Discipline is the key skill I use in all aspects of my trading as well as my psychological and physiological journey.
For my 8-part series, I wanted to offer a different perspective on the topic of discipline.
I want to look at how I take control of my mind and develop discipline including objectivity on a daily basis. The first aspect is to have some truths about trading and myself, knowing that at some stage I will lapse in discipline and must reset. I have to accept this and be able to put this out of my mind. When trading, my opinion is only my opinion and I will not trade on this, I will only trade what I see. This allows me to follow a routine for the day and a process for trading, and not trade or act on opinions or impulse.
The fundamentals of having a process and routine are my aim. I have to work out how I follow this, and instil all of this for the long term. I find it interesting that routine and discipline is a difficultly we all struggle with. Because we do small daily tasks without fail, we assume that we are uber disciplined. I guess it comes down to benefits, convention and will.
Understanding that I have discipline and routines, I must extrapolate and have the drive and desire to succeed and this is how I will achieve it.
Firstly, you must have desire! Desire is the notion that you want something so much that you are willing to work hard and to make sacrifices! You have to love what you do, anyone who is successful has a passion for their craft. Second, is process and learning. Even though creativity or free thinking may be a key ingredient, having a strong process to achieve ideas is key.
I truly believe that all successful traders have unwavering discipline. To give an example of my own journey, I have found comfort and enjoyment in a structured work day. I follow a routine, from getting up, making the bed, thinking three things to be grateful for, meditation, some family time and then leading into the work day. I set my mind in a certain way which then allows me to give my brain some form of fortitude to help with the stresses of trading. Having a strong routine and a process driven approach and by ticking each step or each process off daily builds confidence. It provides a sense of achievement and a feeling of worth and with this comes consistent profitability rather than having short bursts of enjoyment of winning trades. It also provides an added element of excitement and achievement that the process has been ticked off and has worked to reach a goal.
Setting out your daily work and some personal tasks, with a few as priorities allows you to work through to an end goal. This helps take small steps to achievement. You feel organised and it clears your mind to have definitive steps in a process. This process will give you the trading conclusions to then make informed trading decisions. Following a process makes it methodical and then you can act or be patient and do nothing.
Discipline as a skill filters down through all aspects of your daily trading life.
This builds confidence in your abilities as you are now disciplined in a process or checklist and keeping to this lack of discipline will prevent your skill as a trader from progressing.
Remembering discipline comes consistency in profitability.
Please see our previous article on Self-Discipline, https://www.tradersmindjournal.com/ blogs/news/self-discipline which will provide a great insight.