This is a new section featuring Peak Performance Trading Tips. These won't be tips on some hot new investment. Instead, they'll be tips on how you get yourself in the best possible condition mentally to perform at a peak level. We'll be doing one new tip each month. You may have heard some of them in one form or another before, but you can never apply them enough. As a result, these tips should become second nature to you.
In any endeavor in life, you have up and down periods. Dealing with the market has many such up and down periods. In order to profit from the up periods, you have to tolerate or even “enjoy” the down periods.
I'm an NLP modeler. That means if someone does something well, I can figure out the essence of what they are doing by understanding their thinking. Thus, when such a person goes from A to B easily and effortlessly, I can determine how they do it and teach that skill to other people.
It turns out that one of the major problems people have in going from their current location to their desired goal is all of the walls or obstacles they continually run into each day. There is a common solution to these obstacles — make them okay. Don't worry about getting from point A to B, just enjoy bumping into the walls.
If you're in the market, one of biggest obstacles you'll face is the wall of losses. It's fairly difficult dealing with the markets if you are not willing to lose. It's almost impossible. It's like wanting to be alive, but always wanting to breathe in and not willing to breathe out.
When you want to be right, you're not dealing with the obstacles. Instead, you're forcing things. When you want to make a profit out of today's trade, even though it's a big loser, then you're not dealing with today's obstacle. Enjoy the obstacle — embrace it — and be willing to accept it. If the market tells you it's time to get out at a loss, then do so.
Quite often traders take the relationship they are having with the market, and transmute it by developing a different system or trading with a professional money manager. Now, the old struggle they used to have with the market—of not accepting what the market gives them—becomes a similar struggle they are having with their system or with their new advisor.
Instead of giving up on the market after a string of losses, just in time to miss the really big move, they avoid their system until it is doing really well. When it is showing tremendous profits, they jump on board — only to be blown away by the market. And the same thing happens when they invest with money managers. This desire to be “right” motivates them to jump to the top money manager when he's hot, only to go through a big string of losses. It's all the same thing.
Psychologically, if you don't come to grips with your obstacles and embrace them, you will simply find another way to repeat them. Realize that the walls occur because they are there for you to bump into. When you accept this fact and embrace it, you'll accept bumping into walls. And strangely enough, you hardly even notice that the walls are there. The result will be a new level of success in the markets.