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A TopStepTrader's Humble-Pie-Way: A TST Combine Journal of iqgod's "Take 2"
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A TopStepTrader's Humble-Pie-Way: A TST Combine Journal of iqgod's "Take 2"

  #101 (permalink)
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iqgod View Post
A trader hopes for the best but prepares for the worst. If you haven't done exercises to prepare for the worst, then doing a combine is not auto-magically going to make you a better trader. Nothing can help a trader if he doesn't have a firm base to build upon.

BUT... if the mental toughness has been gathered, the willingness to work hard and long and without remuneration (initially) is all okay then the freedom of becoming a trader is worth all of the above.

And finally what exactly did the combine do to my mental state?
Answer: Combines are powerless creatures, the person who inflicts damage is the trader. I am my own worst enemy. So instead of trading well I concentrated on statistics and thus instead of process goals I focused on statistics improvement goals - an important lesson re-learnt today.

Brilliant journaling, IMHO. This is the sort of documentation that gives you concrete stuff to work on. You've documented demons that haunt most traders at some point, and some traders until they give up. Overcoming these habits isn't easy, but you're "talking out loud" and the statistical/rational part of your brain that knows exactly what to do when NOT in the heat of battle will at least be imprinting important rules onto the emotion-driven part that sabotages successful outcomes.

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  #102 (permalink)
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Combine Plan: Part I: Section 5

Combine Plan

Part I


Section 5


SELF REGULATION


Myself

- My self esteem is not dependent on the results of any given trade or any one day of trading.

- I am more than my trading because of many things:
--- I love playing the guitar, writing, cooking, doing chores, travelling, photography, singing, eating gourmet food.
--- I especially love playing with my kids and doing things for them, and raising them well rather than lavishly.
--- I do not say 'I am a trader' because I am other things too. So 'I trade to make money' it is not who I am.
--- I am however proud of my trading - my actions add liquidity to a free market. I perceive myself as adding value.

Harmony

A Design of Steps Necessary to Stay in Balance

NOTE: These MUST NOT be solely on paper to look nice in a plan.

I commit myself to doing the steps outlined below to stay in balance.


[TODO: Add here in tabular format - step and the goal it is intented for]
_________

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  #103 (permalink)
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Combine Plan: Part I: Section 5.1


Combine Plan

Part I


Section 5


SELF REGULATION


Section 5.1 - Process Goals for Detaching Myself from a Trade

- My self esteem is not dependent on the results of any given trade or any one day of trading.

- I need to reexamine my perspective before taking a trade by placing myself into the counterparty's shoes - why would someone go long here if I am going short?

- I have it as a process goal - not becoming attached to a single trade.

Detachment

A Design of Steps Necessary to Stay Detached

NOTE: These MUST NOT be solely on paper to look nice in a plan.

I commit myself to doing the steps outlined below to stay detached.

- I have an internal 'mentor' - he is imagined vividly and is almost a real person - a conglomeration of Dr.Brooks, @DbPhoenix, @Big Mike, and too many other persons who have been an influence on my trading development.

- I am susceptible to making my ego triumph in the moment. I have a sore unstable ego and it attaches importance to every trade being a winner. Here I need to remind myself that I am NOT trading to prove my worth or my capabilities.

- I also need to remind myself that the moment I lay too much importance on this trade then if it goes on to become a loser then it will bring my self esteem to an even lower state! This usually works.

- If I find myself hesitating and my 'mentor' mind recognizes that it is due to the ego fearing a loss rather than because it is an invalid trade then I am indulging in 'self-disesteem' which is more a threat to my ego since it means a 'I can't do it!' I thus trick my ego!

- I appreciate myself and recognize what I do right and be easy on myself when I do things wrong, all the while as I improve.

- I need to work harder to deal with my over-anxious nature. I imagine that what I worry about has happened properly and congratulate myself for dealing with the event properly. I visualize positively instead of visualizing getting stopped out of the trade.

All the above are concrete steps that help me detach from results of a single trade.

Importantly, I need to never focus on the money goals - the single focus point is trading well by being detached from a single trade, any single trading day or a drawdown period and instead I visualize a steadily rising equity curve.

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  #104 (permalink)
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iqgod,

Reading through your thread I want to congratulate you and encourage you to keep up the motivation and work you are clearly demonstrating throughout your posts.

But, I do want to ask you one thing, that I have asked myself multiple times:

"Am I over-complicating things?"

Plans and ideas are great (and necessary) but its the implementation is what matters.

I look forward to reading more posts from you, and following your journey.

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  #105 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting your plan.

One part of my plan that has helped me big time is:

HAVE FUN TRADING!

The ego is super-serious and turns everything into life/death struggle. I personally don't want to live like that. If I'm not enjoying myself, I don't wanna do it.

Having fun is one of my most important process goals. Psychology can easily make or break one's success.

"...the degree to which you think you know, assume you know, or in any way need to know what is going to happen next, is equal to the degree to which you will fail as a trader." - Mark Douglas
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  #106 (permalink)
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Anagami View Post
Thanks for posting your plan.

