This page contains questions posted on Facebook and in the comments sections on the blog, from traders on trading challenges and issues they face; with answers by Rich. There is some very valuable information here. Please take the time to read through this section and be sure to let us know what you found to be pertinent to your situation.
If you have questions of your own, you can leave them in the comments section at the bottom.
Hi, Several problems, i have the trigger problem that Yori describes, but somhow i when i try to do the quicker choice and jump into the market, i hawe always overlockd a parameter or somthing and end up with a looser. When my analysis is right, i usually have to check somthing, then werify somthing, and then the train has left the station…
2. Seams like I have a earning cap at break eaven:
I had several months were i manage to end up with zero profit/zero loss, but in trying to adress this problem i`ve ent upp with a lot of more loosers.
Somtims it seams like i have cant let go and let the trade run its course, Im really good at interfering. I once tryd out automatet trading, but ended up loosin, not because of the system, but beacause i had to interfere. Hope you can help. - Christian Sandven
Dear Christian, We are looking at two issues as you point out. The first is executing a trade in a timely manner. Both of the situations of impulse trading and hesitation usually indicate that the trade execution is tied to a larger pattern that overrides the confidence and flow of trading.
The first step is to gain awareness. For now, don’t try to change, just become aware of your sensations feelings and thoughts. As a setup is forming, notice the “pressure” you feel to trade. Notice the amount of market awareness you have (able to see all parameters in a relaxed state of mind) just before you make a quick choice to jump. For now JUST NOTICE. This practice is fundamental to positive behavioral change. Do the same awareness exercise when you and in analysis and unable to pull the trigger. What does that feel like? What is your body telling you? What thoughts are going through you head. Again, for now, JUST NOTICE. No change necessary. (that is later)
Watch my video on my own wealth limitations. Does this fit what is going on? In my experience of building a trading firm, coaching professional traders and with the online course, one area that is not ever dealt with is our relationship to money. And this can be a major drag on earnings! And, very few traders believe me…at least at first until we do the exercise about our relationship to money. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and watch the video for my personal limitation on earnings. - Rich Friesen
Hi Rich I was one of your early beta testers but was unable to complete due to family health problems but it is great to be able to get involved again. I have many challenges to overcome but probably the most important is that when I trade I am focussing more on not losing than I am on letting my winners run.
My second challenge is that although I don’t jump from system to system I am unable to stick to or practice any mind calming method. I have tried TM, Yoga, Mindfulness and am currently looking at Coherence but just cannot stick with it. I am in the knowing what to do camp but seem unwilling to put into practice what I know.
I am looking forward to seeing how you can help me overcome these challenges, Thanks.
Chris, thanks for being a beta tester! I tell a story about riding my motorcycle and learning to look at the escape route vs. looking at the danger. Loss triggers our primitive brain reactions that although worked well on the Savannah, don’t serve us well as traders. We also have created our own habitual reactions to loss from our childhood. Our lesson on “Winning Minds” supports creating all new perspectives on loss. However, in the meantime, what you can do is…exaggerate. Yes, EXAGGERATE! You can do this all on your own. When you are fearful of loss, (like in a winning trader and are afraid it will go against you) make the fear really really BIG! Tell yourself all the horrible things that will happen…exaggerate the outcomes…how this loss will lead to living in a dumpster. Have fun with the game. Get into it. Feel the fear. Then….take a breath. The point is, that if you can amp up the fear of loss…this means that YOU are in charge of your feelings of loss. Do this and turn it up…turn it down. Learn what mechanisms work for you. Have fun!
Thx for the answer,
I will try the awareness, and try to notice whats going on, I must say that i have no clue when thinking back on whats different in the two situations, so thats really interesting. I`ve watched the video, and I can really relate to the problem, The questien then is what can i do to get over this.and how to aproch this problem. - Christian
Christian, identifying the issues is the biggest part of the solution. Your brain will start to notice new things and become aware of internal processes. Now, your journey to trading mastery can’t be defined in this forum, but it is a great start. I look forward to continuing our work together in the course
Hi Rich, I have done good testing with my strategies and I know my system will produce losses or will give me when to stop/close my trade. Last week I handled 8 losses in a row and I was able to break even by the end of the month. I have traded stocks and options, but from last 3 months iam concentrating only on ES.. my system on a best day can produce a profit 10 pts/contract and worst day it was -4 pts.contract… But when trading in real time I am no way close to tested strategy, but by the end of day if I rewind it always ends up as ” could have / should have”. Even today with my simple strategies it should have been 12 pts / contracts, instead I ended with a loss of 2 pts. How to come out of this losing cycle? Thanks, Sailu.
