Quality #3: Discipline
Imagine going for a run in the mountains.
As you’re jogging up the roadside, you make eye contact with a mountain lion, only 12 yards between you.
It senses your sudden caution and already sees you as prey to be hunted down. Here are your choices:
You can panic, turn your back, and flee immediately…
And pray that you can outrun a mountain lion.
You can stay calm, focus on the lion, and continue to take small careful steps backward as you look for weapons to defend yourself and/or ways to escape from the threat.
It takes some discipline to master, but keeping a cool head and sticking with the plan – taking it one step at a time – is a matter of survival in this instance.
So as a trader, how disciplined are you going to be to not only ensure you survive, but actually thrive in the markets?
Discipline is a Must
Discipline, in the context of trading, is simply following the system you’ve put in place to reach your trading goals – even on days you don’t feel like it.
Remember, you are a human being, and there will always be days that challenge you to the point of panic, frustration, and the brink of giving up.
But if you are a disciplined trader, giving up on your success is not an option. In order to ensure your success through discipline, you’ll have to make sacrifices.
In fact, your journey to becoming disciplined is not a choice.
There’s nothing like raising the stakes by viewing your trading career as a matter of life and death.
Discipline is a must. It will help you keep your head.
How To Stay Disciplined
- Remember your why: The reason you are pursuing this should be your motivation for staying disciplined. Maybe you have your biggest fears bearing down on you. Maybe you are disciplined because you don’t want to be stuck in your 9-5 job for the next 40 years just so you can enjoy retirement. Whatever your why is, let it keep you going and remind you to do whatever it takes.
- Phase out the bad habits: Whether you hide under the covers of procrastination or chase the fleeting dopamine you get from ordering fast food, you are aware that your bad habits keep you from gaining success. Again you must ask why you jeopardize yourself like this and what you are going to do about it. Try and replace them with better habits instead. Eat more healthy foods more regularly. Spend at least 1 hour a day trading in a practice account. Studies have shown that it takes 66 days to make good habits a part of your routine. Good habits are hard and can take some time before they become muscle memory, but they will definitely make life better.
- Stick to Your Trading Plan: Understand what your trade plan is and how it will shape your trading strategies. Maybe you want to go a whole year without getting a margin call during short selling. Study the metrics and what it will take to ensure this. Discipline plays a huge role in sticking to your trading plan. Don’t panic and throw it out the window just because you came face to face with some problems. If you stuck to your plan and still made a loss on your trade, it’s not the end of the world. Pat yourself on the back because you stayed disciplined and stuck to trading your plan.
- Just Do It: Sometimes, you have to make like Nike and just do it. Whatever work that is necessary to your success must be done. You can make excuses and even have a bad day but it will never absolve you from what has to be done. Having discipline gets sh*t done. And you are a person who gets sh*t done.
What Discipline Can Do For You
Being disciplined sets you apart from the average and easily manipulated retail traders in the marketplace.
Staying disciplined is the quickest and most secure way to reach your goals.
Take a disciplined approach to trading, and the results will speak for themselves.
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