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

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

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.

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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.

https://futures.io/psychology-money-management/44519-just-one-thing.html#post679269

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  #4 (permalink)
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Go back to paper trading. I am experiencing the same as you do. What we are missing is experience. A lack of experience leads to self-doubt which is subconciously holding us back. And I am not even talking about trading - you need experience in any field you want to become good at. It is like driving a car, at first you are overly cautious about every possible aspect of the process, after a few months and years of driving a car it has become a second nature to you and you don't even think about it anymore, you just do it.

To gain experience you need: Repetition.

You may have read every single book about learning the guitar, you may have watched every instructional video under the sun about how to play the guitar and yet here we sit, holding the guitar in our hands, clueless about where to start. Theoretically, you know how to play every riff, you know when you ought to do this and that, but you never have. The only way to become a rockstar guitarist is by actually starting to play the guitar.

Now with trading the good thing is, you do not have to blow out your entire account learning "to play". That's what SIM trading is for.

Just go this one step back and apply whatever your strategy is, whatever you have learned to a SIM account first. I was in your shoes. I was sitting there, thinking that I would HAVE to learn trading in a live account, because there are no emotions involved trading a SIM. And that is 100% correct. But believe me, actually making the trades based on your strategy and rules in a SIM account is worth a thousand times more than sitting in front of your screen day in day out only THINKING about doing this or that trade but being so trigger shy, so full of fear of losing your cold hard cash, simply because you - no we - have 0 experience.

Funnily enough, when I went back to my SIM account, the first 2 or 3 days I was just as trigger shy as I was in my live account. Now I am making trades and I am even making cold hard monopoly money. I am not there yet, I am still not taking all the trades I know I should (in a SIM ).

Just give it a try - what more can you lose than the time you are already losing staring at your screen doing nothing?

Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.

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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?

What are you afraid of?
Loosing money?
Becoming rich?

I suggest you read or listen to Mark Douglas.
(he has books, audios and videos)
The theme he continues to give examples of is being fearless and how to get there.

There are many ways to do this but it is all in the indicator that is between your ears.
Until you listen or read Mark's work here are some things to think about:

IF you always face the sun you won't be afraid of your shadow.
You won't see it because it is behind you.
If you face away from your fear, it will not scare you because it is behind you.

A master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried

If you want to dance with opportunity,
you need to be on the dance floor.

Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.

Spread your wings. You may be surprised you really can fly.
If you don't, you will always be stuck on the ground.

Rejoice in the Thunderstorms of Life . . .
Knowing it's not about Clouds or Wind. . .
But Learning to Dance in the Rain ! ! !
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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.

There are two reasons you fear entry:

1) Your edge doesn't work and your sub-conscience mind knows this.

2) Your edge works but you have not yet convinced yourself of this.

Losing real money has real consequences. It has nothing to do with ego. It's about self preservation. You worked hard for your money. It probably took you a lot of hours to acquire. You can lose the work of a year in weeks or even days in the market. This is serious business. Get real about the fear. The fear is justified and needs to be respected.

What metrics do you track that shows your edge works? The only way you will overcome the fear is to prove to yourself that your edge works, consistently and robustly.

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Thanks and Mark Douglas

@Tap In, @DavidHP, @MessageOfTheTape - Thank you all very much. Your responses have positively contributed to my growth as a trader.

I don't have any plans to go back to sim . . . rather stay in the ring and learn there. It is a place where I am learning as expectancy has improved and low risks keep me in the game.

I am a discretionary, rules based trader trading off the DOM. I am not too keen on proving edges with backtesting. It doesn’t fit my temperament and it seems the jury is out on whether it is even fruitful.

Mark Douglas . . . great stuff. I reviewed Chapter 8 of Trading in the Zone. Got some good stuff from that.

It seems I need to be able to talk to myself to get the confidence needed to enter a trade. Then, over time, I can internalize and act quicker to get into trades, i.e., use my gut.

I think my fear of losing money and losing ego is really just the fear of being wrong and avoiding the pain associated with it. If, like Mark said, the market just is then how can I ever have been wrong about the market. It seems what I control is my edge, and specifically its deployment. I trust my edge. I just need to deploy it more.

So, I am going to work on saying after a trade so as to avoid the pain associated with having a belief debunked is “Anything can happen, and it just did.” That goes for every trade.

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@johny1971

I am not a psychologist or a psychiatrist. But, reading your comments, it seems to me that you fear is not the loss, but it is ego. Let me try and weigh in, and I hope this helps you.

