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My Significant Change
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My Significant Change

  #11 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
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Yes, you got it. There is something else about that point tho. I'm pretty sure that whatever I got into in my life, when it was new, I'm sure that I was obsessed with it all day and night and I was probably annoying to everyone around me since it was all I was wanting to talk about.

That may be a good thing since it means I'm putting all of my energy into it and it should make me very conscientious. ...maybe added 'grit.'

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  #12 (permalink)
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any feeling at all, besides confidence, is energy in the limbic brain area.

I'm hungry - a feeling placing some energy in limbic area of my brain

I'm tired - a feeling placing some energy in limbic area of my brain

I'm happy - a feeling placing some energy in limbic area of my brain

each additional feeling is energy that subtracts from our total energy and adds to the limbic area

However, where do we, as traders, as analysts need all of our energy? The frontal lobe, nowhere else.

this is why I am constantly monitoring my feeling and needs and *expressing them as much as I possibly can 19 hours a day so that the remaining 5 hours of trading, i can feel confident, the only feeling i allow at those 5 hours, so that i can focus 99% of my brain energy on the task at hand, analysis for potential trading, all in the frontal lobes.

I'm on year 6 of losing, but only recently, in the past 2 months, have i been able to put the emo side together in a way that advances my abilty to be disciplined. The only way for me to have trading discipline is to have no other feeling during those 5 hours and also the critial part is to *be aware if I happen to have a feeling that i have not yet fully dealt with that creeps into that 5 hour zone, if so I need to not open the trading platform since dealing with a feeling pretty much means working it out - expression and i will be expressing and that point #8 was that one can not express via trading, why? because the energy is in the limbic, not the frontal, and that makes for half-headed thinking, I will chase after large bars, take every break out, bread down, use hope, over trade, etc., all the mistakes, oh yea, and gamble and trade until i can't since i will try to fix losses, and i will go and go and go until i either have an emotional breakdown myself and realize what I've done, or I'll run out of account cushion and approach minimum margin! yep, pretty bad.... however, since these significant changes, i haven't done that in months and plan on never doing it again. These are the tools that i have developed and applied from other info that others developed and I've applied in order to straighten myself out, i don't fear loss in the market, i fear straying from the use of my tools that keep me straightedn out and my rules that keep me sane and protect my capital. These are my new nightmares, because I've been there.

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  #13 (permalink)
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latest revelation - grit is not obsession


the Ted short lecture on grit and determination being the most reliable indicator of success, was very helpful.

it got me to become aware of another subtle idea that is very powerful. They tend to be that way for me. Something that seems either obvious or, 'yea, so...' but if it applies to one of my issues, it's huge.

Most of my losses are due to mistakes. Having a tight stop helps me to exit fast and then start the analysis on what happened.

Friday was another one of these and led me to realize that grit and determination is not obsession.

Obsession is a feeling, bad for trading, but there's more.

Obsession leads to procrastination in other parts of my life, also can lead to being unprepared, extended sessions, and compuslive behavior that can result in impulse trades, bad for trading; can be a component of anxiousness and anxiety,

Obsession reduces my discipline in trading.

This is such a big revelation it may even be a breakthru for my trading. And most of these trading revelations and breakthroughs also have an impact on all other areas of my life which is why this journey is so satisfying.

I watched part of The Pit (2011) again and was more aware of the psychology and feelings of these guys, after having greater insight, it was like seeing it for the first time even tho I've seen it 3x or so.

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  #14 (permalink)
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today's lesson for me on psych is that i need to drop the requirement for perfection in my trading patterns. Ok, ok, ok, ok, ok, it was a good test of my ability to be disciplined enough to wait for my favorite pattern and it's 6 variations to form perfectly BUT i got into a little jam from this. Perfection in isolation can easily be perfectly wrong.

today, i didn't like any of the patterns forming on any of the contracts i watch, about 15 or so, then i happened to find my perfect pattern, but it was in isolation, it did not have support that i usually look for to back it up ( internals, intramarket corellations, etc...) and it was also set up counter to larger, more significant patterns. I was saved by a super tight stop i have on every single entry with my bracket.

my pattern was perfect, but it was counter trend intraday, lesson learned.

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  #15 (permalink)
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I am so not used to having gains of any significance that when I finally am in the green, I am in a different psychological situation.

A few things change, enough things so that my psych when I was losing and working a very specific way to improve, somehow is gone.

The one thing I know for sure is that it changes my attitude regarding risk.

I guess it makes sense that after a long series of gains in trades/sessions/days/weeks the risk doesn't seem so painful as when I'm down and much more aware of it.

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  #16 (permalink)
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another revelation

...another psych revelation, maybe one of the final ones, ...but I always say that...

For a while, I started to be consistent in my approach and it caused consistent gains and kept losses small.

Then, I had a terrible day. I felt compelled to trade again, enter, enter, enter... So I went back into self-evaluation mode.

After hours and hours of wondering, and doing things like driving, doing other things away from trading, I figured out that I was "triggered" by something and I was angry at someone and I said to myself, "I have to get the hell out of here..." So the thing is, I forgot that i was this pissed off, and it sunk down into my subconscious and, as Maxwell Maltz says, we can program our "servo mechanism," which is his name for the subconscious that we program to help us, and we are all driven by our subconscious without knowing it. I wrote many pages on this in my journal, of course....

