Building A Successful Trading Mentality While Removing Limiting Beliefs

This is the second part to our last article on Awareness, Negative Habits and Concentration in Trading.  It is designed to help you remove any limiting/negative beliefs which may be holding you back, while building a successful trading mentality.


Remembering Back

In the beginning of our trading ventures, we become aware of the new possibilities that await us:

Working for ourselves
Working from home
Not having to go to a Job
Not dressing the way someone else tells us
Not getting paid what someone else thinks we should or when they want to
Working when we want to
and of course the big one that gets almost everyone – being financially abundant

Trading Psychology Your Purpose Awaits 2ndSkiesForex

These are all real possibilities that become available to us through the market.  This new found awareness of other possibilities for our life and starting fresh energizes us.  Our enthusiasm is strong, determination high and focus is penetrating.  We feel a sense of purpose in an activity which is both engaging, challenging and rewarding.

But, something happens.  Either we hit a losing streak, a big loss, an obstacle, or an inability to read the market.  Something happens, and if we lose concentration while engaging emotional reactions, or stories to what is happening, our awareness begins to weaken.  This causes concentration to dim, enthusiasm lessens, and we tend to lose energy by becoming involved in emotional or negative mental patterns.

This reduces our ability to trade successfully and will directly interfere with our desire and goals to trade successfully.  It is this moment where we begin to hand over the keys, allowing our mind to manipulate us from being successful and getting past our hurdles.

This may manifest into the following scenarios:
-Trying to ‘get’ our wins back
-Over-leveraging beyond our normal limits
-Not following our trading plan and taking trades we normally wouldn’t
-Doubting our ability to make a good trade
-Hesitating to pull the trigger when our system gives us an entry
-Becoming unsure we can become a successful trader
-Unwilling to fill out our trade journal or review our trade performance
-Gotten impatient with the market or irritated by how it is playing
-Had fear about taking a trade
-Blamed your broker, or the market or the ‘gameplay’ going on
-Made excuses for why we lost on a trade or didn’t do things correctly

Has any of these things happened to you?  Have you ever slipped into these mental stories or negative beliefs?

If so, it is likely you have developed a negative habit or limiting belief around trading.  Nothing could be more dis-empowering to your trading to have these beliefs.  It is possible these beliefs already existed in your sub or unconscious mind and are just playing themselves out through your trading experience.

Mirror of Markets Trading Psychology 2ndSkiesForex

Whether you know it or not, the markets are like a mirror that reflects your mind.  It does this without bias or care of who you are.  It reflects back to you beliefs about yourself, about being successful, about having lots of money or none at all, about being confident or having a lack thereof.   Like a mirror, it has no attachment to what it reflects, it just does it automatically.

When you engage these limiting beliefs, perhaps such as (i’m not good enough, smart enough, don’t have a degree in finance, don’t have enough money, am not mathematically inclined, am not good with numbers, i’ll never be rich or successful, or whatever…) you are letting the mind deceive you into forgetting your natural state.

This is to be clear, vibrant, energetic and healthy.  Engaging these energies will lead you to trading successfully.  But accepting any limiting beliefs robs you of your natural intelligence and separates you from your inner strengths.  They are not the path to successful trading, or being successful at anything.  It is in the vice grip of these mental patterns we take away the chance to be a successful trader.

Regardless of this reflection the markets offer us, it is highly likely you came to the world of trading with some of these limiting beliefs.  If so, they will be there, like a bugaboo hiding in the forest of your mind. Only until you recognize and transform them will they go away.  This is when your trading take flight.

In fact, those obstacles which may be confronting you now will become mechanisms for your growth and success in trading.  Ironically, that which inhibits you now will become your fuel for growth.  It is our past mistakes and missed opportunities that become an invitation to a new way to trade.


What Breaks Through These Limiting Beliefs?