One part of my plan that has helped me big time is:

HAVE FUN TRADING!

The ego is super-serious and turns everything into life/death struggle. I personally don't want to live like that. If I'm not enjoying myself, I don't wanna do it.

Having fun is one of my most important process goals. Psychology can easily make or break one's success.

Thanks for that!

I'll make sure to paste it on the top strip of my monitor.

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  #107 (permalink)
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Day 15: Official Daily Trade Report from TopStepTrader

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  #108 (permalink)
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Would like to hear you comment on the last couple of days... that's where the value lies.

"...the degree to which you think you know, assume you know, or in any way need to know what is going to happen next, is equal to the degree to which you will fail as a trader." - Mark Douglas
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  #109 (permalink)
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The Smell of Sabotage


Anagami View Post
the last couple of days...

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

What a joke I am (jest)!

The moment I get into high gear and start with the calm and confidence, am actually flowing with the market that something happens..... a flick off the fingers.... S N A P.

Something in my mind causes me to get
- bored
- casual

I am not a confident daredevil.
Not a fearful twitchy fingered scalper.

But a bored trader. Even though I am trading well. (and then as I gently realize that good trading is so boring, so run-of-mill than a regular 'exciting' day job with colleagues, water coolers, competition, merit outsmarting politics, the joy of your actions that are creating something that will help someone).... however I really know what I say is bull shit. THERE IS NO PLACE IN THE WORLD LIKE TRADING. Boring or otherwise.

So even when I know I am in the flow - A PART OF ME TRIES BEST TO SABOTAGE THE ROCK SOLID FOUNDATION I'VE BUILT. It tries to get some bloody excitement into my trading. Like excitement of bad trading. Excitement of making myself unavailable for the best and most liquid times of the day. Then the excitement of feeling frustration over missing the moves I had been really waiting for all day.

And to make the joke complete - Plato's ghost haunts me - what will you do with all this money once you have it?


So I have not posted, but have rather tried to analyze where these thoughts are coming from.

I have found the answers deep inside. There is an other part to me.

Deep inside I feel safe as a loser.
As a conformist middle class yes man.
I find that mediocrity liberates me and keeps me 'stress free'.

By not trying I take away the right of demons to haunt me.

But even then the supreme being inside me (who is inside everybody) is finally talking these days... though in a subdued voice... it tells me that I must complete this journey.

Now that I've spit out my worst loser attitudes out for all to see I no longer feel ashamed and depressed.

I am now on guard about this other part.

In fact I realize and acknowledge these thoughts for what they are. Simply demons that must be ushered back to the mindless ether that exists between the purposeful neurons of my brain. The Bye bye has started already with this post.

I must establish a baseline in my trading that is built upon the foundation of hard work and study I have managed to build till now.

I MUST continue to grow.

This struggle is not a simple one mainly because trading requires a person to go against every fibre of 'being human' whatever that means to each of us. It is a constant upstream struggle against being human. It is simple but far from easy.

However I see my trading journey perfectly now.

What I want from it.

What I will need to do exactly.

What do I exactly want to achieve.

What I see is what I get.

In trading the correct belief system is the ultimate edge.

I am currently so deep inside that it is difficult for me to emerge and throw out bits of what I am digging up. Some are ugly and need to be hidden. Some are ugly and need to see the light of the day which will melt them and they will slither away from my life as if they never existed.

Sorry for sounding so cryptic but the mish mash of frequencies I am trying to tune to to find a perfect one leaves me the speechless equivalent of a blog.

You many check out however my other blog post where I risked real money in the Indian markets and exited the loser at 1% of my risk capital - it was an imperfect trade that still smells of too early an entry, which caused the loss at the exact extreme when the market was about to reverse. It was a great learning experience for me.


I will continue posting parts of my plan - however this deep contemplation needs to be converted to an actionable set of steps first.

A trading plan is simply a narrow rope bridge that outlines the way to build a rope bridge over a river of lava (market) - the ways to avoid taking that tiny step, where to keep looking (forward) and studying the river for the narrowest places to cross over (technical analysis, tape reading). When a plan does not provide a wayfarer who leans over and tries to fathom the river by staring at the hot lava (which is a metaphor for taking huge losses and expecting it to be a learning experience) is the necessary mental toughness and aptitude that are assumed to be 'givens'. The wayfarer thus has to sit on the rocking rope bridge right in the middle of the fumes and move further only till he has mustered up enough courage, sense of direction, and faith in himself. However, like in all journeys and so in a combine, the rope is fraying (combine time ending?) with every rocking of the bridge and there is a danger of total collapse if he does not hurry up the process of getting up, wiping off the dust and proceeding on the treacherous path. If instead he chooses in his remaining moments to scurry over in a haphazard manner with scant regards to the strength of the structure the fall is inevitable. So he must always remember that success is within him and the rope bridge is only a means of getting over.


Last edited by iqgod; April 23rd, 2013 at 04:22 AM.
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Your words, spoken or written, are very powerful. You need to be more mindful of what you are confessing about yourself!

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