We live in a world where comparisons with others start from infancy and continue throughout our life.
Within this world, the idea is clearly planted that we need to be ahead of others to succeed, and to get ahead we need to ensure that we do better and outperform anyone else.
This applies to sport, academic success and within the working environment. So it is inevitable that we will take it with us into our trading lives.
However, that is effectively setting yourself up for failure as being a trader is a solitary activity and if your entire focus is about winning then you will find yourself thwarting your own accomplishments.
The Comparison Trap
There are advantages to comparing our own abilities or performance to others, as long as it is done within a controlled environment.
Indeed, research has shown that many inventions and scientific advancements have come around due to the motivation provided by knowing other teams are progressing in the same area.
This is especially true in areas where the idea being investigated was thought to be impossible. However, the most successful people who produce the greatest inventions and make a significant difference typically work alone.
Equally one must always be mindful of the block that comparisons can bring and the restrictions that it can impose due to expectations. Where trading is concerned the trick to success is identifying opportunities and this is the creative side of the process.
Traders work as individuals and have to ensure that they remain focused on their own creativity and trading skills. Comparisons to others will cloud judgment and distract as it is up to the individual to identify a strategy that suits their own personal style and abilities.
You will fall into the trap of effectively comparing apples to lemons and gain nothing but insecurity and self-doubt if the other person is apparently more successful than you. Or even become jealous or envious. None of which are productive emotions and all of which tend to cloud judgment.
Focus on yourself. Ignore the rest.
Avoid Any Trader Comparisons
Changing a lifetime of comparisons is hard to do.
Avoiding looking at the profit-taking of other traders is almost impossible but you have to. Each trader is forging their own path and has their own level of skills, acceptable risk and market experience.
Indeed, sector focus alone can cause quite significant differences in the potential for profit during current times. So step back and look at yourself, focus on your trading skills and avoid any trader comparisons.
At the end of the day, you are on your own in the markets and get to determine your own path. Keeping focused and calmly assessing each opportunity and day based on its own merit is what will ensure you find those successful trades and so become profitable.