So my subconscious "driver," drove me to do what it thought was the way to huge financial success and independence, home runs, huge gambling type of gains. So I relapsed into that old, "trading-day-one," type of newbie errors, over traded, lost huge.

After realizing this, I decided it was back to my level-headed emotional state, and I became consistent again in my trading and my gains.

Well, I don't learn so easily, or ever on the first lesson, yep... I did it again, and maybe even a few times, but this prior time, ...hard to admit this, but I blew my account. Which to me means, I've lost way down to the minimum margin so that I have to re-load $$$ to get a realistic account cushion over minimum margin. ( I never want a margin call... )

This time, however, it sank in a lot deeper and I have lots of notes and cards and I re-wrote it many different ways, and one thing that is allowing it to be far less severe than prior setbacks, is that prior to this big one, I've had 6 weeks of not one loss on any day's session. Some were +$10, some +$150, some day no trades, and a few started as draw downs with recoup into the black. So knowing that I've basically proven to myself that I have come a very, very long way and I'm a seriously good trader now, I didn't have to freak out and go so far deep into misery like I've been thru for the past 5 1/2 years.

I was amazed that it took me so many times to get serious about this issue and keep it in my conscious awareness, like, "how many times do I have to do this huge, huge, mistake!?!" I won't trade in an emo state or ignore emo states that I have experienced but haven't worked out or pushed down, or wrote it out and dealt with it. I'm still scared that I won't realize it tho, since that was the issue! Like Dr. Brett Steenbarger suggests, "take your emotional temperature." The question is, How?!

So my advice to myself is to be aware of my emotions and accept the fact that they go deep. My even having deep emo happens to be something I've been brought up to NOT believe, which is another huge group of psych revelations I've worked on....

Good trading to you.

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  #17 (permalink)
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An issue I had was frustration. I was working hard, trading well, having gains like every day is positive for weeks, but the money was really insignificant. Then on top of that, i had a small downturn, that triggered something bad. I started to look outside of my trading plan and i added in an indicator that seemed to work for a couple of trades, so then i went nuts with it and treated it like the holy grail and lost huge. Embarassing to admit it that after 5 1/2 years of this that i would fall down on my face like that ...the good news is that i'm aware of it, that big red bar on the P&L is ugly and a daily reminder of that "trigger" and how easy it is to be stupid and mess it up that much....

more good news is that I'm back to a series of days with very small losses and larger gainers and gain days in a series.

I also continue to remind myself that the amount is not yet important, i'm not looking to pay myself until i have enough of a track record of consistent rule following and great entries and account cushion to increase the minimum risk i'm using. It's a good goal to have. Stick to this so i can add a 2nd car.

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  #18 (permalink)
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I'm hanging out here because I had a decent scalp pre market today in TF at the 18 hour pullback point, (long) and since then there's been a ton of overlap.... but also, that trade put me over my best month statistic and I know that if i ruin it, it would mess me up emotionally.

Yes, I'm messed up emotionally already, but I know myself enough to know that if I did lose now, I wouldn't be handling that loss well. It would likely cause me to get triggered into revenge trading to make that statistic back, so .... since I know that at this point i am ok, but if i continue i would not be able to manage a loss, then i can't risk a loss. I'm trading my psychology at the moment, not the market. This is not good if I was working for someone else, maybe, but I'm taking the day off to go do tons of errands. I'm keeping this stat for today.

This sounds convoluted and crazy, but at this point, i know what i can and can't do, and i accept that I either fight it and lose, or manage it better and lose less.

Loss is so common and i've learned to take it and take it soon, but if I am in the mindset of not being able to take it, then it is likely that i would not take the small loss, but hold on for hoping it would turn around, and that only works maybe 2% of the time, and those odds are against me 50 to 1 so I'm not taking those odds becuase - another psych issue that i have is that if i am down a ways, when i get back to BE, I kill, since going thru heat once is enough I can't pass up the opportunity to exit if I think that i might get back to losing! Which BTW, is what support and resistance is all about, right?

Why know thyself? So that I can manage thyself, not change thyself. Change is nearly impossible.

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  #19 (permalink)
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jaytrades View Post
Why know thyself? So that I can manage thyself, not change thyself. Change is nearly impossible.

Agreed. We only change when we completely accept ourselves and our current situation, and then any changes that do take place were usually unexpected ones anyway.

Travel Well
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  #20 (permalink)
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Do you feel your trading rules give you an edge, positive expectancy? If you do then you shouldn't have to go through so many emotional roller coasters. When the drawdowns come, just reference your backtests, make sure you are within normal allowable drawdowns, and if so, just push on. Without some sort of historical validation of your system/rules it's pretty hard, for me, to trade with confidence.

I'm not sure how you trade or what rules you are following, but maybe you need to find a way to trade without so many emotional highs and lows. And minimize losses to 1-2% of your account. If your account is small then it's hard to do that with futures because 1 contract, the smallest possible position size, requires thousands of dollars of margin, unless you are trading mini contracts. If this is your situation maybe you should try stocks or options.

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