Ok, I’m a bit too superstitious I know, but I believe in jinxes. So we’re all on the same page, a “jinx” is a person or thing that brings bad luck. I have a tendency to jinx something by thinking and/or talking about it too much. I’m usually very rational and know believing in jinxes is somewhat irrational, but it’s just how my mind works. I have to deal with how my mind works.
The first week of the New Year is ALWAYS the most stressful week for me. I don’t really enjoy it at all. I’m sure a big part is the “healthy living” New Year’s Resolution of dropping the bottle of red wine every night and cutting WAY DOWN on the sweets.
It’s more than just that though. For me, it’s the stress of setting the right tone for the new year. Who doesn’t want to start off on the right foot? Starting the first day and/or certainly the first week in the red has a HUGE psychological impact on me. It can screw me up for days, weeks or even longer. That’s my FEAR and one of the biggest ones I still have about Day Trading. Again, I know this is irrational, but aren’t most fears?
I can even trace where this fear comes from. It comes from Year 2 of my trading career. I had a pretty good Year 1. So, I assumed Year 2 was going to be epic! I was determined to make Year 2 HUGE and start really bringing in the ca$h. I was so confident. Too confident. And I made the BIG mistake of talking about it. Why not talk about it!? I had a “plan” that I was convinced was rock solid. I had it all figured already. I was a freakin’ Day Trader!!!
January 1st rolled around, I upped my share size and started trading like crazy. Since I didn’t really have my process figured out yet, I got my butt handed to me that first week. Things got even worse by the end of the month. Psychologically it freaked me out for the next few months. It took me far too long to recover and I blamed it all on my week 1 screw up. What in the hell happened? I did so good Year 1! Damn it! I jinxed myself at the beginning of Year 2. Why did I talk about it? Why did I change what I was doing? If only…
I know NOW that it wasn’t a jinx. I know now that my success in Year 1 was simply no more than beginner’s luck. Year 2 came along and the markets changed a bit. I really had no process and honestly had no freakin’ idea what in the hell I was doing. I was simply throwing darts and getting lucky. That’s when the real work began for me. That’s when I realized how hard this profession was going to be. That’s when I began to respect how freakin’ hard Day Trading can be…
I fully understand exactly what actually happened that January, but a small little irrational part of my mind still blames the jinx.
So every year at this time, like many traders, this is when I get back to the basics. Put together all my resolutions: Follow my rules. Trade only A+ Setups. Stick to the process. Hold more for longer. Respect the markets and be thankful I get to do this for a living. The list goes on...
Easy to say, think and even write down on paper but as we all know, very hard to actually DO.
On top of the usual “week 1” mental issues I always have, this year is going to be even more difficult thanks to the overall market conditions. This is the biggest FOMO market I’ve seen since I started trading in 2008. Thanks Bitcoin, Blockchain, and “crypto” mania! Not to mention it feels like the overall market never goes down. #BTFD! The pin action in this market is CRAZY good for Day Traders. As we’ve already talked about, this market is manic and we’re seeing some incredible intraday moves. It’s the kind of market where you can make you daily goal or 2x your daily goal or 10x your daily goal and still feel like you traded like crap. It’s also the type of market where you don’t want to miss a second. Bathroom breaks cost you $. And forget lunch… Normally, I don’t even trade during lunch (that’s our rule #2) but in this market, anything goes…
It’s that anything goes mentality that just adds to my already stressed out mental state because it’s an “Anything Goes FOMO Fishing with Dynamite Market” AND it’s week 1.
Maybe I should take the week off and start week 2? Nah, that’s just delaying the inevitable. Deal with it. Suck it up snowflake. Do what you do. Do what you know how to do. Just be rational and follow your process. You can and will do this. 2018 is going to rock. Look how well you did in 2017, especially the last few months of the year. That alone should give you the confidence. Just because the calendar is different and now ends in 8 rather than 7 doesn’t REALLY change anything…
So, I basically wrote all that a week ago and was going to publish it as my blog LAST WEEK. However, I was too superstitious for that. I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to jinx it. Stupid I know, but like I said that’s how my mind works. So, I put this piece in the can and decided it was more of a journal entry to myself. Later I decided I should publish, but wait a week and win or lose, add the follow up.
Well, the week is over. How did it go?
I had my best “week 1” ever. Overall a solid week, but I could have done way better. I was way too conservative for the market conditions. Part of me says I’m glad I didn’t go big this week but that may just be an excuse of why I didn’t make more. Stepping on the gas too much had the potential to give me too much confidence. There’s a fine line between having confidence in yourself and your process and being plain cocky. You need confidence. It’s a must have. But being cocky will get you slapped in the face and punched in the gut by the market.
I pushed on the gas a little after having a decent Day 1 on Tuesday when the markets opened after the long Holiday weekend. I hit my daily goal+ every day. I followed my plan and my process. Sure, thanks to this manic market, I got away with bending a few rules here and there, but nothing crazy. Nothing #WTF.
I did it. I got through week 1. I didn’t jinx the week, the month or the year. Mentally and emotionally I’m in a good place for the rest of 2018. Now it’s about keeping the momentum going. Focusing on doing what it is that I do. Focus on my process. Focus on my process…
So, what larger point am I trying to make here? Am I saying look at me and the week I had!? No, not at all. I’m not flashing stacks of ca$h and bragging like 85.23% of the alleged traders on $TWTR. Hopefully, most of you know me way better than that by now.
To be consistently profitable and a successful Day Trader over the long haul, you must get to know YOU and YOUR MIND. Then you have to deal with it daily. Minute by minute actually. Put a plan and process in place that works for you and your day trading personality. Sure, I would LOVE not to be so stupidly superstitious, but I am. I admit it. I embrace it. I work WITH my flaws (all of them actually) rather than fighting them. I know all of my FEARS, some more rational than others. Every day I make a conscious effort not to allow those fears to constrain my trading. I DO allow them to keep me in check, keep me focused, but never allow them to get in the way.
That stupid week 1 jinx will never get me again! Fingers crossed. Knock on wood. Anyone seen my lucky Bitcoin?
Whew! Here it is.
Hopefully this blog will inspire at least one other trader to acknowledge, embrace, and deal with her/his fears. Stop letting any of them get in your way of being a consistently profitable Day Trader. The reward is far too great to let any fear be your brick wall. You can do this!
Speaking of FEAR in Day Trading, we have another FREE WEBINAR coming up this Thursday (January 11th, 2018) on the very topic! Just click the photo below to register and claim your spot.
Questions? Reach out and/or leave a comment below.