Keeping risk-taking down until you see markets clearly– Losing small and gaining big is what makes for excellent risk-adjusted returns. Accepting that you’re not seeing things well is half the battle. By continuing to actively engage markets in small size, you give yourself an opportunity to regain perspective. Trading larger or more often out of the frustration of losing is a recipe for disaster.
* Focusing on yourself – Very often, losses occur because market patterns have changed. Slumps occur because your mindset has changed. By working on yourself before you go hard at markets, you place yourself in an optimal mindset to press your advantage when things line up. Stepping back from trading, renewing your energy, getting back to core strengths–all can help create the mindset to see markets freshly.
* Searching and re-searching – Stepping back from trading doesn’t mean you step back from markets. When times are tough, great traders double down on research and idea generation. It’s that pipeline of ideas that will produce the next winning trades. Research and development is what ultimately keeps your trading business alive; turning the search for trades into trading re-search turns a losing period into an opportunity for advancement.
Drawdowns are inevitable. Slumps are not. Your job in coaching yourself is to learn from the drawdowns and use them as opportunities to make yourself better. A drawdown only becomes a slump when it gets inside our heads and takes us away from our core strengths. Drawdowns become business opportunities when they focus us on those strengths and prod us to expand them.