Awareness and recognition.  By taking moments to build our awareness, then applying it to our trading experience, we can see how these limiting beliefs have played out in our trading.  It is this recognition which will point us to how unhelpful they have been, and how we need to turn our compass in another direction.

Trading Psychology Staying in the Saddle 2ndSkiesForex

Trading is like riding a horse – it can be bumpy and we may feel like we are riding a powerful beast (the markets).  If you learn to stay in the saddle and apply your knowledge, then the markets become a riding ground for your own enjoyment and success.

It is through awareness and concentration we can learn from our trading experiences.  These two together applied to our daily trading  routine build up an inner strength as we witness our progress.  This leads to an increase in our trading skills, whether in reading price action, having less hesitation to take a trade, finding good opportunities or challenging ourselves by being really disciplined.


Methods for Eliminating Negative Habits and Building a Successful Trading Mentality

These are methods I do every day and have been for over a decade which can help raise your clarity, energy and awareness, which ultimately, enhance your trading experience.


1) Posture Check

First thing before trading, along with several points throughout the trading day, take a moment to check your physical posture.  Are you sitting upright with a straight spine, or are you slouching with your neck bent forward (or backward)?  Your posture affects not only your breathing, but your thinking as well.  A straight spine allows the energy to move freely up and down from head to heart and keeps your thinking more clear.  Also a neck bent forward (or backward) cuts off the free flow of energy down your spine while trapping it in your head.  This can literally keep you ‘stuck in your head‘ so make sure to keep your posture and neck upright.


2) Increasing Focus

For the next few weeks, try and be more focused while trading.  Perhaps meditating before you start your day, turn off the TV, close your internet browser, turn off your cell phone and stop checking email.  Just focus on the markets and what you are wanting to trade for that day.  After you have tried this out for a few days, check to see how much more focus you had and if this changed your trading experience.


3) Energy Check

Along those lines, ask yourself before you sit down for trading, or at several points in the day, what is your overall energy level?  I am constantly feeling this to see if its strong and vibrant or sluggish and weak.  I try to rate it on a scale between 1 and 10 with 10 being optimal, and 1 being, well…dead.

If your energy is weak, the cause could be physical or mental, so I quickly shift my posture and feel into my body to see if anything is going on.  If it’s mental, then I apply awareness to see if I am engaging in any negative patterns of thought.  If so, I take a moment to clear my head via a short meditation technique, then get back to trading.

This can be done not only at several key moments throughout your trading day, but also be a constant monitor.  Ever notice your energy drops when eating?  It’s likely you ate too much, or something that does not agree with you.  That drop in energy is your body telling you it’s needing to use other resources just to digest your food or compensate for how it’s not feeding you properly.

As a general rule I use, anything below an 8 or 8.5 and I do not trade.  Why trade when I have a lesser edge or ability to make good decisions?  Why would I want to trade on any other state then feeling energetic, clear and sharp?  Give yourself every advantage you can when trading.


4) Choosing Positive Thoughts

The moment we see how we’ve been interfering with our success, it is time to apply the remedy. Choosing positive actions will inspire you and build confidence in your experience.  This will make your vision more panoramic, create stability in your trading experience, enhance your determination, and deepen your understanding of the markets.  This positive energy will build from a puddle into a reservoir which will manifest in an increased confidence to trade successfully day in day out, month in month out. You will refuse to engage in excuses, emotions, or procrastinate doing what you need to.  You will plug all the leaks and settle into the saddle.

Trading and the markets are the proving ground for our actions and our positive attitudes. So to build these, pick a time each day, ideally before you start trading.  Tell yourself mentally, ‘I will not submit to laziness, hesitation, emotionality’ and will turn towards the positive.  Begin saying mentally to yourself, ‘I can trade successfully, I can be financially wealthy, I can make great trading decisions every day’.  Do this for the next two weeks and see how your focus and concentration changes.


