Comparison Is the Thief of Joy (Especially in the Trading World): Be Your Own Best Trader

 In Trading

Every trader I’ve witnessed throughout my trading career starts his/her journey to make money and become successful in the volatile Forex market. However, we need to understand the apparent success of others can lead to self-doubt if you aren’t mindful.

These days we are constantly comparing our achievements, gains, and paths with others so much that it often leads to jealousy, frustration, and self-doubt in the long run.

But if I talk about serious marketers, they truly/profoundly understand that comparisons are a never-ending trap. There will always be someone superior among us who started earlier, took a significant risk, or even got lucky than us.

I’d say comparisons are debilitating and can even damage our confidence profoundly. Successful traders instead focus on internally, honing their skills, identifying weaknesses, and improving their existing strategy.

But today’s reality is that every trader’s journey is unique since we all have different strengths, opportunities, risk tolerances, initial capital, and markets. Now, copying someone else’s system because it worked for them is often a bad idea.

Do you know how we sometimes get caught up in comparison? For example, we see someone else succeed and begin to empathize with our situation. But here’s the thing, we’re all in different situations. For example, a businessman in New York has different rights than someone living in rural India.

And that doesn’t matter either! We can still be successful by focusing on our strengths and managing risk prudently.

As the wise man said, “What works for one trader may fail for another due to different circumstances, don’t be that fool”.

Have you ever found yourself comparing yourself to others? It can be a real distraction from improving ourselves. Instead of looking at what others have achieved, you need to ask yourself: What have I learned from my own mistakes? How can I sharpen my research? What trading rules should I strictly enforce?

The answers are obvious, not by thinking about yourself in terms of a standard that others have set in your mind.

You know what they say, “comparison is the thief of joy.” And let’s be real, we only see the good stuff that people share on social media. We don’t see all the struggles and setbacks they went through to get there.

I would like to kindly remind you that comparing yourself to others can be counterproductive, especially for serious traders focused on long-term success. It’s totally normal to notice when someone else is doing better but if you start getting down on yourself and thinking you’re not good enough because of it, that can hold you back.

That’s why experienced traders don’t worry about comparing themselves to others – they’re free from that kind of pressure and can focus on their own growth.

Here are some vital reasons why mature traders steer clear of comparison:

The trading game is not competitive at all:

Yes, I agree the trading world often feels like a big game all because of the flashing numbers, the exciting gains, and the pain of loss, it’s easy to capture the excitement. However, while trading may have game-like features, it’s not necessarily a game at all that you “can or have to” “win.”

Serious traders understand this phenomenon, which is why they avoid the temptation of comparison at all costs.

I think comparing the marketing efforts of other traders is a futile effort. It doesn’t matter if you made more or less than the dealer sitting next to you. Their policies are different, their risk tolerances are different, and their calculations are vastly different.

The only metric that matters is your personal growth and consistency and how long you are going to stick with it. Will you become a better trader over time? Do you stick to your work schedule? That’s what serious traders mostly focus on, not on silly inferior stuff.

Jealousy and ego have no place in trading:

When one begins to compare oneself with other traders, it is natural for feelings of jealousy and pride to arise. It’s understandable to get frustrated when others seem to be making more money than we are or you brag about their successes because you’re doing better than average.

However, it is important to note that such unwanted thoughts and feelings can be very detrimental to anyone’s personal career journey.

But remember, you’re only seeing a small slice of their story. In my opinion, both ideas are toxic to the creation of any industry endeavor. In turn, jealousy can lead to taking unnecessary risks in an attempt to catch others, while arrogance can lead to overconfidence and prevent appropriate risk management.

For serious traders, they have seen and understood these feelings as nothing more than psychological deceptions that can negatively impact performance.

Hence they try their best effort not to get indulged.

Every trader’s journey is unique:

Undoubtedly, there is a unique story running behind every trading record. The other trader may have inherited great accountability. Or spent years developing their overall profit techniques. Or captured an interesting market trend.

Especially in the business world, it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. When you compare yourself to others, you are really just comparing statistics that lack context. However, this process is ultimately unproductive and can sabotage your success.

Serious traders acknowledge the fact that they don’t know the whole story behind someone else’s success or failure, they can’t truly understand the unique challenges and opportunities each person faces. This means recognizing that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Some people may excel in technical analysis, while others may have strong market knowledge. So, they focus on their path, knowing that everyone has different strengths, challenges, and opportunities.

There will always be someone doing better:

No matter how successful you as a trader really are, there will always be someone who will make more money than you, do “better” than you, and achieve higher returns. Traders who make tens of millions of dollars look at the billionaires with envy. Even the world’s top hedge fund managers look out for each other’s interests.

