The mindset of a professional trader – what pro traders do differently
Do you like challenges and enjoy working hard for your success or are you one of those people who try to look for shortcuts and avoid solving hard problems? There are mainly two types of people when it comes to the attitude towards progress, improvement and success: growth and fixed mindset people.
Most people are not aware which group they belong to, but being self-aware of your personal mindset and attributes is essential for success – not only in trading but in life as well.
In this article, we will help you identify which group you belong to and how you can move forward and start improving.
The fixed mindset trader
It is safe to assume that the majority of amateur traders have a fixed mindset which is often the reason for why they are not seeing the success they are after. A trader acting in a fixed mindset is often not even aware that he is limiting his chances of success and that his actions and thought processes make it almost impossible to achieve any level of consistency in trading.
Here are the obvious signs that you are a fixed mindset trader:
#1 You focus on P&L too much
Fixed mindset traders exclusively focus on their P&L and derive their self-worth from their current account balance. Focusing on the money alone will keep you from making progress because you are not objectively judging your trading decisions, but only care about the outcome of a trade which is a variable you have no control over.
In Edgewonk, you can hide your top account numbers by clicking on the green wallet icon. This way, your performance figures aren’t always looming above you. Also, we recommend hiding the account balance info in your trading platform.
#2 You don’t review your trades
Traders with a fixed mindset don’t journal and do not review their trades. They do not actively engage in any form of study and avoid putting in the effort. Instead, they are constantly looking for shortcuts and new get-rich-quick possibilities.
Do you have a journal and do you keep track of trades? Indeed, this can mean work and you need discipline but if you want to become a growth mindset trader, you have to start putting in the work.
#3 You are discouraged easily
If you frequently change your trading method or make changes to your trading strategy after one or two losing trades, you are acting with a fixed mindset. Fixed mindset traders are not in it for the long-term and they are discouraged easily when they don’t see instant results. They don’t treat trading like a business but like an activity where they expect an instant return.
#4 You blame others and your outside circumstances
Even after consistently losing for months and years, traders with a fixed mindset blame ‘irrational’ markets, unfair price manipulation and the ‘evil finance industry’. Denying the fact that you are responsible for your failure (and success) leads to nowhere and it keeps you from progressing. Only when you can accept that it’s your own inability which is causing you to lose money, you will be able to take the steps necessary to make a change.
Keeping an objective trading journal is the first step towards a better future. Of course, it will hurt once you start seeing that it wasn’t your trading strategy but YOU who caused all the losses, but only if you face your problems head first will you be able to turn it around.
The growth mindset trader
People with a growth mindset are the ones who stand out in any field and profession. Success without a growth mindset is not possible. The following points characterize the trader with a growth mindset and show his thought process as well.
#1 You put in the work – without questioning
A growth mindset person does not skip their ‘homework’ or finds excuses for why he can’t prepare his analysis and journal his trades. He just does what he is supposed to do because he understands that it doesn’t work without it.
There is no questioning or looking for shortcuts.
A growth mindset trader knows that it is about setting a schedule, showing up each day and sticking to it. It’s about focusing on building the right identity rather than worrying about getting the right result.
“Motivation and inspiration is for amateurs. The professionals just show up and get going”
#2 Complete resilience and commitment
Growth mindset people don’t look for shortcuts or for easy ways to get to where they want to be. They know that achieveing success is not going to be easy and that it will most likely require years of dedicated work. At the same time, they also understand that success is not an accident or requires luck – it’s planbar and predictable. Success is the end product of their consistency and their determination to achieve what they want for themselves.
#3 Dealing with challenges
A trader with a growth mindset knows that there will be rough times and many setbacks along the way. But he also understands that every challenge has a learning opportunity. Failure provides lessons and reveals our personal weaknesses. A growth mindset trader, therefore, does not try to avoid challenges and gets discouraged easily. Instead, he understands that by finding solutions for his problems, he will reach his goals much faster.
“You never fail until you stop trying.” – Albert Einstein
#4 Self-awareness and feedback
The growth mindset trader is totally self-aware and does not shy away from criticism because he knows that outside feedback is necessary to evolve.
Whereas most traders have a delusional picture of their trading abilities and sugarcoat their consistent failure, the growth mindset trader is aware of his weaknesses and mistakes. No one is born a great trader and trading successfully requires a unique mindset and set of skills. The growth mindset trader doesn’t accept his limitations but works relentlessly towards his goals.
Now what? If you’re looking to take your trading into your own hands and become serious about it, take a look at our trader development course. You’ll get the professional Edgewonk journal and access to our development course (click here for more info) where you’ll learn how to turn your trading around and give it the seriousness it deserves.