You can be highly motivated to trade, have limitless capital, and a foolproof trading strategy, but if you don’t devote your full concentration to the trade that you have on at the moment, you’ll rarely make profits. Dr Ari Kiev (2002) observes, “concentration links discipline, desire, motivation, and satisfaction to achievement.” It’s essential that you learn to concentrate while executing a trade and scrupulously monitor the market action during a trade.

Why is concentration difficult? While in school did you have trouble studying in a crowded library or on a noisy bus? It’s easy to concentrate when we are in a quiet room and when we are calm and at ease. But trading is often chaotic and full of stress. It’s easy to become shaken and lose your ability to concentrate. When you aren’t fully focused on your ongoing experience, it’s easy for self-doubts to creep into your consciousness. You may start having second thoughts and may want to sabotage your trading efforts.

The more you can stay focused on your ongoing experience, the more you can trade effortlessly and skillfully. But how can you concentrate more easily? First, it’s useful to remember that concentration takes psychological energy, and your supply of psychological energy has limits. If you want to maintain your focus, you must be rested and relaxed. Get proper sleep and nutrition. If you are tired or hungry, you won’t be able to keep your mind focused on trading.

Second, it’s important to control your stress levels. Stress depletes psychological energy. Even when you are excited rather than agitated by stress, your psychological energy is depleted a little bit each time you encounter an event that gets your adrenalin pumping. The best way to limit stress is through risk management. If you know that you are doing your best to keep potential losses to a minimum, you’ll feel more comfortable and can focus most of your psychological attention on trading.

Concentration is essential for profitable trading. The more you concentrate, the more you feel you are in control. And when you feel your body and mind are in synchrony with the markets, you’ll trade profitably.

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