Last week, I suffered through my first-ever losing week in the 13 months I have been trading full-time.
Obviously, that means losing is an anomaly to me, but I don’t want to accept it or tolerate it. I want to bounce back. There are reasons why I suffered a loss, and I need to learn from them
What happened? For starters, I was sick, lost my voice and slept terribly; that has a wide variety of detrimental effects.
But when it felt like nothing that usually works was working for me, I got loose with my system, rather than relying on it. I failed to recognize quickly enough just how tough the environment was for long-based traders, and I got sloppy with my rules and started adding to losing positions instead of stopping out.
In short, I kept on trading even though I should have walked away and reset my brain. That overall poor attitude and approach cost me.
Fixing it: Trading is like being a professional athlete. Being at the top of your game doesn’t mean you will win every single contest, but to be competitive day in and day out you need to be in tip-top shape and never be complacent.
Right now, it’s important for me to remember that the next play is always the one that matters most; all of those winning weeks from the past don’t guarantee me anything in the future, only my hard work and proper approach will put me back in the win column.
The mindset: It’s all about mental toughness. In spite of a week that would scare most people away from this line of work, I’m actually excited and ready for Monday. I’m going to dominate. That’s my mindset.
If I’m a better trader because of last week’s loss – and I think I am – then I can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. It’s time to go do that.
Taylor Conway is the lead day trader at PennyPro.com. He is a short-term day trader of stocks and ETFs.
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