Sailu, when we shift from a sim account to real trading our brain shifts…we actually have a different set of neuro chemicals. Our decision process changes. Trade your sim account. And this is the key here…notice your physical sensations, your feelings and your thoughts. What does it feel like to trade successfully? Then move to your real account. NOW…notice the difference. As soon as you notice different physical sensations (i.e. breathing patterns), emotional feelings or thoughts (i.e. “you idiot), stop and go back to the sim account. Keep moving back and forth until…you have the same sensations, feelings and thoughts.
Forgive my English, it is not my language…
To be short: It is like an important meeting with complicated negotiation.There is a challenge and we give the wrong answer in real time and only later comes “your inner voice” and says what I could/should say… We know exactly what was the good answer: AFTER it.
My interest is find out to hear the mentioned “inner voice” BEFORE the action.
Probably, a large part of the issue is self control. Isn’t?
I am exited about the “What comes now?”
I am happy about it that our paths cross each other. -Zsolt
Dear Zsolt, yes, what if we were aware of our decision process in real time? What if we could make intentional decision rather than react or be impulsive?
I suggest that it is NOT an issues of self-control because we can’t control ourselves. We are who we are. However, we can become aware of our decision process in real time. We have two ways of doing this. The first is the “Making Mind Muscles” lessons where we intentionally create new behaviors…and the second is our “Awareness” lesson where we bring real time awareness to our trading.
To start this process, set an alarm for every 5 or 10 minutes. When it goes off “catch yourself” by noting your physical sensations. (breath, muscles, stomach, etc.) Do this for several times. There is more to this exercise, but for now, just start with noticing in real time your physiology.
It seems that I cannot keep myself from developing “Tunnel Vision” No matter what the market is doing I keep making the same directional trades, keep getting stopped out and keep making the same directional trade again and agian, trying to prove myself right. - Joe M.
Dear Joe, if being right is important to you the markets are a great training ground! It turns out the more we try to be “right” the more tunnel vision we develop. Try this exercise: When the markets are going against you and you know you are right and the market is wrong/manipulated/crazy etc., notice that feeling of being right. Exaggerate it. Really get into it. Write down how the rest of the world is wrong wrong wrong and you are right right right. Really get into it. Make up big stuff…exaggerate like crazy. Put your notes aside and read them the next day. Let me know what happens.
Quite intrigued by the possibilities in your training. My biggest issue is taking off my winners way too fast. I use a solid 2 point stop to limit losses. Am learning to use technical analysis to better place the stop (too often I’ve been stopped out only to see the market then go in my direction). For my winners, I have a great deal of difficulty letting them continue. I have targets and usually they are accurate. I just jump out too quickly on a dip or a bounce. Behind this, I am sure, is fear of losing. Hopefully you will address this, especially for those of us who are working with relatively limited capital. Thanks! - Bob
Bob, this is a critical issue for most traders. AND you are right, this is about loss…not winning. Our brains bank all profits from the “high water mark” of an open position. I detail how our brain does this in the lesson on loss step by step. The goal is to shift our perceptions of “loss” from a trade by trade evaluation to the larger strategy and picture. On thing you can do by yourself is to notice the fear of loss when you have an open position that is profitable. Give that fear words and write them down. Do this over several days. Don’t worry about changing your trading behaviors, just collect many notes of your experience of loss in real time. Put the notes aside and read them a week later. Let me know what you see.
Hi Rich, two problems hope you can comment on, first not seeing the chart as it real is but my interpretation of the chart, at the end of the day I print my charts out and mark where proper entries according to my system should be and then compare that to what I actually did, big difference, can not see the proper entries during the trading day but becomes absolutely clear during the evening hours. Second is revenge trading, once I start revenge trading and its always after my mental capital is expended after a few hours of trading I want to continue trading to get back to break even, of course it seldom happens,hope you can comment. - Joe M.
Dear Joe, you have pointed out a major issue many traders face. Thank you! Our brains are major filter factories. The amount of information coming into them is overwhelming. As a result, it creates what neuroscientists call “heuristics.” These are shortcuts that look for patterns in our environment and turn them into compact concepts. This ability saves our lives. Otherwise we would have to learn to drive the car every morning when we got up. BUT, they also filter information that allows us to see things as there are.
