The 3 Pillars of Trading Success – Part 1

Have you ever asked yourself why it is that even though we live in a world with great resources at our fingertips, traders continue to struggle?

I mean, there is so much great quality information freely available on the internet, anything a trader needs to know in order to succeed, and yet the statistics still show that over 90% of traders have no trading results to show for.

I tell you why: Because you can want trading success until you are blue in the face, you can attend all the seminars, read all the trading books, refine your trading strategies, write the most sophisticated trading plans, follow the best traders in the world, you can accumulate so much knowledge about trading that you deserve an honorary PHD, but until you get to the core of your BEING, the real reason for your emotional trading experience, the real root cause of why you are not doing what you plan to do, until you are clear about your unconscious sabotaging behavioural patterns and the cues that trigger these, until you acknowledge that this is running your trading and learn how to transform them, your dream of being a successful trader is going to stay a fairy tale.

Let’s be real here, anytime you want to get to a place that is better than where you currently are, there are blocks inside of you, otherwise you would already be there. That is why, when profits do appear, it is exhilarating, but never long lasting.

So, the real question here is: How do you uncover and remove the hidden blocks to achieving better trading results?

Many traders measure their trading success by the state of their trading bank and deep down their confidence and self-worth is correlated to the $$$ profits they make.

This is not surprising, as this is how we have been conditioned by society. You get judged by the results that your environment can see, such as good grades at school, finishing top in your university, driving a nice car, living in a nice house, being dressed for success, all those are being considered as a measure of success.

They don’t see what it really took to achieve those things, such as patience, integrity, courage, wisdom, humbleness,  grace. These traits are all coming from deep within your ‘being’, yet most traders try to ‘do being patient and disciplined’ with willpower. This is never sustainable! If it doesn’t come effortlessly, there is something you need to shift inside of you. 

Only recently, with the work of the great Carol Dweck schools start to reward process focused behaviour in children, they are not rewarded for having a great outcome, but for having given their best, which in turn usually leads to a great outcome anyway.

Although $$$profits are still a typical measure of success in the trading industry (and undeniably important if you have to pay the mortgage from trading), this mindset can ultimately destroy your trading career.

It is what we call an ‘outcome focused mindset’, as you lose money, you lose confidence, your self-worth becomes threatened, you start making irrational trades based on impulse and desperation; now you lose more money in the attempt to recover your self-worth, and so the vicious cycle of self-sabotage has been set in motion.

If you want to stand any hope to succeed in the markets, you will need to change how you think and feel about yourself in the context of trading.

Most traders know that there is something wrong, but they don’t know how to fix it. They think they feel bad because they had a bad trade. But I would argue that they have ‘bad’ trades because they feel bad to begin with.

Of course, this is not a very popular approach, it is so much cooler to talk about behavioural finance, and neuro science and the latest research in how traders have similar behavioural trades like rats.

For me, there are three pillars to trading success: Trading psychology (who you are being), Trading Performance (what you are doing) and Behavioural Finance (how you are thinking).

Trading is a path of personal discovery. Like any performance sport it is a path to truly understand who you really are and who you have to become in order to achieve your trading goals and dreams.

I hope this is useful.

With a toast to your trading profits