Various articles nowadays point to our weaknesses, be in trading psychology, risk management, or strategy. These articles focus on minimising one's weaknesses, while what you should also be doing is improving your strengths. Focusing on weaknesses can have reverse psychology on a trader and result in a negative attitude while focusing on your strengths can reinforce your self-esteem and grounding for success.
Sure, it's essential to tackle your weaknesses, and most traders learn from mistakes by doing just that. However, it is not always the key to success. A different approach to success is building your strengths to work around your shortcomings.
Today we're on a mission to identify your strengths, and this article will help you do that in three simple steps.
Firstly, make sure to review your trading journal.
By now you should have one, and if you don't, then you should start one as soon as possible. We cannot stress enough the importance of keeping a detailed record of all your trades. In essence, a trading journal is a perfect tool for seeing your strategy from a different perspective, but it's also a useful tool to identify your strengths.
If you already have a trading journal, take it out and pinpoint those instances where you think you performed well. Identify your top 10, maximum 15, profitable trades and find what they all have in common. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Which currency pair did you trade?
- How long did you leave your trade open?
- Did you follow a trading plan?
- Did you base your trade on some analysis (be it, technical, fundamental or both)?
Identifying your strengths by reviewing your trading journal is the first step to success.
Step two is listing down your strengths as a trader.
The orthodox way to go about it is by involving your friends, and people you know professionally and asking for their feedback. However, as Forex is a very personal experience, you might want to start without engaging others. Questions you might want to ask yourself are:
- What are my patterns?
- What is my self-portrait?
- Do I pull my strengths into action?
Do not to overthink it. Try identifying yourself with simple traits like creativity, love, kindness, and it will help you assess your strengths in a more natural way. You can identify patterns with the use of your trading journal. Lastly, you must realise if you use your strengths and patterns to optimise your trading. For example, let's say your self-portrait is the love of learning, and your pattern is long-term trading, you can use these strengths to learn and work on improving trading systems for long-term traders.
Thirdly and lastly, once you've given yourself a self-portrait, you should ask for other people's opinion.
This way you will be able to either confirm your strengths and, or identify new ones. Be open to assertive criticism. Self-reflection is essential, but you also need to understand how other people perceive you to step up your game. Don't be afraid to ask your colleagues, trading mentor, friends what traits in their opinion make you a good Forex trader.
You might be surprised to hear what they've got to say. For example, I identified myself as pragmatic, and my pattern was somehow confusing being short to long term trading. I was ready to believe that I cracked the key to success by identifying my strengths until I asked my friends and Forex colleagues for their opinion. I heard that I'm pragmatic, which confirmed my self-portrait, but also, indecisive! I was shocked, but I instantly understood why they said so. My strongest trades were short-term, to the extent where some of my colleagues we inspired by my method. Through their criticism, I was able to realise that a pattern was my strength. And, long-term trades that I was identifying as my pattern were, in fact, a result of my indecisiveness. That's why I wrote earlier, that it's good to be open to assertive criticism. It helps you identify the best traits you might have and once you know what they are you need to embrace them to the fullest.
Don't be afraid to ask your colleagues, trading mentor, friends what traits in their opinion make you a good Forex trader.
That's all it takes, three steps, a couple of questions and you might become the best version of yourself.
To wrap up let's look at the aforementioned psychological aspect and the effect that identifying your best characteristics has on your trading psychology. It can work absolute wonders because you nurture yourself with positivity which motives! And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you should start ignoring your weaknesses, that's not what this article intends to do. Instead, it's to help you realise your full potential as a trader through learning from your mistakes and identifying your best qualities.
Hopefully, this article will help you overcome any shortcomings you might be experiencing. In all honesty, the three-step method described above helped me a lot when I felt like I could be doing much better, but I couldn't identify my best qualities as a trader. So, I wish to say you're welcome and enjoy your new trader self.