What do we mean by “burn the boats” you might ask? In this article we’ll break down what this means, what it has to do with trading, why most traders fail and how you can avoid the pitfalls they fall into.

You may be familiar with the statistics that showcase that most traders fail. Out of 10 who get involved, 9 give up on themselves well before consistently profitable months ever become real for them. The reason for this is an error in how those traders approach their trading journey from the start. Mindset work is the most important work you can do as a trader. You, your mind is what will inevitably make the decision to stop trying, quit and move onto something else. Read on and we’ll share our strategy for fully stepping in as a trader, eliminating alternatives, and seeing this path through to profitable months and scaling accounts.

Chase Two Rabbits And You’ll Catch None

You may be familiar with the above phrase. Until you try to do it yourself, you don’t understand the concept. Having been educating traders for over 2.5 years now here at Phantom Trading, we’ve been able to observe commonalities of those who quit and don’t see success with trading vs those who do end up becoming consistently profitable and acquiring funded capital in the 5 and 6 figure sums.

It’s simple, those who make it do not give up on themselves. They commit and they “burn the boats”, removing all alternative choices and seeing their trading through to consistent results. While that may sound obvious to some, it’s clearly not to the majority. These days we’re caught up in social media and outside influences constantly telling us why this path is better, this business is easier to start, that job pays more, this career path is more appealing for x y or z reason. This endless barrage of information makes focusing on the path we’ve chosen difficult, especially when the going inevitably gets tough and you face adversity in your trading.

The key? Doing your absolute best to block out this external influence and continue to train your mind to refocus back on the task at hand which is seeing your trading through to results.

Reinforce Your Decision To Make Trading Your #1 Priority

There will be times when your focus loses its edge. You’ll need to open up a journal and review why you started to begin with. Stack the reasons you started in the first place and reinforce your why. Was it the limitless income earning potential? The opportunity to work from anywhere? Do you desire to work fewer hours in the day without sacrificing earning potential? Whatever your primary drivers are, take time to review them and reignite the flame that burned bright at the start of your trading journey.

This isn’t an uncommon occurrence. Regardless of the career path you choose in life, there will be times where you’re frustrated, not enjoying what you’re doing, things aren’t going right, and you’ll have to change your perspective to get back on track. Trading works the exact same way. In the earlier years of your trading journey this will be even more frequent as you’re still learning the foundations and experiencing the ebbs and flows of emotions that arise as you earn and lose money in the markets.

Our best advice, know in advance that these times will come and that it’s 100% okay. You have a tool in your back pocket for when things are challenging. Take time to review your why and build on it. Use whatever resources you can to reignite the flame. Focus on where you could be in 1 year, 5 or 10 if you keep at it, stay the course and see it through UNTIL you are where you want to be.

What Happens When We Have A Zero Options Mentality

Credits to Andy Frisella of 1st Phorm for this phrase, a zero options mentality has you fully stepping into the path you’ve chosen for yourself, eliminating any and all alternatives besides that one path you selected. It’s “burning the boats” and taking the island as the saying goes. When one sets out to conquer foreign land, there’s always the option of getting back on the boats, leaving and going elsewhere if the going gets tough. When you burn the boats, you’re eliminating the escape plan and you’re fully committing to the island. In reference to trading, It’s committing to this skillset, this path until successful. It’s not giving up on what you’ve set out to do until the goal you set is realized. What so many of us realize as we grow older is that so much can change in so little time. Looking back over your life, certainly there are instances you can think of where you kept going at something you gave up on from the time you began through to where you are today, you’d likely be successful at it. On a long enough time horizon it becomes unrealistic for us not to be successful given the amount of time, energy and attention we give to something.

Trading is no different.

Those who make it to the top 1% of traders, who are trading 7-figures in funded or more, never gave up. Despite how challenging the journey was at times and how badly they may have wanted to quit at times, they didn’t. They kept to their word and their dream and they carried on.

What we want to leave you with as we wrap up this article is the understanding that you absolutely too can join that top 1% bracket of traders. If another human being has done so, you are no different. You too can realize that dream. It’s a matter of eliminating the distractions and the other things you’ve got going on and fully committing to trading, giving it everything you’ve got, consistently until your goal is realized. The only reason most never make it is because they give up on themselves far too early. Stay focused, remain patient, it’s only a matter of time until you’re exactly where you wanted to be.

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Robert Castillo
FX Trader & Analyst
Writer & Editor

Rob is a funded trader from Toronto, Canada, and has been trading currencies, commodities, stocks, and cryptocurrencies for over 7 years. Outside of trading he enjoys making music, boxing, and riding his motorcycle.