Chapter 1: Change
Lesson 2: Psychological Visibility And Your Relationship With Your Trading Coach
This lesson explains that “the single best predictor of change is the quality of the helping relationship.” In other words, when we have a positive relationship with a change agent, we experience more powerful and lasting change. As a result, Dr. Brett recommends we begin learning how to create a positive relationship with ourselves: our permanent Trading Coach.
To help build a positive relationship with myself as Trading Coach, I followed one of the exercises to “identify a single trading strength to express as a goal for the coming day’s trading.” More specifically, I identified what I did best yesterday and set a goal to continue that behavior today.
Yesterday I did an excellent job of taking profits. I stuck to my discipline and shed 1/2 into the initial thrust, a 1/4 at my target, and the remaining pieces depending on price action and my stop-loss. Here is an example from one of four trades I Twitted:
Then, this morning I set a goal to stay as prudent with my strength of taking profits. Here is an example of one trade from this morning:
(Caveat: Taking profits is a matter of preference and style. I am not advocating you copy me. Some traders hold all or nothing for their targets, and others shed along the way. I have a more risk averse personality, so this style suits me best and has been very successful for me.)
Dr. Brett explains that “Too many of our goals are negative: we declare that we won’t do X or that we’ll do less of Y.” This keeps focus on what we are doing incorrectly, thus bringing out the inner Bobby Knight (“You suck!”). Although negative reinforcement works for some people, it tends to destroy confidence and cause problems with traders. So, today start building a positive relationship with your Trading Coach: that good-looking person reflected in your computer screen.