This may sound all too simple, but in order to overcome trading fears, you first have to be willing to admit that those fears exist, and that they are causing you problems or undue stress. Believe it or not, it’s often that very first step that proves problematic for traders. So today, as I ask you to be honest about your biggest trading fears, are you willing to identify and admit yours?
If it’s any help, I’m going to tell you about mine, too…right up to and including the thing I’m perhaps most afraid of when it comes to the markets and trading (and life, for that matter!).
These are common trading fears, afterall, and items that traders must overcome in order to achieve consistency and long-term success. So while we can all work hard day to day and suppress these feelings, in the name of continued growth and prosperity, both in the markets and outside, be honest if any deep-rooted trading fears are plaguing you, and take steps toward conquering them for good!
Assuming proper risk controls are in place to eliminate the potential for catastrophic or unlimited loss, what’s the worst that could happen with any given trade? A small loss that’s deemed acceptable by you and your trading strategy, right? Isn’t it odd then, that fear of loss and perhaps a fear of being “wrong” are so hard for many traders to handle?
These trading fears tend to weigh heaviest at the moment of execution, causing delays and second thoughts as worries about the results of the trade begin to overshadow the justification for taking it. This is only one example of how fixating on the results of your trades—even though you can’t control them—is so damaging and counterproductive.
So if your trading fears are dominated by a “need” to win and/or be “right” about the markets, then try taking steps to focus more on the process and less on the outcome. Start to emphasize plan compliance instead, and feel confident whenever a trade is in the works that satisfies all of your qualifications. Doing so should help keep any fears about the end results from interfering with your ability to execute properly and on time.
The “Execute” button is a powerful thing, isn’t it? Pressing it often feels like the fate of the world is somehow in your hands, which is strange since we essentially relinquish any and all control the moment we press it! Nonetheless, fear about all the “What ifs” that can occur from that moment on are difficult to overcome, and simply not knowing what the future will hold often gives rise to all sorts of troubling trading fears.
Perhaps it’s all the planning and preparation, or how hard we try with every trade. Maybe it’s how emotionally invested we are, or maybe it’s our innate need as humans to be—or at least feel—in control. But having to let go and leave the outcome of your trades up to fate and solely in the hands of the markets is difficult whenever your fears about the unknown are strong.
If you tend to value control and avoid the unknown in your life and/or in the markets, it may help to acknowledge that fact, because it’s not necessarily a bad quality. In trading, however, there are plenty of natural human instincts that we must learn to turn off, and fear of the unknown is simply one of them. Besides hindering performance, fear of the unknown will also take away from the fun, enjoyment, and fulfilment you’d otherwise feel when trading freely and devoid of such trading fears.
I said I’d tell you mine if you told me yours, and this is it. I fear change—and snakes—but as you can imagine, only one of those is usually a problem in trading! Now change happens everywhere in the markets, from news and economic data, to rates and monetary policies, and especially price action…but that’s not what I’m afraid of.
I don’t, however, rush to get the latest software, gadgets, and technology, especially once I’ve finally gotten used to and comfortable using the last ones. And I never believe any hype out there about some new strategy, pattern, or indicator that’s the “next big thing.” I love repetition and structure, and thrive on doing the same things over and over, like scouting the same group of markets while looking only for a few, select patterns to trade. I’ll even admit that if ever there were a “next big thing,” that I would be hesitant and late to respond to it!
If you, too, tend to avoid change, though, then you have to at least wonder whether that’s holding you back as a trader? Are you repeating the same, old mistakes, for example, and are there changes and adaptations that would allow you to make the most of your trading strategy?
Don’t simply shy away from new ideas and processes because they are unfamiliar. Instead, recognize that change may be one of your trading fears, and especially when it comes to your market endeavours, try to be more open and objective. Your unique trading personality doesn’t have to match your human qualities exactly, and in cases like this, it shouldn’t! Even if it’s not natural to you, when you’re in trading mode, be confident, proactive, and more easily adaptable. It’s all in the name of your success, and I can personally attest that it can be done!
Trading is a long-term journey where you’ll forever learn new lessons, hone your skills, and conquer the fears that impede your progress through the various stages. Click below to become eligible for one-on-one mentoring sessions, and address your fears and developmental hurdles with the benefits of personalized trading education at your fingertips!