If you find that more often than not you are either in a trade, thinking about being a trade, or even “itching” to be in a trade, you are probably addicted to trading the markets!
If you find it difficult to remove yourself from your computer after placing a trade or you are staying up until 3 in the morning watching every tick for or against your trade with frazzled nerves, you are probably addicted to trading!
How do you stop your addiction to trading?
If you are man enough to admit that you are addicted to trading then read on for some tips on how to break free from this addiction, if you want to continue on in denial of your addiction, then it’s better to click off this post right now!
People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol lack accountability to themselves, they don’t care about their bodies enough to stay disciplined enough to stay away from substances that harm them.
Similarly, traders who gamble their money away and who are addicted to the markets, lack accountability, they are unorganized and undisciplined and so they need something to be accountable to.
The best way to inject some accountability into your trading is to follow the trade plans, religiously prepare using the “7 Pillars Of Success” as well as a trading journal and then finally having an accountability partner and group.
Then, you have to force yourself to actually follow through!
If you can manage to do this you will then have something to be accountable to.
When you apply these tools of accountability in your trading, it helps you stay disciplined and helps to forge positive trading habits in your trading.
Traders who gamble and who are addicted to the markets actually reinforce negative trading habits and thus it can be nearly impossible for them to turn their trading around.
Understand that NOT trading IS a valuable position
Another very important thing to understand that will help you break your addiction to trading is that NOT trading is often the best position to take.
Think of it like this, if you are addicted to the markets and are over-trading, you are going to have many more losing trades than you would have if you were disciplined enough to simply not trade when you knew you shouldn’t have.
Just to get back to break even you have to then hit enough winning trades to make up for all your losers. Whereas, if you simply had traded like a sniper and not a machine gunner, you could have avoided many losing trades and thus had a much more consistent and profitable equity curve.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to make money
The reason why many traders get addicted to the market is because they put too much pressure on themselves to make money from their trading.
This is a very dangerous thing to do.
Traders who find success in the markets feel little to no pressure, they don’t put too much significance on any one trade.
If you see trading as your “only option” at having a happy life, you are obviously going to become emotional the first time you lose a trade, then that’s going to kick off an avalanche of emotional trading mistakes and trading addiction that will only result in you losing increasing amounts of money.
In short, remover your “need” to make money in the markets, and the money you so badly desire will actually come faster.
Making sure you don’t “relapse”
As any addict knows, relapse is always lurking around the corner, waiting for you like an unavoidable temptation in the night.
When you’re a trading addict, the situation is exactly same, and perhaps even more difficult than being addicted to drugs or alcohol, since you are still going to see your temptation (the markets) everyday.
You have to consciously be on-guard against falling back into your old ways of being a trading addict.
The easiest way to do this is to stay disciplined and organized by thinking about your trading like a business and following the trade plans, 7 Pillars Of Success and keeping a trading journal and using them with passion!
You also need to keep in mind that you COULD lose money on ANY one trade, so keep that fact in your mind at all times while trading, and ask yourself before every trade:
***Is THIS is a trade that a I REALLY want to risk money on, and is THIS amount of money an amount I am TRULY OK with losing?***
In short, there is no concrete way to avoid slipping back into your old bad habit of trading addiction.
But, you can pre-empt all your actions in the market by doing the things I just described, this will greatly increase your chances of avoiding a relapse.
Also, you should realize that trading is a life-long event!
So don’t get too hung up on any one trade, your trading success is measured over months and years, not over days or weeks.
Find other hobbies, don’t get obsessed with the markets, and realize the markets will always be there, so missing out on a good trade setup is not a big thing.
By and large, traders who take a slow and controlled approach to trading the markets make a lot more money over their lifetimes than traders who take a fast and emotional approach!