Module 12   Innerworth — Mind over marketsChapter 163

Getting Ready for the One Big Moment

Winning traders make consistent profits. One way to trade consistently is to minimize psychological pressure, and the best way to do that is to minimize risk to the point that the potential financial impact of any single trade means relatively little. Novice traders would be wise to heed the advice of seasoned traders and coaches: Take it slow and easy. Don’t risk too much and remain calm. That said, there are times when seasoned traders try to take a big risk and put on a big trade. The old adage is true. You must risk money to make money. And it is often necessary for a seasoned trader to put on a big risky position in order to take advantage of rare market opportunities.

That may mean putting on a bigger trade than usual or pushing yourself to put on trade after trade to take advantage of optimal market conditions. Success under such circumstances comes down to performing at your peak at key moments. During those key moments, a lot of capital is on the line and it may be hard to stay calm. One is bound to naturally feel fearful and anxious, on edge and on the verge of panicking and making a trading error. Whether you are a seasoned trader or a novice trader who is merely trying to put on a “big trade” for you, there is a lot you can do to neutralize stressful emotions and trade in a peak performance mindset.

When making a big trade at a key market opportunity, you must be prepared and ready to take full advantage of it. Ideally, you should be fully rested, relaxed and ready for action. You should make sure that you get enough sleep, and possibly extra sleep if you have trouble sleeping soundly. Also, make sure that you eat properly and nutritiously. You’ll need as much energy as possible to act at your peak at a key moment. You should also stay away from caffeine. Although it seems to give you energy, it puts you on edge and can interfere with thinking clearly at a key moment. It is vital that you have a wealth of energy but are also calm and relaxed.

Trading in a peak performance state is also a matter of maximizing your psychological energy for those key moments when you need it most. If you have a lot of psychological baggage in the back of your mind, you’ll spend a significant part of your precious psychological energy devoted to thinking about past conflicts and trying to find a resolution, whether you are conscious of it or not. Identifying any psychological problems and resolving them is crucial. It will free up the psychological energy you need to trade in a peak performance state. You may not have to resolve every single conflict, but you must develop a practical strategy for working around these psychological issues. For example, you should use your off hours to identify conflicts and think about them a few hours a day. If you take some time to review potential past conflicts, they will stay out of your consciousness and be less likely to creep up when you least expect them.

To trade in a peak performance mindset at key moments, it is necessary to trade at your best. Part of trading at your peak is the acknowledgement of your limitations and putting together sensible ways to work around them. Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to live up to expectations that you personally just can’t achieve. To trade at your peak, you must be rested, focused, and ready to put in extra-human energy to capitalize on those moments when ideal trading opportunities materialize.

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