costing You’, by clicking here.