Resources for getting over fear of trading?

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by Aisone, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. Aisone


    I've been a long time 'mostly' successful trader, started more than 20 years ago (some years off in between). Some years were very successful years and over time I've grown and adapted to stay in the game. I used to have a lot of trading 'courage' and never let the butterflies and fears get to me.

    However in the past number of years I've gone thru some very difficult personal experiences that tweaked me and practically made me afraid of fear. I'm no longer fearless. Butterflies get to me now, which used to be simply an awesome sign of a good trade.

    I no longer have the strength to overcome the butterflies and have in general become afraid of taking risks. Even positions I know are good but temporarily ticking away from me are too tough to hold.

    For the most part I have a very good system, but to survive, I need to learn to overcome fear again so that I can actually stick with my system, something that used to come naturally.

    I've tried trading much smaller, but that hasn't worked. I've still had to reverse the smallest trades when they tick against me. Overall, I'm honestly ashamed and embarrassed of the weak ways I've been trading.

    Any suggestions to help get over the inability to sit with fear?
  2. cornix


    Can you tell, what exactly your fear is about? Formulate your fear precisely in correct terms, such as "fear of having a losing trade".

    Most likely you would not be afraid to trade if you were sure every trade is going to be a winner, right? :)
  3. Aisone


    I'm totally afraid of losing money and seeing positions go against me. Actually I always have been but previously that kept me disciplined and from being lax and from taking risks carelessly. It never kept me from making good trades or staying in them (well, I'm sure I chickened out sometimes, but...)

    Now I get paralyzed with volatility. Numerous times every day I inevitably see good trades, ones that I got out of or was too fearful to get in, quickly or eventually become the winner I thought it would be. It's very frustrating and makes me want to beat the crap out of myself each time.
  4. Aisone


    I simply won't survive as a trader much longer unless I find a way to overcome this.
  5. cornix


    Can you please elaborate more on your fears.

    Are you afraid that your strategy/tactics does not "work" anymore and that's why scared to take the trades?

    Or are you afraid of something else?
  6. He is telling you he has a fear of bar volatility which both of you cannot recognize.

    \his trading smaller ws an attempt to deal with the size of the red.

    He figured out smaller size was not the factor.

    all trding involves bar volatility. Most people name it "noise".

    If he wanted to work his way back into trading with fear and not letting fear affect him he could do a stat set on bar volatility. versus another market variable. then he would see the gaussian aspect of volatility of bars.

    To do this chart easily the other variable to cross with bar volatility would be a set of volume ranges.

    To look deeper into the matter he could cross bar overlap with volume ramges.

    With these two tables he could gain a relational setting of market variables compared to his unfounded fears.

    He has a set of entry contexts and their set ups which do not vary over time as he states. his demeaner has varied because of life style hazards that variable is common for people who do things those near to them do not understand.
  7. Aisone


    Thanks for the feedback, Jack. I've not really heard the term 'bar volatility' but that makes a lot of sense and is definitely a fear trigger. Measuring it and volume levels to help with expectations and predictions would be interesting to monitor and I can see how could potentially help mitigate fears. Thanks for that insight.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure it addresses my primary issue, which is to overcome fears as opposed to doing what I can to get rid of or lessen them. There will always be situations in trading that fear and anxieties will come into play, atleast for me, and I need to relearn how to cope with them properly no matter what level they manifest in. I used to consider fear and butterflies my friend, but over the years with the help of some personal experiences, it became my enemy to avoid and became associated with those situations. Those events no longer exist but the baggage obviously remains.

    Part of me thinks I should parachute out of airplanes, bungee jump, or anything else (with minimal actual risk) that will terrify me, but I would rather be able to relearn the right behavior while trading and not spending on those things.
  8. If you believe this, then it will be true for you. However, for me, one can come and go as often as one likes to trading.
  9. Are you a baby boomer approaching retirement by any chance?
  10. toc


    It takes a nearly psychopathic mind to overcome fears in trading.

    Follow certain time tested rules like 'cut your losses short, let your profits run'.

    I used to freeze when a trade went into a loss and before you know the loss becomes much big. Stops help in staying alive in the trading game. This ofcourse once you have good winning system.

    There are many brokers out there who will run a system for you for mere commissions only. They do a good job mostly. :)
    #10     Apr 14, 2013