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What to do When Nothing Works

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Do you ever go through periods where nothing seems to work? You feel like you’re stuck in this downward spiral where no matter what you try, the result is the same…not the one you wanted. You may be doing everything you are supposed to… yet you keep losing money. It feels like you take one step forward and two backwards. Or sometimes, one forward and 10 backwards. You try and try and yet nothing…you feel like you are stuck in quicksand and just can’t get out.

You are up early, you watch the markets, you read the reviews but your trading just doesn’t reflect all your hard work. The best trades always seem to happen when you are sleeping or away from your computer. When you are there in front of the charts, all you get is chop. You see a setup or think you do…you take the trade…and then of course you get chopped out. The next morning the trade goes in the direction that you had predicted. All after you’ve lost your money. And this (or a variation of it) happens again and again. At this point you are so freakin’ mad, you want to just chuck it all out and go live in the mountains where you don’t have to worry about bills, making money or any of your other responsibilities.

As you think about this life on top of a mountain with killer beauty all around you, you start fantasizing about what it would really be like if that were to come true. You lose yourself in the fantasy for a while. You think…it would be nice to do nothing but eat, sleep and be lazy. But then as you stay in this fantasy, you realize you can’t think of what you would do after that. What do you do after being lazy…how long can you really be lazy. You start thinking about how you’d get bored with nothing to do. What would be the fun in being lazy all day?

That’s when you realize that the life you have today is the way it is because of you. You chose it. It may frustrate you at times but you do like it. You may want bigger, better things but that’s because you want them not because someone made you want them. When that happens and you come back to reality, here are a few things you can do to get yourself out of the slump.

  1. Stop TradingThe first step is to stop trading. Although you may have this internal urge to make more trades so you can make your money or at-least some of it, back. However, it’s time to do just the opposite. It’s the time to walk away. Close your charts, take you hand off your mouse and just walk away. Just like that…walk away, one step in front of the other. Walk away and don’t look back.
  2. Have a Glass of Winealcohol glass
    Now that you are walking…what do you do next, where do you go? This is where it gets fun! Go to your favorite relaxing place…whether that’s your couch, backyard or a bar. Go wherever you feel comfortable. Now for the best part…pour yourself a glass of wine (or your favorite beverage)! Then sit down and just relax. Just sit and relax, nothing else. Feel free to wallow in your sorrow. Be mad at the world, throw a tantrum…whatever makes you feel better.
  3. Take Time OffOnce you have recovered from your glass of wine (or bottle), decide to take some time off. You need time to regroup and reflect. Let things settle down. The best thing about trading is that we have plenty of time. The markets will still be there tomorrow, the day after and the week and the month after that. They are not going anywhere. We have plenty of time and opportunity to make trades. It doesn’t need to all happen today. Take time to participate in your favorite activities whether that’s spending time with family, friends, playing/watching sports, going to the movies…whatever makes your life more fun. Take time to enjoy your life.
  4. A New Planplan in notebookAs you re-connect with yourself and your life, you’ll gain perspective. Think about what you want out of life and why. Think about how you want your life to really be. What’s most important to you and why? Are you incorporating these things in your life? How does trading fit into your life? Why do you trade? What do you really want to get out of trading besides the money? And why do you want all this money? As you think of these things, you’ll start to feel more grounded.

    Now think about what you need to do in your trading. Most of the time, we already know where we need to make changes. If that isn’t clear, find a friend who you can brainstorm with. Someone who can help you work through your thoughts. Then write it down. Create your plan. Do you need to keep a trading journal so you can monitor your thoughts and make notes on the market conditions as you trade? Are you pulling the trigger too quickly? Are you entering the trades in the middle of the range? Are you not waiting for pullbacks before entering the trade and hence getting stopped out before the market moves in your direction? As you think this through, you’ll come up with a plan. Take some time and write this plan down. The act of writing it down makes it more concrete and you are more liable to follow it.

  5. Take ActionLastly, take action. Now that you have your plan, take action. Look at your plan every day before you start trading. Focus on implementing the plan. As you go through this implementation phase, you’ll start noticing the areas where you run into trouble. Be extra careful around these. Get support from a friend or a mentor if you need it. But most of all, stay with it. As you do so, you’ll notice more things about your trading. As a result, you can make more improvements. This in turn will make you more confident in your trading. More confidence will lead to better trades. Better trades mean more money. And we are back to the money baby! We are in this business because we enjoy trading and we want to create a better life for ourselves. Let’s do that! Let’s trade better and make our dreams a reality!

If you’d like my support, please feel free to contact me. I can help you figure out what’s working and what’s not working with your trading. Most of all, I can help you come up with a plan to make changes and support you through the process. Good Luck and Happy Trading!

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