Making Winning a Habit

I have reference many times my travails early on in my trading career whereby fear caused me to expect a loss – completely manifested as the result of my bad habits. How was I eventually able to overcome and change?

Think about some of your own bad habits – especially the behaviors that create the internal dialogue “I know better” or “I’ll never do that again!” The problem is that most of the time your internal dialogue is not supportive of your desired outcome. In order to change those bad habits and behaviors, you must commit to change them.

Commitment – that is the key word. Most traders think they are committed. They spend hours studying charts, asking every question under the sun, and trying to nail down some form of certainty to overcome their fears. However, they are always looking for some external resource to solve their problems.

The commitment that is most vital is the commitment to look inward; to explore the psychology of why you are fearful, why you repeat the same mistakes while knowing they are sabotaging your success.

We know that we must build a belief in our trading plan and trading system. With that we must also build trust in ourselves. That trust comes from having realistic expectations, understanding time is required to become an expert, and working smart.

Happily, I get many emails from traders telling me they are now starting to get it. They are beginning to see the light – working through their psychological challenges. The single greatest revelation is that they all have calmed down and redirected their focus on the process. This is the beginning of positive change. The process as outlined through complete Trade Plan Development is the road map to success. In short, process will lead to profits.

The other great discovery is that they now know they can not trade $500.00 into $1 million. They are no longer counting on pipe dreams and wishes. They are treating their trading as a business, allocating appropriate capital and applying sound principles to their money management. They are developing the patience to seek and execute the best trade signals; following their trade plan and rules.

These are the signs of true commitment; of professionals – and real professionals make money. These milestones build confidence and self-trust.

Now, what once seemed impossible becomes a good habit – a winning habit. The defining moment is when you realize that winning is really not difficult at all. In fact, you will expect it!

So many traders are mystified and curious – somehow still assuming that I am afraid or reluctant to post losing trades. But at this stage of my trading, I just don’t have that many. I have tried to illustrate how winning is possible using thorough preparation; Top Down Analysis, market structure, valid signal choices, patience, discipline and not over trading – all learnable skills! But all skills that required a true commitment on my part!

Remember in My Story that I emphasized that I had to work on me. That’s when things began to change for the better.

My habits changed, from fearful to controlled. I stopped acting like a loser and began acting like a winner- a professional. From there, it became more fluid and simple.

Winning became a habit.

If you don’t have the fortitude or the heart to make the commitment, you are going to struggle. If you do, you will struggle at the outset, but will eventually be successful.

The fact is that most people simply do not want to expend the effort or energy to do what it takes – at anything. That’s really great for those of us who do.

Remember to make an honest assessment of what you are doing and why. Make the commitment to change and follow the process. You will soon find winning the norm, not the exception.

“Long-lasting change that will help you create new habits and actions requires an inside-out approach, as well as two very important tools: the mirror and time.” Darren L. Johnson


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