Having left the newbie stage, a trader is aware that trading is all about psychology. Mastering an ocean of turmoiled emotions is vital, and balance overall is the goal. Steps towards this goal are
... I am better than I used to be...
and awareness is the tool to attain such a growth rate.
Journaling and taking this journey of psychology development is even more severe than system development or other measurable tasks that are part of a trader's journey.
Constantly taking notes and evaluating these notes just as you would journal TA and numbers is crucial in pointing the finger at where you are coming from, how you feel and think about these things, and what ways would change specific practices of unwanted emotions and turmoiling things is critical to step constantly forward.
Make Excel sheets about this task and write a daily journal on responses to entries, exits, and market behavior overall. While exposed to markets, your inner world is a daily must-appear on the to-do list.
It is not only astounding how fast we forget but also how we underestimate or are unaware of what motivates and drives us and what we want out of the markets-for many, losing is as much joy as winning. After all, when you're down, it can only go up. What a pleasure.
We manipulate ourselves in many ways, and as such, accurately measured pictures need to be drawn, and introspection is the daily bread of any student that seeks out mastery in whatever field.
Scrutinize your behavior and check for fear of missing out, emotional triggers, avoidance behaviors, impulse trading, fading trends, lack of focus, ego-driven actions, revenge trading, extremes like depression or euphoria, risk control, and money management mistakes. The list is long of what can go wrong, and you are the detective to find recurring patterns in your unwanted emotional behaviors.
Do not only fault yourself for things not going the way you want them to but find reward systems on how to celebrate improvements and, most of all, read journals of the past and you will find that years ago you were still suicidal and depressed, and now you are just upset for a few mistakes. In short, measure the process and be aware that this is just another aspect of the process and that the process is what it all comes down to.
Be strict, process-oriented, and disciplined, but also gentle, forgiving, and patient with yourself.
Finding a listening ear can be very helpful, and be bold and seek professional help if needed to overcome more substantial hurdles that are seemingly unsurmountable.
Most of all, do not put this most essential part of trading work off. Reality and this sort of self-reflection include change, which is what we are all reluctant to do, but it is also the fastest way to produce the desired results in trading.