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Nial Fuller

NIAL FULLER
Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

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By in Forex Trading Articles on | 68 Comments

trading-brain-1Discipline is an integral part of becoming a consistently profitable trader. However, most aspiring Forex traders find themselves unable to remain disciplined as they trade the markets. Today’s Forex trading lesson will provide you with some solid insight into why you must become a disciplined trader as soon as possible and how to change your trading habits to become more disciplined. This is going to be one of the most important trading articles you ever read, so I suggest you settle in and grab a cup of coffee and really let the concepts I’m about to discuss sink into your mind.

Note From Nial –  Do me a favor, and please click on the social icons at the end of today’s article & please leave a comment below.

Why discipline is essential to becoming a consistently profitable trader

Forex trading obviously requires a high degree of discipline, most all traders know this, whether beginner or pro. However, knowing is different from doing, and while most all traders know they should be more disciplined, it often ends up being something they think they can put off until they make X amount of money. Trying to rationalize in your head not being disciplined is one of the biggest mistakes that almost all traders make at some point. I know how it works because I was once in your shoes. You probably have thought something like this recently, “I’ll start to become disciplined and manage my risk better once I get my account up to X amount of money…” Sound familiar? I’m willing to bet a lot of money that you thought that exact thing at some point or still think that. Almost every trader has.

The problem with thinking you can put off being a disciplined trader until XYZ happens is fairly obvious, yet most traders continue to do it. This is simply a mistake born out of greed, and greedy traders do not make money over the long-run. If there is one thing that will destroy your trading account faster than anything, it’s greed. A greedy trader trades too much and risks too much per trade, and as I’ve discussed many times in previous articles, over-trading and over-leveraging are the two main reasons why most Forex traders lose money. In my opinion, trading almost naturally induces greedy behavior in traders due to the constant temptation of easily being able to make fast money by just clicking your mouse. Thus, for almost all people who trade the markets, a conscious plan to fight greed before it consumes you is necessary if you want to become a successful Forex trader.

Becoming a disciplined trader is about changing your trading habits

The traders who survive long enough in the markets to see themselves become consistently profitable are the ones who attain and sustain positive trading habits. Like anything else in life, habits define your reality and how far you go in any field. Habits are also reinforcing and they tend to become more ingrained into our personality and daily routine whether they are positive ones or negative ones.

Unfortunately, for most small retail Forex traders, developing the habits of a successful Forex trader is an uphill battle right out of the gate. Most traders come into the market with the dream of making quick money or with some idea of making enough money to quit their job right away. They also come into the market with relatively small trading accounts, essentially pitting their emotions and desires against the reality of the situation. The truth is, the harder you try to make a lot of money really fast, the more it will elude you. You may get lucky at first and hit a few big winners, but you are only reinforcing negative trading habits that will soon come back to bite you much harder than you might imagine.

So, the first step to becoming a disciplined trader is to simply accept the reality of what is possible given your account size, assuming you plan on implementing effective Forex money management. I know that you most likely want to make a lot of money really fast and quit your job, but if you have a $1,000 trading account, this is not a realistic option for you any time soon, even though many beginning traders seem to think they can parlay their tiny accounts into life-changing amounts overnight. One thing that might help you accept this reality is that if you develop a consistently profitable track record over a period of several consecutive months, you will have no problem finding people with money to fund you. Think of your trading account track record as a trading “resume”, and the more impressive your resume the more likely you are to get a “trading job”. It doesn’t matter if you’re trading small position sizes either, if you are trading real money and develop a consistently profitable track record, it’s a very impressive and powerful piece of evidence that you can use to prove to people that you know how to trade the markets effectively.

How to change your trading habits

Zen-Habits-good-habits-bad-habitsIf you have fully accepted the reality of what is possible given your account size and effective risk management, then you can start devising a concrete plan to change your trading habits, or if you are brand new to trading, develop the proper habits. The first thing you need to do is be sure that you know exactly what your “edge” in the market is and how to trade it. If you haven’t mastered an effective trading strategy yet, you should check out my price action trading strategies, as they can provide you with high-probability entry signals by learning to analyze and trade the natural price dynamics of a market. After mastering an effective trading strategy, you need to plan out how you will trade it. You should design a comprehensive yet concise Forex trading plan on your computer and print it out. This plan will be your guide for how to interact with the market; by pre-defining all aspects of your trading you consciously eliminate the potential to turn into a greedy trader, assuming you follow your trading plan of course.

