the milestone, the mind-fuck and the zen master

I did it. One of the biggest milestones in my life – the biggest personal challenge I have overcome thus far; Taking action. Finding the courage to stop talking and taking a real risk to better my life. I went from lofty idealist paper trader to dedicated full time professional day trader.

I was paper trading like a mother fucker for a few months, developing my strategy and finding my groove. I eventually perfected my strategy and found my groove, averaging $1000 to $3000 per day (even pulled in over $22,000 in two days). I was a champ. I was the butterfly and the bee. 90+% win rate, cash hand over fist, I couldn’t lose. Then I took the great leap.

There is a vast chasm between paper trading and using real money. The biggest lesson learned so far might be the most important one: day trading is extremely psychological. Granted, my risk tolerance gets softer the more capital I have to work with, as soon as I was playing for keeps with my own hard earned money, I started losing – big time. I had tossed out my proven strategies (without realizing it), and completely lost my groove altogether. I’ve lost thousands over the past few months. For a beginner with only a couple thousand to begin with and only $200 a week unemployment coming in, losing thousands is a big deal. Losing my groove was an even bigger deal.

I give myself credit in that, despite not having any support, I started my new career fully believing that I can do this – and not once have I doubted myself. Not once. But using real money has shown me what is at the core of successful day trading: zen. One must be centered and whole in order to grow as a successful day trader. It’s amazing how much, despite your greatest efforts, that fear and greed and negativity can seep in and disrupt your trading abilities when you first start out and are unprepared for the psychological aspect of trading.

This is the perfect storm and the ultimate test. I must keep from flipping out despite being completely broke. I just went through a huge losing streak, I have bills piling up, I must succeed at this to support my family? No problem. I can do this with a smile on my face.

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