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Best Quotes From The Disciplined Trader By Mark Douglas – Learn How to Develop Winning Attitudes:

Top 20 Quotes From The Disciplined Trader By Mark Douglas

  1. There are only a few traders who have come to the realization that they alone are completely responsible for the outcome of their actions. Even fewer are those who have accepted the psychological implications of that realization and know what to do about it.

  2. Here is an environment that offers complete freedom of expression combined with unlimited possibilities and unlimited risk. If you place in it a participant who is oblivious to these psychological conditions (one who operates from a mental framework oriented toward external structure, constraints, and expectations), then what you have is a formula for emotional and financial disaster.

  3. Regardless of how hard any of us may try to hide from others what is going on, we obviously can’t hide our results from ourselves. If the market’s behavior seems mysterious to you, it’s because your own behavior is mysterious and unmanageable. You can’t really determine what the market is likely to do next when you don’t even know what you will do next, regardless of what you may perceive or want.

  4. When you attain some degree of control over yourself, you can then see how other traders are not in control of what happens to them, like blades of grass, all bending to the force of the prevailing wind and constantly being stepped on. You won’t be able to see this until you are no longer a blade of grass yourself by evolving beyond the group mentality.

  5. In the market environment you have to make the rules to the game and then have the discipline to abide by these rules, even though the market moves in ways that will constantly tempt you into believing you don’t need to follow your rules this time.

  6. The market will quite naturally make you face what is inside of you on a moment-to-moment basis. What is inside of you could be confidence or fear, a perception of opportunity or loss, restraint or uncontrollable greed, objectivity or illusion. The market just reflects these mental conditions. It does not create them.

  7. As you cultivate a stronger belief in self-acceptance, you will then realize how the market reflects back to you your level of skill development along with the information that will indicate what you need to work on to become ever more successful. Each moment will then become a perfect indication of your skills and your degree of self-valuation, giving you a solid base from which to improve and learn.

  8. You can’t grow or expand if you are denying the existence of environmental information that would clearly indicate your level of development. Nor can you acquire effective skills when you try to build from a base of illusion about the nature of the environment and yourself. If you won’t acknowledge your true starting point, you cannot take the next most appropriate step in the development of any skill you intend to learn.

  9. Fear drastically limits our choices. It causes us to interact with the environment in ways that are limited to the structure of our memories, regardless of what the environment may be offering in the way of a new experience, or it causes us to avoid an experience completely. Interacting with the environment results in experience, and experience results in learning. If we experience the environmental present based on our individual past, or completely avoid experience altogether, we aren’t learning what is being offered or available to be learned about the nature of the environment.

  10. For years, many people in the academic community believed that the markets were random; this is a perfect example of their general lack of understanding of human nature. People act as a force on prices in perfectly logical ways, when you understand the logic of their fears.

  11. If there were never an imbalance or lack of correspondence between the mental and physical environments, then theoretically we wouldn’t ever have a reason to feel disappointment, frustration, confusion, stress, or anxiety. It is only because there is an imbalance, a lack of harmony or correspondence, between the mental and physical that we ever experience any of these unpleasant negative emotions…our feelings will always tell us about the state of our relationship with the environment and point the way to what we need to learn to experience greater degrees of satisfaction.

  12. All learning is synonymous with change, whether we are changing something we already know or learning something completely new. If we refuse to change (adapt) the inside – adding to what we know to create more distinctions and change our perspective – then we are not learning what we need to know to experience something different in the outer environment. If there is no change on the inside, there will be no perceived change in the outside, thereby locking us into recurring cycles of pain and dissatisfaction.

  13. Changing our mental environment to correspond with the constant external changes going on in the physical environment is not automatic. The information stored in our mental environment about the nature of the physical environment can remain unchanged for years or a lifetime, for that matter, regardless of how outdated, useless, or even harmful it may be.

  14. None of us likes to acknowledge what we perceive to be our weaknesses. Yet it is exactly what we need to do to grow beyond them. Otherwise, we keep building our lives on this base of illusion that requires so much energy, alcohol, or drugs to maintain that it eventually has to crumble, leading to these very painful forced awarenesses.

  15. Everyone instinctively knows that if we allow ourselves to think about something, the thoughts have the power to change the way things exist inside of us. And once things change on the inside, we know we will perceive and experience a different outside. If we don’t want to disturb the current relationship between inner and outer, we will consciously do whatever is necessary to make sure we don’t expose ourselves to anything that might threaten that relationship or think about anything in a way that would change the relationship. Change is the result of, first, a willingness to think.

  16. The more sophisticated you become as a trader, the more you will realize that trading is completely mental. It isn’t you against the markets, it’s just you. All the other traders participating to make the market provide you with an opportunity to make money from their divergent beliefs about the future…So the markets just offer the individual trader opportunity. They don’t choose the data on which you focus your attention, and they certainly don’t interpret the data you perceive. Nor are the markets responsible for what you can’t perceive because of the distinctions you haven’t learned to make yet.

  17. As a trader it is more important to know that you will always follow your rules than it is to make money, because whatever money you make, you will inevitably lose back to the market if you can’t follow your rules.

