How important from a “psychology of trading” point of view is concentration?
Good traders know how to control their emotions. They also know that in order to control their emotions they need to be highly concentrated, or in a state also known as “the zone” in the sports field. It is definitely not something given to you for free. It takes practice and you need to have an open mind for good ideas. You need to be able to concentrate and remember that if you miss a good opportunity, trading is a continuous process. It is all about the flow of trades. The ability to stay concentrated and the desire to wait until all factors align into a straight line. There are a number of techniques that let you concentrate. Top athletes are using some of those techniques and they lead to great results. Some of them are relaxation, centering and visual imagery.
Top athletes know very well how to use those techniques in order to bypass their preoccupation with past failures and concentrate on positive paths and past successes. The same is valid in the psychology of trading, as well. When I am in front of the screen, I try to free my mind of all distractions and concentrate on past successes. I do try to get into my winning mood and clear all negative thoughts. This helps me to visualize the next step that I need to take in order to reach my goals. It helps me release the stress and get to the core of trading. When I do concentrate, I can focus on the intricacies of the activity and therefore perceive extremely accurately where price is standing in terms of the overall picture. I can establish a realistic strategy for producing effective results. I can also at the same time escape over-trading and get my mind focused over pure price action. When thoroughly concentrated, I can deal easily with discomfort and all other negative feelings. I do also become less concerned with the immediate results and can focus on the final goal. Concentration helps me better perceive reality and reflect on it.
Unfortunately, not all of us are born with the amazing ability to concentrate easily. That is why we need to practice more on how to have a calm mind. For instance, I do focus on what I can do and not on the results. In fact, too much concentration on the results can stifle concentration and reduce the end result.
In general, everything you need and everything you seek in order to reach concentration is within you. It is masked by an outer layer of fear and greed, which you should overcome. Or even more precisely- you should “dig deeper” and reach into your subconsciousness. From experience you learn how to resist the outside temptations and the opinions of others. By practicing concentration, you will realize that trying to control all events is pointless. You will become centered and able to respond directly to what the market does. You won’t be preoccupied with the perceptions of the market. You will begin to act consistently and hit your objectives. You will be a witness of the market fluctuations and will stop pretending to be their victim. You will be able to just get with the market flow and never again be against it.