Monday, 3 October 2011

The First Sign of Madness

Quite frankly, yesterday scared me. I was having my all-time best week for ROI, one of the most profitable weeks of the year and had tripled my bank in just 7 days. Yet I STILL almost blew an entire bank out of nothing. Following yesterday's self-destruction, I have decided to put all my emphasis this week on sorting out my obsessive over-reaction to mistakes. Whether it be losing a green position, failing to get matched or not following my strategy properly, it seems that I cannot let it lie, no matter how small the amount.

They say that talking to yourself is the first sign of madness but in trading terms, I believe that talking to yourself can actually prevent you from going crazy! Externalising your thoughts as you trade, is a technique I've tried to use consistently for a while now. I find it helps me to focus better and rationalise the situation I'm in. The problem is, I have struggled to maintain the talking, especially during games where I'm not doing well. I have a tendency to go quiet and my internal thoughts become a jumbled whirl of confusion.

I find that having all those conflicting ideas of what to do next swimming around inside, can cause me to make irrational or incorrect choices. But when I talk out loud, I am able to guide myself sensibly through the situation and tend to choose my options better. For some reason, the evil little voice inside seems to shout louder than the sensible, good voice!

I also think it will help with my anger / frustration issues. They appear to have resurfaced in recent weeks and I have struggled to keep a lid on my temper. I think the anxiety of having a dwindling bank has made me more frustrated at even minor errors. Talking can aid in calming myself down and enabling me to rationalise the situation. What particularly helps is when I hypothetically double or triple or quadruple the profit that I make. I find that sometimes, grinding out those wins for £20 a time can feel like small reward for long hours of graft, especially when you cancel it out with an error. But if I keep reminding myself that in future, that £20 can easily be £40, £60, £80 and even higher, it does make it easier for me to see how well I'm actually doing. And I could easily up my stakes to at least 5 times the amount I use now, with scope to go far higher in future years.

So aswel as talking through my strategy, I will also be reassuring myself that I'm doing fine and that there's no need for me to get angry at mistakes. The underlying issue as to why I get so easily frustrated is just pure impatience. I want to be successful yesterday and any error becomes a setback to my progress. I just need to keep telling myself that there's no need to rush.

I may seem crazy to anyone who sees me trading this coming week, but I can assure you, it is the first step towards a far saner trading life!


  1. Hi Sultan

    Your blog really is the most refreshingly honest out there. Do you think that maybe you are trying to hard.

    How many hours a day are you trading? Could it be that maybe you need to cut the amount of time you are trading and increase the breaks.

    Only an observation from personal experience but I really do believe you can try to hard.

    Anyway thanks for posting about these sorts of issues as it not only helps you, it also helps the rest of us who reads them.

    Best Regards

  2. Hi Mark, thanks for you comments. I trade as many games as I can without going over-board - probably around 8 hours a day (though will always have breaks inbetween). It's no different to working in a 'proper' 9-5 job really.

    I probably do try too hard though. I need to calm down and relax more but instead, I get frustrated and end up getting involved too often to make up for mistakes. It's a mixture of impatience and anxiety.

    I know all of this when I start the day but once I get into that trading bubble, I can't control my emotions and end up in trouble. I have to learn to control them, otherwise I'll never get anywhere.


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