Friday morning, I woke up feeling really off. My heart was beating faster than it should and I felt super dizzy. I took my regular look at the markets; I was already short from Thursday’s close with a small amount that I was willing to add to - but man did I just feel off.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm feeling off because something is about to happen in the markets - it wouldn’t be the first time, but in general I try not to think I have that much power.
The markets opened, we went a bit higher, Powell started talking, we went lower to 415, and I remember staring at the speed at which the market was moving and thinking how normally the thing I struggle with when the market is moving like this, is feeling calm in the face of the market being volatile. You know that feeling when the market is moving so fast and you feel like you have to match it in speed, you get a little antsy and maybe want to react too quickly. And then there are the people who go the opposite, as things start to move fast around them, they get super calm, they slow down, they get more honed-in than ever.
But instead, because I was so off already, my heart was already too fast, I was already too dizzy - I just stared at the markets. I felt instead like I was moving slow, like I couldn’t believe how fast they were moving. So, I missed buying the lows, I didn’t stop out at the highs cause my stop didn’t trigger, and I sat there in wonderment at just how fast it was moving, but how this time, I completely was outside of it, not in it. And even though I was in the trade, I felt somehow calm about the trading. Because I knew the issue wasn’t the trade, I also knew that nothing about my trade had changed. So I sat through it.
Why is this important? Because I know how easy it is to get caught up in the trade, to think you’re going to miss everything. To watch your heart tick up with things start getting more volatile, to think you have to react so fast or you’ve missed everything. To think you have to get every single tick up and down.
However, if you can pull yourself out of that. If you can position yourself with sizing that does not cause anxiety, (i.e. correctly with accepted loss). If you can recognize that there are more trades, that taking good trades is more important than taking every trade, you can actually force yourself to act BETTER. To hold a trade to plan, to keep the larger perspective in order (at that point it was both that I just wanted to know what was wrong with me, but also that the trade thesis was still intact despite the volatility).
I find these times that we’re a bit off, outside ourselves, bringing in a different perspective are some of the most telling, the places we can learn the most from. Which also means that sometimes, if we’re struggling, we might have to artificially put ourselves outside ourselves. To make sure that we often zoom out, find a different perspective, push ourselves out of our regular comfort zones, and then incorporate all of that into ourselves, so that each time we trade, we can learn to be more.