In a perfect world you as a swing trader would never look in the rear view mirror, would always be in the now and have a crystal ball that pointed you in the right direction. If it were only that easy.
In reality, many of us can’t let the past go, let the present slip by and fear the future.
1. My Story
Let me tell you a personal story. When I first started trading over 15 years ago, I got lucky. It was the late 90’s and the dot com boom was in full effect. Without any trading knowledge, I took $5000 and road it to six figures in a very short time. Not realizing I had caught a ride on a once in a lifetime market, I thought I’d found the holy grail.
We all know how this story ends. As the market turned so did my account, and the $120,000 account was down to $50,000 in a matter of days. Only if the story ended here.
Rather than appreciate the $50,000 I had lucked into, I could not get past the fact that it was once $120,000. Rather than take that 50K and actually learn how to trade it, I looked at nothing but that $70,000 I had lost. Every trade I made was an attempt to win back that 70K. I was haphazardly entering positions with no plan, pulling out before targets were hit, and taking loss after loss trading scared. In essence, novice Paul was living in the past, ignoring the present and fearful of the future.
2. The Quote
I recently came across a wonderful Will Smith quote that encapsulated how I should have looked at my 50K:
Sometimes you have to forget what’s gone, appreciate what still remains, and look forward to what’s coming next.
To be a successful trader, truer words have never been spoken.
My story is not uncommon.
In my time mentoring dozens of students and speaking with hundreds of traders, I continually come across traders who are constantly trying to make up for losses instead of trading in the moment. What happens when you trade like this? Most likely, you will take trade too big for your account, take bad setups, lose patience, micro-manage positions and constantly fear what happens tomorrow.
3. Trading Application
If you have suffered a big account loss, I want you to do this right now:
Write down that loss on a piece of paper. I’ll give you a minute . . .
Now rip up that paper and throw it in the trash. You will never think about that loss again. From this point forward you will be in the present and focus on what you have and what it will become as you focus on the process that will eventually lead you to success.
You will become a winning trader. The 100 Quotes To Put Into Action and Change Your Life Series:
Quote 1: Nehru on Caution as Risk
Quote 2: Bruce Lee on Creating Opportunity
Quote 3: Machiavelli On Risk Management
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