What is a Mental Strategy?

[vc_row gap=”15″ css=”.vc_custom_1548054134970{margin-right: 20px !important;margin-left: 20px !important;}”][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_custom_heading text=”What Is a Mental Strategy?” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23000000″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]To understand mental strategies, it helps to reflect on how people think. People think in their five sensory modalities, that is, in terms of visual images, sounds, feelings, taste, and smell. Of these five, the modality of feelings needs one clarification. This modality refers not only to a sense of touch but also to the emotions you experience. Since both emotions and tactile sensation are processed similarly within your brain, they both occupy the same sensory modality. With that clarification in mind, you can see more clearly how mental strategies work.

Mental strategies are powerful sequences that allow us to effectively do what we want. You unconsciously employ mental strategies all the time. To gain the psychology of a Super Trader, you want to adopt mental strategies that guide you towards effortlessly doing what helps you trade well.

A mental strategy is a step-by-step way in which you use your sensory modalities; it is the specific sequence of your thinking. A mental strategy connects your beliefs to thoughts, your thoughts to feelings, and your feelings to actions.

For example, the most effective strategy for the action step of executing a trade is to 1) see the signal; 2) recognize internally that this is the signal you decided you should take; 3) feel good about it, and 4) take action. If you do anything else, you probably won’t be able to take action or you will be very slow to act.

Let’s break this strategy down so you can see how it works. Before anything happens, you have a belief in place. A belief that particular trading signal is worth observing and acting on. That belief leads you to go looking for such a signal. When the signal appears, this mental strategy kicks into gear. You visually identify the signal, which triggers a thought that a matching signal has arrived. This thought triggers an emotion, that you feel good about this signal, which in turn triggers an attitude or desire to perform an action such as making a trade. With this mechanism in place, you take the action of making a trade.

Let’s take this a step further so you can see how constructing the right mental strategies can lead you towards adopting the psychology of a Super Trader. Imagine that you employed the mental strategy as outlined above. You might find that you had made an error in your trading because, in your optimism and confidence, you failed to properly plan your trade. You may then adopt a new belief that all of your trades must be planned before you can put the trade on.  Imagine that the mental strategy looks like the one below, and notice what might happen.

While it is obvious that you have two productive beliefs, it is not obvious at first how these beliefs might lead to a conflict of actions that slows you down and reduces your effectiveness at trading. you may feel conflicted as you simultaneously want to hurry and make a trade, but also want to take your time, think through and plan out that trade. This can cause confusion and hesitation, which may reduce your effectiveness as a trader.

Being aware of this dynamic prepares you to adopt a Super Trader mental strategy. Consider how simple it might be to implement a mental strategy which combines these two beliefs in a more productive way, by simply modifying the second belief from “trade according to plan” to “trade according to a pre-determined plan.” Here is what you get instead.


Can you see how this improved mental strategy might lead you to improved effectiveness in your trading? Doing the work of identifying your beliefs, identifying the optimal mental state for executing those beliefs, and designing a mental strategy to help you flawlessly and effortlessly adopt the most productive actions for you as a trader will naturally guide you to gain the psychology of a Super Trader.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator el_width=”50″][vc_custom_heading text=”What You Have Learned in This Course” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23000000″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

  1. An overview of what Van Tharp means when he says, You don’t trade the markets, you trade your beliefs about the markets.
  2. Brief definitions and examples of mental state and mental strategy. (Dr. Tharp teaches full three-day workshops just on those topics alone!)
  3. An explanation of how your beliefs about trading matter.

You have begun to explore your beliefs about trading. Continue the exploration right away so that you can get to the highly productive work of identifying mental states and building mental strategies.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Take Quiz Now” style=”flat” color=”primary” size=”lg” align=”center” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwebsitesvaluator.com%2Fquizzes%2Fwrite-down-your-beliefs-about-trading%2F|||”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”flash_right_sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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