September Special: Get 45% Off Life-Time Access To Nial Fuller's Price Action Trading Course & Daily Newsletter (Ends September 30th) -
Nial Fuller

NIAL FULLER
Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

How to Transform Yourself into a Successful Trader

author thumb
By in Forex Trading Articles by Nial Fuller Last updated on | 54 Comments

how to become a successful traderToday I want to talk to you guys about how to transform yourself from a struggling, losing trader into a successful one. I’m going to get specific in today’s lesson and discuss how you can begin making consistent money in the markets, once and for all…

Trading seems really hard and frustrating when you are losing money and you have a little account that you can’t seem to get anywhere with. I know how you feel because I’ve personally been there before and so have many other successful traders who have walked a similar road until they eventually ‘transformed’ into profitable traders. You might be surprised to know that the primary ‘sticking points holding you back’ are not as difficult to overcome as you might think.

The purpose of this post is simple: to teach you how to conquer the obstacles that get in the way of profitable trading, and slowly but surely transform yourself into a successful trader.

Step 1: Determine why you are failing to make money

There is basically a small handful of very common issues that hold most people back from making money in the market, and if you can learn to work through them you will start to make money.

For some reason, people like to look outward rather than inward when trying to figure out why they are losing money in the market. Actually, I know the reason why…because most people are afraid to admit that the problem is almost entirely inside of them.

The first step to figuring out why you are not making money in the market is accepting that you might have to change something about yourself; you are not perfect. I was in the same boat before (but now I’m perfect. Joking!)…trying to solve my trading failure by looking outward before I finally swallowed the cold hard fact that the reason I was not a profitable trader yet was entirely my fault.

Thus, the first thing you need to do to fix your trading woes is to have an honest conversation with yourself about why you are not making money in the market. Lucky for you, I’ve prepared a list of questions for you to ask yourself to help determine why you are not yet a successful trader. Be sure to answer honestly or you will miss the point of this entire post, you can do this exercise aloud if you want (just make sure you’re alone or people might think your crazy)…Seriously though, write down your honest answers to the questions below and any others you can think of…

Questions to ask yourself to help determine why you are not yet a successful trader (You might think of more):

1. Do I have an effective trading strategy that I feel confident with? Do I know what I am looking for when I analyze the charts or am I just sort of ‘shooting in the dark’?

2. I do have a trading strategy that I’ve mastered and feel confident with, but am I actually following it and waiting for the setups to appear? Or am I disregarding my strategy and sort of entering randomly because I want to be in the market all the time?

3. Do I honestly have a structured daily trading routine that I could easily explain to other people and sound like I am know what I’m doing? Or would I just sound like a bumbling moron who is obviously gambling my money away?

4. What type of money am I trading with? Is it ‘scared’ money…AKA money that I know I shouldn’t be risking in the market but I am anyways?

5. What is my pre-determined dollar risk-per-trade threshold that I am emotionally OK with potentially losing? Do I even have one or am I just ratcheting up and down my dollar-per-trade risk as I see fit?

6. Am I constantly glued to my charts and obsessed with analyzing the 5 minute and other low time frames charts?

OK, as you can see, there are six serious questions above that you need to get busy with answering before you do anything else. Do what you need to do; lock yourself in a room with a box of tissues to wipe away the tears or maybe have a couple of beers…just answer the above questions HONESTLY (and any others you can think of) if you really want to figure out why you are losing money…and begin to put an end to it.

Step 2: Devise a plan to fix what’s causing you to fail

how to fix trading problemsAfter you’ve figured out why you’ve been losing money in the market from answering the questions above, you can start devising a plan to begin transforming yourself into a successful trader.

Of course, the particular reason(s) a trader is failing in the market will vary between traders. The important thing is to really focus in on the main thing(s) that are holding you back and work on changing them. Again…if you completed the exercise in step 1 above, you should now have a good idea of what the “main things” are that are holding you back from becoming a successful trader.

Here are some examples of how you might plan to fix trading problems:

Examples:

Problem: Let’s say you answered “No” to question number 2 from above because even though you have a trading strategy that you’re confident and happy with, you can’t seem to muster the discipline or ballz to stick to it.

Solution: Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you like to lose money? Because that’s what’s going to happen if you can’t muster the discipline to stick to an effective trading strategy. More practically speaking…you might limit yourself to a 3 trade per week maximum, see if you can stick to that rule for 1 month…DARE yourself to be disciplined for one month and see how it affects your trading. Remind yourself that if you continue to give into your emotional impulses to over-trade and constantly be in the market, you will NEVER become a consistently successful trader. The point is that you are FOCUSING on this problem until you have destroyed it and showed it who the boss is.