The game never ends. Comparing yourself to these traders is demoralizing and discouraging. Serious traders find suits about who “won” meaningless and distracting. Sometimes they take great risks. All that profit may be paid off in one bad trade. The point is you never know. Their work has no direct connection to yours.

There is no victory at the end of the trading path. The only thing that matters for serious traders is to filter out the noise and focus on their growth and continuous change over time as the market is flooded with a constant flow of information, from news to social media posts, all competing for attention.

However, successful traders know that this information overload can be overwhelming and conflicting resulting in poor decision-making.

Markets are not meritocracies:

Financial markets are not a level playing field; hard work and skill are highly essential but they are not the only defining factors of success. Some crucial factors like “luck, time, and availability of resources” also all play a huge role, whether you believe it or not.

This means that even experienced traders can have periods of underperformance, while more experienced ones can sometimes outperform. Yeah, this can be a frustrating and demoralizing reality for many traders. It can be hard to accept that your success is completely out of your control sometimes.

But for novice traders, it’s important to remember that markets are a long-term game. If you focus on developing your skills and achieving sustainable career growth, you will ultimately succeed.

Here are some ideas pro traders always consider:

What determines my success in the financial markets?

How can I increase my chances of success?

What are the things I can’t control?

How do I deal with the frustration of short-term misperformance?

Due to their decades of dedication, they believe financial markets are a complex and challenging environment. However, they can also be practical. Serious traders understand this and do not assume that better profit means more skill. They are willing to work hard and learn from their mistakes, hence their success.

Profitability Comes in Many Forms:

Beware of judging your trading success solely on percentage returns. A nuanced view acknowledges that profitability comes in many forms.

Consider two traders. Trader A makes 50% annual returns but has high volatility in performance and high risks. Trader B returns a steady 30% per annum with minimum volatility and downside protection. Which trader is really more successful according to you?

Perhaps Trader A’s greatest advantage comes from the beginner’s enthusiasm rather than skill. Big risks can wipe out their entire account in one bad trade. The consistent and consistent profitability of Trader B reflects a consistent and permanent annual pattern.

You know what? Wisdom is based on a balanced mind. In addition to returns, serious traders reveal that real profitability comes from factors such as win rate, casualty clearance, stability of performance, and appropriate risk management. These determine whether profitability will continue into the future.

Does a profit made through discipline and good judgment ultimately prove more “profitable” than a return built on irresponsible information? The answer reveals itself over time.

Mindset Matters More Than Results:

Statistics alone cannot define your potential as a marketer. Far more important than the results is the motivation behind those results.

Do you handle every trade with discipline and stick to your plan? Do you see loss as an opportunity to learn rather than a failure? Are you always looking for ways to hone your skills and sharpen your mouth? Can you remain calm and focused under pressure?

These attitudes and character traits, not percentage gains determine the quality of traders. One may double down on a happy path but without the right mindset, those gains will quickly disappear.

Serious traders focus their energy on developing the right frame of mind: the patience to wait for more powerful systems, the emotional control to withstand catastrophe, and the humility to learn from mistakes.

They are aware of short-term performance that is going to rise and fall but their spirit of them remains intact. Developing ideas, strategies, and processes and your accounts will ultimately reflect the quality of your trading idea.

Prioritize developing a serious trader mindset and the rest will fall in place. Your mindset is way more important than actual results.

My Verdict:

I have personally learned that the journey to becoming a professional trader can be extremely long and winding. It’s effortless to get distracted by the myriad successes and failures of other trading peers and wonder if you’re really on the “right” path or not.

But frankly, I’m here to tell you that comparisons are a surprising tactic that serious traders retain every time to avoid.

When you’re starting down the trading route, well, it’s natural to look around and think about how you should manage. But what you will soon discover is that every trader has a unique style, personality, and reason for their own trading. It will be yours too!

There is no “right” or “best” way; there are as many ways as there are traders. Traders who are tempted by comparison lose the market advantage and, sooner or later, perish. What I would suggest is to focus on your own business.

Have you heard the old saying, “Watch your paper”? It’s about focusing on your work without worrying about how others around you are doing their job. This article is very much related to trading. Like school exams, the critical “paper” is yours. Whether other traders get 100% or 0% is irrelevant.

And we keep finding new ways to cheat and find answers. Please, this is your own game; master the market with your proven strategies and skills.

That is the way to ultimate victory. Serious traders know that the only way to reach their potential is to develop a competent mindset focused on honing their craft through tireless effort, innovation, and honest self-assessment.

They accept the fact that the only trader who is entirely under their control is themselves.

Experienced traders are free to reach their full potential by directing their energy internally rather than externally. Ultimately, the path to mastery lies not in comparing yourself to others but in continually improving the unique trader only you can be.

So next time you are tempted to measure your returns against the trader next to you, remember: their performance has little bearing on your own path forward. Your comparison is a trap that offers no real value.

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