For background, I've been daytrading for 3 months, scalping NYSE stocks. I'm usually in a trade for 5 seconds-5 minutes, and usually am looking to make between 10 and 30 cents with between 1 and 10 cents of risk. I've recently started to get A LOT better - I'm able to consistently read the order flow and tape of certain stocks, and able to more accurately ascertain when the orderflow is unreadable. What's holding me back is the "mediocre" trades, or the purely downright "bad" trades. There are certain setups I like, but my trading style is very discretionary and cannot be summarized in a list of "these are the acceptable setups" to take. Therefore, saying "only take particular setups" won't be helpful. Anyway, I'm sort of rambling, but my problem is that when I'm down money - especially an amount of money near my "max loss" for the day - (which is a hard number, but it's flexible depending on the situation and what my firm's head says) - I become very irritated, anxious, and have a pressing need to make money... I churn, get into trades and quickly get out when I have a profit, and sometimes get out just when I'm break even after (or before) commissions. Unless I catch something good when doing this, either through luck, or because I stumble upon a setup or scenario I'm familiar with, I lose money from fees and sometimes from losses which aren't made up for by wins. Today, I lost about $50 doing this. I was over my max-loss, and anxiously trying to make it back quickly, knowing I would be reprimended for trading beyond my limit. Then, I saw a great setup in a stock I had been trading all day, and made 25 cents on 200 shares. This still had me down to a level I was uncomfortable with, and I DID THE SAME THING... and lost another $35 and then I found another great setup, and made 22 cents. In the $85 I lost trying to frantically reach an arbitrary target, maybe $15-25 of the losses were "good" trades that didn't work out - and if so, that's a stretch. Had I just waited for those two 25 and 22 cent trades, I would have actually finished positive today. This state also comes when I'm up a certain amount - say $150, then go to a level I don't like - $85 - and get really anxious and pissed. Besides the obvious stress-management related solutions, does anyone have any interesting insight on this dilemma of mine?