I get many emails from people frustrated with the challenges they face in learning to trade. Maybe you can relate to some of these problems:
- “…I’ve done it again. Another loss held past where I should have exited, hoping for it to come back…”
- “…It just seems too hard, juggling work, family and trading education. This things just not working for me.”
- “I’m sure my broker is taking out my stops. This just happens too often to be a coincidence.”
- “I make money one day. And then I give more back the next.”
Yeah, trading is hard! There’s no doubt about that. But let’s see if I can provide you with a different perspective from which to view these challenges.
What is causing you problems in your trading is part of the process of becoming a trader.
The problems you faced in the past, and overcame, were the part of the process that led you to where you are right now. The problems you face today – that you will overcome today or tomorrow – are the part of the process that leads to your trading future.
And that trading future, if forged through a process of self-improvement and overcoming trading challenges, can ultimately lead to only one possible outcome – trading success. The quicker you can identify the challenges and find the path to overcoming them, the quicker you will progress towards success. So embrace the challenges.
The only way you can ultimately fail is through failing to progress along the path to success, leading you to quit out of frustration. Failing to progress comes for most people through failing to accept the problems. Instead of identifying and facing the challenges, most people keep themselves busy surfing trader forums or testing indicator after indicator. Keeping busy creates the illusion of progress, when in fact the trader’s progress has stalled.
So, what can you do to continue to make progress on your trading journey?
- Journal everything– trade statistics, reasons for entry and exit, notes on your personal performance with respect to the disciplined implementation of your plan and your trading psychology.
- Review your journal regularly.
- Find elements of your trading which are working well. Consider changes that could further enhance these parts of your plan, if any.
- Find elements of your trading which appear to be causing problems, or producing less than ideal outcomes.
- Seek a solution to these problems.
- Implement the changes.
- Test the changes, being sure to journal everything again.
The problems you face in trading are the process you must follow to reach success. The journal is the tool you will use to advance along this process. The recording and reviewing allows you to identify areas of weakness. Testing, along with further recording and reviewing, is used to confirm advancement along the path.
See your trading challenges in this way, and they’re no longer frustrating. Rather, trading challenges are a cause for celebration, because through recognizing them you’re now one step closer to your goals.
And finally, don’t forget this important point. While it’s great to hope that your current challenge is the last you’ll ever face, the fact is that this is a never-ending learning process. There are always more challenges ahead. So keep your chin up, and enjoy the challenges that trading provides.