Jack has had a bad day. Nothing seemed to go right. Every decision he made seemed to lead to ruin. He bought at every top and sold at every bottom. At the end of the day, he just couldn’t relax. In fact, he couldn’t get to sleep that night, and a few days later still felt bothered. If only he could let it go and relax. But letting go of past mistakes and achieving an optimal, relaxed mental state is often more easily said than done.
By its very nature, trading is stressful, and when you make a series of bad mistakes, it all builds up. At that point, it’s especially difficult to recover from such a dramatic setback. How do you recover? How do you let yourself off the hook, relax, and move on?
When you’ve faced a series of trading setbacks, it is natural to feel a little overwhelmed. It’s emotionally and financially hard to lose money, and deep down, you know it. Your logical mind tells you that it’s much more difficult to make money in the markets than lose it. From a purely mathematical perspective, it’s going to take many more winning trades, compared to the number of trades it took to lose the initial stake, just to break even. And when you’ve just made a series of losses, it’s hard to face the amount of work you’ll need to do to make it all back.
The first question you must ask, however, is what are your options? Do you want to just give up? Of course not. When you are down, it’s vital to get back up and fight with determination to overcome the setback. That said, feeling frustrated and beaten actually protects you at first. When you are frustrated, you use up much of your stored psychological energy. You need some time to allow your mind and body to recover. So for a little while at least, frustration allows you to rest. But there comes a point where it does no good to continue to wallow in self-pity. You must start trading again.
One of the solutions to calming down is to write a relaxation script. When we feel frustrated, we are usually thinking with a victim mentality: “Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Why can’t things go my way? What can I do? I want to just give up.” When you’re feeling overwhelmed, you might want to pull out a script to read to counteract your thoughts of feeling like a victim.
You might think, “These setbacks are temporary. Right now, all seems hopeless, but once I get a little rest and distance from the event, I’ll be ready to pick myself up and face these setbacks with determination.” After you get some rest, you’ll be ready to work again. And when you’re ready, you might try reading another script: “I may be down, but I’m not out. If I work hard enough, I can get back on my feet. I just need to make a plan and work hard.” These motivating thoughts will set you on the right track. You’ll feel a sense of energy and empowerment.
Picking yourself up after a setback is vital, but we can easily feel beaten after a series of setbacks. Don’t despair, though. You may temporarily feel beaten, but if you work hard enough, you’ll get back on your feet and return to profitability.