Top 10 Trading Skills To Fall Back On
This month started like any other month. You sat down to place a trade, followed your system rules with care, and waited. The trade lost. You shrug and move on. Sometimes you lose—that is expected. You place another trade and wait … You lose. Okay, maybe this is just a fluke, so you keep moving forward …
At the end of the month, you feel like you are spinning out of control. Your usual win percentage is around 81%, but this month it has been closer to 30%. You are looking at serious drawdown in your account, and you have no idea what is happening or why. Your rules are no longer working, and you are outside of any previous losing streak you could have expected in the past. Worst of all, the charts are starting to look alien. They no longer make sense to you. You used to be able to read the market like a book. Now you feel like you are reading a foreign language.
Taking a fall like this can be utterly crippling to your self-confidence, and it can make you wonder whether you are losing everything you have fought so hard to build for yourself. Falls like these can and do happen in business however. If you have yet to face a hurdle like this one, you may think you can just avoid it by choosing a business where you will not have to worry about it. Maybe trading just is not for you.
But that is not the right approach. Worse, it ignores the reality of what it means to really become an expert at anything. You are only an expert when you have faced one of these terrifying situations that require you to take your skills to the next level and adapt. True expert level skills are not fixed and unyielding, like hard stone. They are like water, flowing and alive, growing and evolving.
I think one of the scariest things about times like these is that you feel like you are going back to square one. You feel you have to start all over, like all your progress is being reversed, and all your hard work is being undone. That is an utterly crushing and terrifying experience. There is no wonder that it is enough to push a lot of binary traders right out of the field and send them scurrying back to their day jobs.
But there really is no such thing as “square one.” Even though your situation has changed, and you may feel like you are now at the starting mark again, you have changed too, and that is something that cannot be undone by a shift in your circumstances.
10 skills and abilities you always can take with you
Remember at the beginning when you didn’t know High from Low and you had no idea how to calculate your trade size and you had no idea what a financial report was or a bullish outside bar? Those basics are solid now and you will never have to relearn them.
Your knowledge of technical or fundamental analysis or price action
Now you do know what a bullish outside bar is … or the difference between a simple and an exponential moving average … or how interest rates and currency values affect each other. Whatever type of analysis you have focused on learning and developing an advanced understanding of, you have all of that knowledge on your side going forward. These tools are all still useful, you just need to figure out how to adjust the way you are using them to the new market conditions.
This is a skill you may feel like you have lost if you suddenly stop understanding the charts in front of you, but really, you still know what you are doing—you just need to build off of it. You know for example that the character of the market has changed. You can see that, you just do not know yet what it means. It is not that the language in front of you has changed, it is just that now you realize it is a larger language than you thought. It is time to expand your vocabulary, that’s all.
Your trading method
This is something else you may feel tempted to just throw away, but that would be a big mistake. That your method has been working well to date and now is no longer performing as you expect it to does not mean that your system is useless. Again, it is just a question of why it is no longer performing as expected.
Instead of throwing out the knowledge you have developed by crafting your system, it is time to grow your knowledge of your system! Your system probably still can work—you just need to either shift to a market behaving in a more familiar manner, or you need to understand what has changed in the market. Once you do, you can adjust your system accordingly to compensate for the changes.
Over the years, you hopefully have cultivated some friendships in the field, and gotten to know some of your fellow traders. You now know where the best resources are online, where you can post charts to get help, and which experts are willing to lend a hand. When you first started, you did not have that community on your side, because you did not know where to find them! Now you do, so make the best of that. Those connections are solid gold, and the dividends they pay out can be enormous, especially at times like these.
Experience overcoming past hurdles
Even though the challenge you are facing now may be larger and more daunting than anything you have faced in the past, by now you have overcome many challenges trading. The process of tackling challenges is itself something that you can learn and develop as a skill. Think over times in the past you have solved problems trading. Which approaches worked? Which did not? Use efficient problem-solving tactics you have developed in the past. They worked before, and they may work now.
Experience dealing with your own emotions
In the past, not only did you have strategic hurdles to overcome, but you also had emotional obstacles to work through as well. Now you may be more familiar with the cycle of emotions that steamrolls through you when you are struggling, lost, and confused. Instead of taking your despair at face value, you can remember the times in the past that you despaired and things were still all right.
Setting aside fear and despair is much easier said than done, but if you can keep your emotions in perspective at all, it will help you not to take the negative messages in your head too seriously. Just as in the past your negative emotions were wrong, they can be wrong again. And just as in the past you probably felt a renewed sense of self-confidence and pride when you solved your problem, you have that to look forward to in your future when you overcome this next hurdle!
Generally speaking, I try to avoid getting too much into the topic of intuition in trading simply because beginners often misread the idea. True intuition—the kind that comes with expert knowledge—is not just a “feeling” that something is right or wrong. It is a subconscious structure of latent understanding that bypasses your conscious reasoning. It is grounded firmly in knowledge and experience.
When you first start out as a trader, raw instinct may guide you, but real intuition is something which is developed and molded through experience. It is not a shortcut to trading success, but rather a hard-won tool. The great thing about intuition is that once you have it, it is always on your side. Sometimes your vision is clouded by your confusion, but you still have that subconscious knowledge structure underneath your conscious confusion. Nor does it just extend to the technical side of trading; you can also develop intuition for business, and even for the overarching process of problem-solving!
Discipline and determination
We have all met people who say, “I just was not born with determination,” but those of us who have stayed the course through a long, hard journey of learning know that discipline and determination are traits which are developed. It is true that some people may have a natural gift for either, but anyone can build these traits with enough commitment. If you have worked hard to develop them, they will serve you well when you face the challenges ahead. When you first started trading, you might not have had either on your side, but now you do.
Love for trading
I think this may be the single biggest thing which is on your side when you are going through a tough time. When were a total newbie in the world of binary options online trading, you had no way to know whether you were going to love it or hate it. But if you have stuck around this long and had a chance to experience the joys of trading, then you may have a real love for it.
In fact, I think there is no moment when you realize your love for something more than when you fear you may lose it. You can measure the strength of your love and commitment by the weight of your fear and despair. Our fear and despair point toward the things we value the most and want to hold tight to.
If you love trading, you will fight for it, even when you feel lost, even when you have no idea why you are losing money hand over fist. You will do what you have to in order to take back control and get back to winning.
So when the world feels like it is falling apart, your account balance is in the red, and you have no idea what is happening, take heart. You never really go back to square one as a trader. You have more knowledge and strength than you ever did as a beginner. Nothing can take that knowledge or strength away from you.
You may be out of the money on your latest trades, but your trading skills account balance will never again be in the deficit. You own those skills and traits you have developed, and once you take them to the next level, evolving through hardship and change, you will be able to call yourself a true trading expert—a trader who can learn to survive through any circumstance.
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