Can you be your own daily trading coach? It is very difficult to go back in time and change some decisions we have made that we regret. It is also very difficult to go forward in time and go to the future to make better decisions for our lives before the moment has arrived.
The present moment is where trading decisions occur. It turns out that the easiest way to make better decisions that result in behaviors that serve us better is to do it in the present moment. If you have ever tried to go back in time you know what a challenge that is! If you have tried to change a decision that you will make in the future you know how hard that is also!
Can you coach yourself in real time? I propose that we not only be our own daily trading coach, but that we be our real time in the present moment trading coach. This means that we need to develop the ability to make new decisions that serve us better moment by moment.
Do you replay past trading events over and over? How often have you replayed a situation from the past where you wished that you could make a better decision or create a behavior that serve you better? That awareness is very important. If we want to be our best “moment” trading coach we need to move that awareness from sometime after the event to real time awareness as the event is happening.
You can build real time awareness. Our job is to move that awareness from a day after the event, two hours after the event, then two minutes after the event, then to real time as the event is happening.
Here is the secret to real time awareness – focus only on the raw sensations, not our habitual interpretations. What typically happens is that we receive a raw sensation from our physiology, and it immediately connects to a familiar emotion that we have connected, in the past, to that sensation. For example, I have found myself nervous before a presentation to a large audience. I then check in with just the raw sensations, not my experience of nervousness. Surprise! The sensations themselves are not negative. It is my connection of “nerves” to these sensations that make them feel bad. What I discover is that these raw sensations can also be interpreted as “energy for the performance” or “excitement” or “eagerness.”
We can decide how we interpret our raw sensations.
Imagine for a moment that you are trying to lose some weight. Normally what happens is we feel a sensation and we jump to the interpretation that we are hungry. We automatically go to the fridge open it and grab that slice of leftover chocolate birthday cake that is so yummy. We pour ourselves some milk and enjoy the wonderful flavors of that rich chocolate the sweet icing and wash it down with a cold milk. It feels so good.
The next day we step on the scales and we wished we had not made that choice the previous day. Now imagine that you are heading for the fridge and you disconnect the raw sensation from the interpretation of “hunger.” What is the raw experience? What is it if it were not hunger? Once you have located the raw sensations, then you can notice them and allow them to be as they are. In this state, I find the drive to eat the cake has significantly shifted.
What is actually going one? Boredom? Loneliness? Distraction? Needing emotional nourishment? Or even perhaps, once you experience the raw sensation without interpretation, you can allow it to be as it comes…and then goes.
In that moment, in real time, you can now experience the feeling of allowing the raw sensations from your stomach to be just raw sensations. You can experience the joy of knowing that you are a thin person and how good it feels to make those decisions that support your true identity and your true goals.
This same process can be accomplished as traders. We can move from regretting that revenge trade we made yesterday to being fully aware of what we are doing in the current moment. As a result we move from regretting the revenge trade we made yesterday to the pride we feel of both noticing the impulses that are present and the ability to identify ourselves as professional traders that can allow those impulses to come and go.
Coach yourself to profitability. The process of moving from being our own daily trading coach to being our best real time trading coach is progress that will show up as consistent trading profitability. As a coach, tell your “client” to pay attention to the raw sensations as they are.
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).