I know that most of you look at the title of this post and say no way Anthony, I want to make more money! Of course you do, but do you have the mindset in place to actually do it?
The other day I was playing golf with my brother Mike. I was off to a great start and getting to the 5th tee I realized I was -1 under par (for those of you that don’t golf, I was playing really well). I have had good starts before, but never this good.
Now I started to think about shooting under par. Taking my mind away from focusing on the next shot. I was actually nervous. No money on the line, I wasn’t in a tournament, but yet I was still nervous.
Why would I be nervous?
From years of trading I’ve learned how to deal with pressure and recognize my emotions the moment they start to change. I recognized that I was going through a similar moment that I went through in my early 20’s when I was a young trader trying to make more money. I went through many psychological struggles going from making hundreds of dollars on a trade to making thousands and then even tens of thousands in a day or a trade.
You would think that making more money or shooting under par is exactly what you want to happen and it should be easy to deal with! Well, for me it was not easy.
I learned from going through this psychological battle in trading that I had to be in a different mindset in order to make more money. I had to ease my way into it and have the situation happen on multiple occasions to test myself. I needed to see how I would react when I had opportunities to make more money than I had ever made before.
I’m not a psychiatrist or psychologist, but I know from my experiences on how to deal with success…it takes time. I’ve been working on golf for years now and I had been trading for years (struggling along the way in both). When success started to happen for me in trading I didn’t understand the emotional high I was on and how to seize the moment. Looking back I believe I failed to make more money on many occasions on purpose!
Why would anyone do this? It was because I was scared! Scared to push through and get to the next level. I had become so comfortable in the role of losing or barely getting by that I wasn’t mentally prepared for the next step.
Soon I started to learn how to accept my emotions as the stakes were getting higher and I was able to make $10,000 on a trade and eventually a $100,000 in a day. It was all a state of mind. I started to push through that ceiling I had created by testing myself along the way by understanding and accepting the emotions I was feeling.
Lastly about that front 9 of golf. I bogeyed the next 2 holes after I started to think about shooting under par. I believe that I bogeyed those holes because I was scared to shoot under par. When I was back over par I felt more comfortable and parred out the rest of the 9. Next time I am in that situation I will recognize what I am feeling and embrace the fact that the work I put in was paying off.
For the traders out there that have been faced with situations where you look back and said you could’ve or should’ve made more money…you probably weren’t ready yet. Be patient and know that those situations will happen again in the future and continue to follow your strategy. Continue to test yourself and get better each time the situation is presented. One day you will be in that situation again and because of your patience and hard work you will push through that ceiling and reach the goals you’ve always wanted to reach.