Mad and Ready for Action
There are times when everything goes wrong while trading the markets. If you aren't ready for a barrage of mishaps, however, you may feel frustrated when you encounter them, and if you are tired and worn out, you may even get overly angry. You may think, "It just isn't fair. Why is this happening to me?" You want to blame someone, but deep down, you know that there is no one to blame. Perhaps there is nothing left to do but accept your fate, and realize that there isn't much you can do but calm down and relax.
When things go wrong, it's tempting to say, "I'm going to get even with the markets." People seek out revenge when they feel that they have been unfairly wronged, and it is common to feel this way when you have taken every precaution, developed a great trading plan, yet failed in the end. We often become angry at the markets because we believe that the markets and the people involved in the markets should cooperate with our plans. But sometimes, the markets and the world just don't cooperate.
Anger can be a dangerous emotion. When people are angry, they are ready to put up a fight. They focus all their energies on fighting, seeking revenge, and looking for any sign of provocation. It's hard to think clearly when you feel angry. If you are not calm and rational, then you will make impulsive decisions. You'll make matters worse by making even more mistakes after a major setback. When you feel angry or frustrated, don't get mad, calm down!
There are many steps you can take to calm down when you are angry or frustrated. First, don't treat the markets as if they are people. Turn off your interpersonal feelings. View it all as objective as possible. Anger is an interpersonal emotion, but when trading the markets, it is useful to think, "It is just business; it is not personal." We usually become angry with someone because we believe that he or she has purposely tried to harm us, to unjustly do us wrong. The markets may consist of people making trades, and trying to win at all costs, but it doesn't make sense to view the markets as people intentionally trying to harm you personally. They aren't out to get you specifically. It's just the nature of the game. If you view everything coldly and abstractly, not interpersonally, you will feel a lot better most of the time.
Second, don't assume anything. Anger is felt when our expectations have been shattered. One expects to profit from a trade, and when the profits are not realized, he or she may become angry, seek revenge, and want to get even. However, it isn't useful to hold such high expectations while trading the markets. Don't depend on the markets to fulfill your goals or meet your expectations. Assume that anything can happen. Indeed, in dealing with the markets, it's almost a given that you will lose money, so it is not useful to expect to make money on every trade. Just accept what you can get. Eliminate any preconceptions you have regarding the outcome of a trade. It's vital that you accept whatever happens to you. It may not be pleasant, but it will keep you calm, and if you think calmly, you will usually think rationally and creatively. And when you think calmly, rationally, and creatively, you will increase the chances of profits coming your way.