Consistency in Trading: The Path to Long-Term Success

Introduction

Most people will see periods of positive results in their trading, but only a very small percentage of traders will be able to sustain those kinds of results over a long enough period to be able to call themselves a ‘consistently profitable trader’. What separates these traders from the rest is their ability to remain disciplined, patient, and utilize a strategic approach towards their trading. An approach that is grounded in the belief that ‘If I remain consistent with my process, I will achieve consistent results’. In this blog we will discuss the importance of consistency in trading, while also taking a look at some strategies and techniques that can be used to build consistency and help you achieve success over the long term.
A consistent approach to the markets is one of the most crucial aspects of a successful trading career. Traders that display consistency in their trading do not aim for home runs with every trade, and they do not change their strategies as soon as they start suffering from a losing streak. On the contrary, a consistent trader will continue to execute their trading plan down to the T, knowing that regardless of the short term results, their long-term success is almost guaranteed. This doesn’t mean that they won’t review and update their process whenever necessary, but they will not begin to doubt their approach and begin strategy hopping at the earliest signs of trouble. By prioritizing a consistent approach they are able to endure the ups and downs that come with trading and they are able to position themselves on the path to long term success. So let’s take a look at some strategies and techniques that you can understand and implement into your own journey.

Building a Routine

Building a routine around your trading is a great way to achieve consistency. When you follow a routine for a long enough period, it becomes a habit, and habits are automatic, meaning that they no longer require conscious effort. Our brains are constantly trying to automate tasks and behaviors because automatic tasks require less energy than conscious and deliberate actions. A great example of this is if I asked you “what’s 5 + 5?”, you know the answer immediately without having to consciously do the math’s. But if I asked you “what’s 37 + 91?”, unless you’re rain man, you will have to do a basic calculation inside your mind to reach the answer. The reason for this is because our minds have memorized the easier calculations, so when we need to work them out, instead of using energy to do the calculation, our brain just reaches into the memory bank and pulls out the answer very quickly. In a similar way, our brain prefers to make routines and habits that it can utilize without having to use too much energy. Knowing this information, we can use it to our advantage to build positive habits and routines, and once they are ingrained, you will be able to do them automatically without expending too much effort, and therefore achieve consistency. Building effective routines and habits can take months, but once you have ingrained them into your mind and they become part of your automatic responses, they will stay with you for life and keep forging the path to long term success.

Progress over Perfection

To build a consistent mindset, it is important to priorities making progress over being perfect. Discipline and patience undoubtedly play a huge role in a traders success, but consistency is often overlooked. In my opinion, consistency is more important than ability, because in my 5+ years of teaching I have come across so many talented traders that fell short of reaching their potential because they were inconsistent in their efforts, and eventually they gave up. So a traders skillset alone will not determine their success, it is what they do with those skills on a consistent basis that will determine their long term success. If you apply this principle of consistency, you are giving yourself a significant competitive advantage over all the other traders.
Alongside this, you also need to build a resilient mindset, practice mindfulness techniques, and learn to control your emotions. In other words, you need to be consistently working on your self development. The traders that take a consistent and proactive approach to self development are going to be the ones that are able to weather periods of drawdown, exercise patience and discipline and ultimately achieve success. The ones that are focused on making consistent progress are far more likely to make it, than the ones who are aiming for perfection.

Consistency over Comfort

It’s ok to be uncomfortable. Being consistent inevitably means putting yourself in uncomfortable situations on a regular basis. The problem is that avoiding discomfort and seeking the safety of familiarity is a part of our human nature, which makes it difficult to be ok with the uncomfortable. Yes, it’s difficult to persevere in those difficult situations, and yes it seems easier to do dumb sh*t, especially if you are used to being comfortable all the time. But they say that if you are comfortable, then you aren’t growing. So think to yourself, it may be difficult, but is it easier to keep doing the same things over and over again, being stuck in the same position for years and never being able to achieve your dreams and your desires? Is that really easier than putting yourself in discomfort now to reap the benefits later? I had to ask myself the same question after 4 years of struggling in trading, going around in circles, thinking I was making progress, convincing myself that things were going to get better by themselves. The truth was they weren’t going to get better by themselves. I had to make the conscious effort to do the uncomfortable and be consistent with my trading and my daily routine. It was difficult in the beginning, but imagine if I hadn’t put myself in that difficult position all those years ago. I probably would have quit trading soon after, gone on to work a job that I hated and most likely not achieved anywhere near the level of success that I have done through trading. Would that really have been more comfortable for me? So it’s time for you to also make that difficult decision, and embrace the uncomfortable. Because I can promise you that is the only path to your long term success.

Conclusion

The success rate in trading is very low. The journey from a beginner trader to a consistently profitable one is filled with anxiety, fear, doubts, depression, excitement, the highest highs and the lowest lows. Only a small fraction of traders are able to manage all these emotions and make it through to the other end. These are the ones remain dedicated, disciplined, patient and consistent. Because a consistent approach yields consistent results.
At the end of the day, every trader has a choice; to stay in their comfort zone and keep getting the same results they’ve always got, and to keep hoping that if they just keep showing up every day things will change and get better. Or they have the choice to make a change in the right direction and embrace the discomfort of consistent growth and development. If you want to put yourself in that 10% of traders that achieve success, then you must start to become consistent in your approach, and you have to build a positive routine that is geared towards discipline, you must also get more satisfaction from progress rather than perfection, and finally you must choose consistency over comfort. If you can do all those things then you are putting yourself on the path to long term success in trading…there is no other way.

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