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A common problem for traders is the tendency to push too hard. The end result of pushing too hard to increase those profit levels usually turns out to be something quite the opposite.

When poor results are the consequence of trying everything and giving your best all-out effort, traders often become discouraged, depressed and prone to self-sabotage.

How do you know when you are pushing too hard?

The first sign is that you feel a constant sense of urgency. Do you hear the phrases “I must” or “I have to” constantly sneaking into your conversations?  Another sign is that you remain at your computer longer and longer each day, missing family time, social events, and not attending to your own needs. Have you given up going to the gym? Is your spouse complaining that you are never available? Have you concluded that you can never take a vacation or a day off? Are your children acting out a lot lately from lack of attention? Do you feel angry with your family members or friends for interrupting your work time?

This last sign leads to a second emotion that you might be experiencing if you are pushing yourself too hard. That emotion is anger. If you find that your fuse has become shorter than normal, you are in imminent danger of pushing yourself too hard. The stepchild of anger is impatience. You may not be throwing fits in the food court when you cannot find a table or tantrums when the wait is too long, but you will find yourself tapping your foot, drumming your fingers and sighing loudly at the incompetence of others.

As you continue to push yourself, you will begin to experience a general slowing down. This will make you more anxious, so you will compensate for it by pushing harder.  This slowing down will continue until it turns into fatigue, and you will push even harder. The fatigue will finally turn into exhaustion – full-out adrenal exhaustion. Then, you will discover, to your great dismay, that you are incapable of pushing at all!

So, why do you push so hard? Have you decided that the only way to be successful is to work extremely long hours? Is the only way to gain the competitive edge to read more, know more, and test more than everyone else? It is true that successful traders have put in the hours, have studied, and learned their trade. But, the really successful traders have learned to balance their lives so they can enjoy the process and have the physical and emotional endurance to stay in the game.

Begin each day by taking time to calm yourself mentally for the day ahead.  Meditation is the very best way that I know to keep your engine from overheating. You also need to exercise each day to stay fit and relaxed.  Build time into your life for family and friends and for those vacations and days off so you can recharge. Believe it or not, doing more does not necessarily bring the results you want. If trying hard is not working for you, trying harder will not work any better.

Adrienne Toghraie, Trader’s Success Coach