Updated from its original posting on 2013-04-12
When faced with many forex trading challenges such as a large drawdown or feeling out of sync with the market, some of you are probably having a difficult time getting into your groove. You experience loss after loss after loss, with absolutely no idea what’s happening to the market. When you’re in a slump and you watch your account bleed out, it can be quite hard to find the right motivation to continue trading.
Sure, you probably began trading because of the prospect of earning a lot of money, but forex trading is more than that. This might sound like philosophical mumbo jumbo, but trading also teaches us lessons that can be applied to our everyday lives.
For one, it teaches us how to look for opportunities and how to pursue them. A decent amount of experience in trading leads you to get a feel for situations that you should be aggressive on, like retracement plays, while contrarian setups seem to be better if traded with more caution.
Your observations could be different from mine, but the lesson should be the same in life. For instance, this can translate to knowing when to cut loose the things or people that simply weigh you down, and grab on to the opportunities, relationships, and a host of other interests that give you a high sense of reward and value.
T.S. Elliot once said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” Forex trading teaches you this by training you for the unknown.
The fact is, EVERY trade you take has an uncertain outcome. You need do your homework and create a plan ahead of time to deal with almost every possible scenario. This teaches you to how to deal with uncertainty, since failure to do so could result in serious losses on your hard-earned money. Through this negative reinforcement, we are forced to find comfort in the most uncomfortable situations.
But don’t be disheartened, young Padawan. The most important value of trading is that if you put in the necessary work to master it, you can become better not just as a trader, but also as a person. Among a number of other self improvements, it teaches you to thrive in the midst of uncertainty, to be unafraid to pursue opportunities, and to be disciplined, all of which can be directly applied to other goals and aspirations in life.
So do what you’re supposed to do. Research before entering a trade, plan for it, manage your risk, keep a journal, and look past the small setbacks. It’s not just about the money. Although you may not see it on your account yet, you are getting better.