5) The 5% Rule

For the next day, or week, resolve to give just 5% more energy to your trading.  Ask yourself what areas you need to develop in most, and dedicate an extra 5% to strengthening that.  As you do this for several days or a couple of weeks, see if you notice any difference in your trading, mindset or results.  As soon as you feel stable in this new effort, bring it up a notch and add another 5%.


Evaluation and Closing Thoughts

By evaluating the results of these new habits above you have applied, notice what you have done differently, what you have achieved, how your trading experience felt different.  Take notice of what you have accomplished and then use that experience as motivation to continue developing your skill set.  This will become a self-reinforcing process which allows you to become your own teacher.  It is that moment you will have turned the trend sharply upwards in terms of your trading growth.

I want to end by providing a list of different patterns of thinking which can either inhibit or help your trading. Take a look at the list below and see which you engage in.  I will list them side by side so you can see the unhealthy and healthy side of such mental experiences.

The Unhealthy Players: Constructive Ways of Thinking:
Complaining about the markets Acceptance of what is happening
Making excuses why you didn’t do something Taking responsibility for your trading decisions
Having fantasies of driving a ferrari in a year Being present taking things step by step
Hesitating making a trade Acting on your system
Doubt about your abilities Being open-minded nothing is fixed about your trading
Being harsh or critical to yourself Being humble about your developmental process
Uninspired to develop your trading skillset Being creative and motivated to take things to the next level
Stuck thinking about past losses Recognizing past does not equal your future
Stuck thinking about what just happened Understanding how to do things differently the next time
Caught up in your emotions Being clear-headed and not identifying with your emotions

Look at this, study it well, and see which of these you engage in.  Then apply the 5 methods I have listed above and see how you transform these experiences and how your trading changes.

I look forward to hearing your comments and reflections on this.

If you enjoyed this article or what we do, please make sure to click the ‘Like‘ button for 2ndSkiesForex at the top of this article.

Feel free to check out the companion article to this on Awareness, Negative Habits and Concentration in Trading.

Buddhist, Trader and Philanthropist

I'm Chris Capre, Founder of 2ndSkiesForex. I help traders of all levels change the way they think, trade and perform. As a professional trader, I specialize in trading price action. As a teacher, my passion lies in showing you how to re-wire your brain for successful trading. Want to improve your edge right now? Visit my Price Action Course page.

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  • Christian

    Hey Chris,
    thanks for sharing your thoughts. What i am questioning myself is how to do that? How to build a positive mindset? I think it needs a change in believing not only in thinking. So how to change these strong underlying beliefs that hinder us to become successful not only as a trader. How to connect us with our pure energy? i dont think that positive thinking is enough without honest beliefing and an inner response to it. I am taking this matter very serious because it is a question how one will life and be consciuos.
    The problem with this whole is that we try to think about being positive instead of just being positve and aware. This is the difficult thing about: changing the habit and attitude without thinking and rational concepting…just be what you want to be…
    Long journey.
    All the best

    • Hello Christian,

      Yes, I agree the awareness is a critical component – that is why I talk about several times in the article about bringing awareness to the situation. I talked in the last article about this how to bring awareness to trading and one’s life.

      If you notice, I continue with that theme here. It has to start with awareness which sheds light onto the thoughts, emotions and habitual thinking we engage in – then what the outcome of that is. This awareness will lead us to realize how these behaviors sap our energy, they trap our thinking and I have talked about this in the last two articles extensively.

      But, I also talk about building new habits and things to adopt. That is why I list the 5 techniques at the end of the article. Once you start doing those, you will see a shift in your energy. Combine this with the awareness of what the old habits did, and what the new actions/behaviors created, and you’ll start to make the connection of where to direct your energy. Then as you direct your energy in the right direction, you will start to engage in healthier ways of relating to, acting up, and thinking about things.

      This is how you make the shift – but it starts with awareness which is why I give techniques in this article and the last one.