Problem: Let’s say that you answered “No” to question 3 above because you do not have a structured daily trading routine that you follow and you suspect this is a big reason you are losing money.

Solution: Start writing your own “daily commentary” for your favorite markets once a day after the New York close. I wrote an article last week on how to develop a daily trading routine, read that to get some more info on this and start focusing on fixing your lack of a trading routine.

Problem: Let’s say you answered “Yes” to question number 6 and you are constantly glued to you charts because you’re addicted to the lower time frames or you’re just addicted to being in the market.

Solution: The best way to cut your addiction to lower time frames is to first obtain some knowledge on the best time frames to trade. Once you do this, you’ll clearly see that higher time frames like the 4 hour and daily chart are the way to go. I have many articles on trading higher time frames, like the one I just linked you to and more. So study my site more and you’ll learn more about why trading low time frames is so dangerous. Next, you need to simply STOP looking at any time frame under the 1 hour, again, this is an exercise in discipline; you need to force yourself to stop looking at those 5 minute charts…if you cannot manage that level of discipline for even 1 month then you probably shouldn’t be trading anyways.

If it’s not clear to you yet, what I’m doing here is identifying the problem and then developing a way to fix it. You obviously cannot do this if you didn’t answer the questions honestly in step 1 or otherwise figured out why you are not yet successful.

I actually want you to write it out like I did above; list the problem in specific terms and then below it list the solution. Build this into your trading plan if you need to; just be sure that fixing the specific problems you’ve identified becomes the main focus in your trading for now.

 Step 3: Don’t deviate from your plan

disciplined tradingHow many times have you started exercising again after a long absence and you’ve had 1 or 2 months of consistency going to the gym and eating healthy when you get hit with the flu or another nasty virus that knocks you out of your routine? How soon you get back into your routine is what separates the “men from the boys”.

We all have things happen that get in the way of our best efforts, whether it’s in business, school, health or trading. They key is to not let one unfortunate event derail your entire effort and all the progress you’ve made up to that point. The famous American football coach Vince Lombardi once put it best when he said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

The key point here is that the “glue” that will actually allow you to transform into a successful trader is not whether you figure out why you are losing money and devise a plan to fix it as we discussed above, but whether or not you STICK TO THAT PLAN(S) after you hit a couple of losing trades. It is exactly because of this lack of “glue” that many traders’ best efforts go right off the track and fly into the black hole of trading aspirations.

Transforming yourself into a success at anything is really just a matter of habits. Trading is no different; do you have the necessary discipline and drive to overcome whatever it is that’s causing you to fail in the market? Honestly, the reason you’re failing is probably one of the issues that I listed in Step 1, as I said earlier…most traders tend to fail for the same small handful of reasons. Does this not make it clear to you that the MAIN thing that separates successful traders from the masses of losers is simply that the successful traders dug a little bit deeper, made the extra effort and simply had more drive to fix their trading problems?

I have news for you, no one is born a Warren Buffet or a George Soros, despite what you may have read, professional traders and investors do not come out of the womb that way. Yes, some people have a slightly better brain chemistry for patience, discipline and interest in financial markets, but by no means is being born with a different brain chemistry something you can’t overcome if you want to bad enough. The point I’m trying to make is this: do you really want to remain an unsuccessful trader because you simply didn’t TRY to be disciplined enough to follow a plan to eradicate your trading problems? I’m pretty sure your answer is a resounding “NO!”

The Final Step…

The “final step” is really just commitment. Will you commit to changing the way you trade? I’ve given you a very effective blueprint to fixing your trading problems in this article, so really, the only excuse you are left with is a lack of motivation, which is something that I am trying to help you with via this article and others that I’ve written. But I can’t come to your house and pour a bucket of cold water on your head, so it’s up to you to really listen to what I am saying in this and other articles and start to piece it together. If you want to get more help in transforming yourself into a successful trader, checkout my trading courses and members community for additional resources. You can also contact me here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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 20,000+ students since 2008. In 2016, Nial won the Million Dollar Trader Competition. Checkout Nial's Professional Trading Course here.
  1. Fanani September 17, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Thank a lot Nial.

    Reply
  2. Dmitriy September 16, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks a lot, Nial!
    That was a truly beautiful lesson!

    Reply
  3. Sunday September 14, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    what to know more about risk management
    if I want to risk 1$ on a pair what will be my lot size and pip value to set as a Stop loss

    Reply
  4. Zinnur June 2, 2019 at 4:34 am

    Important lesson. Thanks

    Reply
  5. Благодарность October 30, 2018 at 3:47 am

    Magnificent article

    Reply
  6. Rahmat February 26, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Almost every articles content and language from Nial are really giving positive effects including this one.
    So thank you Nial.

