If you never thought of trading as a sport, this episode of Mind Over Markets is going to blow your mind. Because you’re more like a professional athlete than you think. Just like playing a professional sport, pulling off trade strategies requires a lot of mental strength and acuity. There’s a lot of competition – and a lot of pressure – out there on the trade floor, and your mental toughness is going to make or break your trading success.

Mental toughness is at the core of today’s episode. It’s a term we picked up from one of our favorite books – The New Toughness Training in Sports. In this book, mental toughness is likened to a psychological edge athletes have which allows them to take on the mental, emotional, and physical challenges of the professional arena. Trade pros can develop this same psychological edge by strengthening their inner selves.

What do we mean by “inner self”? Well, that’s another concept we’re going into on today’s episode because your mental toughness depends on the strength of your inner self. Think of it this way – inside of you are two people: one is the performer, and the other is the real you. When you’re trading, you’re in performance mode, but that doesn’t mean the real you isn’t participating.

Your success on the trade floor depends on how in sync your performance self and inner sef are. When you strengthen your inner self, you give yourself the ability and, more importantly, the confidence to take on those challenging trades and cope with any snags or losses that might come your way.

We’re sharing a few techniques today to help you develop your mental toughness, and these strategies will give you the tools you need to strengthen your inner self. Here’s a closer look at the 12 Key Attributes of Athletes that we go over in this episode and how they apply to trade pros:

  • Switching your focus between performance mode and real mode to hone your competitive edge
  • Remaining fully focused in the performance arena despite personal life distractions
  • Thriving under pressure and using competitive energy to bring out the best in yourself
  • Ignoring social media and not being adversely affected by others’ performances
  • Accepting that competition is inevitable and planning ahead
  • Pushing boundaries and battling back through physical and emotional challenges
  • Regaining and maintaining psychological control, even after a particularly bad day
  • Remaining fully focused and maintaining a mental focus meter
  • Finding your internalized motivation for success
  • Having an unshakeable belief in yourself that builds your confidence
  • Bouncing back from setbacks and looking at them as growth opportunities
  • Having an unshakeable belief in your ability to achieve your goals

As we go over these key attributes today, you’ll recognize that your sense of self-worth is at the core of each of them. Your belief in yourself and trusting in your trade abilities makes up more than half of your success. Negative thinking will only inspire negative actions, and learning how to apply these athletic attributes to your daily and professional life will hone your mental toughness and definitely give you a brand new, optimistic perspective.

Mental toughness isn’t something you’re born with. It can be learned and you can learn how to strengthen it just like a muscle. Everyone possesses the ability to build their confidence, it just takes practice. We want to challenge you guys to cultivate a success mindset and mental toughness with these key attributes in mind. Because competition is inevitable. You’re inevitably going to face pressures in this industry, but you have the power to choose how you respond to these challenges.

“If you're going to achieve anything worthwhile, there’s bound to be pressure.” Click To Tweet

This kind of mindset will keep propelling your forward through your trade career, and each of these podcasts are opportunities for you to learn and grow. If you’re ready to take the challenge head on, then this is the episode for you. 

In This Episode You Will Learn

  • How psychology and mental toughness can influence your trading success 1:47
  • What it means to achieve IPS: the Ideal Performance State 3:40
  • The reason trading strategies don’t always work 11:51
  • The key attributes of athleticism that apply directly to trade pros 16:20
  • How to use mental toughness on social media and in other communities 24:50
  • Using a toward-motivated mindset to regain your psychological control 33:21
  • Questions to ask yourself to uncover and understand your trading motivations 41:55
  • The top 3 key attributes of athletes and trade pros 44:42
  • The ability to bounce back from any trading setbacks 51:37
  • How to develop your mental toughness like a muscle 61:00

Some Questions We Discuss

  • Who coined the term “mental toughness”? 1:08
  • In what ways are professional traders and professional athletes similar? 7:25
  • What kind of trading career are you going into? 13:30
  • How do we thrive so well under the pressures of trading? 19:31
  • Why are the stories about failure more important than the successes? 30:41
  • What is George talking about when he says “mental capital”? 35:43
  • What is the real definition of “internal motivation”? 40:45
  • Do you have a plan in place to help you handle losses? 47:37
  • How can you recreate success and avoid losses? 56:15
  • What are we going to be talking about in our next episode? 59:20
  • Are you afraid you can’t develop your own mental toughness? 63:00


The New Toughness Training in Sports by James E. Loehr

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