Trading Educators Blog
There has been great interest in the markets lately, so there's no reason that you shouldn't take home huge profits, right? Although many traders profit, there are some who still can't seem to make a profit, even during relatively good times like these. Let's consider some of the psychological impediments that may limit success.
The most obvious reason for an inability to win is a lack of experience with the markets. Trading is a skill that cannot be mastered overnight. Sure, you can make a few winning trades, but taking out profits day in and day out takes experience and practice. Many novice traders suffer from the double-edged sword of incompetence. That is, they are incompetent but don't know it. The reason can be simple: They don't put in enough time and effort. Many traders think they have more skills than they actually do, and similarly, they falsely believe that they put in as much time and effort as everyone else, yet if they were to look at what a skilled winning trader actually does, they would find that winning traders put in at least twice as much effort as one would think. In addition, winning traders use their time wisely, and because they have more experience, they can read reports faster, know precisely where to look for information when evaluating their trading plan, and have a more astute sense of the markets.
A second reason that traders fail is that they set themselves up to fail. Some traders actually fear success. This is not true of all traders, though. In one survey of traders, it was found that relatively few traders had a fear of success. For example, only 12% thought that if they made huge profits that others would try to take advantage of them, and similarly, only 10% indicated that they thought that if they were successful traders, their lives would change in adverse ways. That said, those who feared success tended to feel stressed by trading and generally felt disappointed and upset. Some people secretly believe that money is the root of all evil or that they are not deserving of making huge profits. If you secretly fear success, you will find that even during optimal market conditions, you will not feel good about winning and may unconsciously sabotage your efforts. Some traders are not sure that trading isn't gambling, and so they feel guilty about winning.
Traders are also their own worst enemy when they trade when worn out and tired. Trading uses up limited mental energy, even when you are winning. The emotional ups and downs can take a toll on your body and mind. It's vital to get plenty of rest while you are trading. Don't force yourself to trade like a robot or superhuman. You are not. You need rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. When you are tired and hungry, you are bound to act on impulse while trading. It's an unnecessary way to make errors, however. All you need to do is get proper rest, so you might as well rest up when you need to. Many traders sabotage their own efforts either consciously or unconsciously. But most of the time, you can gain awareness, overcome psychological obstacles and trade with a mental edge. It just takes commitment, planning, and effort.