HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
Newcomers to forex trading can often be a bit blasė about how much actually goes into becoming a successful trader, particularly here in the 21st century when we have so much technology at our disposal to help us get the job done.
It can be very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that all you need is a laptop, some innovative technological tools and resources, and away you go. Before you know it, untold wealth will be yours!
Well, not quite.
While technology certainly is incredibly useful for forex trading and, of course, the advent of the internet made it entirely possible for anyone and everyone to try their hand at trading currency pairs, what’s essential to remember is that all of this actually comes secondary to who you are as a person, what your personality traits are, your individual strengths and weaknesses, how you react in certain situations… it can be quite the minefield!
Naturally, people are attracted to trading because it represents a particularly lucrative opportunity, but it can be helpful in the beginning to view it more as a journey of self-discovery, rather than a means of making cold hard cash.
If you don’t keep an open mind and if you’re not prepared to have some tough conversations with yourself about the changes you need to make internally, it’s more than likely that you’ll falter at the first hurdle and you’ll never fully realise your trading ambitions.
Identifying what your strengths and weaknesses are will be absolutely key if you’re to reach the stratospheric heights of trading success. This is what all the top traders will have done and will continue to do over time, learning more and more about themselves as they trade, an ongoing education that will only serve them in excellent stead on the trading floor.
What are strengths and weaknesses?
When you think about your particular strengths, consider which character traits or skills you might have that are considered positive. This could be anything from your unique set of talents to your general knowledge, emotional intelligence, skills, attributes and so on.
Perhaps obviously, our strengths are what help us achieve our goals and ambitions, driving us on to attain and accomplish what we have in mind. Strengths can also help improve our life satisfaction and overall sense of wellbeing and happiness.
As for your weaknesses, these are those character traits or skills you have that may not be as well developed or which are perhaps having a negative impact on you and your life.
Becoming more self-aware in regard to both of these will be particularly beneficial for your trading performance, but it will require asking yourself some potentially difficult questions, questions that you may not like the answers to.
By developing a deeper understanding of your resourcefulness and your personal shortfalls, you’ll be able to put serious plans in place to help you attain your goals, as well as dealing with any potential challenges that come your way more successfully… which will make the path towards attainment even more enjoyable.
As long as you keep an open mind and have a readiness to change, however, you should soon start to see how this helps you as a trader… and once this realisation dawns, there really will be no stopping you!
How to identify your strengths and weaknesses
What can be helpful to remember is that people aren’t black and white. Typically, we’re varying shades of grey and judging your strengths and weaknesses along a scale rather than trying to pinpoint different traits and skills as being either entirely strong or entirely weak can be beneficial.
What’s more likely is that you’ll be stronger in some areas and weaker in others, which can help you work out which attributes to prioritise first. And don’t forget that we’re usually our harshest critics and you may well have to counteract the effects of being negatively biased towards yourself, so this is important to take into account as well.
Using self-evaluation tools can help get you off on the right foot. One particularly useful tool for traders is the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument, which can help you identify what your specific thought patterns and styles are, revealing how you would typically react to and address different situations and circumstances.
The results profile will categorise your thinking styles into four quadrants: analytical, experimental, relational and practical. The aim is to help further your understanding of how you’re likely to think in the face of new challenges and scenarios, showing you where you’re most likely to feel comfortable and where you’re likely to struggle.
Theory is all very well and good, and taking personality tests and aptitude tests can reveal all sorts of interesting traits and attributes that may well have been concealed up until now… but there’s nothing quite like putting yourself through your paces in real life to help you work out what you’re good at and where you’re lacking.
Challenging yourself can be hugely inspiring and one of the best ways to go about this is to try new activities and new pursuits. When you do something you’re new at and don’t have any experience in, it can be particularly illuminating and can really help you grow as a person, which is sure to translate into trading success at some point.
Whatever activities you decide to pursue, you’re sure to find that you’ll fail in some areas… and you might fail spectacularly! What’s important in this instance is to push past these initial feelings and persevere, or you’ll never gain the personal insights you’re looking for.
Also bear in mind that you shouldn’t expect to gain these insights immediately and you may need to try, try and try again before you do take some lessons away – and, as such, it can be useful to debrief afterwards and properly process the experiences you’re engaging in to see what takeaways there are.
How to utilise your strengths and weaknesses to improve trading performance
A common belief is that by focusing solely on your weaknesses and working on your vulnerable areas, you’ll see improvements in your trading performance as a result.
It’s important to remember that this won’t necessarily be the case and it’s essential that you don’t forget to focus on your areas of strength as well, maintaining a sense of balance between the two.
The key is to take full advantage of your personal talents, abilities and attributes to drive trading success, while working on your weaker areas so they in turn become strengths, as well. Weaknesses represent excellent learning opportunities and you would be wise not to shy away from addressing them if you do want to progress on your trading journey.
A good first step to take is to build your optimal trading strategy that takes your particular strengths into account. From there, you can start to think about how best to go about addressing your weak points and one really excellent way to do this is to keep a trading journal, recording all your transactions and executions over time.
This will give you all the data you need to see how well your strategy is working and the effect of any new implementations you bring in day by day.
A journal can also help you keep your emotions in check and see if there are any scenarios or situations that could be triggering you into having a poor reaction, one that could cloud your judgement and lead your trades astray.
View every trading session as an opportunity to use your strengths and improve your weaknesses, practising consistently and tracking your progress as you go.
Seeking out additional training opportunities, whether that’s by finding a mentor to help you or by educating yourself further on forex, can help you give those weaker areas more value, eventually turning them into strengths themselves.
By working in this way, you’ll develop a cohesive approach to trading that simultaneously allows you to look at the bigger picture while focusing on the smaller details necessary in order for you to hit your goals. You’ll also likely find that you start to trust yourself and your intuition a lot more, giving you a big boost in confidence as a trader.
All of this will give you the skills and expertise you need to help you hit your trading goals, as well as ensuring that you enjoy your choice of career far more, keeping you properly engaged and working productively as time goes on.
Given how volatile forex markets are, adopting a balanced approach to trading will help you on your path to success. So now’s the time to gain deeper insight into where your strengths and weaknesses truly lie.
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