“I have been trading for five years and struggling * I repeat the same mistakes and can’t stop myself * I am in a trading room, and can’t duplicate the success others have * I keep tweaking my strategy but in the moment of a trade I am afraid to pull the trigger or get in late * I need to prove that I can do this and won’t quit trying * I lost 25% of my $2,000 trading account yesterday by doubling down. Help! What can I do to change this?”
The intro above is a summary of hundreds of emails I have received and conversations with traders over the years. My heart aches as I read the anguish and pain these traders are experiencing. It aches because the trader is working on the wrong problem and is committed to a struggle that can’t succeed. My response is rejected most of the time. You won’t see many gurus saying this either, for obvious reasons:
STOP TRADING RIGHT NOW.
Is there a path to success? If you want to be a successful trader and have less than $50,000 in trading capital that you can lose without impacting your life, your path to success is NOT what you think.
Now imagine this trader has only limited capital to trade. Imagine that this trader is totally and emotionally invested in success as a way to resolve all the other issues in their life.
Do you have this profile of a trader in your mind? Now imagine this trader puts on a trade and it starts going against them. Every tick is a referendum on their own value as a human being – all their hopes and dreams and everything that matters to them. They see their limited trading account evaporate in front of them.
Is this trader able to trade in a state of flow?
Of course not.
Is success possible? Has any novice trader taken a tiny account and turned it into a sustainable and consistently profitable trading career? I am sure there are some, but after ten years and thousands of online students, assessment takers, and private clients, I don’t know of one. Not one.
It is a thinking problem. The problem isn’t entirely just the limited trading capital. It is the type of thinking that leads a trader to believe that they have a special ability that can turn limited trading capital into a sustainable and consistent career without the mindset mastery.
Their commitment and dedication to their struggle comes from the need to fill what I call a “hole in the heart”. This hole in the heart can be a need to prove oneself, the fantasies of wealth, to fill personal loneliness, to feel powerful, and to feel competent and successful.
The solutions are a mismatch to the problem. The toxic trading tragedy is a combination of inadequate trading capital, lack of mindset training, and the need for trading success that looks more like an addiction to relieve deeper emotional needs.
If this description fits you, the chances are you see yourself as an exception to the rule. You aren’t. If this description fits you, and this article has left you a little shaken, that means you have the ability to start making better choices for your life. The first better choice for your life is:
STOP TRADING RIGHT NOW.
The next choice is to become aware of what trading success means to you. Once you drop down to that level, then you can start to see what options are the best to fill that need or even the hole in your heart.
Losing your dream may be the start of a process that leads to deeper satisfaction. As you move from a “dream” and “outcome” behaviors, you can then start to move to “process” and “skill” behaviors. This can release a wave of creativity that may surprise even you.
There is hope. If you haven’t created a consistently profitable equity curve, are dedicated to trading success and are frustrated, there is hope. But the path may be very different than you expect.
If you don’t have financial resources, please read my years’ worth of blogs for free. If you have limited resources, our online course will give you a step by step path to deal with the major trading issues most traders face.
If you do have the capital and trading resources and are still struggling, my private coaching targets the deepest levels of change and sets a firm foundation for consistent and growing profits.
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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