Updated from its original posting on 21-01-2011
At its very core, positive thinking is simply being optimistic about things. It is the tendency to take a favorable stance on things, hoping for the best possible outcome in any situation.
When you’re talking to a girl and expecting to get her number even though she’s got boyfriend – that’s positive thinking. When you’re looking into a mirror and telling yourself you’re the most handsome man in the universe – that’s positive thinking. When you don’t put a stop because you’re so certain that you’re going to win – that’s positive thinking.
Positive thinking isn’t bad, but from the preceding examples, you can see how dangerous positive thinking can become. If left unchecked, it could lead to illusions of grandeur, and with unrealistic expectations, frustrations can be right around the corner.
What we need to do, therefore, is transform positive thinking into CONSTRUCTIVE COGNITIVE FRAMEWORKS.
Don’t be scared by these big words. Constructive cognitive frameworks are simply mental systems that train ours mind to think in a positive but constructive way. These frameworks should not only make us optimistic, but they should help us build, develop, and realize what skills are necessary to become confident, successful traders.
Ways to Build Constructive Thinking
One way to build constructive thinking patterns is to come up with “catch phrases” to help put yourself in the RIGHT frame of mind.
Repeating phrases like “Don’t Be Greedy,” “Don’t Hesitate,” or “I PWN THE MARKET” can reinforce good trading habits. Others like “I can trade better” can motivate you to improve and stay focused.
Another overlooked method to build good, constructive cognitive frameworks is trade journaling. Yes, most traders do take journal their trades, but often times, they focus on WHY (i.e. fundamentals, technical setup) they are taking the trade and do not mark down what they are thinking or feeling when the trade is in process. Every trade journal should include a section where you mark down exactly what you are thinking during the trade.
Benefits of Constructive Thinking
What you can gain from constructive thinking and this specific manner of trade journaling is a better understanding of what goes through your mind when you’re “in the zone” and trading your best. It’s like being your very own psychologist!
Taking note of your thoughts and their subsequent actions when you’re making good decisions will hopefully lead to you recreating the same thought process and actions in the future.
Of course, thinking constructively also puts you in the right mindset for optimal trading. It can lead to a confident frame of mind and can help you overcome your fears.
In time, when you have filled your head with positive, constructive thoughts, there will be no room left for negative emotions that can drag you down.