Traders I have observed over the years who have had consistent success exhibit three important qualities:
1) They trade in repetitive processes, so their trades are planned rather than reactive. They have clear, structured ways of generating ideas, and they have clear, structured ways of finding the optimal expression for their ideas; Determine the size of positions based on these expressions; And manage the risks of those transactions. What we do repeatedly becomes relatively automatic: it becomes part of us. A great way to reduce emotional and reactive trading is to follow well-defined trading practices. If we can record what we do as a set of rules, we have the necessary checklist that can guide our decision-making in the heat of the moment. A big part of developing as a trader is finding coaches/mentors who can guide you in discovering the trading processes that are most suitable for you. What are your personality strengths? Your cognitive strengths? This will help you determine how to generate ideas and manage deals based on those ideas. Ideally, the rules and practices that make up planned trading are derived from your own trading successes, not simply borrowed from others.
2) They are always looking for new ways to win. Think of a basketball team. They practice a combination of offensive plays and defensive alignments. They may run the ball against one opponent. They may move from zone defense to man-to-man. A big part of coaching is helping the team adapt what they do best to exploit the opposition's weaknesses. Likewise, markets are constantly changing and the drivers of market behavior change over time. The best traders improve. The goal is not simply to find an “edge” for trading, but to exploit the ever-changing edges in dynamic markets. The best traders will explore and research, just like any successful company conducts research and development to meet changing market needs. Successful traders will push their comfort zone and look for advantages on unfamiliar time frames, markets and strategies. If we don't challenge and scare ourselves regularly, we don't grow.
3) They achieve work-life balance. Over the years, I have seen many successful traders feel burned out. Their exhaustion is not necessarily limited to their trade; Sometimes they explode in their relationships or in their physical health. It is romantic to think of work as our passion and to engage day and night in our pursuit of success, but that is not what makes a career sustainable and successful. The goal is to create a lifestyle that maintains energy and passion over time. This lifestyle typically includes activities related to physical health and the emotional well-being of relationships. It is not clear to me that we can maintain our love of markets and trading if we cannot maintain love in our lives. It is not clear that we can maintain our energy and passion for trading if we cannot maintain physical energy in our lives. An Olympic athlete knows the importance of staying at peak conditioning as part of training and preparing for success. Each of us needs to find a peak conditioning in our lives that can sustain our best efforts in the markets.
Approaching our trading the right way is the best way to develop positive trading psychology. It doesn't mean that you will magically trade better if you are in a better frame of mind. Instead, you will be in your ideal mindset when you approach trading the right way.
Develop routines based on your strengths. Push the boundaries to find new opportunity. Live a full life that increases your energy and mentality. Identify what you're doing that's really great and build on it. You are not meant to live an average life. Have the necessary vision for the dream and the practical sense to achieve this dream step by step.