Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and other interesting books, presented a very interesting investigation he has completed on college students and their collective behaviours.
What does this has to do with trading?
From the moment you are hooked to trade some of the most difficult financial markets in the world, just because you’ve read or heard it somewhere that you can make a lot of money from it, you have pitted yourself against the most experienced traders right off the start of your learning process. Of course the experience will be discouraging. You will feel helpless when you are losing money faster than you can blink.
You could be pretty smart and have what it takes to be a good trader. But picking the wrong market to start your trading career may very well makes that your last one.
I steered many newcomers to stop trading S&P and have them looked into crude oil, forex and other commodities. Many of these traders are now trading instruments other than indices for a living now. It helps tremendously to pick the right market for you to trade.
From there, it will be easier to develop a healthy mindset to not compare yourself against the other traders. Trading skills is a personal development issue. You have to progress at your own pace. You cannot force it when you are not ready.
As long as you can make a good living off trading, there is really no point to kick yourself hard for not being the best.