Why do some traders not improve?
I recently sat down for an awesome introductory session with a prospective student. He asked me a simple question, “Why do traders not seek improvement?” He was asking why so many day traders were unsuccessful. His thesis was simple, that if you are not improving or a profitable trader, why would you remain in place and essentially change nothing? Well in my gregarious way I tied it into many things, but I settled on a one word answer: ego.
Ego prevents many traders from achieving their potential. Ego denies humility and open-mindedness while allowing a festering attitude of blame, shift, and false confidence. I realized this during trading when things went very bad very quickly. After ignoring all but two rules resulting in a huge loss, I had to log the experience. When I talked it over with the other coaches I came to an inconvenient truth. MY mindset was off. MY attitude was off. MY ego had blocked me from accepting a small loss in the hopes that “it will turn around any second”. This recipe for disaster was nipped in the bud. The key to getting over it was unfortunately a big loss in the live market, something my ego could not ignore. Pain retains and when disaster strikes you as a trader need to look at all factors.
So I am giving you a homework assignment. The next time a trade goes poorly or you have a bad day, look at yourself first and ask the hard questions. Did you stick to your rules and the training? Take responsibility and seek responsibility. What I love about these articles and this community is that these lessons are not limited to trading. They apply to life, and my trading has benefited from a dose of humility and my marriage has benefited greatly.