Here is a short exercise: While trading, pretend you are nothing but “Joe’s Spirit” and leave your body and stand behind him. As his “spirit” you know nothing about trading. Actually stand up behind the chair and pretend that Joe is still trading. Start asking him questions about what you see on the screen as if you had never seen a trading screen before in your life. (sneaky way to start building fresh perspectives) Have fun with this! Let me know the results.
I have experienced most of what everyone has mentioned. I look forward to learning more. -Ron
Yes, you are not alone! As traders we often struggle with what feels like problems that we have to deal with without support. However, we all have the same brain architecture and glitches. It has been great to see a supportive community develop around our approach to behavioral change. I look forward to working with you.
Hi Rich, I have the same problems as alot of other people here. Always looking for that better system and having a problem pulling the trigger on trades because of fear of losing money. This is my second try at trading. I tried years ago and gave it up due to losses and stress. It seems like I can paper trade fine but real trading never seems to work out as well. I work full time and have issues at home that sometimes distract me from my trading, but feel guilty if I spend too much time on my trading and not enough on other problems at home. It’s very frustrating.
Dear John, our brain chemistry changes when go from sim to real and small to big. The goal is to maintain the same brain chemistry as we expand our trading size. See my blog post on this topic: https://mindmusclesfortraders.com/from-simulated-trading-to-real-trades-from-small-trades-to-big/
Thanks for the assesment, My main problem is the lack of discipline in accepting losses. When I see my stop loss will be hit,I move it or I cancel it. Another problem arises when a winning trade becomes a losing trade, like my brain says, you were winning it is not possible you finish losing. - Osmin
Dear Osmin, I am going to copy my reply to Matt, because you both have put your finger on one of the biggest issues traders face, handling trading losses. The problem is that we focus on the loss and this triggers reactions from the primitive parts of our brain and our learned responses to loss from our earlier years. As long as we focus on the losses, our brains will produce the same results. So, we need to change how we look at loss. This is what the lesson “Winning Minds -Turn loss and pain to profit and gain” is all about. In this lesson we shift from the “loss” to successful execution. We need to re-wire our brains, so this takes some intentional neural development.
See the Confidence Circle slides. This doesn’t give the methods, but outlines the path. Grab the bottom line above the notes, move it up so you can read the comments. We go into HOW to manage this transition in the course.
My 2 biggest issues have been not being able to cut losses short and how to handle trades that immediately go against me after entering. I understand that losses are the cost of doing business but I think it still leaves a residual amount of “you failed again” in my sub-c mind. After getting used to trades immediately going against me it is getting harder and harder to get back in. I end up waiting longer and watching trades go by. - Matt
Dear Matt, you have put your finger on one of the biggest issues traders face, handling trading losses. The problem is that we focus on the loss and this triggers reactions from the primitive parts of our brain and our learned responses to loss from our earlier years. As long as we focus on the losses, our brains will produce the same results. So, we need to change how we look at loss. This is what the lesson “Winning Minds -Turn loss and pain to profit and gain” is all about. In this lesson we shift from the “loss” to successful execution. We need to re-wire our brains, so this takes some intentional neural development. See the Confidence Circle slides. This doesn’t give the methods, but outlines the path. Grab the bottom line above the notes, move it up so you can read the comments. We go into HOW to manage this transition in the course.
Dear Rich, I have been stuck in a downward spiral in trading for an embarrassing long time. I have subscribed to many different analysts, newsletters, and mentors. The amount of money I have paid for different trading systems is beyond belief. It seems more than one mentor has mentioned that I am not cut out for trading. To them, it appears that I don’t have what it takes to be successful as a trader. “You are clearly incapable of grasping even the simplistic basics of this methodology,” one wrote. Another said, “Maybe trading is just not for you, maybe your emotions take over, and you exit early, and then off the trade goes.” The money I have lost is sickening and I don’t have much left in which to trade. - Tom
Rich, you should know that even with all these maddening losses and the frustrations I have endured, I thoroughly enjoy the process of trading. The idea that if on a particular day I can harness my intelligence and emotions when I sit in front of the trading screen and make some money is exciting — IF and WHEN I can put it all together. I refuse to quit and know that I can be successful if given the proper guidance.Perhaps you see me as one of the traders you took under your wing when you ran your own trading firm. I don’t know, but I do know that I want to be successful and be able to give back to others. Hope you can help!
Dear Tom, I love your resilience! We all have special talents, areas of interest and characteristics that can support successful trading. The goal here is to find out what you are really good at. It may surprise you! If you watched my videos or blogs, you know that at my first trading job for a large arbitrage firm, I was told I was the worst trainee my supervisor ever had. I went on to build my own successful trading firm. AND…you will have the opportunity go give back to others in the Mind Muscles community. I look forward to working with you.
