Most traders want to "overcome" their emotions. They view thoughts and emotions as the enemy which prevents them from succeeding in the market. This is a false perception. Yes emotions and thoughts can lead to actions in the market, but they are impossible to remove. So long as you are human you will have emotions and thoughts. There is an alternative to removing them, and that is to use them to your advantage in the market.
By practicing mindfulness, which is awareness of thoughts, emotions, and perceptions, you can learn to recognize how these affect your trading performance. By recognizing and being aware of them, you have a chance to change the outcome. For instance if you consistently enter poor trades due to fear of missing out. When you become aware of this fear you can learn to stop yourself from entering and avoid the poor trades that hurt your performance.
There is a direct correlation between how you feel about yourself or the market, and how you perform. If you are worried about money you will overly focus on risk or prices going against your position even if only slightly, and likely make a mistake by exiting too soon. Or you do not want to take the loss and will hold the trade too long, hoping the market will let you off the hook with a smaller loss.
What is Zen Trading about?
Zen trading is a mindset of flowing with the market without hesitation, being aware of and trading along side emotions, and making actions intuitively rather than forcefully. A Zen trader remains in a relaxed, effortless state of mind; without any internal struggle. He does not attach his self worth to his performance at any given time, and is unhindered by market outcomes. He acts on his edge when it is present without hesitating, and takes what the market gives him when it is time to do so. He trusts himself, his strategy, and the market to provide him with a consistent performance over time; whether or not he makes money on this trade, today, or this week. He is aware of the bigger picture; the Tao or life, and knows there is more to life than trading or money. Trading is not his life. It is simply something he does to earn a living, and he seeks to maintain a Zen spirit in his trading and actions in the market.
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