Let’s begin where we ended last week, with our Mental Reset routine for quickly and effectively shaking off any disappointment and returning ourselves to a state of focus.
- Step back from my desk.
- Look at my hands.
- Wipe and shake my hands as if removing water from them (mentally releasing and letting go of the situation that put me on tilt).
- Pause and confirm I’m ready.
- Step back to my desk.
- Double tap my mouse pad.
- Game on. FOCUS!
In particular today, I wish to discuss the final two steps.
Well done to the two traders who identified the Tony Robbins NLP anchoring technique.
What I have done is create an association between my ideal trading state and a small repeatable action (double tapping the mouse pad).
Now all I need to do is to double tap the mouse pad and look back to my charts… and I’m fired up, primed and ready to trade.
How do you create an anchor?
Place yourself in your ideal trading state (either mentally creating it, or recalling it from a time when you felt this way). Enhance the feelings as much as possible. Carry out the action you want associated (anchored) with the feeling. Release it. And repeat.
Repetition is the secret. And intensity of feeling. So keep at it until you find the action alone is sufficient to immediately return you to that state.
Google “NLP Anchoring” if you want more on the topic.
I double tap the mouse pad and look back to my charts… and I’m immediately in my ideal trading state. It’s GAME ON. Let’s trade.
So what is my personal Ideal Trading State?
The best description I’ve heard for this state is one of CALM AGGRESSION.
A state comprised of two parts. A calm body. And an aggressive mind.
Let’s explore each.
A CALM BODY
No stress. No tension.
A tense body is slower to react.
An anxious body is prone to impulsive action, as the mind seeks to release some of that nervous tension.
We aim to be calm. Keep the body loose and relaxed.
There’s no need for complex counting systems for each inhale and exhale. And certainly no holding of your breath. This has to be sustainable.
Just your natural cycle of slow, deep breathing with no pause as it shifts between inhale and exhale (and vice versa).
AN AGGRESSIVE MIND
And this is where I perhaps differ from “common trading psychology” which suggests a calm and relaxed mind. Certainly there are times and places for that. When I’m in “Standing Aside” mode, my mind is relaxed.
But when I’m trading, that’s a time for an aggressive mind.
An aggressive mind is not one of rash, impulsive emotional reaction.
An aggressive mind is not one of rage and irresponsible risk taking.
An aggressive mind is CONTROLLED. And CHANNELED towards one aim – recognising and exploiting your edge in the markets.
Like a sniper, watching and waiting patiently but ready to act decisively as soon as opportunity presents itself.
Maybe you’re more suited to a calm body & calm mind. You’ll only discover this through trial and error.
But you may also find that you’re more like me. And more suited to a state of Calm Aggression.
Calm Aggression… capable of overcoming hesitation, doubt or fear by providing you with the courage and belief needed to take action.
Calm Aggression… providing the self-belief that motivates you to push to new levels of performance.
Try it. And see if it helps you approach the markets with a focused, confident and aggressive mindset, ready to smash today’s opportunity out of the ballpark.
PS. Again, as in last week’s article, none of this will provide edge where there is none. But once you have strategy and skill to provide edge, your results depend upon your ability to execute. This is where calm aggression can excel. The market thinks it can beat me? Bring it on!
PPS. This state has been constantly evolving over the last decade or more. Look back to this prior article from 2011, where I had the mindset part sorted… but perhaps hadn’t quite found my ideal body state. Trading Angry? F**k Yeah!