The minute we are in a trade, there is nothing we can do that is in our control. This is what you have to convey to yourself, and the outcome of the trade is not in your control either. That's right, the minute you are in a trade, the market has to do what it has to do. If you have a good methodology, and risk management in place, you have an advantage over others, but in every single trade you are part of a larger cosmos of things that are happening. There could be a huge fund who came and bought, a hedger who liquidated, large specs that changed direction with thousands of contracts, and so on.

Sadly, and I mean in a practical and pragmatic manner, every time someone who had an "issue" here, it's the same old song "go back to paper trading". Paper trading is good to learn software, order execution, test new strategies but it not a vehicle to overcome deep psychological issues.

In the end, your conclusion to just "live with it", it is the right one. You will have many bad and losing trades. But, it's the losing trades that will be your insight and guide to your risk management, skills. and self-improvement. I just suggest that in the beginning decide on a frequency that is low, let's say one a day. A schedule would allow you to possibly revise the systems/methods you have in place.

Good luck.

Matt Z
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  #9 (permalink)
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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?

My first trade left me with sweaty palms, a queasy stomach, and blood pressure so high it made my face bright red. I could see my pulse in my temples. My whole body went into shock. All this for one little ES contract with a 2 point stop!

That sent me back to study for 100s or rather 1000s of hours. Then before going live, I SIM traded for almost a year.

When it came time to make the system trade I found that I changed. My focus was only to test my system. Cool calm collected, it took me about 30 seconds to verify the trade and get back to normal. (trading not 1, but multiple contracts)

Now I stick to the plan with little hesitation. Winning or loosing a trade is a low priority. Testing the system is the only thing I focus on.

I removed the fear by testing my system rather than the market.

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Every trader has experienced this. To me, on a psychological level the problem is confidence. My own self-assessment was I didn't have the confidence. In the markets confidence probably comes with winning. I just had to emotionally accept losing is part of the game, just as much as winning. Sounds obvious, but I think most aren't objective about identifying their fears. For me, fear could even take on the form of greed.

If you have a set-up you're comfortable with then pull the trigger! If you can't pull the trigger, reassess if you truly have confidence in your set-ups. Do you trust them? Is there some truth you aren't facing regarding them? Fear comes from the unknown. If all is good, then you should be happy taking the positions. If not, go back to the drawing board. In trading we wear many hats and with that comes great discipline and responsibility. Be honest with yourself!

If there are too many unknowns you're probably not ready to go live. You should know exactly why you are taking a trade. When will you enter, when will you exit, and why are you trading this? Exits are equally important as entries. Do you know when you'll exit? You can't control how much you win, but you CAN control how much you lose (usually...)! If you don't know all three conditions before your order is placed, you're not ready! Screen time has been an important element in my own success. Back-testing and pattern recognition is important, but can't replace real life experience. If you have internalized the market behaviors you'll most likely be much more confident. Is your ritual just popping in the first 30 minutes of the morning session and mindlessly watching? I've spent HOURS at a time reading tape, watching patterns develop, tracking futures, ect. Just like it's hard to speak confidently about a subject you lack knowledge on, trading with your cash is equally hard when you don't know enough about your set-up. When I'm fluent in the markets I feel very confident and no external element influences my decision making.

I've seen myself and others take TOO MUCH SIZE. Are you taking too big of size that you have too much to lose? Then cut in half! Your nerves will definitely be calmed if you have less to lose. If your setups are solid, the wins will come and you'll gain confidence and scale up. Size should be a privilege you earn -- start small.

I had an awesome January this year day trading, I lost only 2 trades the whole month! My success continued into mid February, until I lost big on one trade. I got TOO confident; I was fearless. The loss ate into some, but not all of my January win streak. Every day after the loss I saw opportunities I probably would've taken had I not loss so big. I was scared! I didn't want to completely undo all of my January grind. So I did some small swing trades. I cut back my trades to once a week, to skipping an entire week of activity.

Now in March I'm about 2-3 trades away from breaking even on January's win streak. I did some self reflecting, and I came to the conclusion that nothing about me as a Trader has changed since January. I am still able to make good trades, but the fear stopped me. So I believe confidence is a big factor. Be objective in identifying your fears and confront them. I'm currently taking smaller positions, selecting less risky trades for action, I stay away from low-float shorts (this is what burned me), and stocks with ownership for consistent supports. All this has brought me confidence, because I know what works for me. I'm sure I'll prove to myself I can take those big positions again, but I'm learning from previous mistakes first!

TLDR: Just be objective in identifying your fears then find solutions to them individually. Fear in trading is rarely one element.


Last edited by MrDevDevy; March 12th, 2019 at 06:43 AM.
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