Creating a New Trader's State of Mind

Change your behavior for a better equity curve.

You can't act the same and get different results.
Change your behavior and change your trading.

Today's post is by Richard Friesen, CEO of Mind Muscle for Traders. Richard works with financial professionals and independent traders to increase their consistent profits using neuroscience. His online courses and intensive trading boot camps are well-known throughout the trading community.

Brian here: Today's post is the first in a series of articles that relate to the psychology of trading. Though this topic might seem intimidating to many, there may be no more powerful step you can take towards trading success than beginning to understand your own mind - and how it can often work against you when it comes to making money in the market.  Each article can stand on it's own, but taken as a whole, they can really help you change your inner game and help you to be a more consistently profitable market participant. Some of the world's best traders and investors have personal coaches to help them stay in a beneficial mindset when they have money on the line.

If we repeat the same trading behaviors, we will experience the same equity curve. If we want more consistent profits we need to change our behaviors? Any disagreement?

This is really a critical argument to consider before reading the rest of this article. I am going to challenge you to focus on what really matters as a trader. If you believe you can change your P&L without changing your trading behaviors, then stop reading now.

If on the other hand, you understand that your trading behaviors are at the core of your success as a trader, then we can focus on what matters - changing trading behaviors. Now since this process is personal and touches our deepest beliefs and behaviors, it is also the most intense of all trading challenges we can take on. In life, we tend to solve problems that are easy, not the problems that are hard, even though they may critical to success. However, it is the RIGHT challenge to take on.

I am going to ask you to focus on the hard problem, the right hard problem in this article.

The traditional advice to gain an effective trader’s state of mind is to “be more disciplined.” However, this is like a track coach telling his pole vaulter to just jump higher. You know what you want to do, but sometimes it feels so hard to break old habits that no longer serve you.

You may find yourself repeating costly trading behaviors over and over again.

What is your experience with discipline as a way to improve your persistent costly trading mistakes? Take a moment to give this some thought.

If what we have all been told doesn’t work for most of us, maybe, just maybe, the reason just trying to be “more disciplined” doesn’t work is that what we have been told is wrong.

If this is so, then we need to know HOW to change our behaviors

Any disagreement here?

Next we answer this question - as well as a few others - in Part 2 of this article on the psychology of trading and how changing your behavior can change your profitability.

Richard can be contacted at

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