I reently came across your information and am thinking it may be able to hel my problem, which is that I have worked myself into a bit of a corner trading-wise. Brief history: I had a business that went bad and lost ungodley sums of money, then got into trading options where I made a lot of money, only to give mst of it back. Now I am sitting at that same level for years and seems to be the world’s best traeder of water. I am fearful of loss now and have even gone to NADEX to limit losses furhter, but still wont execute most of the time. What would you suggest? Am am not really interested in communitacting with other traders or becoming part of a group. Do you have something that can accommodate my needs? Your subscriber comments and video examples are encouraging. Thanks, Allan.
Dear Allan, It sounds like you have a number of trading “scars” that have reduced your flexibility. So, not know more, it is good to do an assessment and regain the confidence that you want. I have an exercise that restarts your trading career and the very beginning and builds step at a time to see where your current issues crop up. This methodical process looks at both the strategies you trade and the emotional scars you may be experiencing. I will email a link to this exercise. Remember, it is just neural connections that underlay these scars…and with neuroplasticity, we can change the processes!
Used hypnosis, brain entrainment CD’s, etc. 30 years ago for panic attacks. It turned my life around! My biggest regret now is that I didn’t make those practices an everyday part of my life then. I am super excited about what your training will mean to my trading business. I can’t wait to get started. Big thanks, Richard! -Mike
Mike, it is so good to hear that you have created INTENTIONAL new behaviors to sooth the panic attacks and that it turned your life around. This ability to create new behaviors (I call them “Mind Muscles”) will prove valuable as you engage our simulations. I look forward to working with you and learning more about your own journey to trading mastery.
This was a very thoughtful exercise that produced a very interesting analysis. I seem to be an endless systems tester and analyst who is always getting distracted by something newer and shinier. This costs me money rather than earns me money. I can take one loss no problem, even two or maybe three. I go off the rails when I’ve had five losers in the last six trades and I immediately begin to doubt my ability and move on to the next “hot” system – – or change my trading instrument completely. Futures => Forex => Stocks => Options => Repeat. The frustrating thing is I KNOW I could be really good at this if I could just get the jumble of data and information I have in my head arranged the right way. Looking very forward to seeing what you have. This really is a mind muscle game! - Rick Herbert
Rick, we are going to play a lot of great games! You brought up some major issues that most traders face.
2) Handling loss
3) Looking for the next thing
Distractions indicate an underlying avoidance that is there to protect you. Loss…well that takes a whole lesson and I look forward to your reactions. Looking for the next hot thing is related to distractions.
So, you will learn in our model, we can’t change the past, and we can’t make decision in the future. So, focus on the moment of distraction! This is (no coincidentally) the moment we also want to avoid! So, when you find yourself distracted, catch that feeling in the very moment and write a note or two about your experience. Enlarge that moment, slow it down. We have a number of great exercises in this area, but you can make progress on your own. I look forward to working with you soon!
Hi Rich, I found the exercise very useful. I have a problem with pulling the trigger and do spend too much time on systems development. I can now see it’s a trust issue. ie I don’t trust the systems. (despite working on this for 10 years!) Just wondering how your course can help me with this? -John
John, you have touched on what I call the “Circle of Confidence.” This is a progress from the naive over-confidence of a new trader, to the calm confidence of a master. I just pulled out a couple of slides that illustrate this. They are part of a larger presentation, so may need additional context, but can be part of our ongoing conversation
Hi, a few major issues i use to work for a firm and was the one of highest producers in the firm trading their capital. Now i work for myself with my own money and i am a zero sum trader now for a few years and i can’t remember how i use to trade and have developed a system that has backtested very well but i have problems believing it and executing it properly . thxs your thoughts. -Gregory
Dear Gregory…I worked for a large arbitrage firm as well…and made a lot of money for them. When I started trading for myself, it all changed. Did you see my video story? Check it out. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and watch “Rich’s Story.” Your description is pretty general…so I can’t offer a specific suggestion…but there is some belief and internal limitation. Happy to discuss more.
II look forward to your course. A friend introduced me to a FOREX trading system 12 months ago that has a very high success rate- if a trade fails, it’s because something was overlooked.
