I released The Mental Game of Trading last April and while in some ways I can’t believe it’s been a year, in other ways I feel like it was a lifetime ago. The biggest thrill has been furthering my connection to the trading audience, meeting new people, and hearing stories about how the book is helping you (seriously, keep those coming – I never get tired of them!).
My goal with the book was to bring a fresh take on trading psychology to the market and I’m happy with how I met that goal. The research I did in November 2021 confirmed that traders know why psychology matters and what you really need is help on how to address your problems. While 91% of traders are able to recognize when emotions are impacting their performance, only 34% feel like they have a concrete strategy to manage those emotions. My system bridges that 57 point gap.
When you are making the same mistakes over and over, your emotions are the culprit. Emotions are so powerful they can simply shut down your decision-making. The system, however, enables you to understand what’s driving the emotion. It teaches you to pay attention to what the emotions are actually telling you and has proven successful with traders and other competitive professionals time and time again.
At its most basic, my system has three steps, each of which has its own set of tools and strategies.
- Map Your Pattern: Creating a detailed map of your emotional reactions allows you to recognize the rise of emotion more quickly so you can minimize the impacts.
- Identify the Roots of Your Problem: Emotions are not the problem, they are just the signal. To get to the real issues you need to uncover the hidden flaws, biases, and illusions driving the emotion.
- Correct Your Problem: Create a strategy to address problems in real-time and then consistently apply it. Eventually you’ll get to the point where the problem is permanently solved and you can move on.
A lot of traders and poker players may wish they could easily correct FOMO, greed, risk aversion, being overly focused on P&L, etc., with some quick advice. Who doesn’t want a quick and easy answer? But simplistic advice doesn’t hold up when it matters the most. In the heat of the moment, you need more than advice. My system gives you the strategies and tools you need to make progress before, during, and after those pressure-cooker moments.
The process I guide you through is actionable and repeatable. The system gives you the steps to take to start recognizing when and where problems are surfacing. It gives you the tools to address the problems real-time, and it shows you how to iterate and repeat the process until you resolve the original problem so you are not just having to fight for control, but instead automatically have the poise, presence, and fearlessness you are seeking.
Learn How to Repair Your Engine
The other big perk of learning and using my system is that it allows you to make progress on your own. Imagine you were a truck driver. Your livelihood depends on your ability to get from point A to point B, on time. You can’t afford to be stuck on the side of the road waiting for help. You need to learn the basics of engine maintenance so you can fix your truck and get back on the road.
Your Mental Game is like that engine. As you work with the system more and more, you become knowledgeable about how to fix your own Mental Game. That’s powerful. You don’t always have the luxury of seeking out help, particularly when emotions are rising quickly.
The more you can help yourself, the better off you are. When you understand the mechanics of how your mind works and the ways in which it can break down, it becomes easier to avoid bigger set-backs, continue to make progress, and not get stuck/break-down.
And for those who are consistently making progress, if you continue to work the system you can continue to level up your performance.
If you haven’t read The Mental Game of Trading or The Mental Game of Poker yet, I hope you’ll give it a try. It explains the system in detail and there are a number of stories throughout the book that will help you see yourself in the material. If you have read it, continue to re-read sections that are relevant to you and keep working the process.
You may also want to check out the Quick Guide in the resources section of my website to help you stay on track.
Either way, it’s been a helluva year and I’m looking forward to continuing to help traders use my system to improve their performance!