Getting Perspective on Oil
This column was originally published on RealMoney on Oct. 12 at 11:04 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.
Have you ever gone through a period when making sound trading decisions seems a lot harder than usual?
It's more than just being out of sync with the market. In fact, it's as if you're out of sync with yourself, and your trading results are suffering.
Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of being aware of your natural approach to trading. But this type of awareness is not an outcome; it's an ongoing process that requires attention every day you move your money around.Simply put, you are learning more about the most important trading tool you have: You. Of the many times I've been out of sync, I've found the one common element is a distraction stemming from my personal life. Perhaps you're in a relationship that isn't working; in fact, it's really become an energy-sucker. This isn't necessarily a romantic relationship -- it could arise from a situation at work or from someone else who generates too much heat for too little light. Whatever the reason, outside distractions are tough to leave outside. Because trading is such a mental game, any distractions put you at a disadvantage. It's like running a race with slippery shoes: Even if you're the world's fastest runner, you won't go anywhere if you can't get traction. If outside forces are draining your energy, try taking a different approach to the weekend. I know a lot of people in the trading community who spend their weekends researching stocks and creating next week's game plan. Instead, try cleaning house by dealing with all the junk that's been bugging you. Instead of focusing on next week's challenges, deal with last week's distractions. You'll find yourself much better prepared to think clearly and to make better trading decisions. Let's look at some reader picks.
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