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Trading Psychology - What Is Trading In The Zone?

What is trading in the zone?  

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This is a very popular expression and the title of an excellent book on trading psychology.  Many people use the expression but what exactly does it mean to be trading in the zone?
 
To help us understand what trading in the zone is let’s relate it to something many of us are familiar with, riding a bike.
 
Many of us may remember when we first tried riding a bike, it was uncomfortable and a bit scary.  Our body had to learn work and to balance in an whole new way.  In the process of our body learning to learn how do this new activity, how many times did you crash and burn?  Or how many times to you put your feet on the ground in a panic to stop yourself from crashing?  If you cannot remember any of this, find a park where a parent is teaching one of their kids to learn to ride a bike.  Eventually, after much practice, we all learned to ride a bike.  After we learned to ride a bike, maybe it was another week or so of constant riding when we could just jump on the bike and ride without thinking.  From that point, we may never again have thought about all the steps involved in riding a bike.  From that point forward we were able to be riding our bike in the zone.  The expression, ‘riding my bike in the zone’, is an expression that none of us would ever use.  However, if we keep that expression in mind when it comes to trading in the zone, it will help us remember what to do to become and stay a successful trader.
 

Now, let’s apply riding our bikes in the zone to trading in the zone.

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Many traders think that they can just will themselves into trading in the zone.  Can you just will yourself to know how to ride a bicycle?  Of course not!  Why?  Because riding a bike in the zone is like trading in the zone.  It is about learning a new skill and practicing that skill over and over again until you know how to do it without thinking about it.  It is about skillfully doing something on automatic pilot.  Can you imagine being scared to ride a bike after you have been doing it for weeks, months, years, even decades?  No!  Can you imagine wanting to go for a bike ride and thinking about all the little things you need to do or the challenges that may come up on your bike ride?  No!  You just make the decision to go for a bike ride and deal with what you need to deal with when it comes up on your bike ride.  When you first start riding a bike are you prepared to deal with all the circumstances that will come up during your bike ride?  No, but over time, with experience, you find that you are able to prepared for and deal with anything that may happen during your bike ride.

Remember the first time you were out riding your bike and a huge dog came running at you and started to chase you, how did you feel?  You probably felt some panic.  Now, after that happens a few times, how do you feel?  Do you feel any panic?  Most likely not.  You take note of the type of dog that it is and you have an idea of how much faster you have to pedal your bike to stay safe- but you do not panic.  You kept calm and took the right action.  
 
Riding a bike in the zone is first, having the skill to ride the bike and then knowing how to calmly deal with the different events that may happen while you are out on a bike ride.  Trading in the zone is first, having the skill to trade and then knowing how to calmly deal with the different events that may happen while you are trading.
 

What is the first step to trading in the zone?

 
The first step to trading in the zone is, knowing how to trade.  Many traders think that because they know about support and resistance, trend lines, pivot points, RSI, Stochastics, MACD and more, they know how to trade.  Just because a child knows how to use their arms, legs, sense of vision and sense of balance does not mean they know how to ride a bike.  It is not until they are shown how to use those different skill, as applied to riding a bike and practice using those skills actually riding the bike, that they are successfully able to ride a bike.  So it is with trading.  Once you have the skills, you have to learn how to apply those skills in a very specific way to trade successfully.  Most traders never learned how to specifically apply the trading skills they have learned about trading to trading.  They randomly show up to trade the markets, trying to figure out the best way to trade the markets for today.  Can you imagine trying to ride a bicycle the same way?  You want to go for a bike ride.  You go to get your bicycle.  You then stand there and stare at it wondering, if you should lay down and pedal it with  your hands, you wonder if you should crouch down and pedal with your knees or maybe you should try it upside down and use your shoulders to pedal…  As stupid as all that sounds, it is just as stupid to approach trading the markets in a different way each time you sit in front of your trading charts.
 
What is knowing how to trade?  Knowing how to trade is, knowing how to use your trading knowledge and trading skills  in a very specific way and using them in the same way over and over again to make money.  Have you ever heard the expression, ‘it’s like riding a bike?’.  Does that expression mean that things are complicated?  No!  The expression means, that once you know how to do it, it will be easy for the rest of your life.  Trading should be as easy as riding a bike, or most other things you know how to do in life, once you know how to do them.  Whether it is riding your bike in the zone, swimming in the zone, shooting basketball in the zone, putting your pants on in the zone, taking a shower in the zone, putting your make up on in the zone or eating in the zone - you already know how to operate in the zone, we just need to help you learn how to trade in the zone.
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Would you like to make sure you know how to trade, then visit us at www.trainyourbraintrading.com.  In 10 minutes a day, we will teach you how to trade.  In 60 days, you will know how to trade the rest of your life.
 
All the best!
 
Seth Gregory

 

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