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One of the most common mistakes of newbie traders is focusing too much on finding the next winning trades instead of becoming good traders.

It’s not unusual to see newbies who spend most of their time doing fundamental or technical analysis to find a profitable trade setup. Some even straight up copy other traders’ ideas and systems without learning much about the rationale behind them.

They’re so afraid of missing a good opportunity that they’d rather devote their trading time to taking trades rather than identifying their strengths and weaknesses and working on their skills. What they fail to understand is that it’s the winning trading habits that win trades more often than winning setups do.

trader trainingI’m not saying that looking for or even copying trades aren’t helpful. I’m saying that self-improvement activities like trade journaling or deliberate practice would make you a consistently profitable trader faster than simply hunting for good trade setups.

A successful boxer didn’t start his career by entering as many competitions as he can in the hopes that experience would make him a better athlete.

He would first spend hours and hours in the gym conditioning his body, memorizing different combos, and correcting his weaknesses before he officially enters the ring. Then, armed with the basics and the habit of learning from his fights, he would make appropriate adjustments until he becomes unbeatable in his weight division.

Now, imagine if the boxer was more concerned about winning fights than being a good athlete. He would challenge as many opponents as he can without much thought to his training. His conditioning will likely fall apart in the ring and he’ll end up losing battles. Ironically, his need to win has weighed on his ability to win.

Forex traders face the same scenario every day. Just without the facial bruises. Maybe.

Point is, many are so focused on their balances, on “scoring” good trades that they neglect their conditioning. They don’t exert much effort into improving their skill set and over time their trading skills will be limited to the kind of setups that they usually take.

Focusing on the process instead of profits makes you more equipped to handle any trading scenario that comes your way. It can also lessen trading anxiety since you have more control over your current problems than future profits or losses.

In the end you have to remember that winning is not about having the best cards, but how you play the ones that you’re dealt. Focus on becoming a good trader and good trades will follow.