Motivation and discipline, some incredibly important traits that you need to have in order to be a successful trader. You often hear that trading can be quite a demoralising experience, especially when things aren’t quite going to plan, so we are going to look at some of the reasons why you need to be able to self-motivate and self-discipline yourself and different ways that you could potentially go about doing it.
Firstly, let’s look at why motivation is so important. Motivation is defined as “a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.”. This is all based around the way that you behave, someone with low levels of motivation will be a lot slower, less engaged, and offer much lower levels of productivity to someone who is highly motivated, putting in a lot of work, getting things done quickly and ultimately enjoying what it is that they are doing.
Motivation can be a very powerful feeling and something that can make you either successful or unsuccessful. The problem with trading is that you are all by yourself, this means that there is no one else around to motivate you. In a regular job (most not all), there will be a manager or a team leader around, one of the jobs that they have been employed to do is to help motivate those around them, to motivate their team to work hard. Without that person around, it is now down to you to do that job for yourself, and this can quite often be a lot harder to do than it is to say.
Think about the ways that you can motivate yourself, what is it that gets you going? For some, it is simply the idea that they can make some money at the end of it, but this is more of a motivational goal, rather than a way of keeping yourself motivated. When you have been at the computer for a number of hours, not much has happened or you have read over some new learning for the third time. It’s boring, you want to stop, how’d you motivate yourself to carry on?
People do this in entirely different ways and it will work differently for different people. Something that you may want to try is to set yourself little goals, these can be daily, weekly or monthly targets that you want to meet. Should you achieve them, then reward yourself with a little something extra, an extra cake, those trainers you wanted, it could be anything but it must be something that you desire, and it must be something that you are willing to go without should you not achieve those targets.
Other ways of increasing your motivational levels are to add a little bit of variety into your learning and your trading, and not to pressure yourself into always be trading. Of course, that will be boring and will cause your productivity levels to really drop, instead, try to change things up, try not to do the same thing for more than one day or two days in a row. This will keep things fresh and you will continue to learn and to be productive in your trading. It can also be important to talk to others, being by yourself lonely and this can bore even the most motivated of people. It is important that you manage to get out and talk to others, talk about anything. It doesn’t need to be just about trading, this interaction can break up the monotony of trading.
We talked about speaking to others. If we take this a ste[p further, a good way of motivating yourself can be by talking with other traders, people who are going through the same thing as you. You can talk about your plans, your results and compare how people are getting on. This can go one of two ways and it will depend on your personality as to whether this is a good idea. If you decide to compare your results with others and you are doing well, this can motivate you to keep working hard. However, if you see your results and you are not doing as well as the majority of others it can either cause you to lose a lot of your motivation as you feel that you are not doing as well, or it can motivate you to work hard to achieve the same as them. This Is entirely down to your own personality, if you are the sort of person to become disheartened then we would suggest not comparing results. If you are the sort of person where it drives you to work harder, then it can be a fantastic motivation builder
So we know a bit about motivation, but what about discipline? Discipline is defined as “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience.”. This is often another aspect of a job that is given to a manager or a team leader, but trading by yourself, you are required to take on this role and need to have the ability to discipline yourself should you do something wrong or should your performance levels drop.
When you are working for someone they will be there monitoring your progress and the work that you are doing, trading at home, you do not have someone there to do that, so you will need to do it for yourself. This can be far harder than it seems, as many people automatically assume that they are doing better than they actually are, in fact, the majority of people feel that they are doing far better than they actually are.
The first thing that you are going to need to do is to work out how you are able to assess how well you are doing, this can be done in a number of different ways. Initially, you will need to set some targets and goals that you want to achieve, these can then be used as the overall target that you will measure your progress and performance on. They need to be realistic and achievable, as setting targets too high, will only result in you missing the and then feeling demotivated.
You will also need to think of some potential sanctions should you not be performing to the standard that you feel that you should be or if you are falling far short from your targets. This could simply be something like putting $10 into a saving pot that you can only access once you reach your goals, or that you don’t get that slice of cake that you usually have after a meal, this is all about ensuring that you keep your performance levels up. It can be very difficult to self-discipline yourself.
While what we are talking about is what you do yourself, if you are living with a family member, you could ask them to keep track of your targets and to see how you are getting on it’s not quite self-discipline but it works well for those that are not able to control and discipline themselves.
Self-motivating and self-disciplining is not an easy task and can be very difficult for a lot of people. However, getting it right can make working by yourself and trading by yourself very rewarding and can build up your abilities as an individual and as a leader. If you have what it takes then it can create a fantastic at home trading career.