Focus On What You Can Control – The Trading Mindset
I wanted to discuss a brief lesson today on a personal event that happened to me this week. I feel if you can learn to do this correctly, and avoid this pitfall, you will find your mindset and thoughts being more focused and executing better trades.
I was traveling for about 6 days internationally, but had a few hours and wanted to do some trading. My set and forget strategies were already running, but there were other opportunities coming, so wanted to take advantage of them.
I had a with trend trade setup, so put my order in and then kept watching the markets as there were a lot of good setups forming. After about 15 minutes, the trade got activated by .1 pip, then immediately turned and reversed and stopped me out on a quote hitting the newswires out of Europe.
It was quite fast, so was a little shocked, but in the end, it was a setup from my system, and I pulled the trigger because that is what I’m trained to do.
Now taking a loss and being stopped out so quickly can be jolting to the psyche. It’s easy to blame the broker, and think they targeted my stop, or spend time going over how I could have had a higher entry, or ponder a million other scenarios I could have done to avoid the loss. But the bottom line is – none of this would have been useful to my trading mindset.
I cannot control many things, especially the market. Focusing on the things I cannot control is a waste of my mental capital. Instead, it is far more energetic to focus on what I can control, which is my mind, my thoughts, and how I react/respond to the situation. I could get upset, blame others, beat myself up – but this would not help me become a better trader, nor build the mindset needed to trade successfully.
It is far better to focus on what the market is doing right now, and it just so happened that right after me getting stopped out, another strategy was giving a signal on a different pair. Had I been focusing on what I could not control (the market, news, etc.), I would have taken my eye off the ball in real time, and likely made the situation worse. But instead, I decided to focus on what I could control – which was my mind/thoughts, and how I could find the next setup.
Ironically next trade turned out to be a winner, and erased all the losses from the quick stop out.
The take home point here, is spend your time focusing on what you can control, and don’t worry about what you cannot control. Instead, your thoughts and mental resources could be used for something else – finding another trade, or practicing/training to build your skill set and successful trading mindset.
So try not to focus on things out of your control, or get upset about them when it comes to the markets or trading. Trading is already challenging enough, so don’t get in the way of your natural skill set coming through. Just keep your mind focused on the price action in front of you. Focus on what you can control, and let the rest play itself out.
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