A-men! When I hit a rough streak in trading I stopped using real money and went back to virtual for nearly 2 months, (re)learning price action and market flows. I both blew out and profited insanely well during this time as I refined my trading style "in the sandbox" where it only cost me time. And on days where I lost big, you betcha I was peeved that night, and would always know what it was I did -- which usually came back to me not following my trading style and thus being "stupid." It also helped build my confidence to get back into the real world again using real money. While I don't use fixed stop-losses on the futures because of the whipsaw action of certain contracts (unless I'm leaving the desk) I have mental stops and will stick by them at all times. Also, when I am getting ready for what looks to be a runner (ie, 5+ point moves) is to enter my ES or ER2 trade and before the confirmation shows up on my screen, I almost immediately set a first take profit (usually 1/2 the position) at (say) 2 points. That way I'm not getting all excited (greedy) about X contracts increasing in value as the trade goes my way -- I hit my first TP point, my position gets smaller, and then I can further refine the trade and either set a new profit point, set a stop at breakeven (just to be safe), or start to scale in/out further as I think appropriate. But having my first TP point fixed and automated allows me to control the risk of the position in case the trade goes against me after it becomes profitable -- and keeps me from letting greed take over too quickly in the case where the trade is working well for me. Other times I'll enter a position and within a minute or two sense it won't go my way -- ie, in cases where the price action gets really choppy and just "hovers" there on the chart. I'll see if I can exit at breakeven, wait for a more viable and confident entry, and then go back in. Sometimes that's meant I miss out on a few ticks/points on a big move....but mostly it's saved me from being on the wrong side of a poorly-entered position, and NOT losing money is the next best thing to earning it. I also rarely 'chase' big moves out of impulse -- if I don't have the right setup in mind first, I'm not going to enter on a whim, and certainly not with a big position. (Translation: I'd rather leave some money on the table and exit a position early at a decent profit - or breakeven - according to my trading style than fight to get every single tick or point there is. That's a sure way to blow your account!) Regarding your stop discipline: USE THE COMPUTER AUTOMATION - that's what it's there for. Set your profit and/or protective stops and just watch the trade develop either way but DO NOT change them until they get hit. [*] If you're profitable, awesome -- assess the action and either exit completely or put a new stop in. If you're stopped out for a loss -- the good news is that the damage has been contained, you're out of the position, and there's no urgency or need to panic and thus make your problems worse. You're flat. Bruised, perhaps -- but not killed. Trust me, the computer automation really helps remove the emotion (namely, fear, greed, and worst of all, hope) and keeps you disciplined -- which is the hardest part of trading anything, and something we all face. One final point: While there's the old saying "you have to be in to win" there's a corrollary to that truism that says "there'll always be another opportunity." Don't force a trade -- if you're not confident, confused, unsure, SIT IT OUT AND WAIT for something to develop that you feel confident about risking money on. There's no shame in protecting your capital by waiting for a better pitch. [*] - Unless it's Fed Day or there's major economic news around. Then, even if you have fixed stop losses, be ready to manually exit your position if the stop loss gets blown through as the result of such intense volume in a short period of time. I've seen stops get bypassed and ended up $4K in the red on Fed Day, but I was able to manually fix things and either break even or come reeeeal close to it -- one of the few times I've averaged-down, come to think of it.