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Attitude Check: Where's Yours?

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It is the choice that is made once trading challenges arise and the attitude you have about these challenges that will ultimately determine your success.

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Throughout my years of trading and working with others, I have found one area to be in direct correlation to one's success. While I am a firm believer and subscribe to the thesis that any person can become a successful trader if they desire to do so and possess the hard work and determination to get there, I have still found that the level of this success correlates directly with the individual's general attitude and can be seen and measured in many areas of life.

Once you start to delve into trading and move past the basics you will quickly learn that it is much more about mental conditioning and psychology than it is about mechanics. The fundamental basics are important, and must be in place, but in order to move from mediocre to successful one must challenge the qualitative side much more than the quantitative side.

Trading is much like a sport in which the athlete may continuously be challenged and many times outmatched, but the athlete is not ultimately measured by these challenges, rather, it is the response to these challenges that make the athlete. What if Michael Jordan had given up after being cut from his Junior High Basketball Team? Would he have gone on to be the greatest player of all time? What if Lance Armstrong had given up after being diagnosed with cancer? Would he have gone on to win several more races? What if the University of Kentucky had given up after a loss to South Carolina? Would they have gone on to upset the #1 team in college football, and prove all non-believers terribly wrong?

My point is simple. As with athletes, there will be many times in a trader's life where they will meet incredible challenges. It won't just be the big challenges either. It will be small non-press worthy challenges, such as daily mistakes or poor trades that happen on a routine basis. It is the choice that is made once these challenges arise and the attitude you have about these challenges that will ultimately determine your success.

Ask yourself a few questions:

1) Am I generally a positive or a negative person?
2) How would those closest to me answer that?
3) Do I look for the good in each situation or the bad?
4) What challenges have I risen above in the past?
5) What challenges have I fallen victim to in the past?

In my trading I find myself asking these same questions and digging deep to make sure I am attacking my trading with an extremely positive attitude, one which is not surprised by success but rather expects it, in addition to being able to rise above any challenge that is put in my path.

You see, if you trade stocks and dedicate the time necessary to this craft, soon you will possess the basics that are needed to pick good stocks and reap rewards. Ironically, this is the easy part. The hard part comes with constantly improving and in order to do so it is found within. It is not by improving the stock selection, holding time or speed that ultimately improves one's profit potential. It is mental improvement through an introspection of oneself.

Over the next several days I am going to look at the mental aspects of trading. I will break down areas one by one and analyze them to dig deeper into this area of trading, which is rarely discussed but in my opinion one of the most important areas.

It all starts with your attitude. Where is yours today?

No positions in stocks mentioned.

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