My personality issues: am I a chicken?

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by gaidaros, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. gaidaros


    Dear fellows,
    the purpose of this thread is to expose some personality issues which I have noticed lately. Maybe a few of you have been or are at this stage:

    There is a clear discrepancy between my decisions when real money is involved opposed to paper trading it. I am not afraid to lose, I have a well-paid day-job and the capital reserved for trading I have 'de facto' considered it as lost, so no stress there. Still, my mind seems to work differently when putting a real trade on, it seeks confirmation etc, and then of course it is too late. When paper trading it all goes fine. Precision is way to accurate to be pure chance. I only use live price as my guide, no indicators or other sidewheels, I am quite good at pattern recognition.

    It is not a money-management issue, that is in control and that is why the account is not blown-up yet.

    I have noticed similar traits at the beginning of my other career, which I managed to overcome simply by daring more. Same thing applied to extreme sports, I was a chicken when I did slalom-waterskiing.

    Could this be the answer, am I a chicken? Or is it different this time?

    I hope my thoughts will at least help some people in a similar situation not to feel alone.

    best regards,

  2. Cesko


    I had the same thing, it drove me so fucking crazy. With other endeavors it works the same.
    Seeing profitable set ups go one after another then take a trade and lose money. And this went on and on and on. I think it's some kind of evolutionary thing and it's supposed to teach you something. From my experience you are just talking about entries and have no rules for exits. Try to make the whole process more rule based. I would guess market should start cooperating much better when you do that. At least that did it for me.
    You are definitely not the first with this shit going on.
    I would be really interested to know how it works for you in the future so let us know.
  3. lindq


    Well, most likely you are. Fear of failure - or to put it another way, fear of not succeeding - is very common.

    This is something you may not have faced in other parts of your life. But trading has a unique characteristic in that it is only you who is responsible for winning or losing. And when you put money on the line, the results are clear and unambiguous. Either you were right, or you were wrong. Some people can face that. But frankly, many can't.

    The only suggestion I can offer is to look at trading - the process or the profession - as more than one trade. With enough experience and consistent success, you will get to the point where you are confident enough of your methods and systems that losing one trade, or even a couple, means nothing to you. Screw it, just let it rip.

    But without that attitude, it means putting yourself on the line for every single frigging trade, and that is a recipe for frustration. Nobody wins every trade, or every day. But...if after a month you are still seeing red, literally and figuratively, then you need to reconsider what you're doing.

    Restart your process, but with very, very small positions. Get yourself into the habit of following your instincts (if you can trust them.) Then gradually size up as your confidence builds. This will also help you avoid the big losses that typically put people out of the trading business, either for psychological or purely financial reasons. And it will help you overcome the fear of pulling the trigger and taking every small loss personally.

    Some fear will always be present. And it should be. We never know what's off the right side of the chart waiting for us. That's why they call it "Climbing the wall of worry" .

    Good luck.
  4. Google Denise Shull.

    Download her video's. Look for ANNA. Then feel the fear, hear the thoughts, and take appropriate action.

    As you already know, it requires work and energy but its doable.
  5. Chickeness is part of the human genome. If humans were not chicken they never would have survived the caveman days.

    It was the cautious humans who lived to reproduce. The others got bent over by natural selection.

  6. A few things to think about, whether it's conscious or subconscious:

    Self-sabotaging behavior from fear of success, or fear of failure.

    Perfectionism including:
    self-deprecation when it is used to excuse poor performance or to seek sympathy and affirmation from other people ("I can't believe I don't know how to reach my own goals. I must be stupid; how else could I not be able to do this?").
  7. Try trading them both together. Paper and money. Same trades. I alternately worked my strategies between them, executing all paper, then money. Not quite but paper had the feel of money, till I resovled some issues. I guess my point is to try something to work this through.
  8. Hi, gaidaros

    > I have noticed similar traits at the beginning of my other career

    I think time solves all the problem, just like it did for you with other things. This trading thing should be exactly the same as what you have overcome.

    From my experience, you can concentrate on what you are doing at first. In this regard, you could worry too much. As time goes by, you cannot stick to it too much, because you will be accustomed to what you are doing and things will become more like "businesslike".

    I really hope you feel OK.
  9. You might go around being more chicken of everything. Some useful thought might appear.

    I am afraid all the time. It keeps me from risking too much and experiencing roller coaster account equity curves. I can handle some volatility but not a lot of volatility.
  10. You have received some good advice here already: fear of failure/success, perfectionism, accepting losses ect...

    Always remember that EVERY trader has losing trades, even the greatest in the world, it's part of the job. Of course we know part of the solution to this is to cut your losses & stay around to trade another day. When you trade remote or by yourself, sometimes you forget this. As opposed to if you are in an office or communicate with other traders, you realize they make mistakes too...sometimes exactly the same wrong trade LOL

    Here is a link to a book that helped me when I was struggling with this issue. It's not a "trading book", but it might help you identify something about yourself to help with this trading issue. It's one of a very few books I could find about taking risk:

    Good luck & good trading
    #10     Sep 28, 2007