Man yawning out of boredom

Boredom – a good way to sabotage your trading career

How to turn the most powerful attribute of an independent trader into the most profit-draining behavior.

This is one of our Mind Muscles Moments, which is a very laser-targeted piece talking about a critical issue that can cost you, the trader, big money.

Something that affects a lot of traders is …YAWN…. oh man, boredom. Boredom.

We watch the markets all day long, there’s no setup, our strategies aren’t in play, the market moods just are different than our strategies …YAWN… and so we look at the markets and we say “I gotta trade. I gotta get something going here. I gotta make some money!”

And so we look, we push our trades, or we take a setup that isn’t quite right or quite ready, and we get into a trade. Aaaand then it goes against us a little bit and — we say, shoot! Darn it! That trade isn’t working for me, I shouldn’t have taken it.

We get self-critical, then we let the losses run because we don’t want to take a loss on a stupid trade, and it goes downhill from there.

So the question is, what causes this boredom? The boredom is caused by our setting our goal that we need to trade, that we need to make money. And by setting this framework up in that way, when we’re not meeting our expectations we get bored and sleepy. So we create things to do to make us feel like we’re working at trading.

But, as with every Mind Muscles moment, we give you an antidote. And the antidote here is to change your goal. So, imagine if your goal was to execute your strategy, was to wait for the right setup when the right setup was there, to execute it faithfully, to manage your risk management, to put in your stops, to let the profits run, and then at the end of the day, you say, “Yes! Yes, I executed my strategy!”

That means that even if a day has absolutely no setups, or some setups that are close but not quite there, at the end of the day if you didn’t take them, you can say, “Yes! Yes, I did my job. Yes, I am a professional trader who knows how to trade, because I take my setups seriously, and I execute them only when they’re right.”

So even if you had no trades for three days or a week– let’s say the market and its particular mood and its particular structure was not right for your strategy– you might go a long time without trading. And every day that you can go, “Yes!” You can give yourself a star on the fridge. Give yourself a reward. Give yourself a reward for being a really disciplined trader, even if there was no trade.

So rather than being bored you can sit there and say, “Wow, look at this market. Nothing happening, and here I am, a professional trader, doing what I need to do, and that’s watching the market with interest and curiosity. And I don’t need to chase trades, because this is my job.”

Welcome to your life as a consistently profitable, independent, or professional trader!

Most traders I’ve worked with, as the founder of an options trading firm and as a personal training coach, want relief from the unwanted behaviors that could prevent them from executing their strategies successfully. They want to positively align themselves with their strategies and the markets.

Our job at the Mind Muscles Academy is to provide you with a gymnasium for your mind. With exercises and simulations, we laser-focus on building the mind muscles that deal with the problems that all traders face. This allows you to get to your goal of becoming a consistently profitable, independent, or professional trader.

Compass 2.0 is the most popular of our courses.

About the Author Rich Friesen

A veteran broker and floor trader, Rich went from the "worst trainee trader ever", to building one of the most consistently profitable options trading firms on the Pacific Exchange by training his traders using neuroscience. Rich also holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, a B.A. in Philosophy, and is a graduate of the Gestalt Institute in San Francisco along with Master’s training in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).

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  • Jed Hughes says:

    Thank you for your wise words of wisdom, I do believe that by following them you are going to save my financial future. I have been doing just about everything incorrectly with my stock trading and loss a small fortune, but I am going to follow your words to the T and I am feeling better already. Thanks again and Cheers.

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