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When should you take a break from trading?

Here, at http://SurfingThePips.com we are all about trading with the right mindset.

Cold blooded, calm and patient.

You know, the type of trading super hero who doesn’t get emotional when he losses (or makes) $10,000 on a trade.

The type of guy who can still trade minutes after his wive crashed his brand new Ferrari getting it out of the garage.

The one who could still trade during an alien attack in his house…

But hey, we also understand becoming a trading super hero does take time and commitment!

And as you certainly know it already, the road to that “ideal you” is not a calm, steady way up . It is much more like the biggest roller coaster of DisneyLand…

A lot of ups but a lot of downs too (that’s also what makes the challenge worth taking. :-) ).

And when you’re going downwards, how can you know you need some time away from the markets?

Basically anytime you are not composed, calm and patient.

More precisely:

1) When your mind is not completely free

Any external worry can be a source of negative influence for your trading.

It could be as big as a death in your family or as small as your dog stilling your ham and cheese sandwich (and pretending he didn’t do anything).

Every time you are about to trade, ask yourself this question:

Is my mind REALLY free in order to trade the markets now.

If not, deal with the issue first (tell your dog he’s a bad dog).

Depending on the issue and its effect on you, it can take a few seconds to a few months before you are ready to jump in again.

2) When you are not 100% confident about your system

99% is not enough.

Often we tend to lose confidence about our system when we experience a drawdown. Even tough we know the drawdown is statistically normal.

That’s human psychology failing on us once again!

If necessary, crush your numbers again and prove to yourself this drawdown is nothing more than a normal series.

Then, take a break. And do NOT come back until you are cooler than Mike Posner.

How to actually do it?

Strangely enough, recognizing you need to get away from the markets for a while is not the most difficult part.

The most difficult is actually to get away from it!

This is where you should use some super advanced mind control techniques:

Pavlov’s Dog technique.

When you do stay in the markets while you shall not, you’re a bad dog and you know it! Instantly deprive yourself from something (no dessert, no cigarette, no extra expenses during the week-end).

When you get away from the markets while you shall, you’re a good dog and you know it! Instantly reward yourself for being one: buy this nice CD you wanted, cook yourself a very nice meal or gnaw some fresh bones.

This might all sound a bit silly but it does work!

Try it…

Conclusion: The less I trade the more I make

This sentence might not make sense for you right now.

But it will, one day, once you’ve gone through the ups and downs…

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