When trading, frustrations come with the territory, it is an inevitable part of trading and something that every single trader will experience at some time during their trading career. The problem with frustration is that it can lead to further feelings of not being good enough or wanting to not bother anymore, it can also lead to you making mistakes and cutting corners, which is a cardinal sin when it comes to trading.
If you have been trading for a while, then I am sure that you are able to think back to a time when you started to feel frustrated when you did, did you stick with it or did you do something to try and reduce the amount of frustration that you are feeling? The good news is that there are a number of different things that you can do to help reduce the levels of frustration that you are feeling, some easy and some that take a little more effort. What is important is that you do something to reduce the feeling before you start to take shortcuts or make mistakes.
So let’s look at some of the things that you can do to help reduce your frustration levels.
It is not your fault: A lot of frustration often comes from a loss or a few losses in a row, when this happens it is perfectly reasonable for someone to begin to think that maybe it is them that is causing the losses, maybe you just aren’t good enough at this trading thing. What you need to remember so that it is not your fault and everyone experiences these losses. Losses are a part of trading, if you didn’t have any, then you would be one of the greatest traders who has ever traded, so when you experience a few, even if they are in a row, do not kick yourself. Remember back to when you created your trading plan and strategy, you calculated these losses to give you an overall profitable strategy, so when they come, it can be annoying, but it is not your fault.
Losses will happen, do not blame yourself, and just take a look at the trades to work out why it lost, there may be a logical explanation or a clear reason that shows you that it was not you, it was something that happened in the markets. If you are following your trading plan and sticking to the rules that you set, then there is nothing that you have done to merit any blame, so accept the loss and move on to the next trade.
Your strategy still works: When you make a couple of losses in a row, it can make you think that maybe your strategy is the thing that is not working. In reality, this is not the case. In fact, your strategy may still be working perfectly well. The markets are constantly changing, the conditions are changing minute by minute, your strategy will not pick out trades perfectly, no single strategy ever will. So a few losses here and there is part of the process, your strategy was designed to be able to cope with this. Stick with it.
If you are convinced that there is definitely something wrong with your strategy, do not start over, take a closer look at each aspect of your strategy, the majority of it will still be absolutely fine, no reason to start over completely. Just alter any parts that you feel need adapting to the new trading conditions, but your strategy ultimately still works, so do not throw it out for something completely new and untested.
Work out what went wrong: If you have had a few losses, do not start to feel frustrated, it is difficult as it is a natural feeling to have, but instead, try working out why things went wrong. Hopefully, you are keeping a trading journal where you are putting in all the trades that you are making as well as the reasons behind making them. Looking at this, you may be able to see whether you did something wrong or if you missed a part of it. It can also show you if there are any patterns in your trading which could have caused the losses.
If you manage to find something, then this is the perfect time to make some changes, just adjust the little bit that you feel caused the issue, then test it out on a demo account, see whether it has made any differences, if it works, change it on the live account, if not, then revert back and continue with your strategy. If however, you find no patterns and nothing really wrong, then it could just be the part of your strategy where you will have losses, it will always happen, try not to overthink it too much, and carry on with what you are doing.
Take a break and get outside: So you have become frustrated, either from a few losses or the lack of trading opportunities, instead of letting that frustration grow, try and get away from it completely. Get outside and get some fresh air, this is a fantastic way to clear your mind, being able to reduce your frustration levels with a good walk, or by doing something completely different like shopping with help take the negative thoughts out of your mind. Coming back to trading with a fresh and clear mind will allow you to look at the markets in a new way, your past losses will mean nothing and you will be able to fully concentrate on your next upcoming trades.
Do some exercise: Exercise is one of the number one ways to get rid of both frustrations and also negative thoughts. Taking part in the exercise will release endorphins into your body which will very quickly help you rescue the frustrations that you are currently feeling. It does not need to be anything extremely tough, even a simple jog or a long walk is enough to help your body. Not only does it help clear your head, but exercise helps with your overall well being, both your mind and body. Having a healthier mind and body allows you to tolerate a lot more including those trading frustrations in the future and will help you to trade with a clearer mind.
So those are a few of the things that you can do to help with your frustration, it is important to remember that when something goes wrong, when you have a few losses, it does not mean that it was your fault. In fact, you may well have done absolutely nothing wrong. Being able to control those frustrations and to spot when you are starting to become a little frustrated is a very powerful tool, as soon as you see it coming, change something, do something else to help reduce or avoid it completely. Only you can tell when you are feeling frustrated, so it is up to you to be able to take that step back and do something about it. You will thank yourself later once you have managed to reduce those levels and you will be a far better trader if you learn to control it.