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Self Sabotage - Help please
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Self Sabotage - Help please

  #1 (permalink)
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Self Sabotage - Help please

Hi All, I've been a member on here for a while but rarely visit the forum or post anything. I've been trading for over 8 years, trading mainly forex and indices.

I'm a family man,married, ( wife works ), have kids, middle aged, don't work as I have a history of depression/anxiety, coupled with aching limbs and can't hold down any job. I also dislike being disrespected in the work place which is the norm when you keep changing jobs as a casual labourer.

This has all led me to peruse trading as a hobby - career which I desperately want to succeed in as all of us do. Ok here is my problem self sabotage...

I get in a trade, I like to trade the intra day time frames, M15, M5, M1 but I use multi time frame analysis to spot sup&res levels in all the higher time frames.

When I enter I place a stop and a target which is usually 1:1 or greater and walk away. What follows is the problem. Firstly I can't bare to watch the screen, it kills me to watch if I'm in a trade.

Secondly, I can't think or focus while Im in a trade, I'm agitated, nervous and very un relaxed that is all I can think about, that trade I'm in.

thirdly I have a very strong desire to look at the screen, it burns me up inside, it overwhelms me, I have to have a look.

Then I go and sit at my terminal, look at the screen and cut the trade. If I'm barely in profit I cut it. If I'm losing I usually hold it but today I cut it and i'm totally disgusted in myself.

What typically follows is that the trade becomes a winner as in it hits my set target. Almost every time. I know this, I keep stats, I tell myself leave it alone it will probably be ok, you know it will get there don't touch it. But I can't stop myself.

My will power and self control while in a trade are absolutely weak. In most other areas of my life I'm reasonably disciplined and logical.

I have a trading plan that has all the advice for me to follow when in this predicament like observe the pattern, is it holding, is price doing what it usually does, retesting entry, playing candle games against you etc. I know the markets tricks, I anticipate its games to dump me off, I know I'm usually on a winner But I cut it anyway, it's pathetic and I hate myself for it.

My mood darkens, I fall in a hole and it's just a horrible all round experience. I just can't break away from this cycle. My account is not building profit like it should be and I think that I need help but don''t know where to turn'. I'm trying to teach my wife to be the trade manager and executor as to relieve that pressure on myself but she works and can't be here for me when I need her.

This all probably sounds over dramatic and such but it is absolutely killing me slowly inside...Thoughts or ideas anybody who may have been here and overcome it...please?

Jack of All Trades
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  #3 (permalink)
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One thought...

If you have a profitable method, why not automate (is it possible ?)
and then let the computer do the work...

If the system is well tested, and you tested it going forward
then you let it do the things that you know statistically it is good at

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  #4 (permalink)
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Melba swing View Post
This all probably sounds over dramatic and such but it is absolutely killing me slowly inside...Thoughts or ideas anybody who may have been here and overcome it...please?

Not over-dramatic at all, I believe this is quite common with trading.

On top of what rleplae suggested above (automating mechanical setups is an option that takes away the problem of managing the trade/looking at the screen... of course you may still want to interfere), may I also suggest a couple of articles related to trading psychology.

In particular the 2nd one describes exactly what you are going through: it's our brain that reacts to trading as if we were in imminent physical danger.

https://www.jigsawtrading.com/2017/09/15/self-sabotage-trading-exactly-overcome/

https://futures.io/psychology-money-management/42905-trading-psychology-articles-3.html#post658440


I don't have any magical solution to this, other than
  • By repetition, things gets better
  • Reframing the issue from a different point of view. Neuro-Linguistic-Programming is one of the techniques that can help. The Sedona Method also may help.

My 2 cents.

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rleplae View Post
One thought...

If you have a profitable method, why not automate (is it possible ?)
and then let the computer do the work...

If the system is well tested, and you tested it going forward
then you let it do the things that you know statistically it is good at

I can't automate because my trading is discretionary. I make my own market profile each session, then look at sentiment, the levels etc. All my trading has always been in real time, I've never back tested apart from looking at chart data from the past obviously but have never performed a strategy test as such.

Fear of being wrong, fear of losing and probably fear of success are all playing havoc with my mind no doubt.

Jack of All Trades
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@Melba swing

I also wanted to add... there are some good professionals in the field of psychology, going from the free-counselling sessions most countries offer, up to the Tony Robbins type people. If you have never used any of those it may be something to consider. Sometimes it's difficult to try and resolve things on our own and outside help can make a difference.

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I really like “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” By Dr. Joe Dispenza. The book details a multiple-pronged approach to change including writing and meditation. The meditation doubles as a relaxation technique. This may help you with your anxiety as well as foster change. Here is a guided meditation of his on YouTube, but I suggest reading the book and going through the 4-week program. The first 8 chapters of the book I can take or leave but the the end is gold.

https://youtu.be/t5UuyyBFvAs


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TTP

Joining a Trading Tribe might greatly help; if there isn't one in your area, start one.

I co-founded the Amsterdam tribe with one other just by acquiring the TTP book and starting from there. The tribe ran for almost 15 years, mostly with 4 - 5 members : it was useful, fun and some of us got to meet the inimitable Ed Seykota (now there's an interesting and unusual character !).

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Self Sabotage - Help please

The books of Alexander Elder - “Trading for a living” for example - are easy for reading and understanding. I read the psychology part only, his trading setups are not suitable for my trading.


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That's not your problem. Your problem is your trying to be a discretionary trader and you won't even look at the market once you enter a trade. How are you going to learn anything like that? If you lose or if you win, you need to watch the market. That's what defines a discretionary trader: ability to read markets.

Your anxiety is because at some level you probably know you should be watching the market but you're afraid you'll mess it up. This is causing the conflict within you.

What kind of size are you trading? You should drop your risk to something you are comfortable with. As for taking the stop when your in a trade, markets target stops in all time frames but pick something quantifiable in advance.

Let's just imagine for a moment yourself compared to another trader and let's assume you both start with the same ability and the same trading idea even. Now trader B. watches the market while he/she's in a trade. He or she watches it and studies in real-time. He's developing a higher level of market cognition. Trader A (you) on the other hand are not watching the market. In 6 months where do you think you'll be compared to trader B? What about in a year? In 2 years?

Asking your wife to execute trades is a huge responsibility and depending on how frequently you trade the execution can be a significant aspect of trading ability. Everybody will make a mistake at some point. That's part of developing your trading ability too.

Also markets move all the time-- the longer ago you pick your point then the more likely the market is likely to have moved far off it.

My advice: start watching the market. That's the first thing. To start with, just stick with your fixed exits and agree not to take any actions. Do that for at least 10 trades. If after 10 trades, try to gauge what you learned. In your case, you may also want to try a similar but alternate path:Watch the market. Develop your market cognition (ideas about what the market will do). But, don't take action on them. Instead program them into trading systems. Trade the system.


Last edited by tpredictor; November 11th, 2017 at 03:31 AM.
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