It's amazing how when you put a spotlight on your emotions, you notice so much more about the way that you think and act. My plan to talk to myself more has already revealed a lot about my mental state when I trade. I didn't realise quite how easily frustrated I am. I thought it only surfaced when I made a major error but in fact, frustration is always right on the brink, ready to explode with the most minor of incidents. I really had to work hard to keep a lid on my emotions on Monday and almost every game produced a moment where anger or frustration threatened to boil over. I didn't even have a bad day, in fact, I ended in profit for the 7th day running. On Tuesday, that run ended.
It's been a while since I have shown a losing day's P&L but I think this one will benefit me. I started fine and was very unlucky not to go all-green on the Pavlyuchenkova and Zvonareva games. But immediately, the fact I missed out on two wins by just a point or two, got me worked-up. Of the following 10 games, I tried to force a win on 9 of them, getting more and more frustrated as each match went by. You can see how the last 2 games have the biggest losses and that is no coincidence. By that time, I was completely pissed off. It was one of those days where opportunities were thin on the ground and when they did arise, I missed them because I was too busy getting involved in games I should have just left. No matter what I did, it wouldn't come off. Looking back on each individual game, here is what I would have made if I'd done the right things:
Pavlyuchenkova v Martinez-Sanchez -£12
Zvonareva v Zakopalova -£5
Stosur v Kirilenko +£30
Berdych v Melzer -£6
Suarrez-Navarro v Petkovic +£20
Haase v Giraldo -£4
All the other games, I should not have even placed a trade at all. So I would've been +£23 for the day - not bad considering how few opportunities arose.
So it's going to take a lot more than I first thought to sort out this deep-seated level of frustration. It all stems from that old bug-bear 'impatience' and also my own shortfall of being a perfectionist. But it can be worked on and I'll continue to better myself until the day comes when I can accept a mistake or a loss. Talking went out the window as the day went on but at the start I was fine and over the last two days, it has proved to be a very effective tool. I need to keep it up through the tough times. Most days will not be this difficult, so I have to learn that if I stay calm and do the right things, I can even make money on a bad day like today.