Ever been watching your charts and sense this increasing feeling of annoyance that perhaps builds to irritation and maybe even anger because things just aren't going the way you had planned or the way that you want them to? Frustration is a common response when we experience resistance or opposition to what we are trying to achieve.
For the past few weeks the market has been diligently working on trying to provoke my Frustration Monkey. The character of the market has changed such that the setups I normally use are not showing up nearly as often and when they do show, they have not been giving me the entries to join in on the move.
Since I know the conditions my trade setups work best in, early on it was easy to calm down my Frustration Monkey by pointing to my stats and reassuring him that everything was still well within the acceptable parameters that I track my trading business against. He checked out the numbers, shrugged and shuffled off content for that moment, but the drift has been continuing and my Frustration Monkey has been acting up again.
A fairly common response to this situation that I often hear from traders is “this setup doesn’t work and I need to find a different one”, or “maybe I should be using a different timeframe”, or “the market just doesn’t work the same way anymore". A good first step is to check in with your Control Monkey and find out if they’ve been recruited to join the rant by Frustration Monkey.
So that’s what I did, I checked in with Control Monkey and found him peacefully sleeping in the corner so I set to work on understanding what Frustration Monkey is trying to show me by digging deeper into the metrics that I keep on my trades and for my business. Having metrics and a process to analyze both my overall trading business and my trade setups is a handy tool that helps me assess if this is just a phase of the market that I need to wait out, or if something has changed and I need to adapt. Going through this process of analysis has kept my Frustration Monkey calm, it has reinforced the strong areas of my trade methodology and has highlighted some potential additions I can consider that can bring my overall stats back in line towards meeting my goals.
When your Frustration Monkey starts to stir and bring up feelings of annoyance, take note of your immediate thoughts. Are they being directed towards a focus that is outside of your control? If they are, have a conversation with Control Monkey. If not, use the tools you have to assess what it is you need to learn from your Frustration Monkey … your trading will thank you.
by Cindy Ryland - Trader | Mentor | Coach