“Know yourself. – You can’t improve on something you don’t understand”.
Vince Lombardi Leadership Rule#1
One common trait amongst nearly all successful traders is that they have a very high understanding of who they are and how they operate. As an example, leading traders realise that they are not in control of the market; they tend to view the market almost as a force of nature without a personality, and with no agendas, the only thing they can do is control their own actions, activities and emotions. In other words they understand the way they work, what drives them and their performance, how their mind operates, and their emotions. Not necessarily on a conscious level, but nonetheless they have an understanding of how it all works.
As an analogy considers a competitive yachtsman, he has to take account of the conditions of the sea and the winds; however, it is his own actions and decisions that will deem how successful he is. He can not blame the sea or the wind for failure, he has to put all his efforts in to his sailing, making correct decisions and performing the correct actions.
The top traders do not look to blame others when things do not go to plan, they take full responsibility, they understand that no one is infallible and they too will make mistakes. However, they take full responsibility for their own actions, they do not look to blame others, they seek to understand what they did wrong, and they constantly try and learn from their mistakes.
I will finish with one more quote, which I hope emphasises the point – It is from ‘Sun Tzu’ Chinese General, military strategist, and author of The Art of War: “, It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperilled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperilled in every single battle”.
To be really successful as a trader you need to fully understand both yourself and the market, not just the market.