Today was a very rough day for me in the market. Not because I blew my account, or made a stupid trading decision. More so because I felt as if I made all the right calls yet didn't get to profit off of them. If you were in the room with me since 5am this morning you know exactly what I'm talking about, and if not well I'll briefly explain. Within the first few minutes of our session I indentified and pulled the trigger on two gartley patterns. Over the next few hours we watched the trades bounce back and forth between a slight profit and slight drawdown yet never penetrating the level that told us we would be wrong. Then came the news event at 8:30. At first it looked as if the news wouldn't have much effect on the trade as the market held while the announcement was made. However a minute or so later an aggressive candle formed on both pairs, stopping me out for losses. Now I've seen candles like this before and usually what I'll do is enter the trade again at the next bar market if it seems as if we've had strictly an impulse move based off of the news reaction. Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to do that today since those same candles that stopped me out had already reversed and hit my would be first targets by the time they closed. To make things worse, it only took a few candles after that to reach my would be second targets. Therefore I took two losses instead of having two multiple target winners. I'll be honest, rather I'll me human, this had me a little frustrated and in order to keep my cool I forced myself to close down those two charts and forget I even took those trades. After all, looking at them would just cause me to get more aggravated (which is something we never want to be while trading). After taking some deep breaths and venting to the room a little bit, I refocused myself and got back to the charts. Nothing was setting up at the time (which was probably a good thing), but a little later I did find another potential trade entry that looked appetizing. After identifying the trade, stops and targets all that was left to do was to wait for the entry which was at next bar market. As soon as I was about to pull the trigger guess what happened this time... The market suddenly gapped down, not giving me the opportunity to get involved and again my would be first targets were hit in a matter of seconds along with the would be second targets eventually being filled a candle or so later. This was pretty much the last straw for me as I could feel myself reaching that point of trader frustration. Now a few years ago I would have shut down my computer, let out a few choice words, and who knows maybe even threatened to throw my computer out of the window. However, I'm not the same person as I was a few years ago.
Today I'm a very different trader and although none of the thoughts above entered my mind, I did for a brief second (after the Live Room Session ended) question whether or not I was a good trader. I quickly pushed those thoughts away by asking myself this one simple question: Did I follow my rules? In this case my answer was yes, therefore I immediately rid myself of any blame or self doubt, because I know that out of everything that happens in the market, following my rules is the only real thing that I have control of. I also know that as long as I continue to do so I will be profitable in the long run. However, many traders out there start to question their abilities on rough days and aren't able to shake that blow to their confidence. Just like a professional athlete, or a public speaker, the confidence level of a trader has a direct correlation to their performance. It may sound strange, but it's as if the market can sense a traders fear and vulnerability and once it does it begins to take and take and take. Aside from trading I also coach track and field athletes at a local University. I often deal with the case where one of my runners has a horrible race yet is needed for a very important relay later. This is what I tell them "I understand your ran poorly so here's what you do. Take five minutes to be upset with yourself, but after that I need you to forget about it and be ready for your next race." In trading this would be shaking off a bad trade and getting ready for the next, or shaking off a bad trading day and retooling for the next day. Either way you look at it, as a successful trader you must have a short memory. Sometimes we miss trades, sometimes we make bad trades, sometimes the market treats you like it treated me yesterday. Every successful trader at one point or another has experienced a time when they felt like quitting, or felt like they weren't good enough to survive the market. The thing that made them successful is the fact that they didn't quit. As it says in my trading plan: "I believe that the only reason people fail is because they give up before giving themselves the chance to succeed." So don't give up, don't ever give up.