Learning to Trade From Start to Success
Most of us traders are hoping for that magical “breakthrough” that will give us confidence in our trading and bring us to immediate, consistent profits. We look for new gurus, strategies, indicators and markets to get us to our goals as fast as possible. After bouncing from system to system, trading room to trading room, guru to guru, many traders discover that they bring the same problems to the new solution: the realization that the next step to trading consistency is located between their ears.
This is the start of real progress toward becoming a master trader.
What happens when we move our focus from tweaking our strategy to tackling our subconscious? What does the path to market mindset mastery look like? What happens after we have the realization that our frame of mind is critical to our trading success?
It really helps to have a mindset map of the territory we are now exploring. The closer our expectations match the reality of mindset growth, the faster our trading psychology progress will be. Traders can become successful. Traders can make consistent profits. Traders can learn the joy of trading.
And here is how it works most of the time. Not with a bang, but a drip at a time. Drip….drip…drip. Yes, a drip at a time. Real progress that sticks, that adds to new consistent trading behaviors which then add up to consistent profit – takes intention, time and support. With this intention, progress is made, but not in a way that we might expect.
For example, I want you to see the raw results from the last three month “boot camp” I did with 17 traders. This can encourage traders starting on the journey and at the same time relieve the pressure of magical expectations.
One part of the course is to develop the trader’s “Mind Metrics.” Our process is first to define the current issues that prevent the trader from reaching his or her goals. Then we look at each issue as if it is resolved and define the new state of mind with language that resonates with the trader. We spend a lot of time getting this language exactly right so the trader can experience the new mindset “viscerally.”
Then, all the traders in the Boot Camp evaluate their own “Mind Metrics” on a daily basis for each critical trading issue they selected. With this visible chart, there is no hiding persistent trading behaviors that no longer serve the trader. Over time, with dozens of Boot Camp participants, I can visually see how progress is actually made in the real world with real independent and professional traders.
Here is the reality in a graphic visual. This is how REAL traders progress to REAL goals that support long term consistent profits. It isn’t pretty. But this is real! And if we aren’t real, how can we progress?
Each day I asked them to rate the issue as red (major problem), yellow (minor problem) or green (no problem). Some students got creative and added orange.
Keep in mind that these traders had been experiencing these issues for most of their trading careers. A move from Red to Yellow is significant in terms of gains. The progress the Boot Camp traders make is widely varied. Some traders experience major shifts in a couple of weeks and others work for months for the same progress.
We change what we measure. The more open and honest we are, the more community support we have, the more we accept ourselves and all our quirks, the easier it is to change the squares from red to green.
The well-designed trading psychology course will incorporate these processes along with an understanding of how the brain works and how we progress and make changes that feel better, honor our values and get us to our goal of consistent 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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