Ever partaken in an activity where you were so immersed that you weren’t even really aware you were doing it? You simply did what needed to be done. There was not question or doubt, you simply executed, and you executed well! As a golfer I dream about rounds when I am “in the zone.” Everything goes right…the swing feels right, there is no doubt in my mind and everything just seems to happen. It is a good feeling. Traders also seek out that zone, because when in it, profits are typically collected.
Trading in the Zone
Have you experienced it while trading? Here are a few elements you may notice when in the zone:
- You spot trade set-ups quickly and easily
- You are calm, collected and confident
- It is like you already know it will be a winning day, but you aren’t even thinking about it, you just take trades
- You execute your trading plan exactly as you should
- Your self-talk is positive as opposed to negative
- You aren’t distracted, you’re focused on your trading
- You are adaptable. You see changes in trend as they occur and are thus able to avoid losses and capitalize on the new direction.
These are experiences we want to occur frequently, but unfortunately that doesn’t always happen. Instead, trading may feel like a struggle. Here are some tips for getting back in the zone when you feel out of it.
Getting Back in the Zone
The zone is mostly psychological, but may also have to do with market conditions. So give yourself a bit of a break, not every day is going to be easy money. Yet there are a few things you can do help you get into the zone:
- Make sure you are following your trading method exactly. After a few losing trades many traders begin to deviate from their plan, which makes them doubt themselves even more. To get back on track, take it one trade at a time, find a set-up and execute the trade exactly as your trading says you should.
- Ask yourself if you even should be trading? Are conditions right to be trading; do your trades have a good probability of being profitable in these conditions? If no, then even being in the zone won’t help you. Stop trading and save your money for another day.
- Reduce your risk on each trade. Nothing will make you more uptight than taking a huge position which causes you to worry. Take smaller positions so you can relax and aren’t worried about the outcome.
- The way to gain confidence is get some winning trades. The only way to get some winning is to execute your plan and trust it. Don’t skip trading signals, or take extra trades. Follow your plan, and if it is a profitable strategy, eventually those profits will return.
- Practice positive self-talk. While you are trading, positively reinforce what you are doing. When you follow your plan give yourself a pat on the back…even if it was a losing trade, you still did the right thing.
- Practice your trading method and know your trading plan inside-out and backwards. Implement your plan consistently and you’ll have much less to worry about. If you know your plan well it is easier to spot trades. The better you know your plan, the easier it is to trust it and remain calm and confident while trading.
- Establish a daily routine and do it every day. This will aid you doing everything discussed above, because you don’t need to figure what to do next, it is all planned out in advance.
Trading in the zone doesn’t have to be a random occurrence; practice recreating that state of mind everyday by sticking to your plan and establishing routines. This will relieve pressure and help you stay calm and confident. Reducing the risk of each trade can also aid in this regard. When you are calm and confident you’ll see market movements and set-ups more clearly, which should help in producing profits.