How to be a profitable trader without nervous breakdowns? Why do former traders have panic attacks? Why are we afraid of losses? How to switch to the category of professional traders without turning gray?
Most traders know that the psychology of trading is the most important part of the puzzle. In search of an answer to the question “how to become a profitable trader,” you will surely run into your own psychology. However, most traders in every possible way avoid working on themselves. Understanding of the need comes later, with time.
However, you have to pay for this understanding not only with lost time but also with your own money and nerves. For some, the price is so high that the fact of awareness does not solve anything. No money, no strength to return to the market and continue the process of professional development no longer exists. I had to pay too much for understanding.
HARD TO PENETRATE YOUR MIND
If a trading strategy and a trading system can be drawn (represented graphically), described on paper and displayed in the form of indicators, then this option will not work with psychology. And to work on errors in psychology is much more difficult. Screenshots of transactions can be saved, and then to make mistakes made when opening positions. And how to take screenshots of your thinking at this moment?
Own mind is much more difficult to analyze independently, and therefore it is much more difficult to develop.
However, not everything is so bad. There are some specific steps you can take to improve your reaction to market actions and strengthen your trading psychology.
CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE
When people take their first steps in exchange trading, they have absolutely no experience to compare. They simply have nothing to compare with what they encounter while trading in the market. Naturally, the brain begins to actively learn, to accumulate the experience he needs, but he does it based on his usual tasks.
Its main task is to preserve our lives and ensure psychological well-being. At any price. As soon as you start trading, you begin to lose money. You are in pain. The brain records these experiences and emotions. He begins to build a causal relationship. He begins with an old habit to predict the future based on past experience.
Since for most novice traders, the first experience is very sad, the brain begins to associate trading with pain. That is why it happens that after a while a novice trader can experience not just unpleasant emotions when looking at charts, but also experience full-fledged panic attacks.
Moreover, all these thoughts and experiences arise on an unconscious level, and you can’t even understand what is happening until someone explains what is happening to you, or you yourself finally establish a connection with one another. Unfortunately, this process can take years. It is very difficult to establish this connection yourself. When understanding comes, it is too late. No, no tragedy will happen, just you can completely lose heart and be disappointed in your abilities.
An example is a situation with one of my familiar traders. He felt such a strong inner concern about his capabilities that he could not start trading. At the same time, he acted according to the same scheme. He opened a trading account, got money into it, then closed it, and withdrew the funds. He explained this by the fact that he did not like the trading conditions that this broker provided specifically.
When I asked why the conditions were suitable for him when opening an account, he referred to his carelessness and said that he had not studied everything in sufficient detail. Thus, on the one hand, he created the illusion of willingness to trade, and on the other, his brain simply built a strategy for avoiding pain. He did not understand why he behaved this way until he overcame his fear and was unable to analyze his behavior.
This is very similar to the behavior of people who have suffered psychological trauma in the past and who avoid consciously or subconsciously actions that could potentially lead to a repetition of negative experiences.
GAINING NEW EXPERIENCE
I had to meet very often with traders who were afraid of the market at a subconscious level. The best, and perhaps the only way to deal with this problem is to decide on actions. You need to reprogram your brain and build new cause and effect relationships. For this, you need to fundamentally change your attitude towards the market.
The market is not a territory of danger. There is nothing in the market and no one is threatening. In fact, the market is completely neutral, and it does not bother what you do or how you react to it. He has no ulterior motives or plans against you personally. Everything that you ascribe to him exists only in your imagination.
You can get used to the market gradually. Starting to trade with the smallest volumes. So you teach your brain not to be afraid and not to experience severe pain with loss. Little by little, so you start trading without much risk. Your mind will begin to react to the market neutrally, without perceiving it as an aggressive environment. You will always have time to increase the position volume. This is much simpler than learning how to trade stably.
From a psychological point of view, for some people, losing money can be extremely painful, even traumatic. These experiences become similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. The only way to deal with this is to gradually retrain the brain. This method is called exposure therapy.
He has proven himself well when working with combatants or during various phobias, for example, with fear of spiders. For some people, the loss of a large sum of money, a “merged” deposit can be as traumatic an event as a physical injury. The gradual impact of exposure therapy will help such people return to trading.
PEOPLE ARE MADE TO LOSE MONEY.
Another complex psychological problem that I often have to work with is based on simple principles of human nature. All of us, from birth, are brought up according to completely understandable schemes. When we do something right, we are encouraged, when we are wrong, we are punished. From early childhood, at school, university and at work. The scheme does not change. For us, it is natural and understandable.
This scheme perfectly helps us to socialize in society, but it is completely inapplicable in the market. This does not work here. If you did everything right, that is, in accordance with the trading system and strategy, but the market went against the position, then your mind is confused. It forces you to maintain a losing position in the hope that the market will return. After all, you did everything right. So, you are worthy of a reward and you just need to wait for it, and it will certainly be. After all, it has always been so.
If the price really comes back, then it becomes obvious to the trader that he made the right decision, and therefore he is a good trader. And vice versa, being in a winning position, many traders quickly take profits in order to feel the correctness of the decision made and receive a reward.
In both cases, the emphasis is on the correctness of actions or on the desire to be right. Unfortunately, trading has nothing to do with correctness. Most professional traders are right in their estimates of less than 50% of cases. Profitable trading is based on the ability to quickly eliminate unprofitable transactions while maintaining those that will bring profit.
But in order to learn this, you need to have a very plastic mind. Able to quickly adapt to changing market conditions. And this plasticity of thinking is also possible and necessary to learn. Own rightness is the last thing professional traders worry about.
Rightness and earnings in the market are not related to each other.
The two problems that were discussed in this article are some of the main psychological problems of novice traders. In working on them, first of all, you need to recognize and internally accept their presence. Sometimes only the solutions to these two problems are already enough to start earning trading. What I sincerely wish you!