Achieve Peak Trading Performance

05/09/2011 3:00 pm EST


Rande Howell

Founder and Owner, Trader's State of Mind

Once an effective methodology is in place, learning to prevent fear and negativity brought on by the markets, or by the trader, can allow for peak performance, says trade psychologist Rande Howell.

Thanks for watching the video network. My guest today is Rande Howell. Hi Rande. Tell me about peak performance and how I can develop that as a state of mind as a trader.

Well, all performance is based on mindset. It just so happens in trading, if you have a mindset that is contaminated by fear, you're not going to get peak performance. 

You have to disrupt fear to get to potential.

Once you get to potential, you discover that living within you as part of self, and the same way that you have criticism within self and fear within self, you also have discipline within self. You have patience within self. You have compassion within self. You have courage within self. Most importantly, you have impartiality within self.

Rande, what's the ideal time for a trader to come to you for help?

Most of the traders I work with have been trading well beyond two years. You have to have a period where you're learning your methodology so that's not the stumbling block.

Generally, I'm working with traders somewhere between five and ten years in. That's where they've got their methodology down and they realize that it is important then to develop the psychology. 

That's when it's most fruitful for them.

How can we develop at that stage then this peak-performance state of mind?

Good question. The very first thing is you have to disrupt fear. As long as fear is around, it will always block potential. 

All this regulation, all this mindful stuff, is developed to be able to interrupt fear. 

Fear is like a door and you open it and then you move to another place.

When you move to that other place, you realize that in the same way that fear lives within you, and criticism lives within you, you also discover that there are these elements, in discipline, in patience, in courage and impartiality. Particularly, the impartiality, that, when you finally focus on that impartiality, you pull forward and suddenly it starts trading. 

As long as there's fear there, impartiality will always be contaminated. It is a highly evolved emotional state, whereas fear is brain stem. 

So ultimately you can use various techniques. Probably the most successful is actually using memory to be able to say, OK, what produces impartiality? What produces discipline?

For instance, the movie “Gladiator,” with Maximus. If you want to know how to pull up discipline, you focus on that guy. 

A lot of men will use Maximus as this force that allows them to access the stirring of discipline within themselves. You find places like that and you start living there and you discover that your internal dialogue becomes populated by conversations of discipline and impartiality rather than self-doubt and criticism.

Which is the harder fear to work through: Fear of failure or fear of success?

Well, in trading, since everyone is already losing money anyway, the very first thing you have to get past is fear of failure. 

Fear of success gets in there, too, because it's very common. A person has a concept of how much money makes him successful, and they hit it and it becomes their comfort zone. They find themselves having a hard time getting beyond that.

You have to go in and you have to find out, there's the pattern, what's the belief that's holding me down? You have to disrupt it and you have to reform it.

Find the pattern, disrupt it, and reform it.


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