    Reply
  7. Olawa February 18, 2018 at 1:01 am

    Nial is my preferred Forex mentor anyday

    Reply
  8. DERRICK February 16, 2018 at 12:54 am

    all i can say is thank you so much

    Reply
  9. Tha Mathabzo Zulu February 15, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Thank Nial

    Reply
  10. Duncan February 15, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks Nial;

    This was a great post which actually helped me rephrase my thoughts after my losses.

    I am still not very profitable at this stage but every time I lose, I look back to see what I could have done better and learn to minimize my losses maybe exit at a small profit rather than a loss!!

    However; after having read this, I also now appreciate the fact that losses are a part of it as well and I feel less discouraged before taking the next trade than before. Things sometimes are easier said than done – true – but after reading these guidelines, I learn a lot and appreciate it heaps. I am learning a lot and the best part of it is that I am enjoying it.

    Thanks for spending the time to post such valuable guidance!

    Duncan

    Reply
  11. Peter Miller February 15, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Another good lesson. As they say ” life is what you make it “and that goes for trading also, think before you act and know that never one day (or life is ) is the same as the last one, so treat as Nial says each trade as a new beginning. Thanks .

    Reply
  12. rudra February 15, 2018 at 6:24 am

    good one sir

    Reply
  13. Khesiwe February 15, 2018 at 2:14 am

    Excellent article pactice makes perfect I’m going to practice every advice in this article thanks Nial

    Reply
  14. Winston Roy Longbottom February 15, 2018 at 12:01 am

    Thanks Nial, I for one admit that I was influenced by previous success and could not see the next trade through that; I was brought back to reality with some quick losses, however I puuled my thoughts together and looked at my next trade with confidence and considered every possible angle before taking it and I am now back on track. This article has since reassured me of that fact and I must disregard any previous trade before attempting the next. Your articles help keep sanity in the trading game and also leads to further success. Many Thanks. Winston

    Reply
  15. farzad February 14, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Every word in this article is like gold…

    Thanks AGAIN Nial.

    Reply
  16. Olamide February 14, 2018 at 2:03 am

    Thanks Nial. That’s reminds me of a trade some years ago before I quit trading. I bought EUR/USD on $0.05 lots with $20 risk and i made a profit of $183 on that trade so that winning recency bias got into my head and I felt overconfident, then i went ahead to trade $0.10 lots on my next two trades and I lost both. That’s how I gave back the profit I made from that EUR/USD to the market. Fear start to catch me then I reduce my lots to $0.01 which definitely reduced my profit that I would have make on some trade. Though I just came back to the market since two or three years ago that I quit but am still using demo account to test my trading strategies before trying to come back live. Thanks once more.

    Reply
  17. Wandera Moses February 13, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Nial thx for this one also. i have improved alot in trading just by reading your articles. thx alot

    Reply
  18. ampurirag February 13, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Excellent and timely. Thanks Nial.

    Reply
  19. Seiso February 13, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Typical of Nial’s mail’s. I am not in anyway surprised to find this post hitting the nail on the head as it does and so timely as well. I always find Nial’s post as informing, factual and educating like this one. Thanks to Nial, from now I am no longer going to be enslaved to my last trade’s results.

    Reply
  20. Colin February 13, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Thanks for the trading insight. Particularly about training our brains to behave properly.

    Reply
  21. Hettie van der Vyver February 13, 2018 at 5:12 am

    this makes sense!!

    Reply
  22. Thoko February 13, 2018 at 5:09 am

    Well I am a true novice,I have not started trading yet. If I understand well briefly you say if one is a trader one must bury the past.That is my motto
    So I feel l Iam going to do well.

    Reply
  23. Wasantha February 13, 2018 at 4:45 am

    This article explains what happened when I first started trading forex. After reading many of Nial,s writings on the subject of trading I feel that I am expanded in my knowledge and confident about my trading decisions.I really appreciate Nial,s works,

    Reply
  24. kris February 13, 2018 at 2:59 am

    i noticed today after one loosing trade that it can’t reflect, the other running trades .
    After that i checked my emails and i saw your email as first .I have read it and then it was like you would heard what i sayd before It was simmilar to :

    If you just lost, it has no bearing on the fact that your next trade might be a winner.
    If you just won, it has no bearing on the fact that your next trade might be a loser.

    thank you for your work .
    traders mindset ..

    have a nice day.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *