(A very helpful trading article from Mr.Joe Ross. He is a well known trading guru who changed my trading life. http://www.tradingeducators.com)
OUR OWN WORST ENEMY
As traders, we are often our own worst enemies. Although some people have an unconscious desire to fail, most of us want to succeed. Despite a strong desire for achievement, however, we often underestimate the difficulty of trading. We think it is easier to make profitable trades than it actually is, and we end up making unnecessary trading errors and thwarting our own efforts. But there’s a simple solution. You can become aware of how you sabotage your efforts and make sure that you don’t fall prey to these common ways of interfering with your own success.
First, try to hold realistic expectations. Many novice traders set expectations that are just too high. They set themselves up for failure by trying to trade beyond their skill level or expecting outcomes that are virtually impossible to achieve. When you push yourself beyond your comfort zone, or beyond your skill level, you tend to become so stressed that you feel anxious, ill at ease, and frustrated. You then start making trading errors that hamper even the best-laid plans.
Second, don’t try to be superhuman. Indeed, you are merely human. The human mind and body has limited energy. Trading is physically, intellectually, and emotionally demanding. You wouldn’t enter a triathlon without proper mental and physical preparation, so why trade when you are not physically and mentally prepared? You must be rested, relaxed, and ready for action. If you don’t get enough sleep, for example, it will be difficult for you to control your emotions and to concentrate. Make sure that you get plenty of sleep, good nutrition, and exercise. In addition, don’t overwork. It will eventually catch up with you. By pacing yourself as if you were running a marathon, you can meet the physical and mental challenges of trading.
Third, don’t think you are bigger than the markets. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you have complete control of your destiny. Indeed, you are a slave to fate just like everyone else. Work around it. Don’t try to control it. You don’t need to be in complete control. You can manage risk to cope with uncertainty. If you know that relatively little is on the line, you’ll trade more calmly and be ready to accept what the markets have to offer at any particular time. Just as you wouldn’t try to fight nature, you must see what the “weather” is like out there and conform to market conditions. Be humble and accept what you can get. You’re not as omnipotent as you wish you were.
Finally, don’t trade by the seat of your pants.