Rafael Nadal is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. With 14 French Open titles and 22 Grand Slam titles Rafa has achieved the highest level of sporting achievement with the most Grand Slam men’s singles titles in history. So, needless to say, Rafa knows how to perform at a very high level consistently. He also knows he has to deal with the fear of losing.
Strangely, an elite athlete like Rafa has to deal greatly with losing. Over the course of his career, he has lost many points, games, and sets. Dealing with losing is part of being a great champion. In fact, if Rafa was unable to manage losing he would not be able to handle victory. That is why this quote from Rafa really stands out. See the image below.
So, Rafa has understood a key psychological release. Losing is not his enemy. You see losing is part of playing tennis. Sometimes your opponent just has an amazing game – you can’t change that necessarily. However, if you start to fear losing then you start to either 1) avoid playing matches or 2) playing far more cautiously. If an elite tennis player starts playing cautiously then he is unlikely to win as many matches as when he is playing with confidence.
How this relates to trading
If you are ‘afraid of losing’ when you trade you will enter into trades only to exit a few minutes after. You will use very tight stop losses that get stopped out. You will take profit too early. Why? Because you are not trying to ‘win’ you are trying to avoid losing! So, in your trading consider Rafa’s quote – am I playing to win, or is fear of losing dominating my trading? It may prove to be a turning point. You can’t avoid having losing trades, but you can reduce the fear of losing.