Once you’ve designed a trading plan around an effective Forex trading strategy, you need to start keeping track of all your trades in a Forex trading journal in order to develop the impressive track record we discussed previously. Trading plans and trading journals are a trader’s two main weapons against over-trading and over-leveraging. Some traders need them more than others to stay disciplined, but all traders will benefit from having them, so I strongly suggest everyone create a trading plan and a trading journal after reading this article and start using them each day if you want to change your trading habits.

Don’t fall off the track once you start changing your habits

Another problem many traders run into is that they begin changing their trading habits and remain disciplined for a period of time only to fall off the track and back into their old trading habits. You really need to remain consciously aware of the importance of discipline everyday as you trade the markets. There really is no way to remain consistently profitable in the markets if you do not remain consistently disciplined, so please keep this in mind as you begin your journey to become and stay a disciplined trader.

Once you start changing your trading habits it should become easier for you to maintain them and thus staying disciplined will not seem like a chore to you anymore. It’s similar to exercising regularly; in the beginning it can be uncomfortable and difficult, but as time goes on it will become second-nature as the positive effects of exercising reinforce the necessity of it as well as your desire to do it, and it will eventually be something you look forward to and couldn’t imagine NOT doing. Similarly, once you develop positive Forex trading habits they will reinforce themselves as you start to see yourself losing less money and making more consistent returns over time, these positive trading habits will then start to become second-nature to you and you will wonder why you ever traded so undisciplined before.

If you enjoyed this lesson and want to know more about becoming a disciplined Forex trader, and the other points discussed in this article, check out my price action Forex trading course.

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About Nial Fuller

is a Professional Trader & Author who is considered ‘The Authority’ on Price Action Trading. He has a monthly readership of 250,000+ traders and has taught 15,000+ students since 2008. Checkout Nial's Professional Forex Course here.
  1. Thabang January 1, 2017 at 4:16 am

    Since day one I started reading your articles up until today, my mindset about forex trading has been transformed. The only thing remaining of me is to apply what I’ve been reading here. Thanks a lot Mr Fuller for not sugar-coating the facts about trading, Thanks again my Mentor. Salute

    Reply
  2. Esteban Santana December 7, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I really appreciate your writing in all of your articles. Always straightforward and informative
    You’re the man Nial

    Reply
  3. Sumalee June 7, 2016 at 8:14 am

    That what I need when I trade…

    Reply
  4. Fakhar September 20, 2015 at 2:52 am

    good article for those who are greedy and forget good habits

    Reply
  5. Paul Stewart July 6, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Very sound advice.

    Reply
  6. Alex March 22, 2014 at 2:16 am

    Hello, Nial.
    Great article Nial, I’m really enjoying being part of this trading site. With each of your article, I’m a successful professional trader.
    Thank you very much.

    Reply
  7. yusufaliyu August 6, 2013 at 6:52 am

    this is superb Nial!
    in the course of my trading, i was fortunate enough to formulate a strategy that gives me close to 90% of the trend direction. Yet i have been unable to follow my signal 90% of the time. i always enter the trade at the end of the move, in what i term as “catching the tiger by the tail”. i have always asked myself, ” Who did the analysis for you?, why cant you follow it?”……when i finally came across what discipline in trading means, i knew i have found my solution
    happy trading

    Reply
  8. Christou February 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Without delay I’ll create my trading plan and trading journal to modify my non habits before entering trades in order to become a CONSISTENT Long Term profitable trader… I thank you SOOOOO much Nial!!!!!

    Reply
  9. paul .o. December 7, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks Nial for the article, it is really educative and helpful.

    Reply
  10. Sean June 14, 2012 at 4:08 am

    Great advice , I kinda admire you,(and envy you) in a good way off course

    Reply
  11. Derek May 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    thank you

    Reply
  12. shafiek May 10, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Hi Nial

    I am going through your lessons on forex 1 by 1 and starting off skeptically first as there is so much jokers talking about Forex on the internet who dont know there right hand from left I must say I have learntt 3 years of information in 1 night. If I read this 3 years ago I would be ina completely different position where my trading is concerned.

    The funny thing is that I know this and it has been repeated to me and over again but I still make the same mistake week in and week out and I keep telling myself and I wont do it again but low and behold I fund my account and I make the same mistakes again, I then fund my account and I make the same mistakes and I came to realise that I am my own worst enemy. I kept on telling myself that I am just unlucky and price could have gone in my direction but that wont bring my $ back.