Over the past 12 months I have been getting better at spotting setups and recently from mid Feb- late May was able to 60(!) fold my starting capital. Then within a week I managed to make irrational decisions caused by a few losing trades due wrongly interpreted setup. End result is that the 3 months of good work (where I occasionally broke position sizing rules but got away with it) is all gone.
I am confident I can do it to attain my lifestyle and financial goals, however some important work pacifying emotions and maintaining trading discipline is required to make this happen in a timely fashion. Looking forward to working with you, Regards, Alex.
Alex, the pattern of consistent profits over a long time, and big losses in a short time is typical. I experienced this with the floor traders who worked for me. The causes were varied and the solution looked at belief systems, especially around success. Most of the time (I know you may not believe this, but I found it to be true) that many traders are conflicted about wealth and success! Success creates many changes and some of these trigger fear. (Few traders believe this). So, do an exercise. Write out a description of your successful self in 5 years. Lots of details, dates and descriptions. Where you live, the color of your car, how you spend time etc. DETAILS. Then put it down, and a few days later, re-read it, and make a list of everything you would lose if this were to happen. Yes, LOSE! This is the hard part. Be creative. Let me know what you come up with.
This got me! I feel fear of loss sure but I think I feel far more fear of a winning streak! Silly, but I think this is very close to the reality.
I am able to handle or working on to do so the technical and emotional issues. I did not know the “strategy heaven and hell” but I investigated my trades somehow similar and draw conclusions to put myself back to “market state awareness”. This way I really break losing spirals. So reading your answer it came to my mind that I may turn back after a good winning streak because of the fear of “what if it is true that I can trade say 5 days without a losing trade”.. “That is abnormal, nobody can.. or just lie about it..” This hurts because I deny the reality! I know people who really do long winning streaks, live! Best regards,
Laszio, you may be familiar with the quote from Marianne Williamson for “A Return to Love.”
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”
“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
When we are successful, believe it or not it comes with change and loss. So, what we do is have a whole section in our “Your Money Mind” module on dealing with the fear of success. Let me know what you think.
Thank you Rich! I had read this quote first in Brendon Bays: The Journey, but now you recalled for me just right on time. I was busy reading your site. Very useful. I’ll email you with some questions. Your note that we don’t need to “control” or fight ourself but build new easy neural ways to take over the current ones is very lifting. Now I turn to myself with so much honesty and clarity that I feel very easy in both the observer and the subject position. Awareness is built much easier from now. Thanks All the best, Laszlo
Rich I have been doing alot of study in this area for everyday life and was hoping a similar type of training was out there for trading.
I cant wait to get started as trading for me is 99% psychological. Thanks - Jamie Morgan
Jamie, I am eager as you are to work with a new group of traders with the positive attitude that you have. Once you realize that the most powerful trading engine is the one between your ears, you are now working on the “right” problem. I look forward to our work together.
Hello Rich, Your free training and course sounds terrific. The webinar you are having is on my birthday! I so hope that there will be a recording for I need to be at work at that time. I have been studying trading for about 3 and half years now. I am very confident in my technical chart reading skills. Working with my emotions has proven to be the hardest part of trading. I have not taken a live trade now in about 1 month, I had to get a job to pay the bills. In a few more weeks I will start my permanent schedule which will allow me to get back to trading futures in the morning. I can’t wait, I miss it. Having said that I still do have anxiety about getting my emotions on the same page with me. I do my best at visualization but need better real time performance. I too would love to have a trading company one day and train others to trade so that we can make money to build other companies, create jobs, give to public education and public health care. Sometimes I think my goals are to big and might be getting in the way, other times I think they are what isn’t letting me give up. I appreciate those that give back freely of their time and knowledge to help others, as you are doing. With gratitude, Erika
Happy Birthday Erika! Yes, we will record it and send the link. And it is great that you have clear goals. I am going to copy/paste my comments from a previous reply since my response is much the same. I look forward to supporting you in your audacious goals!
We would all like to “control” our minds/emotions. But neuroscience teaches us that most of our behaviors and decisions are formed before it gets to our conscious mind. So, rather than control, we start with awareness. Then we move to curiosity and acceptance. Once we are aware in real time of our processes, are curious about them, and accept all parts of ourselves, then we have the basics in place to create new behaviors that serve us better. In my experience this works better than trying to control what we can’t control anyway. Look forward to working on this issue with you.
