6 Habits That Drive Success
Trading is a particularly attractive career option because there is the potential for it to be very lucrative indeed… as long as you’re prepared to put the hard work in, of course.
The lifestyles that traders often lead can be a big draw, but don’t expect all those lavish holidays, fast cars and fancy clothes to simply land in your lap. Enjoying a successful career as a trader will require a lot of motivation and determination and you’ll really need to give it your all if you do want to see the big wins.
The most successful traders will put their trades at the very heart of everything they do. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all they do is trade currency pairs, but rather that their daily routine, their lifestyle and how they choose to live are all engineered to help support their trading, driving performance and providing support even when they’re not making trades.
It’s important to acknowledge that becoming a truly successful forex trader will take time and a lot of effort. But where to begin?
If you’re not sure which areas to focus on first, we thought we’d help you out by counting down some of the top habits that the most successful traders will have formed over the years. It could prove to be very enlightening reading indeed and help spur you on to really become the best trader you can be.
- Stick to a regular daily routine
As children, our parents strive to make sure that we have a regular routine from morning to night, something that really helps us to feel self, develop life skills and build healthy habits that, hopefully, last us a lifetime.
However, as we get older and we start to become responsible for ourselves, somehow that sense of routine can get a little lost… and before we know it, we ourselves are lost as well.
There are many psychological benefits associated with building a solid routine that you stick to, including lower stress levels, greater productivity, better sleep, greater efficiency, reduced anxiety… and a whole lot more. All of this will really help your trading and you’ll find you’re better able to make the decisions you need to if you’ve got a strong routine backing you up.
To start building a proper routine, write down your daily activities so you can see what you need to include. It can also be very helpful to work out what times are best for you to go to bed and wake up each day. Sticking to these times will help you fall into a routine far quicker, so perhaps start here if you’re struggling to stick to your daily routine.
- Embrace learning
Checking your ego at the door will stand you in amazing stead as a trader and you’re sure to start seeing more wins come your way if you accept at the outset that you don’t know everything about trading… and you probably never will.
Forex trading is an incredibly dynamic and fast-paced world, one that constantly evolves and changes… and if you don’t keep up with everything that’s going on and enjoy learning new concepts and ways of working, you will find yourself getting left behind sooner rather than later.
Developing a curious mind will certainly help you look at the bigger picture (very important for traders to do!) and discover new and exciting opportunities, as well as seeing new ways in which to capitalise on them. Embracing a culture of learning will help you be more agile and flexible in your approach – and you’ll probably find you enjoy trading all the more for it.
Whether you’re new to trading or have been doing it for some time, it can easily get overwhelming if you’re not careful. There’s a lot of information flying about and it can sometimes feel a little insurmountable, causing paralysis of action where nothing gets done and your trades start to flounder.
Prioritising what’s most urgent and most important is absolutely key when it comes to trading success. First of all, work out what your most urgent deadlines and targets are and make those your very top priority. From there, you can look at what’s important but perhaps not that urgent, tasks that can be viewed from a more long-term perspective.
This will help you allocate your time more effectively, boosting efficiency and productivity gains and helping you to achieve your dreams and aspirations.
However, you may need to be a bit ruthless when it comes to eliminating any distractions that are neither urgent nor important, so make sure you do steer clear of anything you believe won’t serve you well as a trader. You’ve got to keep your eye on the ball, after all!
We write a lot about the importance of emotional management from a trading perspective and it’s certainly a top area of focus for the most successful traders out there.
But, of course, it’s a lot easier said than done to keep your emotions under control, especially if matters aren’t going your way. If you do start to make decisions when your heart is in charge, rather than your mind, you’ll likely start to make bad trades and start chasing losses… and this will only ever end in disaster.
However, there is a lot you can do to start mastering your own emotions and meditation is an incredibly useful weapon to have in this regard.
A recent study published in the Fronlevels in Human Neuroscience journal found that mindfulness meditation can help keep negative feelings under control and even people who aren’t naturally mindful can start to reap the benefits with regular practice.
To get started with meditation, find a nice calm and quiet place, give yourself a time limit and then start to check in with your body, noticing how it feels, any area of tension, the sensation of your breath as you breathe in and out.
Your mind will wander naturally but the key is to keep bringing your attention back to your breath, rather than allowing your mind to focus on your thoughts. It might sound simple enough but it can be difficult to do at first. The more you practise, the better you’ll get, however!
- Make time for self-reflection
Self-aware traders are successful traders, so getting into the habit of reflecting on your progress, both as a trader and as a human being, can really make a big difference to your market performance.
Looking back on the past can help you identify weak and vulnerable areas that you could improve upon, learning from any mistakes you’ve made so you can avoid making similar errors in the future.
Doing this will help you see the bigger picture more easily, something that can be overlooked when you’re really zeroed in on the task at hand – so make sure you take a step back on a regular basis to help you grow and progress.
There are all sorts of ways you can start to self-reflect, whether that’s talking to yourself out loud, journaling, doing writing exercises, getting out and about in nature to calm your mind… it’s all about finding the right path for you, so try lots of different methods and techniques to see which you respond to most.
Asking yourself reflective questions is a great place to begin, however, and it can be done anywhere at any time. It’s all about trying to gain some useful insights so you can understand yourself and your needs better, so don’t shy away from asking the difficult questions.
Try asking yourself how you’ve been holding yourself back, what opportunities you’ve missed recently, what you’re most proud of, what’s been stressing you out the most and so on. Once you’ve got the answers to questions like these, you can then start to enact real, long-lasting, meaningful change.
- Practise gratitude
While we certainly advocate chasing your dreams and being ruthless in your pursuit of what sets your soul aflame, it’s just as important not to lose sight of where you are, what you’ve already achieved and the good that you already have in life.
Practising gratitude may not necessarily deliver exciting results on the trading floor, but it can make you happier, calmer and more content… and maintaining a balanced emotional state will certainly help you as a trader.
What’s particularly interesting about this approach is that the more you draw your attention to what you have to be grateful for, the more you’ll notice that you have.
If you’re not sure where to begin, going through the motions can gradually engender overall feelings of gratitude, so perhaps start by smiling, saying thanks and writing letters of gratitude more often. You’ll soon start seeing all sorts of new opportunities for gratitude everywhere you go!
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