    If I never read this article I would have probably made the same mistakes again next week.

    Looking back, the funny thing is that if I follow my startegy and wait for a setup I win 70% of my trades and usually make attleast 2:1 on a trade. So why in the world do I chase trades that are not there. I am so frustrated looking back because if I followed what you mention in this article I could have been fairly successful trading with my small account and by now I could have probably built up my account to a descent amount. Oh well its never to late and reading this article it really hit home in reagrds to what it takes to be a successful trader. As soon as I master my current strategy I will surely look into your price action method and join you.

    What I really enjoy about your site is not only the price action method and videos but you also tell the truth about what it takes to be a successful forex trader and you provide important lessons both in life and trading.

    Keep up the great work mate and take care!!!

    Reply
  13. Tomson March 25, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Thanks for sharing all this wisdom, and making us believe in our self and not giving up our goals.

    Tomson from Sweden

    Reply
  14. ponfa longtau February 2, 2012 at 5:14 am

    nial, this is one article that i will read again and again and again.great insight

    Reply
  15. Erika V. December 23, 2011 at 5:05 am

    I don’t know from where you get all these wise insights, seeing that you are not an “Ancient” with a lifelong trading experience, but thank you sooo much for all your free lessons. They are fascinating,practical and down-to-earth. Eagerly I read them, like an addict.

    Reply
  16. Larry H. November 14, 2011 at 5:24 am

    Nial,

    The “BIG D”, in my limited vocabulary, used to mean either Dallas or Divorce. No more!!! DISIPLINE it is!

    If it’s a fact that trading is all about the 3 M’s – Me, Money Manement and Method then Success – it’s going to be. Thanks again. Larry

    Reply
  17. Shawmeer November 6, 2011 at 2:04 am

    Nial,

    Information contained herein is priceless. I hope you earn tons and tons of Karma points for the good intentions with which this webpage was created.

    Thanks,
    God Bless

    Reply
  18. KRISTOFA OKENTA October 28, 2011 at 1:01 am

    Professor Nial. You have again touched the main cord that smooths,soothes and sweetens the music of forex trading.
    I have made lots of losses just because of inDISCIPLINE.
    One thing about it is that you will know how to do what to do to make money, but DOING IT becomes our problem which makes our unDOING.
    DISCIPLINE is now my watchword pasted on the side of screen.
    Thank you again.

    Reply
  19. Jen October 6, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Thanks this is probably one of the most important things that will effect my trading good lesson

    Reply
  20. Douglas September 27, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    This was a real nice lesson.

    Reply
  21. Jolly September 21, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Thanks Nial, You’ve really taught me what to do.

    Reply
  22. Lena September 21, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I’ve just found your site and am finding it extremely helpful! I am certainly looking to become more disciplined.

    Reply
  23. Jim September 21, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Thanks Nial. This is another one of your lessons I have to work on. Your tools for trading have been a great help to me so far.

    Reply
  24. MT September 20, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Hello:
    Traded GU for a while in Demo. Made 50K to 75K in 17 days. Broke the dicipline with Greed on Gold and lost 28K in one trade that I was not supposed to take after the daily limit of 1K. So this artical has a meaning. I have tested by placing extra trade after making daily total nad those one have took me back to few days in my trading. Thanks Nial for godd artical.

    Reply
  25. Mell September 20, 2011 at 3:00 am

    Thanks for this helpful article looking to become more discipline.

    Reply
  26. Matthew September 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Having lots of success trading your price action signals on higher time-frames with proper risk reward. You’re an awesome coach.

    Reply
  27. Luyimbazi Godfrey September 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Nial,
    A great tutorial ! As usual the presentation is great and easy to digest for especially us amateur traders .
    Keep up the flow Nial we are follow !!!
    Good day!

    Reply
  28. Ben September 19, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Nial, are you making a living as a forex trader or just an educator?

    Reply
  29. kotijett September 19, 2011 at 7:53 am

    thanks Nial… by far the most inspiring read… and as always another great article.

