How to break through?

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by ThoughtfulFog, Sep 26, 2002.

  1. Every time my account turns positive I self destruct. All discipline goes out the window. I start blowing stops, taking trades outside my plan, and not listening to the market when it tells me to get out. Even if the only thing I did was to fix my stop problem, I'd be consistently positive.

    For those more experienced... did you have these discipline problems? How did you overcome them?

    I know EXACTLY what I'm doing wrong, I'm just too weak to stop.
  2. the main thing is that you stop trading for a while so you don't go completely broke.

    As for what will fix you, well only you can figure that out. Just on the surface it sounds like you are trading for the emotional lift that it gives you rather than to make money, but i'm not a shrink.
  3. Htrader

    Htrader Guest

    This self-destructive behavior could be because subconsicously you don't think you deserve the money. Thus whenever you turn positive, you do whatever it takes to lose that money.

    Maybe you think since trading is so different from normal forms of work, the money you get is different somehow.

    The solution is to tell yourself you deserve every cent you make.

    BTW I pulled all this out of "The Disciplined Trader" by mark douglas. A great book.
  4. lescor


    Originally posted by ThoughtfulFog

    I lost all my money a couple times over.

    These are the kinds of problems that keep Dr. Phil in business. If you have a thorn in your foot and it hurts, but you don't take it out, it must not hurt bad enough.

    It could also be that you have a self-sabaotoge tendancy stemming from some other issues in your life. There are a few good books that can help identify that and deal with it.
  5. catman


    What you are experiencing is no different than what we all face.
    What it boils down to is desire. How badly do you want to succeed? Dealing with ourselves is the most difficult aspect of becoming a successful trader. We recognize the problems yet we tend to make the same mistakes over and over again.
    There is no simple solution. It's a matter of applying the discipline
    and following the rules. If you approach trading from with a detached attitude regarding the money in your account, that will help. You cannot look at every trade from a profit/loss standpoint.
    You must see trading as a job that you have to do. When you recognize a setup or pattern you act on it with certain parameters
    that are set in place prior to the trade. There should be no thought, only action. If "A" happens, you remain in the trade. If "B" happens, you're out....and on to the next. Think about a baseball player. If he strikes out, he does not let that affect the next at bat. If he does, he will be looking for a new career...same with trading. The desire must be strong enough to allow you to implement the discipline necessary to follow the rules you set in place. If you cannot do that, then you must question the depth of your commitment.
    If you are in a funk, trade with smaller size and nibble at smaller profits. The first thing is to feel good about yourself as a can't do that if you're in a downward spiral. Analyze
    your trades but more importantly, yourself at the end of every trading day. Write down what you liked about what you did, and especially about what you didn't like....and you must work on improving both aspects of your trading.

    It's all about desire....if you want to succeed that badly, you will find the discipline...
    Just my 2cents

    Good luck
  6. for your replies. All of you have some grains of truth in there. But I don't want to turn this into my personal psychological sounding board. I'll have to figure it out on my own.

    I just find it fascinating. Has anyone ever thought that you're not trading price... you're trading your own emotions?

    Intraday, I bounced my equity off my breakeven support line. I mean within pennies. Coincidence? Yeah right. The subconscious is a powerful thing. One emotion said "LOSE IT". Then when I reached breakeven, I got pissed, everything became clear and I rallied off it. One emotion became less valuable than the other. Just interesting.
  7. Perhaps you are simply too attached to the P&L. Why are you even looking at it or paying any mind to it in the midst of action?
    Focus on trading well and the money should follow.

    Sounds as if you are indeed trading your emotions...

    PEACE and good trading,
  8. dotslashfuture writes:
    "As for what will fix you, well only you can figure that out. Just on the surface it sounds like you are trading for the emotional lift that it gives you rather than to make money, but i'm not a shrink."

    Well you could be a shrink because you have it pegged. A typical
    'gambler' mentality and as such, the money is not the goal of trading but the action IS! As a recovering gambler and student of the human condition I can attest to that.
    All gamblers (we most of them anyway) have a certain self-destruct in their play and the control and self preservation goes out the window as soon as a certain monetary threshold (or some other condition) achieved.
    I remember this famous crap shooter. Made 22 million in two years from nothing....he did not care for the money he wanted to bankrupt and own the Binions Horseshoe (for some crazy kicks)
    Needless to say his luck turned and he lost it all!
  9. Pabst


    Great username!:) Sounds like you already know the answer. I've lost it all three times, and still reach equity "resistance levels." Solving your psychological issues may never happen. While meaningful change can be instituted to a point, some baggage that we carry on a sub conscious level will always exist. We are who we are. We have hangups about money and sex and power and this and that, well thats our thing. We also have spontaneous creativity and compassion and that's also our thing. So use mechanics to manage the risk that your psyche is too weak to handle. Use stops, on ALL your trades, set a DAILY stop limit. What you'll find Fog, is that self destruction is like every thing else. It passes for a while before it comes back. When those urges are present, use the easily available tools to fight it.
  10. monee


    Great answers everyone..

    What worked for me:
    Daily loss limit with broker.
    Removed P&L from screen.
    Just focus on setups and think about the skill/art of the setup and how well you traded it, as opposed to dollars.
    If the price for your entry or time for your entry is not close walk away, or if your not going to walk away and surf the net, minimize your charting program.
    If you have had a decent day and the environment changed leave the house!
    Be happy if you followed your entry and exit criteria on a trade an don't sweat it, if the trade moved more after you closed it.
    If you feel tired or something is upsetting you don't trade. Those are the day's where I have the worst discipline.
    #10     Sep 27, 2002