Have you ever been in a situation where you have evaluated the market, saw your strategy set-up perfectly and then just couldn’t pull the trigger? You become paralyzed, unable to move even though you know your high probability set-up has just triggered.
This fear is very real for many traders and very detrimental to your account. Fear is a powerful emotion, distorting fact from fiction and often creating an emotional response. Many experts tell you to trade without emotion, but is that really practical? We are indeed human. Remember the basis for the reaction is real, but the fear usually is not.
Fear blocks your ability to execute high probability trades and we must find strategies to manage our fear. With time comes experience and for traders it is the ultimate super hero for fear.
In the meantime, if you are struggling with fear-based execution challenges here are some simple tips to get you over the hump.
Embrace the Emotion
Acknowledge your emotions. If you find yourself analyzing a trade to the point of paralysis don’t try to ignore the emotions. Separate yourself from this river of negativity. Visualize yourself on the river bank as these torrents of emotions are flowing by. You will gain great awareness to the triggers and learn a lot about who you are as a trader.
Separate Fear from Fact
If you fear pulling the trigger because of loss (what if I am wrong?), that will stop you from enjoying the profits the market may make available to you at any given time. Don’t avoid the action that might cause the loss, but re-frame the problem as fear itself. You have evaluated the market, figured out your reward –to-risk ration and accepted your potential for loss through your stop-loss and money management plan. At this point loss is not the obstacle – fear is. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback and that will guide you to consistent and profitable trading.
Re-Think the Consequences
If your mind is off to the races with all sorts of possibilities what’s the worst that can happen if Murphy’s Law gets enacted during your trade? You have already addressed this in your trading plan. Plan your trade and trade your plan. Again fear is trumped and the only way it can be realized is if you didn’t follow your plan. Sticking to your plan is the clearest way to distinguish between a losing trade, which is just a part of business, and a bad trade which is a career killer!
Act in Spite of Fear
Feel the fear and do it anyway. Return to your mission statement or your “why?” statement. The reasons you trading should be big enough to overcome any possible obstacle your fear emotion can conjure up. Acknowledge the fear and do it anyway. You may not have a winning trade, but you will have executed your plan and over time probability will pay you back.
What is all comes down to is the intangibles of trading. Why do I and so many others drive home discipline-based Forex Education and Training approaches. You will never get rid of fear, but with practice you can turn it into a manageable obstacle and deploy it to your advantage.