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Overcome crypto risk aversion with cross-training


“With their jobs on the line, traders like Scott desperately need to make money,

but find themselves oddly unable to initiate a trade, even one that looks attractive,

being held back from the phones as if by a force field. They have become, as they say in the business, “gun shy.” “

John Coates: The Hour Between Dog and Wolf



So you missed another trade.

You knew it was going to go, but you didn’t buy it.

You had your trading plan set.

You were ready…then you hesitated.

You were filled with doubt and worried about another soul-crushing loss.

Now your missed trade is working without you, so you beat yourself up with negative self-talk. You’re starting to wonder if you’ll get through it. Will you be able to pick a winner ever again?

You will. Let me show you how.

Ctrl Alt Delete

Risk aversion is a form of learned helplessness that often occurs during trading slumps. No matter what the trader sees, they will hesitate, over-analyze, question, overthink, procrastinate and fail to execute. This risk aversion can destroy confidence and lead to a series of account depleting decisions. Risk aversion at the extreme can take you out of the game permanently.

To get back to form requires resetting your risk appetite, interpretation and response. A reboot of sorts. Something fun, physically demanding and potentially risky.

That means tapping into your inner athlete.

Lift your mental game

Athletes seem to have a certain mental toughness. A way of integrating their mind and body in a way that helps them push the boundaries of what most people think is possible.

They can interpret risks in a way that allows them to take them in stride. They simply react, execute and respond accordingly. Over time it becomes automatic.

The good news is you don’t have to be a great athlete to tap into this experience. What you require is some cross-training.

Your inner animal

Now in sport, cross-training means doing sports or activities unrelated to your specialty that improves your performance. For the trader, cross-training will involve engaging in physically demanding activities that require deep focus, commitment, reaction and various amounts of risk-taking.

This reboot means training your mind to work with different kinds of risks. These risks are the ones your human nature is perfectly suited for, the physical ones. Sports and activities that use time constraints, add speed, involve obstacles, or substantial weight are all part of your potential cross-training options.

High octane activities require intense commitment and focus. They require preparation, thought and execution. They demand that you be in the moment, not overthinking but rather reacting. And they also tend to be a hell of a lot of fun.

Just like trading.

So what kind of activities are we talking about? Turn off your trading terminal, and let’s head outside and I’ll show you.

Be primal

Mountains, forests and bodies of water reorient people to natural environments and their deepest selves. There’s something unique about time in nature. Your senses seem heightened. Your body primed for movement and action.

The outdoor environment is the perfect place to do your cross-training and reboot your risk meter.

Today we’re going to grab a mountain bike to do our cross-training. There’s nothing quite like moving freely down a mountain along winding single track on a bike. Well, except when you start adding man-made obstacles, rock rolls, slippery roots and of course, some speed.

Earn your turns

On this ride, we’re going to earn our turns with a long slow fire road climb cutting through the  forest up the mountain. During the climb, you have time to think about the things that are on your mind. Maybe you’re thinking about why you are struggling to execute your trades. Perhaps you are wondering why you missed one trade or another. Or what you should do about it.

After an hour of climbing, you’re going to forget about these issues. Once you enter the trail, there will be no time for thinking.

Rubber side down

At the top, you take a rest and get ready for the descent. Here you put on your armour and your game face. The tire pressure is lowered to improve grip. The suspension opened up, and seat post is dropped for the steep terrain and rock rolls.

Split-second decisions on the best lines to take will dominate your reactions.

There will be no room for doubt.

Hesitation will have consequences.

You ready?

Breath deep.

Let go

The entrance looks intimidating. It’s doable, all you gotta do is point down and let the brakes go. Just let the suspension do what it’s designed to do.

You roll in, and the bike eats up the steep rocky chunder. The suspension feels perfect. The dirt is damp, and tire grip is mint. A couple of tight off-camber switchbacks later, you’re riding down a short narrow piece of wood. Stay off the brakes here, you don’t want to kiss that tree on the right…

Rock n’ Roll

A couple minutes later comes a short rock garden with a huge fallen tree on the left. At the top, a ninety-degree right into the rock carpet descent, followed by a quick ninety-degree left turn at the bottom. You want to slow down a bit for this one, it’s slippery.

Now step on the gas. You’re gonna pound through three rock ledges down to a slow s-bend through some trees and over a log. Then comes some woodwork.

Finding flow

Ahead, a twenty-five-foot long path of wood a few inches off the ground. It’s a mix of alternating eight-inch wide tree slats and six-inch wide boards that create an optical illusion. If you lose focus here, your speed will drop and falling off to the left might eat a rear derailleur resulting in a long walk home.

A couple more minutes of slow, rocky, rooty hairpin turns brings you a short steep rock roll. Line up your tire on the piece of wood at the top. Looking down from the top seems like a good ten feet to the bottom. Let the brakes go, sit back, head up, and roll it out.

You got this.

Don’t brake too hard at the bottom. You need some momentum to get up that narrow piece of wood onto that giant fallen tree in another ten feet.

On the wood slat, you gotta lean forward a bit and grind out a couple peddle strokes. At the top of the fallen tree trunk, you’re about six feet off the ground balancing on two wheels. You might have to wrestle with the front end of the bike to line it up for the steep seven-foot ladder below.

Now let go. That’s it!

Extreme focus, internal calm

You are one with the bike and with nature in the moment. There’s no hesitation or lack of confidence. There is only execution.

You flow effortlessly from one obstacle to the next. You embrace the sliding, the mistakes, the unexpected with ease. Your heart is pounding, maxed out by the effort.

As you become tired, your confidence becomes more important. Your mind is clear and uncluttered. Stay aggressive. Breath.

Reboot complete. Game face on

At the bottom, the trail flattens out. Here you can relax, wind down and reflect.

By pushing your limits physically, you have demanded your body and mind work together. You have pushed yourself beyond risk aversion by embracing risk and owning it. You have put aside your overthinking to execute. You have been intensely focused for forty minutes of all-out, high risk-effort.

Now, it’s time to translate the results of your cross-training into your trading.

Get back to your terminal. Put your game face on. You’re ready. It’s time for the next trade.


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