      So yes, I agree with you – it’s not just about positive thinking. That is necessary, but not sufficient. It takes action and awareness to build these. Actually a simple remedy if you think about it.

      Hope this helps
      Kind Regards

  • Christian

    yes Chris,
    Sure, i will talk action and start viewing everything from another perspective and with another attitude.

  • Michael

    This is such a good article Chris.As well as limiting beliefs l think “fear” (or for others perhaps “greed”)is a negative habit l really need to work on as an intermediate trader. And as you said on the webinar today, having a strict rule based system is the tool to work with to overcome this and then having the inner strength to just search out the set-ups and take them without unnecessary hestitation and then to let them play out without closing at the merest sign of resistance etc.
    All great advice and encouragement Chris.
    Thanks again!

    • Hello Michael,

      In many ways, fear is a limiting belief. It is the belief that something will happen, or more the anticipation of something that has not happened yet.
      Out of all the emotions, its probably the most paralyzing to us as traders in our lives. Luckily there are ways to mitigate this through awareness and training.

      Anyways, am glad you liked the article.

      Kind Regards

  • Mike Fetters

    once again good job Sensei

    • Thanks Mike,

      Much appreciated.

      Kind Regards,

  • Lokesh

    hi chris, thats a nice article to develop the attitude.

    After busting my account with all mistakes, i am in a paralyzed state unable to enter trading. I am trying to analyse all mistakes, but i am yet to find a way out of fear of trading. Reading books and articles all point to one thing i understand “Take Responsibility of your decision” how to take the responsibility of trading decision and losses? how to practice that?


    • Hello Lokesh,

      This is an interesting question here Lokesh, of how to take responsibility. My guess is one would fear or not enjoy taking responsibility if one felt there was some underlying reason that would make them feel pain, or fear of the consequences.

      Just my read on it but I am developing a program to help traders deal with this exactly so stay tuned as I’ll be announcing a webinar on this in the near future.

      Kind Regards,

  • Baback

    Great Article as always Chris, good job.
    apart from a lot of things, what is very interesting to me is that you said you only trade when you are in 8 or 8.5 energy level.
    what do you do when you don’t feel like that ? you find the reason and change your energy level by meditating and other techniques then you trade ? it’s really fascinating being able to do that. I have a lot of problems in that front.
    Thank you for your great effort in helping us.

  • Mark

    Chris – great article. However I need to correct one very important point on how the subconscious mind operates.

    When you say the following

    ‘I will not submit to laziness, hesitation, emotionality’ and will turn towards the positive.

    Your subconscious mind hears the words laziness, hesitation and emotionality. This has the opposite effect to what you then want.

    It’s better to say:

    “I am a disciplined, decisive and emotionally stable trader”


    Begin saying mentally to yourself, ‘I can trade successfully”

    What you need to do is put this in the present tense.

    “I am a sucessful trader” is much better.

    Finally if you can put your mind in the alpha state and combine these affirmations with positive emotion and an anchor they will be much more effective.

    For me personally this is the missing key to being consistently profitable – however it is important to get it right or you could do yourself more harm than good.

    • Hello Mark,

      Have to agree with you. Ironically a few months after I wrote this, I took a QRA class on this which discussed exactly that. So nowadays I have the language completely changed to present tense, and there is no ‘can’ in there anymore.

      Anyways, glad you mentioned this.

      All the best.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • akeem

    Hi mr chris, i like your post and its very very encouraging. I’ve been on the forex market (demo account) for about eight months now and i think i’ve made steady progress so far. But there is something about the forex market i’m not yet clear about. When a trader makes a gain/profit in the forex market, where do these profits come from. Maybe they come from the losses of other participants or traders in the forex market. If its so, doesn’t this make forex trading a betting game? Thanks

  • Amy

    Thank you for this article. If I may add, another way to change/impact your belief system is by listening to audiobooks. Mark Douglas, or The Secret Law of Subconscious Attraction for example. Contributed to my shift!! Happy Trading.