Why do some traders make money with seemingly effortless confidence while others sweat bullets every time they act?
We sometimes delude ourselves into thinking that the most successful traders somehow were somehow born different from the rest of us. We imagine they were born to win no matter what they did.
But if that were true, you would also have to believe that those who succeed tend to do so because of their genes, social background, or luck, and not because they pursued success with more diligence, patience, objectivity and hard work than most of us are willing to engage in.
This is tough to swallow, especially for traders who think they have worked hard, only to have consistent profits elude them over and over again. Unsuccessful traders are more likely to be jealous of more successful traders than they are to emulate them. Why? Because it takes unusual maturity and emotional detachment for someone who has been losing money in the market to see that winning traders are simply working not just harder at it, but also smarter—quite literally, doing whatever it takes to win.
Are you willing to do the same? Answering this question is by no means comfortable, because it implies that to win, you must be able to confront each and every loss as evidence of a defect or a weakness in your approach, perhaps even in yourself. Are you willing to find out who you really are?
Hold up a mirror to your trading often enough, and you are certain to eventually understand the reasons for your failure. But you cannot attain the necessary level of self-awareness easily or without pain. The first step is to acknowledge that traders are made, not born. Once you truly understand this and take it to heart, then will you be able to accept the inevitable setbacks as part of a learning process on the pate to success.