"The Force is Within You, Luke. It's Not The Trading System"

Part 9 in the "Mental Fitness for Futures Traders" Series
by Norman Hallett, former CTA/Trader

There are only a handful of people who give a darn about supplying traders with a way to be more disciplined and focused in their trading. I'm one of them, so I think I know why there are so few of us.

Heck, I'm in the business of supplying traders with a tool to help improve the mental side of the trading equation… the "human" element. With (what I think) is such an important service, why am I out here virtually alone?

A couple of reasons.

First, although most traders will admit that the mental part of trading is key to winning in the long-term, most believe they can "gut it up" and just "shake it off" when negative emotions and behaviors rear their ugly heads. They don't need a shrink. They know what they need to do and by-cracky, they'll do what needs to be done without any help! I call this the Macho Syndrome.

So, I get resistance from those that need it most, the emotionally out-of-control trader.

Second, a common mindset is that the primary key to being a successful trader is hooking your wagon to a guru or trading system and then following that system to riches. The problem is that all (even great) trading systems experience draw-downs and you wind up blaming the system for losing rather than doing what is painful for some… blaming yourself (for not having the courage to trade through adversity)!

So here I am, preaching pain.

"It's not your system, it's you!" To the trader with low self-confidence, those words can cut like a knife.

"How about paying more attention to the mental/emotional part of trading?" To the trader with low self-esteem, I'd be accusing him/her of having something wrong with him/her.

Being the Shepard of the mental/emotional aspect of trading is not an easy job. But it's rewarding.

For those who start paying REAL ATTENTION to the mental part of trading, results can improve rapidly.

They start saying,

"How can I improve as a trader?

"How can I make sure that the only variable to losing and winning is my system and not me?"

When was the last time you asked yourself these important questions?

It's not all about changing your system; tweek, tweek, tweek.

My guess is that it's about changing YOU.

So, for me, I love what I do.

Can anybody hear me?

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