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Setbacks are Blessings in Disguise

Setbacks are Blessings in Disguise

Have you ever asked seasoned traders how they deal with a trading strategy that has failed? All may be going well. They are in the zone and everything just clicks. Suddenly, though, the strategy fails. A couple days go by and every trade is a loser. How a trader deals with this change in fortune separates a winning trader from those who fruitlessly feed their account every month. The winning trader thinks positively, and turns a setback into a blessing.

Who wouldn't want to have a Midas touch as a trader? It's a nice fantasy, but if you ask a seasoned trader how many times he or she has failed, you'd find that behind their success are mountains of failure. The winning trader persistently overcame setback after setback to hone his or her skills. Setbacks are commonplace when trading. A seasoned trader doesn't become paralyzed by them, but tries to get past them. Decisive action is taken. When a strategy no longer works, winning traders think positively and actively try to discover what's going wrong. They rise to the challenge and try to figure out what they can do next. Here are some steps you might take to turn a setback into a blessing.

First, abandon the tendency to feel like a victim or feel that you must be on the attack. After a setback, thoughts of revenge may consume your mind and you may be driven by a strong urge to dominate and regain control. You might think, "This wasn't supposed to happen. I don't want it to happen. I want to undo it." These thoughts foster denial and inaction. When you get caught up in revenge, stop your thought processes. Tell yourself to slow down, and try to calm down.

Don't try to change your ongoing experience. For now, just accept it and let it be. Don't try to undo it or deny what's happened. Tell yourself, "It's all right. Things don't have to be the way I want them to be. Setbacks happen." Make a factual statement about what has happened and accept it. For example, you might say, "My strategy no longer works. It's a fact. Just accept it for now." If you feel disappointed, acknowledge your feelings. Accept your feelings, and they will pass through your mind and allow you to calm down.

Next, you want to become centered. Remember who you are, and remind yourself that you can regain control. You might say, "I've got to concentrate. If I calm down, I can find a solution. I have the skills to get past this setback. Maybe I can't control the markets, but I can control my reactions to this setback. I can take it in stride and move forward."

After you accept the emotions associated with the setback, calm down, and regain your composure, you can begin finding solutions to your setback. For example, you can study the markets to discern precisely how market conditions have changed, or you may search for other industry sectors or new markets where your current trading approach may work. Or you may just want to start over and find a new method that does work under current market conditions. Whatever you try to do, however, you have to recover from the setback and think positively. Each setback is a learning experience. The number of setbacks you face in your career isn't as important as how you recover from them. If you view setbacks from a victim mentality, you'll get stuck. Your mind will be fixed on failure. But if you calm down, own your experience, and take an active, problem solving approach, you'll turn a setback into a blessing.
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