By Sophia — FX STORM on Twitter
This is my personal story…my journey so far, on the trader’s path. When I first started learning how to trade, I too heard that terrifying statistic, that only about 10 percent of forex traders ever become successful at it. Still, my determination was stronger than my fear, so I threw myself into learning the ‘trade’.
Over the period of a few months, I learned a lot about trading, including various techniques and methods. I was advised to decide on the one most suited to my personality. I could do most comfortably, and didn’t see the need to focus on just one. The habit of proper money management also eluded me, so I went about, like so many others you’ve no doubt heard of before, blowing my very first account. By refusing to accept the losses for what they were, and trying to ‘get it all back’, I compounded my losses. These are some of the greatest dangers to a trader, especially in the beginning stages when it is critical to develop the discipline that will later allow you to maintain a relaxed frame of mind, and a feeling of confidence.
The resulting feeling certainly wasn’t one of self-confidence, I can tell you. However, at the same time, the defeated feeling didn’t keep me out for long, and did nothing to dampen my desire to become good at trading. I just needed to find the secret. I desperately tried. I moved back to demo (my other mistake had been not demo trading for more than about a week) After demo trading for a while, I opened an account which allowed me to trade in micro lots; After all, a pip is a pip, right? There are people who are of the impression that it is silly to be making pips and not getting much money for it, but the importance of micro-lot trading should NEVER be under-estimated. I had the feeling that it was crucial to my re-building a sense of confidence while trading. The added plus was that it went a step beyond demo trading with only minimal risk. I incrementally increased my lots, without feeling the ‘shock’ of suddenly trading larger lot sizes.
These steps helped enormously, and soon I started trading regular lot sizes. It was good, sometimes. I mean, I made hundreds of pips, but at other times I’d lose hundreds more, kind of like one step forward, and two steps back. So I thought, this psychological stuff I’m always hearing about must have something more to it. I realized the problem wasn’t technical, so there had to be another reason.
I soon learned that trading while I felt stressed, for whatever reason, wasn’t a good idea. No amount of technical skill could compensate for this. My optimal performance takes place when I am ultra relaxed. Also, my drive to succeed had been acting like a two-edged sword. Instead of focusing on one or two strategies at first, I was all over the place, trying to scalp one minute and then long-term position trading the next. Looking back now I know that I was simply trying too hard.
What did I do? I started trading only a single technique; the one I felt most comfortable with. I try to remain relaxed all the time while trading, or I do not trade. I also keep notes on my desk and all over the wall in my office as a constant reminder to keep me in line. I came to realize that in trading, the only thing I could really control was myself. I decided on the maximum amount I would risk on a trade, and strictly adhered to it, no matter how good a set-up looks. I consciously try to be in tuned with the market on a daily basis. I wait to see where it’s going and go along. It’s as simple…and as difficult as that.
I had education, and it was still difficult; partly because I chose not to listen to some important advice, and partly because some things I just had to learn by going through the process. Still, the education helped in building confidence, as well as giving me options where strategy is concerned. I cannot help but wonder how it can ever be possible for someone to succeed at this without getting any training and mentorship at all. I had it tough in spite of having had all these advantages.
Now, in conclusion, I’m excited as I’ve never been before, to see what the future will bring as I continue this road of consistently profiting from this seemingly elusive business we call trading.
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