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Don't dream it - be it

Visualisation is an important tool that can potentially help you to achieve trading success. I’m a big fan of the Rocky Horror Picture Show - some of the best music ever written, in my view. And one of those Richard O’Brien-penned songs has stuck with me since I first heard it in my early teens - Don’t dream it - be it.

Like any timeless popular classic, it holds a lot of truth. And that truth can be applied to trading. One of the most important steps in becoming a successful trader is being absolutely certain that you can and will make it in the market. Many people before you have done it. And if they have been able to make a living off the markets, there is no reason why you can’t do so as well.

A great source of positive affirmations is Jack Schwager’s Market Wizard series of books. Each of the top traders he interviews have two things in common - they have made a killing in the markets, and they agree on the huge importance of risk management. But while each of them follows a different approach to trading the markets, they are all market trading success stories.

To follow their example and become a consistent market winner, you need to convince yourself that you too can be a successful trader.

One option that has worked for me, is to carry out visualization practice just before starting a trading session. Sit down in a comfortable but firm chair, close your eyes and focus on your breathing, counting each second in and out for five seconds. Repeat until you feel your mind becoming calm. And now transfer your focus so that you visualize yourself as one of those great traders you’ve admired. Inevitably, your mind will wander off, which is perfectly fine. Just refocus and keep coming back to that image of you placing successful trades.

Then focus on how being an outstanding trader will empower you. See yourself living the lifestyle of your dreams; that nice mansion, the sailing yacht, or that sports car you have always dreamed about. How do the flowers in your palatial garden smell? How does the texture of the leather of those racing seats feel?  Can you feel the salty air hitting your face as you sail closer to the wind? It’s important to be in that visualized moment and absorb every detail.

Most importantly, see yourself spending more quality time with your family and friends. And never think negatively - “wouldn’t it be nice?” See your eventual success as an inevitable result of being properly focused.

Now visualise yourself placing only outstanding trades by fully adhering to your personal set of trading rules, only placing compliant trades, and being “in the zone” 100% of the time.

This process is now part of my daily trading routine. I started with five minutes of visualisation exercises, and have now extended it to 10 minutes every single trading day. While it is more easy to focus on some days than on others, I always feel empowered and focused afterwards. You don’t have to believe me, but I urge you to give it a try. The worst outcome will be that you’ve wasted five minutes and feel more relaxed. On the other hand, you could well find you have unleashed the powerful trading beast within you.

So for 2017, remember to be it, not just dream it. Good luck and best wishes for the coming year’s trading. 

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