It's funny how things tend to seem better in the morning. I was able to have a lie in for the first time all week and all of a sudden, I was viewing things with much greater clarity. Instead of getting straight into trading, I analysed why I could possibly still be making the same mistakes over and over, even though I know they will cost me.
As I'd already established, I am placing riskier trades that do not follow my strategy because I'm becoming more desperate to make money quickly due to my dwindling funds. I think I am becoming steadier emotionally AFTER a bad trade and during it. But the issue is really BEFORE I place the trade. I keep jumping the gun with my itchy trigger finger because I am scared of missing out on an opportunity. Also, because I'm entering trades at points which are not part of my strategy, I don't have a pre-defined get-out point. This causes me to almost freeze-up as things go against me - I know I need to react but I can't do it as I'm unsure at what point I should get out. Instead, I just sit there in shock as the red gets bigger and bigger until I either come out for a large loss or stay in with my whole stake at risk, wishing and praying to the betting Gods.
So basically, I need to do just one thing; stop myself from being so impatient and using get-in points that are not part of my strategy. But this will mean getting rid of the underlying desperation driven by fear that I won't make money and be successful.
I've spoken about reaching 'rock bottom' before. I am definitely there now as a trader - on my worst ever run and down to my bare bones of a bank. In life, when you hit rock bottom there are two ways you can go - either end it all or get help. I know all about this because I've been at rock bottom in life. I won't go into it in too much detail but basically, I suffered most of my life from an extreme social anxiety, a fear of people. It was severely debilitating and prevented me from doing even basic things that everyone takes for granted. I spent most of my life indoors, had few friends, crappy jobs on minimum wage and was constantly depressed and paranoid. Once I hit rock bottom, I made the decision to seek help and I did this through hypnotherapy.
Just one session completely changed my life. My fears of other people disappeared instantly and as the months went by I started to do more and more positive things that I'd never done before. This gave me back my self-esteem and a supreme confidence that I could achieve anything that I wanted to. And I did! I became a DJ and club promoter, then moved into teaching, started a new life moving away from my home town to London and fulfilled a dream to travel the world, all within just a few years. I guess that's one of the reasons why I won't give up on trading. I have that inner-belief that I can achieve whatever I want to.
Anyway, something that one of the posters on my blog wrote (Tradeshark) on his own blog, struck a chord with me. He had been through a similar patch as I'm experiencing and turned to hypnotherapy to help him out. It seems to have worked for him. It was something I had considered, returning to hypnosis, but I guess I thought I could work through this period without any help. I've now changed my mind!
There's a lot of stigma and misnomers about hypnosis, the biggest one being that when you are 'under', you don't know what is going on and can be made to do stuff against your will and never be normal again. All hypnosis involves is putting someone into a deep state of relaxation, a trance. This sounds weirder than it is because we all go into a trance every day at some point - daydreaming is a trance-like state. The aim is to get the person so relaxed that their subconscious mind opens up to become more receptive to new thoughts. The subconscious is what drives us to act and think as we do, even though most of the time we don't realise why. It's where our fears and phobias are stored. The hypnotherapist asks you to imagine new scenarios and emotions which should replace the fears in the subconscious. The process is all strangely normal actually. You know exactly what is going on at all times, can hear background noise such as passing cars or birds and never once did I feel as though I was out of control or didn't know what was going on.
I'm not saying it is the answer to all our problems. It won't work for everyone, some people are just not receptive to it and as in any profession, there are good and bad therapists. But there is nothing to lose from trying it, apart from a few quid, and a hell of a lot to gain potentially. I can actually perform self-hypnosis, so will be giving it a shot to see if I can get my head right for trading. I figure that if I can just get rid of the fear of not being successful which drives me to be impatient and do desperate things, I will conquer tennis trading. Let's see how it goes later today..............