making it as a day trader

The Real Secret Of Making It As A Day Trader

Trading Blog


October 23, 2020

Today I’d like to invite you to discuss something more important than patterns, strategies, and profit sheets. I want to show you how one little thing can have the ultimate impact on your day trading career. In fact, it will determine if you’re going to make it as a day trader at all.

I’m talking about believing in yourself.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been grazing the psychological aspect of trading on my podcast show B The Trader. I’ve mentioned countless times how important the discipline is, and how it’s imperative to follow your strategy once you’ve properly tested it. However, it will be very hard to do any of it if you don’t believe in yourself. It has to come first.

Hear me out. If I don’t believe in myself, then I don’t really have faith in my plan. And if I don’t have faith in my plan, I won’t stick to it. My decisions will become flawed since they are no longer based on logic and rationality. I will start ignoring my own rules, and my actions will often be motivated by emotion, not reason.

Normally, you base your trading process on the assumption that you know what you’re doing. You lean on your plan, but what happens when you stop seeing your plan as reliable? What can you accomplish when you don’t trust your own judgment?

Almost a year ago, I hit a rough patch of my day trading journey. For a moment, it got tough to focus on the process. There was a lot going in my life at the time. On top of it, I was looking for a new day job to provide a stable income that would allow me to do day trading part-time. Even though that was the best decision I could make for my family at the time, I had to admit that it was making me feel insecure. In short, I wasn’t convinced anymore that I could make it as a day trader.

To be honest, I’m not exactly sure how I got to that point. When I started day trading over three years ago, I was full of enthusiasm and excitement. I had a realistic view of the process; I didn’t expect to figure out the market overnight. Well, maybe, a tiny part of me was hoping for an instant breakthrough, but I knew that becoming a consistently profitable day trader would take time, hard work, and patience. After all, I’ve already had a successful career under my belt. By then, I was looking forward to a new challenge.

During the next two years later, I gained a good knowledge of the market and a few solid strategies that worked well for me. I’ve increased my position to 2000 shares from the original hundred. However, my initial excitement about day trading wore off quite a bit. My profit chart was slowly approaching the lower side of the resistance and support area for a while. I had some negative days, but most of my trades worked out fine. I wasn’t gaining much, but I wasn’t losing that much either. Overall, I’ve been doing alright. But for some reason, every red day was hitting me like a truck. Every lost trade, no matter how large or small, eroded my confidence and self-belief. 

Soon, I couldn’t stick to my rules, and I kept on pulling out of trades before hitting my risk or reward levels. Sometimes that meant incurring a small loss, sometimes – making a smaller gain than I could have. At first, it didn’t seem like a huge deal. After all, I was also experimenting with new setups and patterns, trying to find the new things I could trade. However, my practice runs and half-measures on proven setups inevitably messed up my 1:3 risk-reward strategy. My inconsistency started costing me money. And as the overall picture was looking grimmer by day, I wasn’t sure of anything anymore. 

Even my friends started pointing out that I lacked self-confidence. The problem was, I wasn’t sure how to work on it. When you say that you need to believe in yourself, it implies action: to believe, to have a belief. But how do I actually do it?

And just to clarify, it’s never “just one thing”. There’s never a silver bullet that will fix all your problems at once; it’s always more complicated than that. But in my case, the thing that helped me the most was focusing on the process of day trading rather than the result.

Before, whenever I was scared of losing money, I lost money. It was like a self-fulfilling prophecy that haunted me time after time. At some point, I had to record myself committing to staying in the trade in order to create a sense of accountability and actually follow through on what I had said. You can watch me do that in the video below.

I was sick of my brain playing tricks on me. I didn’t want to switch my plan for no reason anymore. One of the most painful realizations was that most setups I traded were unfolding exactly the way I expected them to, but I just didn’t let them play out. Now, I committed to letting them play out until they would hit my risk or reward. I got into this trade for a reason, and I should trust my plan.

But even back then, I knew very well that the numbers didn’t lie. I understood that a 50-60% win rate strategy would be profitable as long as I was true to the 1:3 risk-reward ratio. My plan was fine; it was only my lack of belief in myself that was holding me back.

First, I had to stop thinking of myself using the words fail and failure. I didn’t fail when I first started trading, I was going through a learning curve. Neither did I fail when I opted to look for a day job. Instead, I chose to lift off the moneymaking pressure off my passion project. Day trading was the goal; monetary gain was a pleasant side effect.

People don’t start learning how to paint in order to hang a new painting on the wall. If an art piece is all you’re after, there are faster ways to obtain it. However, if your intention is to draw for the sake of the process, you’ll end up with a nice collection of paintings sooner or later.

So I had to find a few workarounds, but I didn’t give up on my dreams. Yes, I had to admit that I wasn’t one of those guys that managed to succeed right away. But we all have a different journey anyway, so why would I compare myself to anyone else?

We’re all terrified of failing. But the truth is that it’s much scarier to throw your hands in the air, label yourself good-for-nothing, and give up trying to succeed at the things you love. It takes much more character and courage to keep going, accept the possibility of making mistakes, and keep on learning as you’re walking the walk.

Almost a year after I’ve recorded the video above, I feel incredibly proud of myself for being so open and honest about how it felt back then. I couldn’t be a trader who only posts profit charts and boasts about the biggest wins. In my opinion, this is a very skewed view of day trading. These bits of information depict only a tiny fraction of what it’s like to be a trader. Instead, I believe that we should show the full picture. Just like with everything, there are highs and lows. And if you’re not prepared, the lows can kick you to the ground.

The way I see it, this is a far more honest way to show beginner traders what they’re getting themselves into. It’s also a great reminder for the seasoned traders that shit happens. Success is not linear; mistakes happen along the way. You could be the smartest, most capable person in the world and still feel like it’s not enough some days. This is only a dark phase, and it will pass.

It’s OK to doubt yourself and your abilities as long as you’re willing to keep on putting one foot in front of the other. Fall in love with the process of trading, and try to change the way you think about it. When you stop chasing a quick buck, you’ll have a much better experience.

And of course, believe in yourself! Acknowledge your every improvement. You don’t need to have a green day to feel like you’ve learned something. As long as you’re doing better than yesterday, you have a reason to be proud of yourself.

And of course, have a support group. Find or build a community of people that will help you recover from a bad day. Thanks to my podcast show, I had a chance to talk to many experienced, consistently profitable traders. Not a single one of them had a 100% smooth path. Everyone had epic losses (they make the best stories!), and everyone had moments when giving up seemed so close. Yet, they’re still here, so am I, and so are you.

If you like my message, please stick around for more! I regularly publish new educational videos about day trading, trade recaps, info product reviews, as well as interviews with the best day traders out there.

And if you have any words of encouragement for struggling day traders out there, please comment below! Let’s hope that it will make someone’s day a bit better 🙂


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