Today, I looked back on a couple of posts I made a year ago and one in particular caught my eye:
Deer in the Headlights
It is about that 'deer in the headlights' moment, where we aren't prepared for something to go horribly wrong and when it does, we don't know what to do so just sit there staring at the ladders and hoping for the best. Reading over the whole post, it really does feel like another life-time. The way I was trading back then, I was always just one minor error away from losing the plot. If I had a bad start to the day, things would often snowball so quickly out of control that I could be hundreds of pounds down by the end of the day and my mental state in tatters. And it wouldn't necessarily end there. Now, A good night's sleep always signals a clear head and fresh start the next morning, no matter how bad the preceding day was. A year ago, I would often wake up feeling positive but the losses from the day previous would still be festering inside my subconscious and I'd be chasing, whether it was obvious or not. The startling thing though, is that once again, it's clear that I knew what I SHOULD be doing, and my analysis was excellent but I failed to take it on board and execute correctly for months and months afterwards.
I'm happy to report that I never put on that pair of antlers anymore! That's partly down to the fact that I have a clearly defined set of rules on when to exit, which I have confidence in. But even if I slip up and don't manage to exit when I should, I also have a big safety net because my risk-reward ratio is far, far better than it was last year. So if I do have a brain-storm or simply fail to get matched in time, I know that the worst that can happen is a 2-3% loss of my bank. That's because my staking and the prices I take on are not as risky. A year ago, if I was caught in the headlights, I could be losing anything up to 25% and if the red mist came down, I would even risk 100% on rare occasions!
Don't get me wrong, I'm still constantly working every single week on the mental side of trading because I know how quickly things can slip if you are not wary. On March 1st for example, I noticed that I seemed to relax a lot, following the end of my successful February. I just took my eye off the ball for a few games and I'm certain it's because I was still basking a bit in the glory following my best ever month. It gave me a bad start to March but I'm much more philosophical about it than I would've been a year ago, and shrugged it off. Plenty of time to put that straight!
OFF-COURT BEAUTY: World number 1, Victoria Azarenka: