No matter the kind of trader, or their level of success, everyone gets up in the morning and puts their pants on one leg at a time. They read the same news, have access to the same strategies, and trade the same stocks. So what makes one trader more successful than another? What gives anyone an advantage in today’s world?
I would argue that the biggest difference between traders is their mindset. Nothing will separate you from the pack faster than having your head in the right place, and it will always give you an advantage over the majority of people who are mentally hanging on for dear life.
To have a winning mindset, you need to focus on four key elements:
- Positive Outlook
- Foundational Relationships
- Stress Management
- Emotional Control
All of these are critical to success, but I will focus on positive outlook in today’s post.
What is a positive outlook? It’s more than just ‘Look on the bright side!’ It’s a frame of mind that puts you in control. This is critical, because when you feel overwhelmed or unable to be effective, it is impossible to be positive about much of anything. Here are a few ways that you can take control of your own positive outlook.
- Start each day by thinking about your strengths. What are you good at? Are you a wizard when it comes to chart analysis? Do you have a keen eye for tech start-ups? Overcome frustration by spending time thinking about what sets you apart from everyone else.
- Don’t just set goals, reward yourself for achieving them. Steve is big on following a trading plan, and so am I. But don’t take it for granted that your mind will automatically follow the rules. For some people, following a plan is easy, but for others, it is a daily struggle. If you find yourself getting annoyed when you have a strategic misstep, make a mental note to reward yourself when you do successfully follow your plan.
- Be aware of your feelings. When you are miserable doing something during the day, make note of it. When you are happy, make a note of that, too. By observing patterns in your own behavior, you will be able to gravitate more towards the things you enjoy. Maybe your trading time frame needs an adjustment, or you need to find a better support system.
- At the end of the day, take time to reflect on the day’s events. Slowly, and without judgement, play through what happened during the day. Find something negative that you think you could turn into something positive and make a mental note of that.
- And finally, practice relaxing. I say practice, because for most of us, this does require some work. It’s difficult to unplug, breathe, and clear your mind. I once had a meditation client who, when told that I recommended a ten minute meditation session every night, he exclaimed, “Ten minutes!! Who has that kind of time?!” It doesn’t have to be meditation; it can be reading a book, petting a cat, or anything else that lowers your heart rate and brings you joy.
By cultivating a positive outlook, you will inevitably draw positive things into your life, and increase your odds of success. You will attract the best people and be presented with great opportunities. Positivity attracts positivity, and negativity attracts negativity. Which will you choose?
For those of you unfamiliar with my wife, in addition to being a web developer and professional writer, she has also been a licensed massage therapist, stress management consultant, and meditation instructor for more than ten years. Since entering my world, she has witnessed many traders affected by the same issues that she has helped professional athletes, performers, and other business professionals overcome. I’m happy she will be sharing her thoughts with us here at New Trader U. She is on twitter as @HollyAnnBurns.