I often write about mindset, attitudes, psychological hangups and emotional problems that plague traders. The following is from a friend on mine, Noman Hallett, who has delved deeply into such matters. âIt occupies a chapter in just about every trading book ever written. Itâs been preached by every lecturing market guru since the Aden Sisters danced to the music of the gold market. âGo ahead and hire a personal trading coach and likely the second thing he or she will utter will be these chosen words (right after âFutures trading is speculative and only risk capital should be used.â)â¦ and those words are, âLimit your losses and let your winners runâ. âOK. Weâve been told. âBut you didnât have to tell us. It makes perfect sense. âOn a rollââ¦ âGo with the flowââ¦ âRide the waveââ¦ âGet out while the gettingâs goodââ¦ weâve heard both sides of those golden words massaged in numerous different phrases. We get it. âDuring my trading and coaching days, I would re-visit students that I trained weeks or months previously and low and behold I would discover that many of them were actually doing the opposite... letting their losses run and limiting their gains. âAfter a while I wasnât surprisedâ¦ I would go into a refresher visit EXPECTING to see âlimit/run ruleâ repeatedly ignored. âI would ask the students âWhy?â... There were many different stories but one main themeâ¦ all the traders, in some way, had gotten out of emotional control. âDuring their trainings, I had made sure that they had done extensive back-testing on their systems and I did that because I knew that the more they tested and saw that their system would have been successful, the more they would TRUST in the system and have the strength the follow its signals, especially through rough periods. âApparently, simply back-testing, and seeing âwould-have-beenâ results wasnât enough to keep these traders in emotional control. What I had been missing was that these traders were taking the losing PERSONALLY! âThese new traders had been seeing losing trades as reasons to let negative thoughts into their heads. A loss would mean that all the articles they read about âgamblingâ traders may be true. All the family accusations that they were crazy traders â¦ well, that could have some merit! âThis kind of negative thinking (as well as other forms of related negative thinking) makes it so you donât want to take a loss. If you take a loss, maybe youâre that much closer to that idiot trader that youâve been accused of. âSo you enter a trade (after, say, coming off a losing trade) and it starts to go south. As the market heads for your stop, you start looking around at the news, or a chart of a âsisterâ market thatâs showing strength, searching for an excuse to make it OK to lift your stop. Found it. ââ¦ Cancel the trade.â Stop Canceled. If the market comes back, youâll be the smart guy or gal that made the right move and turned a loser into a winner. What you really just did, however, is turn a potential winner into a potential loser.. YOU. You may have had a winning trade, but you will lose in the end. You learned the wrong lesson. Itâs not about YOU. Itâs about THE MARKET. If you donât take your emotions out of it, you donât have a shot. You must see yourself as a trader not someone who is becoming a trader. Thereâs very little room for mistakes in your trading. Leverage makes sure of that. If you are going to play in the Big League, you have to do act and do what the Big Leaguers doâ¦ right from the beginning. Do all you practicing on the paper-trading playing field. Once you put your money up, you either do what your tested system tell you to do or pick a different profession. If youâre not training mentally, youâre not giving yourself the best chance laughing in the face of your relatives!