So, after a week off of all trading activities I returned to the charts today. Having suffered quite heavy and silly losses the week before last due to not following the basic rules, I decided to take a break refresh my mind and come back focused and re-energized. Which is exactly what I have done. Today I will go over my forex results and we will see what I have done to improve my mindset and my trading.
Patience always pays
Now the problem that I have been having is that I have been trying to skip stages of the process. I wanted to ‘make it’ by cutting corners and guessing the direction of the markets. I I have been basically not following my set of rules and was jumping into trades without any real thought or attention. By doing this that I have been losing trades, then chasing those losses, which ended up with me over trading far beyond my strategy allows and thus producing – even more losses! By the end of the week I had all but blown my account!
Outside of trading I had some personal stuff going on and this was ruining my mindset, I should have recognized this and stopped trading after making 108% on Monday and Tuesday! A highly profitable couple of days that I have been laser focused, despite a few mistakes, that I have been focused on the opportunities as they presented themselves!
Wednesday and Thursday gave went completely off the rails, I gave back my 108% plus 50% of original account balance. Stupidly I topped up my account Thursday determined to ‘make back my losses’ – this is a huge mistake at this point I should have pulled the plug on the week – but being stubborn I continued to trade culminating in losing 93.83% of this top up and the remaining 50% from Monday and Tuesday!
This shows the importance of mindset and psychology when trading! It is absolutely key and what separates the BEST from the rest!
How I reset my mindset
The key to getting over such losses is to analyze and learn from the mistakes that have been made. I spent Friday at my day job, not even thinking about the markets, not even looking at a chart. I had to clear my mind first. After a full day of just living normal life and not paying any attention to anything trading, I looked over my trades (and there were quite a few- especially losses) and delved into where I went wrong.
I had actually placed some good trades throughout the week, but where I had made a few silly errors first thing in the morning it derailed me completely and sent me into a fear/panic driven frenzy of chasing losses. Albeit the losses were not even that bad, but because I had lost and got it wrong, my mind went into overdrive to try to prove that I could get it right!
The trades that proceeded some were actually great entries but I closed early for a much smaller profit or I let them run too long and they came back to stop me out for break even or a couple pips. Normally I would confidently take my profit at the levels I had predetermined and then move on to the next opportunity.
I have meditated over the last week, almost daily. Visited the gym to release tension. Spent time with my son (as this is my special time to release and get away from trading or work or anything bothering me) as obviously he takes my complete attention, so I am lucky to have him. For me personally this is how I reset, and I recommend meditation as a key component to help with staying calm and keeping a healthy mindset! Working out or any kind of exercise is also particularly good as it releases endorphins and it just feels good to work up and sweat and get that inner anger, because 100% makes me and I’m sure most of us – angry- especially when it is down to not following the specific rules!
The key is to be angry with oneself as it is MY mistakes that caused the losses, not the market. The market does not care and is neutral. It is MY actions that caused the losses. Remember that as it is a major part of taking responsibility!
The return to the markets…
As stress free and relaxing as not being in the markets seems, I love it way too much to stay away for too long. I originally planned for a two-week sabbatical but have reduced that to one as I have achieved what I want and am ready to go back to work. Mainly because I have assessed my mistakes, worked through my personal issues that I have been having and I am ready.
As my results today show.
Slow and steady day. A couple of impatient trades to start with, first trade was actually a good entry but I didn’t take my profit and ended up getting stopped out for a loss. This was followed by two loss chasing trades! But instead of going into meltdown, I took a moment to myself, practiced some breathing techniques I have been using and re-focused myself – within minutes that I have been clear minded and open to opportunity – which is the way you need to be when trading.
The next couple of trades I recovered my original losses and actually made that back again as profit! I actually closed these trades early to, by about 10/15 pips but instead of losing my focus it actually made me STOP TRADING and wait until later in the day to resume – something that I have been unable to do previously! I found myself building the mental strength to stay out of the markets, PROGRESS!!!
I then waited and found a nice sell to finish the day – again I closed early by about 5 pips but at this point I didn’t care as I had banked a nice bit of profit and had a good profitable day. I have been happy with what the market had given me – even though I could have banked double what I did, I focused on what gave HAD achieved and not on what I COULD have achieved.
Again this is a key point to remember. Be realistic. No one is the perfect trader. Some of my entries were gold and could have been a higher amount of pips banked, some even flew up or down to my take profit targets, but I had closed early as that I have been happy to bank the profit. For now this is good enough for me as I slowly but surely build my mindset – the profitable mindset.
Next stop – consistency!
To gain consistency, you must be consistent!
This seems like a no brainer, of course consistency comes from consistency right? But the ease with which we slip back into old habits and old routines or patterns is quite frightening. Our brains are typically lazy and just want to do things in auto-pilot and make it as easy as possible. Unfortunately the markets punish laziness and punish auto-pilot. You need to be tuned in and connect to the flow of the markets when analyzing and when trading!
The way to gain consistency I believe, is to do the little things right every day. Create a pre-trading ritual, where you do the same thing prior to trading. The more you do things around your trading consistently the more consistently you will trade. It sounds simple but putting it into practice is a different kettle of fish.
Me personally now I have a quick meditation and do some breathing exercises to relax my mind and body and “tune in” to the markets. I the watch the markets for no less than 15 minutes before even thinking about executing a trade- NO MATTER WHAT! This is to get a real feel for how the market is moving and to gauge how the market is behaving. Sometimes it can be 30-60 minutes before a trade is even placed. Simply because we are waiting for those prefect setups now. Be patient and let the trades come to you – because they really will come you just need to wait. If you think you see a trade just wait that extra minute or two for that next candle to close and then see if the trade is still valid.
I also check the time before placing a trade as depending on the time on certain candles (15m/30m/1h/4h) you can get caught out in thinking the price is going one way when actually it is just forming a lower/upper shadow and you have been caught going the wrong way. Be aware of the time remaining in each candle, this is proper analysis.
This is what works for me, it may not work or you as we are all different but maybe you can use some of these ideas to help, its worth giving them a go
As you can see from my terrible trading results in the past I am by no means an accomplished trader, everything I say and write here is just about my own personal experience within the markets. Some more experienced and consistent traders may laugh and think I talk nonsense. But I am saying it how it is in my perspective and how I am traveling on MY journey. And that is what we are all on here, a journey.
I am not letting my losses or mistakes define who I am as a trader. They are part of my learning process. The difference is I am laying it all out on the line and showing it is not all big wins and nothing but winning. There is a side to trading that most people are too afraid to show or talk about. The early days, where you lose a lot and lose consistently until you realize what you need to do and what you need to change, to make it in this industry.
Personally I know in myself I am not too far away from getting where I want to be – which is a consistently profitable trader. I have learnt a lot of harsh and expensive lessons along the way so far. But I am determined to get this right as I know it is helping me grow not just as a trader but as a person too 🙂
What I hope you take from this is that we all start somewhere, even the best were once just students…
I wish you all every success with your trading and I will see you all soon. Feel free to comment below with how your trading is going and if you would like to reach out, even just for someone to talk to about your trading then I am happy to listen and if I can help.
Happy trading and may the pips be with you 😀