Q: I often feel nervous after entering into a trade, even though I felt confident that I am betting the right direction. What would you guys do to overcome this?
A: these are from some of the traders.
"Reduce your position size till you have more success and confidence."
"I believe every trader is basically nervous
...the moment they place their bet and wait to see how things magically unfold, all in due time,
That nervous feeling essentially will never go away. for as long as you trade. -- it's a part of the game,
Not betting huge or crazy or without thought helps a tiny bit in managing those emotions.
"confident" is kind of an ugly and dangerous word to use in trading...you should never feel confident or too confident in your convictions;
Your mind and brain should be very loose and nimble and malleable still for potentially anything,
Every minute and second of watching the market...you take in data and perceptions and variables...and those constantly change, in varying degrees, in affecting your future outlook,
May the Force be With You, extraterrestrials"
"If you're nervous, you're not trading small enough. You can almost trade as small as you like, having as wide stop-loss as you're most comfortable with. Your largest loss will be almost certain, thus no reason to be anxious."
"I overcame this via changing the times of my workout routine from evening to the 1.5 hours just before the trading day begin.
Also, I often do "relaxing techniques" during the trading day and sometimes in the middle of a trade."
" first trade small and widen stop-loss, even if just to feel how trading feels then. This gives great freedom as you release more and more mental shackles and limitations.
Second, backtest till you puke. Do this 10-20 times. Then some more, maybe let's say 10-100x that, all the while improving quality of the backtesting process. If your system don't backtest, how can you be even sure it works at all?"
There are only two causes of anxiety. While you may be able to think of many anxiety causing situations, it’s very likely they all could fit under these two broad headings.
- Loss: We feel anxiety over loss. Loss can be real, threatened or imagined. We lose a loved one and are anxious about what we will do without them. We may imagine losing our job, and feel anxious about where we will live and how we’ll pay for food. We may be bullied, blackmailed or held at gun point where there is a threat of financial or physical loss.
Often (but not always) loss is the result of something external, and therefore out of our control (side note: suffering can simple be described as trying to control the uncontrollable–that which is outside ourselves and beyond our control). A trader will lose some trades no matter how much they prepare, study and research.
Therefore, anxiety will always exist, because there is always the possibility of real loss. But we can learn how to channel it in a more constructive way. We can also learn to minimize imagined anxiety and prepare ourselves to handle potential threats.
- Lack of Confidence: If loss creates anxiety, then confidence is our belief in our ability to handle loss. Lack of confidence to handle a loss results in more anxiety. If you lose your job, a lack of confidence in your skills results in your mind cycling through not only the real job loss, but also imagined and threatened losses, such as losing your house, your spouse, your kids, your car…..the list goes on.
If you have confidence in your skills, losing your job isn’t such a bad thing. Yes, there is a real loss there, and likely some anxiety, but you know you can find a new job and so don’t get caught in the cycle of creating additional anxiety for yourself.
If you train yourself in self-defense or negotiation, you increase your confidence in these areas and therefore will feel less anxious about things that threaten you with loss.
Confidence and lack of confidence are internal resources (or lack of). Therefore, unlike real losses, confidence is within our ability to control.
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