How To Reprogram Your Mind for Trading Success

Anyone can talk about effective trading mindsets. But what does it really take to change your thinking and achieve trading success? In our last post, I talked about the incredible power of having a mindset of gratitude, and how it can greatly help your trading. A perceptive reader, aptly called Attitude Trader, mentioned that gratitude was the most important part of his daily routine. Now the question I have is, which word in that sentence do you think is the most important one?

Well, even though gratitude was the focus, the most important word is routine. You see, you can talk about effective trading mindsets all you want, but unless you create a routine and deliberately instill that mindset, your old ways of thinking will soon kick in and you’ll be back where you started.

The Unconscious Always Wins

The reason for this is that we all have a great deal of unconscious programming. And while we may consciously like a certain mindset and believe in its effectiveness, that doesn’t mean that we’ll be able to consistently think that way- especially when things get tough. In those instances when we feel pressure, our old programming- that was still sitting there beneath the surface- gets re-triggered and we completely forget the new mindset we just learned.

How often has this happened to you? You promise yourself that you’re going to think a certain way while you’re trading, and no sooner than the first loss hits or you miss a good opportunity, all the effective mindsets are thrown out the window and you revert back to your old negative way of thinking. The reason I know this is because I’m just like you. I’ve experienced this more times than I’d like to remember in my life. And it’s especially amplified when it comes to trading.

But if you want trading success, you can’t let this keep repeating endlessly. And the way to stop it from repeating is by reprogramming your unconscious mind. It’s not enough to be motivated and to tell yourself you want to think in a certain way. That will fly out the window the next time adversity hits because it’s at the level of the conscious mind. And your unconscious mind is much more powerful than your conscious mind. It’ll eventually win out every time.

Reprogramming For Trading Success

So how do we reprogram the unconscious mind? Well, we have to go back to that important word mentioned at the start of the post. We need to deliberately practice a daily routine. Because when you set time aside to deliberately practice something, and you turn it into a routine that you must follow each day no matter what is happening, over time this daily mental routine will become so normal to you that it will be ingrained in your mind and will seep into your unconscious. And when that happens, that’s when changes can stick.

You see now you’ll be so used to thinking in that certain way that it will almost feel wrong to not think that way. And even if your old thinking habits pop back up, which they still may if they’ve been ingrained deeply for years, you’ll now notice them very quickly. Because now they’ll no longer be what’s completely natural to you (like water is natural and the only thing a fish knows), but rather they’ll be juxtaposed against a different kind of backdrop in your mind. So they’ll be easier to spot, and you won’t just fall into them unconsciously. Now you’ll be aware of them from a different perspective. And when you become aware of your negative thought patterns like that, you take them from the unconscious to the conscious part of your mind, where they can no longer run the show on automatic.

With time, this continuous awareness will itself assist in the reprogramming of your mind, adding to the deliberate practice you do in your daily routine. But just how much time is needed to really ingrain something into your unconscious so it becomes the natural way to think? There’s no exact answer here, but here are a few guidelines:

  1. The more pervasive and deeply ingrained the thought pattern that you want to change, the more time it will take to reprogram it.
  2.  At the very least, you should deliberately practice a mental routine (for example one on expressing deep gratitude) every day for 30 – 60 days.
  3. The more focus and feelings you put into your practice, the more rapid and the deeper the effect.
  4. To really turn the new mindset into your natural way of thinking it’s best to keep doing at least some short version of the routine, and also to attempt to practice the new mindset at any chance you get even outside of your trading.

Even though doing this (like doing anything else that is worthwhile) takes time and effort, you don’t have to make it into an unpleasant, majorly time-consuming chore. Even 5 focused minutes a day can be enough to gradually reprogram your mind. And if you want trading success bad enough, that should be a very small price to pay.

If you practice any mental routines that are helping you achieve more trading success, we’d love to hear about them and about any insights you may have regarding making routines effective in general.



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