Having self-discipline is having the ability to follow through on your plans and goals. Often times we get tugged in various directions and enticed by making choices that do not help us along our path to our goals and fulfillment.
"The path of least resistance is what makes all rivers and some men crooked."
– Napoleon Hill
Self-discipline is the ability to make the conscious choice (extremely it becomes a habit) of doing the thing that will move you towards your goal – and sometimes it's the hard or unnatural or unpopular thing to do. It's foregoing instant gratification for the longer term objective. Typically, however, people operate on autopilot and this is dangerous when you have not yet developed the right 'habits' for success.
In the trading game, you must have a self-discipline. You must look at the entire forest and not focus on one tree. If you get too caught up in each and every trade, you will lose sight of the larger goal. So there is a balance here that must be maintained.
The key is to care a lot about your overall trading progress, but not care too much about any individual trade.
This statement, in bold font above, is of HUGE importance! Just like in life, BALANCE is key. You can not take the attitude of "I do not care", but you can not also take the attitude of "This is LIFE or DEATH."
Your Identity also plays a huge role in this because if you see yourself as someone who lacks self-discipline, then all the power in the world will not overpower this. You are someone, in your mind, who lacks self-discipline.
So the key components to have self-discipline in trading are:
1) Mastering a proven method of trading
2) Having and following your personal Trading Plan
3) Reviewing your trades and tracking and measuring them to assess your performance
4) Making adjustments to improve your performance and results
5) Then repeat steps 3 & 4 over and over again
If you are trading without following your method and plan and making adjustments as you assess your performance, then you are not going to be improving. If you do not have a method or plan, then that's where you need to start.
Remember, anyone can have a period of winning trades, but the key is that you want a dependable, consistent income with a rising equity curve – and in order to do that, you must follow those 5 steps above.