The best traders can put on a trade without the slightest bit of hesitation or conflict, and just as freely and without hesitation or conflict, admit it isn't working. They can get out of the trade -- even with a loss -- and doing so doesn't resonate the slightest bit of emotional discomfort. In other words, the risks inherent in trading do not cause the best traders to lose their discipline, focus, or sense of confidence. If you are unable to trade without the slightest bit of emotional discomfort (specifically, fear), then you have not learned how to accept the risks inherent in trading. This is a big problem, because to whatever degree you haven't accepted the risk, is the same degree to which you will avoid the risk. Trying to avoid something that is unavoidable will have disastrous effects on your ability to trade successfully.
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“In the process of maturing and accepting the norms and laws of a society, the modern person ventures very far from his/her natural and healthy state, typically present only in early childhood. This ‘departure’ has to do with the clogging of the body and psyche - fears, tensions, and cramps of all kinds. For only through a system of bans and limitations enforced by fear of punishment does the average person get prepared for life within a society. This is not a value judgement but a statement of fact. We tend to live like this … stumbling through life ‘skewed’. We come to SYSTEMA like this … all of these limits, fears, and tensions preventing our body and psyche from adequately reacting to external stimuli, and get in the way of well-being. These limitations must be eliminated first.”
SYSTEMA Manual - by Major Konstantin Komarov
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Certainly one could argue that some traders lose because they don't understand enough about the markets and therefore they usually pick the wrong trades. As reasonable as this may sound, it has been my experience that traders with losing attitudes pick the wrong trades regardless of how much they know about the markets. In any case, the result is the same -- they lose. On the other hand, traders with winning attitudes who know virtually nothing about the markets can pick winners; and if they know a lot about the markets, they can pick even more winners.
If you want to change your experience of the markets from fearful to confident, if you want to change your results from an erratic equity curve to a steadily rising one, the first step is to embrace the responsibility and stop expecting the market to give you anything or do anything for you. If you resolve from this point forward to do it all yourself, the market can no longer be your opponent. If you stop fighting the market, which in effect means you stop fighting yourself, you'll be amazed at how quickly you will recognize exactly what you need to learn, and how quickly you will learn it. Taking responsibility is the cornerstone of a winning attitude.
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