The High Performance Trading Blog

How Emotionally Tough Are You?

Dec 28, 2023

Behavioral Assessments like the Big 5 Tests gives you helpful insights into how emotionally stable you are. The lower you score on the neuroticism score the more mentally tough you are and the better a trader you can be. Because what that means is that even under pressure you are able to stay focused and think rationally (which is the definition of mental toughness) rather than drawing a mental blank and being swept away by all kinds of impulsive trading.

You see, the truth is, everyone gets nervous, frustrated, angry and all those things. No matter how small or big a trader you are, everyone has the same issues. The key here is: how quickly can you regulate your emotions and get back to being even keeled? In other words, "How Emotionally Tough Are You?"

This is the question I asked a trader this morning whom I had a discovery chat with. As he shared with me what challenges he faces in trading, he actually shared all kinds of reasons and explanations why he had failed one prop trading challenge after another. It turns out that so far he has already spent about 10,000 pounds on various challenges over the past 2 years.. Don’t be surprised, this is actually quite common!

Anyhow, we went through his trading stats together and I said to him:  

“I can see that you have high aspirations mostly going for $ 100,000 + challenges, and yet you keep making the same emotionally driven mistake over and over again, failing the challenges over and over again. And rather than looking for a way to grow out of this you are giving me all kinds of reasons why you are staying stuck..” 

You can imagine how frustrated he felt. 

“What are your goals?” I asked him, “Do you want to be extraordinary or average?” 

“Of course”, he said, “I want to be extraordinary.” 

“Well, here’s the thing. If you want to be extraordinary, then you can’t be normal! 

What’s normal is to throw a fit, to make excuses, to be really disappointed in yourself and to show a lot of frustration and anger. 

The way in which you learn to hold up under pressure is to take a day like today, look at it as a gift, as an opportunity to grow and to learn how to deal with any trading mistakes in a powerful way, with the most constructive and resilient energy. 

If you can do this when you trade badly, I know you are on your way to trade well and build a long term sustainable extraordinary trading career. 

Because 'normal' is not going to get you to your goal. And I doubt you want to spend all the time, money and energy into building your trading career to be just average; you say you want to be extraordinary, that means you can’t be normal!"

If you haven't as yet, do a Big 5 Assessment, they are freely available on the internet and see where you are at on the neuroticism scale. If you score high in neuroticism don't despair! Managing your emotions is merely a learned skill, and all it means is that no one has taught you that skill.

Trading brings up weaknesses you didn't even know we had. But you know better now, it lays in YOUR power to learn that skill.

That's why we love trading, right?

There are a few more ways I can help you lay the mindset foundations of your trading success:

 1.    Get your “The Winning Trader's Money Mindset Free Report”.

2.    Create a solid foundation with this free 4 Pillars of Trading Success Masterclass

3. There are plenty of helpful videos for you on my Youtube channel

4. Join us for our next instalment of the Winning Trader's Mindset Series HERE

5. Or if you are interested in one on one coaching, simply send us an email via the contact page.


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