What it takes to succeed in trading | stockbee


What it takes to succeed in trading

"If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at beginning." Mahatma Gandhi
It is interesting to read some of the emails I get from readers of the blog. Some people are looking for perfect course for traders or are wanting to find someone who will baby seat them while they try to develop their trading skills. The short and simple answer to that is they are unlikely to find it. But more importantly the quest itself tells you something about likelihood of that person succeeding in trading. It shows lack of self efficacy beliefs.

The most important determinant of your success in trading or in your personal life is your self efficacy beliefs. I have talked to several successful traders and interacted with them on regular basis and one of the most compelling reason why they are successful is they have high self efficacy beliefs. 

And because of their self efficacy beliefs they figured out profitable ways to trade. No one gave them a 1000 pages manual on trading or held their hands when they were taking baby steps in trading. They figured out things for themselves. 

Almost every successful trader I know of has developed their unique style on their own. The days, the months , and the years they spent trying out different things and failing at it or losing money further enhanced their beliefs in their own capabilities. Yes they borrowed from some other traders ideas or books or courses but that is not the key to their success. Thy are self made traders.

The most important determinant of your trading success will be your self efficacy beliefs. It might take some few days to understand that and some years. But once your self efficacy beliefs about trading change things start to happen. 

Once that is in place your self talk will change to "hey I can do this", "hey I don't have all the answers but I am confident of finding the answers", "hey I know how to bounce back from setbacks" .When you attempt trading some find early success and some find early setbacks. That experience sets your self efficacy beliefs. Some people give up believing markets are too difficult or manipulated or beyond my understanding . Their self efficacy beliefs dictate their behavior.

In the beginning year I spent almost 18 to 20 hours trying various things going through hundreds of trading books, testing hundreds of ideas. The intense effort ultimately started paying off as more and more market and setup clarity started to show up and then I put my own method together and over the years modified it. 

The same story repeats for most successful traders. If you read the Jesse Livermore book it details how he developed his unique style after several efforts. The Darvas book again details his struggle to develop his own method. Every trader goes through same phases as  Livermore or Darvas or any other market wizards or successful traders like George  Soros, Paul Tudor Jones, Stanley Druckenmiller have also gone through same learning curve and figured things on their own.

Once your self efficacy beliefs specific to trading change you will start experiencing success. That does not mean you will not have setbacks. If you have high self efficacy you will find a method. If you don't have it, even the most profitable method will not work for you and you will keep finding faults with methods.

Self efficacy beliefs is the biggest determinant of your trading success.  Unless you work on self efficacy you will find many inhibitors and will be constantly dissatisfied with any method, guides, videos, or instructions, or site. You will constantly chase new methods, new scans, new claims, new gurus, new newsletters, and so on.

Psychologist have found that self-efficacy beliefs help determine how much effort people will expend on an activity, how long they will persevere when confronting obstacles, and how resilient they will be in the face of adverse situations. The higher the sense of efficacy, the greater the effort, persistence, and resilience.

Profitable trading involves all these challenges. You need to put in lot of effort to understand and internalize key concepts like equity selection, entries, exits, risk, risk/reward and then put it all together. In the process you will have several setbacks and false starts. If you have enhanced self efficacy beliefs you will persist in face of such adversities. If you have high sense of self efficacy beliefs then you will spend time mastering trading software, and mastering trading setups and make them work. Absent that you will abandon your effort at first hint of failure.

Learning to trade is not an easy task. It is one of the most challenging task you would handle in your life. Some are lucky and they find success instantly. For rest it is a big battle.

People with a strong sense of self efficacy beliefs approach difficult tasks as challenges to be mastered rather than as threats to be avoided. They have greater intrinsic motivation. That helps them to engage for long periods in activities and helps them overcome repeated obstacles. They do not have discipline problem. 

People with high self efficacy beliefs set themselves challenging goals and maintain strong commitment to them, and heighten and sustain their efforts in the face of failure. People with high self efficacy beliefs quickly recover their sense of efficacy after failures or setbacks, and attribute failure to insufficient effort or deficient knowledge and skills that are acquirable rather than external circumstances.

Your self-efficacy beliefs also influence your thought patterns and emotional reactions. This is critical in trading. You should not be overly excited by profit on single trade and same way not get depressed by loss on single trade. At the end of the day trading is probability game. High self-efficacy helps create feelings of serenity in approaching difficult tasks and activities and activities where outcome is uncertain.

If you have low self-efficacy beliefs then often you believe that things are tougher than they really are. As a result this belief that fosters anxiety, stress, depression, loss of discipline, over trading and a feeling of being lost. You are unable to solve your own trading problem.

Psychologists believe that self-efficacy beliefs influence the level of accomplishment that one ultimately achieves.

Self-beliefs can also create the type of self-fulfilling prophecy in which one accomplishes what one believes one can accomplish. This further enhances self efficacy beliefs. This leads to higher performance this in turn leads to higher effort and higher accomplishment which in turn further enhances self efficacy.

The goal  for new trader should be to enhance your beliefs. The goal should be to constantly work on your self efficacy beliefs. Goal should be to  challenge your existing beliefs through testing and past winners studies.

If you do that then you will achieve your trading goals. And you will not need this site, or alerts, or alerts with sound effect.

Everyday think of how you can enhance your trading related self efficacy beliefs.

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