Accountability in our lives takes two forms:
Internal (Like from our own mind, conscious, thinking)
External (from our spouse, boss, bank)
I bet if I asked 100 people who trade which one they think is more important to have as a trader, at least 90 would say internal. As traders we NEED that ability to be responsible for our own decisions. I need to have that thing, that movement in my gut when I make a wrong decision to own it quickly and move on and to learn from it and not allow myself to make the same mistake again.
TRADING REQUIRES THAT I FOLLOW RULES, EVEN WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING
When I place a trade, what are my “decision making stop losses”? What stops me externally from making a bad decision on a trade to not follow my rules? My broker doesn’t give a damn, they actually encourage the foolish behavior. There is really nobody else. I am my own boss. (There are times, unfortunately, I still feel like I’m 12 years old telling someone “your not the boss of me” all the while the “boss” which is the market, punishes me like a boss.) The responsibility is mine. And so for many of us, we make the mistake, trade outside our rules or at 2:45 right before roll over or whatever your drink of choice is, and then we get the daily report, delete it from the inbox, and allow the one time during the day where we could face ourselves to be thrown out. We walk away from accountability, and say, oh well, I guess I will try to be better tomorrow…
Tomorrow?! It’s already over, you just don’t realize it…
This experiment has caused me to form two new beliefs in the late innings. They are kind of the same but two different ways to say it:
1. Amateurs sway with the winds of freedom, pro’s build the structure of accountability (maybe externally first but only as an exercise to strengthen the internal)
2. Little boys believe that they should never be told they don’t have the ability to make their own decisions, men grow stronger with every decision made that they must answer for
This is the harsh reality I had to deal with. Is it more important for me to have autonomy, or is it more important to be successful? Think about it. Maybe nobody else struggles with this. I don’t know
I now firmly believe that this little thing, this word, accountability, will be the game changer for me as a trader. I must answer for my trading decisions, first externally, only to learn to account for my decisions internally. See gratification doesn’t come from the money made from trading for me, gratification comes from KNOWING that I have conquered myself and that I am internally accountable for my decisions, basically that I am in full control of my “self”. That’s when I actually win.
I took two concrete steps over the weekend to make myself accountable every day for every trade. It is the most helpful thing I have ever done. This is another one of those moments, I can feel the whole thing changing again… and I love it.