In your individual zone of optimal performance you are at a near perfect mental state that is kongruent with the task you are performing. But how do you know what mental state that is? I will try to explain how you can get more knowledge on your own mental state in this short blog.
First of all, what is a mental state? A mental state is a sum of several things. It’s basics consist of your physiology, self talk, beliefs and emotions
Physiology: Do you feel well in your body. Is your body ready and focused. Are you relaxed or tense. Are you sitting or standing. Good or bad posture?
Self talk: How is your inner dialog. “I fell prepared and ready”, “Yesterday was bad so today will probably be bad too.”, “I will never get this right.”, “I got this.” Your self talk is really important to your mental state.
Beliefs: Do you actually believe that because yesterday was bad today is going to be bad too? Are you expectations realistic? What do you have to believe when your self talk is what it is.
Emotions: How does this make you feel. Are you comfortable or nervous? How is your arousal level? What is the status on your emotions?
Every person has many mental states that we use every day. Just think how you are different when you talk to the boss or your spouse(Might be the boss 😄) or your kids. Your mental state just before a presentation or interview. You know that your state changes.
There are more and less beneficial states. The trick is to become aware of your many states and recognise them. I use this in my coaching sessions with traders. Many do not know that they might start out the trading session in a good state, but then they shift into a bad state. They know after the session that something went wrong, they just do not know exactly what. They might blame the system or the market, when really it was their own mental state that got in the way.
Recognising your own mental state takes a bit of effort and practice. But it is 100% worth it.
Three exercises to better understand and recognise your own mental states:
- What mental state are you in most often and why?
- What mental state do you slip into when trading is bad?
- What mentals state do you apply when things are going well for you?
Take notes on your different mental states. Write down how your physiology, self talk, beliefs and emotions are in the different states.
If you want coaching on you mental states and make them work for you instead of against you sig up for a free chemistry meeting.