Even have gone trough very good tendence trading, makes me very dissappointing, and even up to the point of loosing ocmpletelly mu strategy, when i begin to loose positions but just a very little 0,001. Frustates me, and sometimes even makes me think system is manipulated (of course it is not), but i took the roght decision, the right buy, the rogh stock, everithing whent fine, and up to the end, avery little click, and breaks down to the minimum lose. I would like to know why, how control when happening my mind, how to avoid this. Great meetting you. - Eduardo
Dear Eduardo, we would all like to “control” our minds. But neuroscience teaches us that most of our behaviors and decisions are formed before it gets to our conscious mind. So, rather than control, we start with awareness. Then we move to curiosity and acceptance. Once we are aware in real time of our processes, are curious about them, and accept all parts of ourselves, then we have the basics in place to create new behaviors that serve us better. In my experience this works better than trying to control what we can’t control anyway. Look forward to working on this issue with you
Well it looks like we are all having mind issues. I have been in numerous trading rooms, like many, looking for the near perfect trading platform. Many seem to trade the strategy well, so they say. I didn’t. I have the problem of being OCD and an engineer so I am always looking for the perfect system and have adjusted the systems many hundreds of times to make them perfect. I have been tweaking for five years without much success. I have owned several successful businesses over the years, run businesses for others with great success, but this industry has stopped me in my tracks.
It just so happens that in just recent days to a few weeks, I have read and heard more about neural pathways than I have the last 60 years. Rich, you may be my new “super hero.” God Bless. -Rich
Dear Rich, First, great name! However, I must disagree…YOU are the superhero. It is quite common for people to take their success in business or their status as doctors and assume that will translate to trading success. However, our brains processes can’t change the market. We have to adapt. Successful traders often failed elsewhere in their lives, but they came to understand their own internal states and be willing to make behavioral changes. Often successful people who have been rewarded in the past for behaviors X Y and Z and are attached to those behaviors find it most difficult to adapt. We go into detail on how to create new behaviors that serve you better in our lesson on Mind Muscles
I have a lot of friends who have issues trading this is perfect for them and myself I look forward to taking the course Thanks
Dear Jen, we all have a human brain with the structures and glitches that come with it. As a result we are all in this together! Thanks for bringing your friends. I look forward to working with you
After taking the assessment, I realize that I need to be aware of what’s going on inside my head. Also, I realize I need to adapt a winning mindset. I have lots of room for improvement, and it begins with the psychological aspect, which is the most important part of trading. I feel that I can become a successful trader once I address this most important part of my trading plan. - Macy
Dear Macy, your awareness of your mental games as critical to success means that you are on the right path! Now, the question is, what are your current behaviors? What behaviors would server you better? And…here is the important question to look at: “What stops you?” That is where the rubber meets the road. Journal these three issues. Let me know what comes up for you
Whilst I have been trading for 8 years and I have a good system but I still constantly take my trades too early and miss the correct timing trade. Or I take a good entry and then look at it again and convince myself it is a bad entry take break even and then it goes as expected in my direction. -Colin Ross Jones
Dear Colin, Your brain changes its behaviors when you are about to trade and your reactions and decisions are from a different part of your brain, with a different neuro-chemical state. Then when you are NOT in a trade, you wonder why you did what you did. Does that feel right? If so, awareness of how you trigger a different brain state is helpful information. As mentioned in other posts, the first step is awareness. NOTICE what your body is doing (breathing, tensions, heart rate). Notice your emotional state…and the thoughts going through your head. Just notice and be aware for now. Don’t try to change a thing. The next step is acceptance and curiosity of what is going on. If you try to change before acceptance…the problem keeps coming back. We can work on the change part later.
I have been chasing the dream of becoming a professional full time trader for quite a few years now. I have tried trading stocks,options,forex and now futures. I have tried automated trading, blowing out many accounts. I have spent thousands of dollars over time for education, mentoring and various trading software programs. Fortunately for me I am too stubborn to give up.
I am now at the realization that it is not the system one uses or the asset class one trades but the mental game. Another problem I have is patience and discipline, learning to sit on my hands when there is no trade present and finally forming an opinion on the market instead of just trading what I see in the charts.
Paul, you are not alone. Your journey and issues are shared by many. And we have chosen to work on exactly these issues…not just information and education, but creating the behavioral changes you want. So for now, before the course starts, notice the exact moment that you feel pressure to trade. Notice in that moment your physiology, (muscles tension, breathing, heart rate, stomach etc.), notice your feelings and then notice your thoughts. Slow that moment down to a crawl. Become aware of everything. For now, don’t try to change. The first step is awareness, then the next step is acceptance and curiosity. The change is the final, but if your force change before awareness and acceptance, it tends to come back.