    Reply
  30. Mode September 19, 2011 at 1:58 am

    Very good advice Nial.
    I need to work on my discipline for sure so will continue to practice.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  31. Tshitso September 18, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    good advise indeed since I’ve lacked in this department but I’ll start disciplining myself better. the mind is something

    Thanks Nial

    Reply
  32. tashifish September 18, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Agreed, not having discipline is the biggest obstacle in trading and the most hurtful to an account.

    Reply
  33. DeRod X September 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Good stuff as usual Nial keep putting fat on our brains.

    It really is all about the three M’s Mind Method Money. When a trader thinks that discipline is something they think they can put off until they make X amount of money its like a golfer saying he will play with more discipline after he is ahead.

    Reply
  34. Joe September 18, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Great article Nial, Thanks for sharing.. :)

    Reply
  35. erastus September 18, 2011 at 4:39 am

    excellent, all your work touches my heart.sounds like its me you talking to.great

    Reply
  36. mike September 18, 2011 at 3:50 am

    Hi nail,thanks a lot for your articles,more so on money management and risk-reward.My question is, once i join your course will you be giving some daily market insights or analysis and do you also have some custom indicators to simplify trading i.e one that can scan a good price action setup in the currency pairs.Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  37. Emeka September 17, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Nial, yesterday l lost so much in my account simply becuase l deviated from my trading plan. l gave all l gained back. l was mad at myself. Trading forex is not jumping into the market but maintaining discipline. Discipline…. Discipline… Discipline is the watch word and thats what makes money in the market. Thanks for this article and God bless

    Reply
  38. satish September 17, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Not only forex can change the life ;But forex in discipline manner can surely change the life…..thanks nail-sir.

    Reply
  39. jawanda September 17, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    very gud article……….
    thx Nial

    Reply
  40. Mick O. September 17, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks Nial,

    Spot on as usual!
    I have been working on increasing my discipline
    level in trading and will get there – with your help – soon.
    While being pretty disciplined in many areas of my life including exercising, meditation etc., in Forex I am finding it much harder to do…but it has to be done and will be done soon.
    Please keep motivating us…

    Reply
  41. Steve September 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Hi Nial
    Since becoming a member 7 months ago I have started trading live, part time.
    Nial quote, “Trading plans and trading journals are a trader’s two main weapons……”.
    Absolutely true, for me. My trading business and discipline to carry out my plan are documented. I still slip up a few times but today’s article is so relevant for me. I am only human.
    Thanks for keeping me focused.

    Avagoodweekend Nial

    Reply
  42. paul September 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    thanks nial for this great lesson.

    Reply
  43. GlobalTrader September 17, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Hi Nial, this article is more than true…thx for posting it!!! And as usual always looking forward to receive incoming newsletter from you…rgds from Hamburg, Germany

    Reply
  44. Muyen September 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks for the article you just paint the pic of me without knowing me, lack of discipline has make me build a $5000 account to 400% in one month and only to lose 50% of the whole account the following month and struggling with my trade when the edge is not their, thereby losing confidence of my system whereas its me that is forcing trade when there is no trade, Thank you once again I want to learn to sit on my hand and control the impulse to trade when there is known trade.

    Reply
  45. thomas September 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    good stuff nial..

    Reply
  46. Andrew September 17, 2011 at 11:16 am

    “these positive trading habits will then start to become second-nature to you and you will wonder why you ever traded so undisciplined before.”- this is so true. Great analogy with the physical exercise example- it really is the same feeling. I can totally relate to the above statement after having now achieved this mental state in my own trading. When a trader takes the time to stay disciplined over a period of months and sees the results, it becomes so easy to continue being disciplined. You then wonder to yourself how or why you traded so undisciplined previously. I don’t think I could have achieved this without having daily access to Nial’s thought processes in his daily trading updates and regular articles to reinforce the same things over and over and the trust that is there because the info is coming from a stable seasoned professional trader that trades with common sense and displays his thought processes in the markets on a daily basis. Thank you Nial for continuing to reinforce with daily trading updates and regular weekly articles- this is where the real value is in what you are doing I feel.

    Reply
  47. T Allen September 17, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Another Great Article Nial – Thanks for posting this lesson

    Reply
  48. Mike Cautillo September 17, 2011 at 9:33 am

    So true. Article is well done Nial. One of my favorite traders of all time PTJ said this about having discipline “Why not make your life a pursuit of happiness rather than pain” after experiencing some bold mistakes from not having discipline.

    I feel it is one of the most essential rules…so good on you for sharing this.

