How To Stop Forcing Trades

We often hear the term "overtrading", but what *is* overtrading? Quite simply, it's trading that no longer has any probabilistic edge.  An example would be a poker player in Vegas who feels a need to bet a chunk of his or her stack despite holding a mediocre hand.  When we overtrade, we trade for psycho-logical reasons, not logical ones.

A common form of overtrading is "forcing" trades.  That's where we become so convinced about an upcoming opportunity that we don't wait for a sound risk/reward place to enter the market.  Rather, we push too much size and try to predict the next move rather than wait and *identify* when it's occurring.  Forcing trades is a great example of how our egos can get in the way of our making money: we are so eager to be right that we overplay our hands.

So how will we stop forcing trades?

The important concept to keep in mind is that when we quiet the mind, we also quiet the ego.  As Radical Renewal discusses, our stream of self-talk *is* our ego.  To focus on markets and trade them well, we don't want to be chattering to ourselves positively *or* negatively.  Rather, we want to quiet the chatter and simply "listen" to markets the way we would listen to someone we care about during a conversation.  A good listener doesn't "force" the conversation by constantly jumping in with what he/she wants to say.  The good listener is attuned to the other person and knows what to say and when because of *understanding* that other person.

To stop forcing trades, we need to be quiet enough in our minds that we can sit and sit and sit and let the market make sense to us.  Then we will know what to do.  Meditation, where we learn to sit still, breathe regularly, and focus our minds on a single thing, is actually a training in quiet mind.  Meditation is practice in not forcing; it is training in *not doing*.  Meditation quiets the chatter of self-talk and that keeps our egos our of our trading.

In a coming Three Minute Trading Coach video, I'll demonstrate a simple meditative exercise that can quickly return us to the "zone" where ideas come to us and we no longer need--or want--to force.  It's amazing how much we can see in markets when we simply open our minds.

Further Reading:

Using Your Body to Program Your Mind

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