How to Work on Your Emotions and Influence Your Trading Care

Published: Mar 24, 2010

This guy is interested in a fast-paced risk-taking career in trading but admits he's not the coolest cat in the alley when it comes to dealing with high-pressure situations. He can't bluff his way through a friendly game of seven-card stud, can't watch Man. U. without eating the ends of his nails, and tosses and turns like a four-year old afraid of the dark the night before the big exam. So it would seem that he should chuck in the 400-count Egyptian cotton and ditch his dream of making it big in the world of derivatives, shorts and options, right?<p><img class="embeddedObject" src="" width="270" height="183" border="0" alt="Trading Floor" align="left">Wrong.<p><p>What he should do is this:<p>Practice.<p>That's right, even controlling your emotions, like times tables and state capitals, can be learned (though, certainly, working on your stress-dealing skills might not be as easy as remembering where the heck Montpelier and Bismarck sit on the map). <p>And here's how:<p><b>#1: Identify your weaknesses.</b> Take the aforementioned wannabe trader for example. He has already taken step one, outlining his weaknesses, citing his "nervous/stressed mindset."<p><b>#2: What do you want?</b> After identifying your weaknesses, you need to communicate, if only to yourself, what you want. In this example, the wannabe trader wants a good poker face, a calmer countenance when the chips are on the line, and the ability to put out of his mind an imminently stressful situation that will occur sometime in the near future.<p><b>#3: Put yourself in situations where you have to work on your weaknesses.</b> To keep this example going, the guy should engage in experiences and events where he'll be forced to bluff, compete, and be tested. So, he might play more poker (though I do not advocate doing this for money) or watch his favorite football side and try not to yell at the TV or get excited or sign up for a an exam where he has to study. (He could also get some of his buds together and play this game, one of my favorites as a kid and one that I challenge anyone to play in a calm, quiet state.)<p><b>#4. Repeat #3 again and again and again.</b>

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