I was flicking through an old trading journal of mine the other day.
It’s a bit tattered around the edges but those pages contain absolute pearls of wisdom.
Now don’t worry, I’m not blowing my own trumpet here. These notes were from when I was still trying to figure things out.
I’d been reading all the classic trading books and this was my attempt to distil their essential advice into easy-reference checklists. You know, the kind of thing you might cast you eye over every morning as you try to burn good trading habits into your brain.
Here’s a good one I’d scribbled down:
Observe yourself. Start taking note of what you think, say and do. Becoming consistent is psychological in nature. Pay attention to your mental processes.
Words of wisdom, right? It’s *exactly* the kind of advice I give you every week right here in my emails.
But this is what I really wanted to share with you today…
It’s from when I first read Trading in the Zone by the great Mark Douglas. It’s a checklist of ‘building blocks’ you need to have in place in order to create an unwavering belief in your ability to make money.
Because, trust me, until you have total belief in what you’re doing you’ll find it very hard to trade with the kind of strict discipline you need.
Have a look. See how many of these items you can check off with a tick:
7 steps to winning the internal game of trading
(1) I can objectively identify my profitable edge
(2) I predefine the risk of every trade before pulling the trigger
(3) I accept the risk, or I’m prepared to let the trade pass by
(4) I act on positive signals without hesitation
(5) I pay myself as the market makes money available
(6) I monitor my susceptibility for making errors
(7) I accept the absolute necessity of these principles and never violate them
So be honest with yourself and if you can say – without any sheepish downward glance – that you have all this stuff in place already, then that’s great. You have the foundations of a great trader’s mind. Making money should come easily for you.
But if not, if there was even a glimmer of doubt, then this 7 step checklist is where to dig-in and start getting your house in order.
Working on this ‘internal’ game of trading is where TRUE success is found.