There are 5 phases every trader will go through over the years. You can’t skip one and knowing which one you are in and being totally honest with yourself is essential.
1. UNCONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE
The amateur trader who doesn’t know how much he doesn’t know. This is normally a 3 month process when he loses a majority of his trades on live or demo and he has zero clue why or how.
2. CONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE
The amateur trader now starts to get a feeling for the scope of his undertaking. Motivated by a few lucky winners, he studies everything he can get his hands on. The next 3 months he's obsessed and can barely sleep at night and so excited for the market to open to continue to learn. At this stage he may even be seeing price candles in his dreams.
3. THE Aha MOMENT
The trader accepts responsibility for his past failures and starts following a serious approach; no more system hopping. He has now gone 6 months down the trading system and indicator "rabbit hole". He definitely knows what DOESN'T work and he's starting to understand that proper planning, money management, patience, discipline, attitude and mindset is the key.
4. CONSCIOUS COMPETENCE
Although trading is still not easy and his results are far from being perfect, he understands the importance of process-oriented thinking. Conscious competence means he understands fully why his trades win and why his trades lose. There is nothing about the market that surprises him anymore. He's seen it all and knows how to create solid Trade Plans to attack the market no matter what it does. He stops predicting the market and instead starts reacting and finding "edges" that he can exploit daily. He knows that losses are part of the "business" but through solid money management he's staying profitable every quarter.
5. UNCONSCIOUS COMPETENCE
This is when trading becomes boring - and trading should be boring! Trading becomes a routine and a pattern recognition game. He's now ready to start teaching and training others and he's excited to share his new found knowledge.