Where is your focus? On failing? Or on what is necessary for your success?
Yesterday I outlined my roadmap for the trading day as I normally do and then patiently waited for the price to come to one of my levels. It approached one and I took my entry, getting long at what turned out to be 0.75 points above the low of the day. I followed my methodology to manage my risk, aka “getting protected”, and then evaluated where the ultimate target for the trade could be using the guidelines of my methodology. My members have the opportunity to look over my shoulder while I’m trading and while chatting about the choices I had for placing the final target and the information I was watching for the market to provide me, a new SMARTee commented “I would just take the $300” which gave me a great opening to discuss a point I believe is important to consider if you truly want to find success in trading.
My response to that comment was “If you focus on the money, you will fail as a trader”. This is a conversation I have often as I’m coaching and it is a deeply held belief I have. In fact, it is so deeply held that I believe anytime focus is placed on the outcome rather than on the process and the activities needed to get us to the outcome, we are in fact focusing on failing.
As an example, when you get in your car to drive to the store do you place all of your focus on the store and make every decision based only on the store? I know, right now you are probably rolling your eyes at me and thinking “of course not, I can’t even see the store, I focus on the next turn, and avoiding the car that just cut me off, on slowing down for the pedestrian crossing the street and what route I need to take now since I just saw a detour sign”. EXACTLY … successfully getting to the store is achieved by focusing on the process of getting to the store, the tasks we must do in the moment that make up the process and adapting in real time when obstacles we weren't expecting appear. When we do those tasks well, then we achieve the outcome of getting to the store. Now most of us don’t think about driving to the store this way anymore. We learned the theory of driving long ago and we have spent countless hours practicing and improving this skill so it has become natural and habitual to us.
Now, since we already know that we are capable of learning a complex skill like driving, practicing it and demonstrating that we can consistently follow the process to successfully arrive at the store multiple times in all kinds of different conditions, then we can believe that we can learn the complex skill of trading successfully, of reading the market, learning a trade setup, practicing it and demonstrating that we can consistently follow a trading methodology in all kinds of different market conditions to achieve success. The outcome of doing this will be money in our accounts.
If you don’t relate to this example of driving to the store, then think of one that does fit for you because having an example like this that we can easily connect to can be used to increase our confidence and remind us that we are capable of focusing on what is necessary for our success.
So I challenge you to focus on the process of success … your trading will thank you.
by Cindy Ryland - Trader | Mentor | Coach