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Today, I want to share with you an incident that happened a few days back. As a full-time professional Forex trader and mentor, I’ve realized from my own
experience and that of others that we need to keep our emotions under our firm control if we were to excel in the trade. And as a result of that understanding and diligent effort towards maintaining an emotional equilibrium, I have been able to perform well both in my official and personal life, barring very few situations where I feel agitated or sad momentarily. However, an incident happened a few days back that gave me unique insight into this whole process of emotional discipline. The incident was as follows: 

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I was on my evening walk, taking several rounds in the park with one of my friends. We were discussing many things ranging from work-life balance to possible global food crisis. We happened to see two men involved in a fiery  exchange of words at quite a distance from us. Noticing this, our topic of discussion changed to the need for observing emotional discipline in every walk of life and how stupid it is for them to lose their cool. But when we reached near them, I suddenly realized that one of them was a client of mine. Soon I started thinking why the other guy is having a verbal fight with my client, and I felt an urge to aggressively participate in that fiery exchange of words, defending my client. Although this thought crossed my mind and I got a bit angry, I soon managed my emotions and intervened in a calm and composed manner and helped them solve their problem in an amicable way. 

But this incident made me think when and why did I lose my cool in this situation. In one moment, I was talking to my friend about the need for emotional discipline and the like, and then in the very next moment, I am having an urge to aggressively participate in a verbal fight defending my client. And that self-contemplation gave me some valuable insights which I want to share with you now.

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We’ve all heard that emotions like fear, greed, regret, etc. are some of the main psychological reasons for our compromised and inconsistent performance in Forex trading. But have we ever thought from where these emotions arise? Does it arise spontaneously from nowhere? No, not at all, not in the least. It arises from the I-thought and Mine-thought, or in other words, our own ego.

In the incident discussed above, I was able to manage my emotions well until I found that one of the participants in the verbal fight was “my” client. If it were two men totally unknown to me, I am sure I would have not felt that momentary urge to participate in the fight; rather, I would have remained calm throughout the incident. 

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So now comes the next question – what is so special about this “Mine-thought” that makes us lose our emotional balance and objective thinking? Well, it is nothing but the natural urge to protect, help, and improve anything that belongs to me. So whenever the “Mine-thought” takes control of our mind, we will have this urge to act blindly – without much rational thinking and emotional control – and impulsively. Logical questions like who is right or who is wrong, should I intervene in this or not, etc. would get buried deep down in our mind in such situations because of the overwhelming power of the urge to protect, help, and improve whatever or whoever is ours.

Now let us extend this logic to Forex trading. The reason why you do not feel confident at times or you feel sad when faced with a loss is because you are associating your “I-thought” with your trading outcome. When faced with a loss, you feel that you, as a person, are a failure and hence want to protect yourself by keeping away from trading which affects your confidence level and self-worth. Instead, if you remove your “I-thought” from the trading transaction, then it is just that your strategy or execution has some flaw which you can rectify before your next trade – and you as a person need not feel threatened or let down. 

Thus, in short, the key to maintaining a stable emotional state throughout your career is to master the craft of chiselling away all “I-thoughts” and “My-thoughts” from your trading career.

Posted on Categories Psychology

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