  18. There is a tremendous difference between focusing on money and focusing on using your trading as an exercise to identify what you need to learn. The first will cause you to focus on what the markets are giving you or taking away from you. The second perspective causes you to focus on your ability to give yourself money. With the first perspective, you are placing some of the responsibility onto the markets to do something for you. With the second perspective, you assume all the responsibility.

  19. There are many traders who end up becoming expert market analysts but can’t make a dime as traders because of all the damage they did to themselves in the early part of their trading careers. What happens in these situations is a trader’s ‘past’ will generate so much fear that he won’t be able to execute his trades properly or not at all, regardless of how well he learned to predict what the market will do next. Nothing is more frustrating than to know what is going to happen next and not be able to do anything about it.

  20. Have you ever gotten angry at the market? Anger is a natural defense mechanism. When we feel anger, it is an indication that the environment is assaulting us in some way, creating an imbalance between the mental and outer environments. The outer environment is either showing us something about itself or ourselves that we don’t want to accept. We protect ourselves with our anger to ward off this assault.

Our Underlying Psychological Blocks and the Concept of Forced Awareness:

Although the majority of market participants fail to realize or accept it, trading is mostly a mental discipline in which we create our own experience. If we choose to trade based on a negative emotion, like the fear of being wrong, for example, then we’ll actually experience more of that fear. Upon entry of a trade, our natural defense mechanisms will block and distort information to protect us, thus turning our fear of being wrong into actually being wrong. When our position starts moving against us, we’ll find numerous ways to make excuses, rationalize, and justify being in the trade. We’ll only accept information into our consciousness that validates and reinforces our position. But by distorting the pure, uncontaminated information that the market is trying to provide us with, we block all other possibilities, essentially thinking our fears into existence. So the more we try to avoid being wrong or losing, the more we experience it.

Avoiding Losses Quote in Trading in the Zone By Mark Douglas

Eventually, the losses on one or a few of these fear-riddled trades will accumulate so much that it generates what Mark Douglas describes as a “forced awareness”. What this means is that the losses on trades get so out of hand that our defense mechanisms and illusions break down, and we come to a stark realization that our current beliefs are out of alignment with actual market characteristics. In best case scenarios, traders recognize the importance of cultivating the proper mindset before getting themselves into agonizing situations like this, but unfortunately, most traders end up learning the hard way through massive losses. In any case, traders need to take full responsibility for their results and make many changes to their beliefs and the way they perceive market action in order to become effective. We aren’t born with the traits necessary to be consistent traders, but they can certainly be developed with effort.

Identifying Disempowering Beliefs and Replacing Them With Empowering Ones:

The best starting point for those who want to make changes to their mental framework is to become consciously aware of your own thoughts while trading. Take notice of any resistance: fears, excuses, rationalizations, justifications, etc. Any emotional discomfort you feel is an indicator of something you need to learn or a skill you need to develop. Don’t suppress or deny them, but rather, accept them and use them as feedback for your own personal growth. Welcome the opportunity to examine your thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and perspectives because it’s the basis of your impending paradigm shift. You might notice that you’ve structured some of your disempowering beliefs in ways that deflect responsibility for the cycles of pain you’re experiencing, which can make them hard to pinpoint. But over time, negative emotions like fear, confusion, and impatience can be replaced with confidence, trust, and acceptance.

trading paradigm update your neural pathways

According to Mark Douglas, there are three basic assumptions that we should always make in order to cultivate the best possible mindset while operating within the market environment: 1) we haven’t learned everything there is to know, 2) some of our current beliefs may not be useful in achieving our goals, and 3) even the beliefs that are currently useful are subject to change in the future. There’s no doubt that these three assumptions lay the groundwork for a powerful growth mindset. Overall, by understanding our own psychological framework and transcending our old, ineffective beliefs, not only will we become more disciplined traders, but we will also be able to better understand the market in general as a collective group of individual traders operating mainly out of fear. This new perspective of the collective group allows us to identify probabilistic outcomes of specific situations and build better systems.

Take back your power in the market by eliminating excuses, blame, and rationalizations, and taking full responsibility for your results.

Learn More in the Trading Success Framework Course

Written by Matt Thomas (@MattThomasTP)

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Matt Thomas

Founder of, Creator of the Trading Success Framework Course & Trading Paradigm Skool Community, and Intraday Futures Trader Using Auction Market Theory & Profiling (Volume & Market Profile).


  • cathy says:

    In the past, trading never was a big interest of mine. Money went to the basics, rent, food, etc. I’m in a better position onw and have thought about learning some of the tricks. My grandson is doing very well in the market and to be honest, I am a little bit jealous. At 62 there just may not be enough time to learn all the tricks. 

    • Matt Thomas says:

      Hi Cathy – it’s never too late to learn, but that’s a decision that is entirely up to you. The main thing to understand, however, is that short-term trading at a consistently profitable level requires legitimate skills. It’s not about guru alerts or hot picks like so many online advertisements make it seem. It’s about learning core buying & selling, risk management, analytical, and mindset skills – and constantly refining them over time. It takes hard work, persistence, and adaptability to excel in the markets. So if you’re up for that type of challenge, the markets are there waiting. But if not, that’s completely fine too.

  • alex says:

    I’ve recently starting looking into trading and I am finding it very interesting. Me and a few friends of mine have been investing into crypto coin, baby steps at the moment, but would like to further our experience in the field. The Disciplined Trader By Mark Douglas looks very interesting to read.

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