How To Increase Your Self-Esteem
When it comes to forex trading, there’s a lot that can affect your performance on the markets and, perhaps surprisingly, much of this comes down to how you’re feeling as an individual within yourself and what your current state of mind is actually like.
As we often say, a happy trader can be a more lucrative trader so if you’re not feeling tip-top for whatever reason, you may want to step away from the currency pairs and take a little break so you can turn your attention inwards and see if there’s anything going on emotionally and mentally that could impact your trading performance.
Self-esteem and self-belief encompasses your own personal sense of worth and value. A lack of self-confidence, identity and sense of belonging can really have an impact on your motivation, your health and wellbeing and quality of life… all of which will inevitably filter down and you’ll see your trading career start to suffer as a result.
Interestingly, from a forex perspective, if you have the opposite problem and your self-confidence levels are too high, you could also start taking more losses than wins as you trade. It’s all about striking a healthy balance and walking that fine line between confident and cocky when you’re on the trading floor.
Why do we need good self-esteem?
Self-esteem can have a significant impact on your decision-making skills, your mental and emotional health, your sense of wellbeing, your relationships, your motivation… it has a lot to answer for, which is why it’s important to prioritise it and work towards maintaining a happy, healthy and positive view of yourself.
If you’re not sure if you have good self-esteem or not, it’s perhaps time to ask yourself some of the harder questions.
For example, do you struggle to maintain healthy and happy relationships with other people? Do you have a solid understanding of what you need and are you able to express them? Are your personal expectations realistic? Do you have a deep understanding of your particular skill set and attributes?
If you find it hard to express your needs, focus on your weaknesses rather than your strengths and frequently experience the likes of worry, self-doubt and fear, it may well be that you’re struggling with self-belief.
If you have low self-esteem, you may well feel less sure of yourself, doubting your ability to make good decisions. You may also feel demotivated to tackle new ideas and activities because you don’t believe you’ll be able to achieve what you want.
For trading, this spells serious disaster, as decision-making is absolutely key to trader success and if you don’t have confidence in your own thought processes, you’re sure to flounder… and probably relatively quickly.
Low self-esteem also has the potential to lead on to other issues, such as anxiety disorders and depressive disorders, which can make it even harder to keep on track with your goals and maintain healthy relationships.
Additionally, people with healthy levels of self-esteem typically don’t spend much time ruminating on past negative experiences which, again, will come in really handy if you’re a trader.
Losses are inevitable when you trade and it’s all about how you react to them when they do crop up that will determine your level of success. You need to be able to take any and all lessons away from negative experiences and then let it all go without dwelling on it so that you’re able to progress and can react to similar situations more effectively in the future.
Having good self-esteem can really help you achieve your goals in trading and in your personal life because you’re better able to navigate your way through since you have the confidence in yourself that you can do it no matter what.
What if you have too much self-esteem?
You might think that you could never feel too good about yourself but bear in mind that it’s actually quite easy to cross the line between high self-esteem and narcissism… and this could be just as bad news for your trading career as having low self-belief.
Again, ask yourself some of the harder questions to see if your self-esteem might be bordering on the higher side. Do you think you could be preoccupied with being perfect, for example? Do you always have to be right? Do you think you’re better or more highly skilled than other people?
Excessive self-esteem can be just as disruptive to your trading as low self-esteem and you’re likely to be overconfident and overestimate your skills and abilities… which could see you making some serious errors of judgement.
Believing that you’re perfect and that you can do no wrong can also make it difficult to maintain a level of professional success as a trader, since you may well believe that nothing needs to change, that you have no faults and that you make no mistakes.
Adaptability and the ability to keep an open mind, while being sufficiently self-aware, are traits that all the top traders will have in abundance. There’s no place for arrogance in trading and if your outlook is such, you’ll find that the markets soon put you in your place.
How to increase your self-esteem
For those of you who believe you may have low self-esteem, the good news is that there’s a lot you can do to change how you perceive yourself, boost your confidence and give you more belief in your own abilities.
Being more aware of your negative thoughts can really help you devise lots of coping strategies and enact real and long-lasting positive change in how you experience stress and pressure throughout your life.
Once you’ve recognised your cognitive distortions, you can start taking steps to get a handle on them. Journaling is one of the best ways in which you can examine your inner processes – and, again, this is something that the most successful traders will engage in on a regular basis, so it could be a great place to begin where your self-esteem is concerned, as well.
Perhaps start writing down any negative thoughts and comments when they pop into your head so you can go back and analyse them later when you’re feeling more centred mentally and emotionally. Or you could wait until the end of the day to summarise what’s happened and how you feel. It’s all just about finding the best way forward for you.
Another really effective way to boost your confidence and self-esteem is to start using positive affirmations on a regular basis. Talking kindly to yourself and giving yourself praise repeatedly over time can really help to challenge any negative thoughts you might be having, helping you to manifest success in your own life.
Examples of positive affirmations include statements such as: “I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy”; “I am the architect of my life”; “My body is healthy, my mind is brilliant, my soul is tranquil”; “I am superior to negative thoughts and low actions”; “I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful”.
Speaking words and phrases such as these out loud on a regular basis can really help give you the strength you need to see your potential and realise your dreams and ambitions.
Manifestation is a bit of a buzzword at the moment and positive affirmations form an important part of this, so it could certainly be worth investigating further if you do feel as though you’ve hit a bit of a stumbling block of late.
And finally, one of the very best ways to go about building your self-esteem is to zero in on what you’re best at and work towards developing your skills and abilities in these areas.
Finding opportunities that really cement and accentuate your core competencies will show both yourself and others that you are worthy, that you are competent, that you are to be valued… and that you’re going to do all you can to achieve your dreams and do what you love.
How to maintain self-esteem as a trader
As with anything in this life, self-esteem is not an ever-fixed mark and it can be affected in a million different ways and by a million different sources – particularly when you’re trading forex, as the market is a particularly volatile one, with many different sources of potential stress and conflict.
You can help give yourself the confidence and self-belief you need to see prolonged success as a trader by knowing your trading style inside out, sticking to your trading plan, working out your risk tolerance and focusing on the process, rather than the outcome itself.
If you’d like to put your skills to the test, we have a range of forex trading programs available that could be right for you and your current trading level. Take a look and see what you can find.