When is the last time you didn’t feel so well, mentally?

Likely not too terribly long ago. It happens often, whether because of trading, relationships, events or the countless other not so pleasant things that can occur. The important thing is what we do once we get this feeling. Let’s take trading for example.

Joe (made up), had a poor week and last all the month’s earnings. He doesn’t feel good at all, has the lurking feeling of despair deep inside him as he drives back home that night (you know the one). Obviously, to simply tell him that it is going to Okay likely is not going to be enough – even though it is the truth. Joe has a couple decisions he can make, one to reconcile the situation and one that makes it (probably) worse.

1. He quits. He looks at the day’s work and says ‘Trading is not for me, can’t be. I am simply not good enough. Apparently I do not know what I am doing after all, despite winning some.” 

Or

2. He says “This is not a good day. But I know that I have made money in the past and I have this process of mine that I can fall back on that is the truth, my crux, the essential piece. This process is immutable, I have managed to make it out of trial and error and even though it is not 100% factually based to the point that is not irrefutable (even conceptually), I have faith in it’s ability and it has worked for me.”

In the case of the first decision, Joe obviously made a poor and emotional decision when it came to the determining of whether or not he should continuing trading. Now, be careful here, I am not saying that once you trade once, he should never stop and never change; no. Not at all. I believe that trading is not for everyone, but to give up because of one bad day/month is not reason enough to throw in the towel on the whole thing.

Okay, so if Joe were to select the second choice he would be making a wise, thoughtful decision for his livelihood (mentally and economically). He recognized the importance of taking a step back and looking at the facts before coming to an unsubstantiated conclusion.

Let’s now be honest with ourselves. Joe is us. Joe is not simply some imaginary character in another world. He is us. We have all been Joe before and will again (probably sooner than later).

Before you get in the car and start that drive home in the midst of a poor mental mindset, remember to take a step back; look at the facts, the history and what is truly important (or not). 

Before the Car Ride Home