    Reply
  49. Michael September 17, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Hi Nial
    I have been at trading for the past two years now,and find discipline the most important element for success.

    Thank you again.

    Reply
  50. Robert September 17, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Great article,Discipline,Discipline,Discipline!!!!!!

    Thanks for everything Nial. Signing up very soon.

    Reply
  51. Vijay September 17, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Thanks Nial…best article

    Reply
  52. Ajibola Adebisi September 17, 2011 at 6:37 am

    A great work!!! This is my first time here and really i see the ma future brighter with this help from you. Thanks

    Reply
  53. Davidr September 17, 2011 at 6:02 am

    Well written as ever Make sound rules and atick to them. Thats why one must keep a diary of all trades

    Reply
  54. Shane September 17, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Very good advice Nial.
    I need to work on my discipline for sure so will continue to practice.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  55. Stephen September 17, 2011 at 2:23 am

    Thanks for everything Nial. Signing up today.

    Reply
  56. james September 17, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Excellent artice! Any time I deviated from discipline using your strat I got into bother!

    Reply
  57. Darrell J September 17, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Nial, thanks for the important lesson. I once was lost and trying to get rich quick and lost it all twice because I deviated from your style. Boy, I wish I had stayed disciplined and stuck with you. However, I have finally awakened. Thanks!!!

    Reply
  58. Parakrama September 16, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Hi Nial, Your lessons has helped a lot to improve myself. I am not a “machine gunner” anymore. I am rather close to a “sniper” or a “fisherman”. This change has added more value to my trading life than anything else. Thanks a lot!

    Reply
  59. Johan September 16, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Good article,

    Discipline is really the key factor. There no such thing is a quick buck.

    Weekend is here time for Rugby World Cup.

    Reply
  60. Tony September 16, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Nial, great article. Thanks you for being here for all of us.

    Reply
  61. Barry September 16, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Excellent article :-), and right on the money (no pun intended).Most of us receive this wisdom early on in our trading career but seem too busy to listen(I guess I’ll speak for myself), but after several years, and lots of losses, it ultimately sinks in. Discipline leads to consistency, leads to confidence..and the three are inter-related. So, as you increase one, you’ll ultimately increase the other two.

    Another trader once passed on this poem that really profoundly resonated with me, that I thought I would pass it along to this forum seeing that it fits with the theme of this article:

    YOU ARE WHAT YOU REPEATEDLY DO

    The beginning of a habit is like an invisible thread
    Every time you repeat the act you strengthen the strand.
    You add to it another filament with each repetition, until it becomes a great cable and binds you irrevocably to each thought and act.

    First you make your habits
    And then they make you

    Your thoughts lead you to your purpose
    Your purpose always manifests into action
    Your actions form your habits
    Your habits determine your character
    And your character fixes your destiny

    Your habits are either the best of servants or the worst of masters.

    DISCIPLINE IS THE KEY !

    Reply
  62. QB September 16, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    After a lot of recent success on my demo account using strictly price action strategies that you teach, I am down on the account precisely because of a LACK OF DISCIPLINE. Specifically – I failed to put stop losses on the trades that now are in huge loss positions. It has really hit home over the past week and your article is very timely. Fortunately it’s just a demo account. Lesson: Discipline is the foundation for ANY trading decision.

    QB

    Reply
  63. Ramli September 16, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Thanks Nial.

    Great article.
    Discipline…discipiline and more discipiline….

    Cheers.

    Reply
  64. Pim September 16, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Nial, Love being your website member and take your courses because you have the BEST education lessons I have found. I thank you sincerely for helping all of us. Your article today comes at a good time in my life here, I have learned from it.

    Reply
  65. Filopastry September 16, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Nial’s teachings are first class.
    I feel much more comfortable trading now. I only trade when A+ set up presents itself. So very little actual trading.
    Discipline is the biggest hurdle to concur because it is concurring yourself.
    Happy consistant trading

    Reply
  66. Roland Thorpe September 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Just signed up to your courses and forum last week, enjoying the lessons and content so much, I work full time and am finding the part time trading concept a good compromise, the whole idea of walking away from the trades and setting and forgetting them is brilliant. Thanks man

    Reply
  67. Jasoya_FX September 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    A nice article, indeed. I hope to apply the priceless lessons.Thanks Nial!

    Reply
  68. graham September 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Another timely and important reminder.Great ongoing assistance.Thanks Nial.

    Reply

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