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How does one deal with FOE (Fear of Entry)?

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Seattle, Washington
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart/SC Data
Broker/Data: Interactive Brokers
Favorite Futures: ES
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johny1971 View Post
Has anyone else dealt with the fear of entering trades and experience the following ruminations? If so, how did you remove that fear?

I am trying to get to the next level of success and the obstacle in my way is the fear to enter trades. I will rely on personal patience and rules to get me through this obstacle. Why do I not enter trades? Fear of loss of things that are ego and money. I must let these things go to move through the obstacle. I will decide to enter trades. I will decide that the outcome does not reflect on me. I will decide to trust rules. I can control how I function. I can control my decisions and follow through on those decisions. Today I will watch market with rules in my head. I will wait for rules to highlight a set up. I will enter set ups. I will not evaluate myself or account. Trading is not about me.

I'm a discretionary trader, trading the ES as well.

After transitioning from sim to live I also experienced fear at the moment entry was to be made. It was mild at first, grew worse, then began subsiding. At its worst the fear caused me not to pull the trigger on some good trades. In those cases watching the trades play out, seeing the potential they had, realizing I forfeited that profit due to fear was, in itself, a part of curing my fear of a stop loss.

Additionally, I paid attention to weak areas in my trading plan that I was able to perceive after going live. For each of these I would go to replay and specifically work on improving/eliminating the revealed weakness.

I like trading the ES very much, though it is a demanding instrument. Patience and discipline are essential. Entries must be well planned and well timed. Stops have to be fairly tight. Trade management is extremely important (it's what helps us capture some larger moves, thus reducing the significance of typical stop losses). If you lack confidence in any of these key areas this will cause your fears to increase. As necessary take time to tighten up everything that needs tightening.

One exercise I did for a couple of days after having gone live (realizing I was experiencing too much fear) was to enter and manage trades only in my mind (probably 1 to 3 trades each day). My charts were live, but I entered no live orders. Instead I took the trades in my mind, noted the exact price of each entry, then managed them step by step to exit (if I was fortunate enough to have something to manage). I don't know why but something about that exercise helped me quite a bit. On the next day of live trading I was more relaxed. My fear was not gone, but was noticeably reduced.

You mention "ego" in relation to "fear of loss". Work on separating in your mind the wise use of a stop loss from any concept of "losing", or being a "loser". These are entirely unrelated things. The best traders in the world use stop losses effectively, unflinchingly and without any sense whatsoever of personal failure or regret. On the contrary, prudent stop losses are one of the most empowering tools there is for helping good traders make lots of money.

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