1. Give up your need to always be right.
There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong — wanting to always be right. Our need to be right becomes a huge hindrance while trading. Even if we realize a trade is not working in our favor, our ego does not permit us to exit that trade. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the “urgent” need to justify why your trade idea is right, ask yourself this question “Would I rather be right or be profitable”.
2. Give up your need for control.
Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you — situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street, just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and see how much better you feel. We believe we can control the markets. We read and hear fundamental data, review our technical indicators and then decide that we are in control of the markets. Our need to be in control creates problems when the markets do not perform the way we want them to perform. Again – let the markets be….let go of the need to control the markets and see how much better you will feel.
3. Give up on blame.
Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life. If a trade does not go as planned, don’t blame the market for your losses. As T. Harv Eker says in his inspiring and practical book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind “You can be a victim or you can be rich, but you can’t be both. Listen up! Every time and I mean every time, you blame, justify, or complain, you are slitting your financial throat.”
4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk.
Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted, and repetitive self-defeating mindset? “I never get any real breaks. I always have bad luck while trading. Markets seem totally and consistently unfair.” Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you — especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that. Work out a system within your mind that allows you to imagine yourself living a prosperous life, with all the material things that are necessary. When an old habitual negative thought begins to enter your consciousness, simply say, ‘Next!’”
I love that. So, the next time you see a negative thought of not being successful in trading start floating across the screen of your mind, notice it and have fun smiling and saying, “Next!!!” Make it a game. “Next.” “Next.” “Next.” “If babies held the same tendency toward self-defeating thoughts as adults, they might never learn to walk or talk. Can you imagine infants stomping, ‘Aarggh! Screwed up again!’ Fortunately, babies are free of self-defeating thoughts. They just keep practicing.”
5. Give up your limiting beliefs.
Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do and about what is possible or impossible. Flea trainers have observed a predictable and strange habit of fleas while training them. Fleas are trained by putting them in a cardboard box with a top on it. The fleas will jump up and hit the top of the cardboard box over and over and over again. As you watch them jump and hit the lid, something very interesting becomes obvious. The fleas continue to jump, but they are no longer jumping high enough to hit the top. When you take off the lid, the fleas continue to jump, but they will not jump out of the box. They won’t jump out because they can’t jump out.
Why? The reason is simple. They have conditioned themselves to jump just so high. Once they have conditioned themselves to jump just so high, that’s all they can do!
Many times, traders do the same thing. They restrict themselves and never reach their potential. Just like the fleas, they fail to jump higher, thinking they are doing all they can do. You can be a hugely successful trader, you can find a new strategy that works, you can find a trading product that is better suited for you. You can break the glass barrier of your conditioning and do better.
6. Give up complaining.
Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, many things that make you unhappy. You may find yourself complaining about how the fundamental news did not go in your favor, or how the volatility of your trading product caused losses or how a technical indicator did not give the right signal to go long or short. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you but how you choose to look at it. Reminds me of Wayne Dyer’s wisdom: “In my world, nothing ever goes wrong.” Can you see that everything is either a blissful experience or a blissful opportunity to learn?
Complaining also keeps people from taking action. It gives excuses to procrastinate and keep from achieving goals. It’s always much easier to complain than to find a solution. Another reason people complain is to avoid responsibility. Think about arriving at work late with the excuse that the traffic was terrible or the line at the pharmacy was extremely long or the wait at the gas pump took forever. Sure, stuff happens but, perhaps, you could have left earlier or been more prepared. The real danger for people who are constant complainers is that it traps them in a negative reality, giving them more to complain about.
7. Give up your resistance to change.
We naturally resist change because we are forced to step outside our comfort zone. Trading requires you to truly introspect who you are as a person. All your bad habits are brought to the forefront on a daily basis when you trade. All your fears, all your greed, your laziness, anger, inability to forgive, pride, ego, inability to follow through on a plan and all your self-control issues bubble up to the surface instantly. Recognize that you need to get out of your comfort zone or EXPAND your comfort zone and give up on your natural resistance to change. “Here’s an equation I want you to remember for the rest of your life: CZ = WZ. It means your ‘comfort zone’ equals your ‘wealth zone.’ By expanding your comfort zone, you will expand the size of your income and wealth zone.”
8. Give up on your fears.
You cannot trade with fear. “A decision made from fear is always the wrong decision.” Once you have predetermined your stop losses and your worst case scenario of losses, you have to let go of the fear while trading. Fear is just an illusion; It doesn’t exist — you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place. Use action to cure fear and gain confidence. Here’s something to remember: Actions feed and strengthen confidence; inaction in all forms feeds fear. To fight fear, act. To increase fear—wait, put off, postpone.”
9. Give up your excuses.
A lot of times we limit ourselves with the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves with all kind of excuses — excuses that 99.9 percent of the time are not even real. Are you finding excuses for why you don’t have good trading results? Be honest with yourself and ask yourself if you followed all your trading rules. In most cases, when we lose on a trade, we have broken a trading rule that we set for ourselves. Someone once told me about a very dangerous disease that unsuccessful people have – called ‘Excusitis’. Every failure has this disease in its advanced form. And most ‘average’ persons have at least a mild case of it.” What’s YOUR excuse? Too old? Too young? Not enough money? No time? Not smart enough? Overqualified?
It’s definitely time to vaccinate yourself from the dreaded “Excusitis”—the most pernicious disease guaranteed to drive you straight to failure. (Or, perhaps worse, mediocrity.)
10. Give up the past.
I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when you have had losing days in the past and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. Stop deluding yourself. Focus on the next trading opportunity that is coming up, not on what happened a few hours ago or a few days ago. The markets do not know your past and will not punish you. Every moment the market provides a new trading opportunity. Focus on the PRESENT trading opportunity and give up ruminating about your past losses.
11. Give up attachment.
This is a concept that is hard for most of us to grasp (and I have to tell you that it still is for me, too), but it’s not impossible. It will become easier and easier with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all possessions, you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. Being attached to every trade and the profit from it will only cause you to lose money. Being attached to your P/L while trading will only force you to make wrong trading decisions. As I have said, the best way to stay detached in the markets is to trade SAFE, trade SMALL and trade with the TREND.
12. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations.
When we start trading and tell our friends and family about what we do, we set up expectations. Friends will always judge you on how well or how poorly you are doing. You go to a party and the first question you get is ..”so, how’s trading working out for you”? Way too many people are living a life according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies, their teachers, their government, and their media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voices. People are so busy pleasing everybody that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need … and eventually, they forget about themselves.
You have one life — this one right now — you must live it, own it. Don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.