This week we are diving into psychology again and looking at the mindset needed to win in trading. We asked Head of Trading College, Lee Sandford, to share with us the main differences between “winners” and losers”. He had some surprising answers.

 

Firstly, Lee, can you tell us how important mindset is in trading?

Trading is 10% knowing your strategies and making good choices, and 90% having the right mindset, the right psychological approach. The way you think and behave will always have a massive impact on your trading.

What are the main differences between “winners” and “losers”?

1) WINNERS ARE LOSERS

This is one of my favourite sayings. I always tell people, “I’m a loser.” I lose on plenty of trades. No one can win every trade they place. But I’m not just a loser in trading, I’ve been a loser in life, and I’m proud of the losses I’ve been through. When you lose, you learn and that’s an important part of your psychological development. The biggest winners have lost the most times. This is because winners will get out of their comfort zone and takes risks. Winners actually make the most mistakes, but they learn from those mistakes, and that’s what gets them closer to winning. If you never put yourself out there, if you never take risks, if you’re not prepared to lose… you’ll never win!

2) WINNERS KNOW WHAT THEY WANT

If you don’t know what you want, you cannot win in life. How can you measure your success if you haven’t set any goals? If you don’t know where you are going, you are just swimming around in circles. Winners are focused. They know what they want and, most importantly, they know why they want it. All the most successful people I’ve met in life have a big “why” behind everything they do. Know what you want and why you want it, and you will be half way to winning.

3) WINNERS ALWAYS PLAY LIKE THEY ARE WINNING

In my book, Goals to Gold, I wrote about how the most successful football teams always play like they are winning, even when they are losing. The most exciting games I’ve ever played or watched are ones with great comebacks from a losing position. If you play like you have already lost, you literally cannot win. You must play like you are winning, even when you are technically behind. You never know what might happen.

4) WINNERS ARE NOT STUCK IN THE PAST

This is related to the point above. Winners don’t play like they are losing, nor do they let the past define them. Winners don’t look backward. Many people get put down in life, even bullied. Those who are able to shake off the past and keep moving forward are winners. Those who let their past define them, believing they don’t deserve to win simply because of how badly someone else has treated them, only lose again if they can’t get out of that self-loathing mindset. You have to address whatever is holding you back and break free of your past.

5) WINNERS INVEST IN THEMSELVES

Again, following on from the point above, when you have high self-worth, you believe you are worth investing in. I have spoken to many people who say they want to improve their lives, but are not willing to invest in the education and tools that would help them. I’ve always invested money in my own development and education, and I’ve seen great results.

6) WINNERS PRACTICE PATIENTLY

Again, when you allow yourself to fail, you learn. Winners do not expect to achieve something without practice. They practice patiently; they take the time to practice. I always get frustrated by people who come to Trading College with a get-rich-quick attitude; I have to explain to them that it takes a lot of time, practice and patience to get good at trading.

7) WINNERS LET GO OF THEIR EGOS

We constantly promote this message at Trading College because it trips people up so much. You cannot have a big ego if you want to be a winner because your ego will be crushed when you lose and, going right back to the first point… WINNERS ARE LOSERS! You have to leave your ego at the door if you want to win in life, or you will never get past your first loss.

Basically, winners think differently from losers. Work on your winning thinking and you will keep getting better. You never stop losing in trading, but as long as you are always learning while you are losing, then you are actually always winning.This applies to everything in life, to trading, to learning any skill… even golf!

Thanks, Lee! That sounds like a win-win!