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-   -   How to better control our emotions? (https://www.forexfactory.com/showthread.php?t=67566)

mlawson71 Nov 28, 2016 6:45am | Post# 21

{quote} 100% - The difference was immeasurable for me. Demo was virtually irrelevant. Different from person to person, but overall, I expect its quite significant for most new traders. Get a general idea about trading via a demo, but you need to step up and put some actual money on the line...100, 500, 5000+...whatever it takes to feel like the gains and losses matter, without being anywhere near the amount that affects your day to day finances.
I agree completely. Demo did help me immensely - it still helps me when I want to test strategies and new ideas - but I didn't truly begin learning until I got on the live account.
Personally, I would recommend opening a cent account at first, simply for the sake of training yourself. That way you're both trading with real money and you can't lose the kind of sum that will hurt you.

UlliC Nov 28, 2016 11:06am | Post# 22

Hey mates,
Best way to avoid emotional decisions is to apply risk management that you know is working for your trading strategy and stick to it by any means.
And most importantly donít let the greed get under your skin

mozart4646 Nov 28, 2016 3:52pm | Post# 23

Time and experience and not taking on risk you cant afford if you trades are manageable you tend to get less stressed over your decisions i also think not worrying about having to achieve an income in any particular time makes it easier if your trading because you are desperate to earn money you probably make bad decisions

mlawson71 Nov 29, 2016 7:24am | Post# 24

Hey mates, Best way to avoid emotional decisions is to apply risk management that you know is working for your trading strategy and stick to it by any means. And most importantly dont let the greed get under your skin
Greed and fear, I would say. Those are the two main emotions that drive most traders.

JensG Nov 30, 2016 2:28pm | Post# 25

Just my 5 pence:
If you want to learn to control your emotion you need to understand what causes these (destructive) emotions. Personally I'm sceptical when people say "lower your leverage" - most people don't think in percentages so the leverage has nothing really to do with that. It's the actual money per pip and not how many times it fits into your equity that may make many people nervous.
There are of course many reasons for destructive emotions and answering each single possibility will fill a book that is why there are good books on that topic, written by people like Marc Douglas or Brett Steenbarger just to name two highly regarded experts on that topic.
One general "trick" I can share is to have a closer look at your trading software - less is more. If you do not need some specific information then hide it. I started hiding the money column, nowadays I hide the pip column as well. All I need to make a decision on where to end a trade is on the chart - whether it's a certain amount of pips in profit or loss has no meaning (except for when it hits my SL of course). The same logic applies to indicators. Do you need what it tells you? No? Then get rid of it! If you don't really understand it, you don't need it (girlfriends/wifes excluded).
If your software doesn't allow you to hide certain things get some duct tape or cut a monitor-mask from card board. Sounds funny, but it helps. Most people can't really ignore things, they can only pretend to ignore. And once again, the same may be true for most news events - I scan the calendar before I start my working day, write every important time on a piece of paper and then I close the calendar.

Butterscotch Nov 30, 2016 10:12pm | Post# 26

It is better not to trade when you are emotional and having any feeling. Emotions can not be controlled by any one, after all we are human so it is normal to be emotional. Burt if you are emotional than better do not trade because it can make any wrong analysis and trade will loss.

mlawson71 Dec 1, 2016 6:46am | Post# 27

One can learn to put their emotions under control. I would even say that actual trading can help you learn to do that. However, if you feel that the stress is truly getting to you it is, indeed, a good idea to step back from the platform for a bit.

JensG Dec 1, 2016 2:07pm | Post# 28

One can learn to put their emotions under control. I would even say that actual trading can help you learn to do that. However, if you feel that the stress is truly getting to you it is, indeed, a good idea to step back from the platform for a bit.
Or rethink your strategy. Some people can't live sleep with the uncertainty over their money while others can't pull the trigger 10 times a day without the support of a bottle of red wine and 40 cigarettes. Thanks god we're all different otherwise the liquidity would be severely limited.

mlawson71 Dec 2, 2016 7:12am | Post# 29

{quote} Or rethink your strategy. Some people can't live sleep with the uncertainty over their money while others can't pull the trigger 10 times a day without the support of a bottle of red wine and 40 cigarettes. Thanks god we're all different otherwise the liquidity would be severely limited.
True. In my opinion rethinking one's strategy also requires pulling away from the platform for a little bit though. Getting a fresher perspective is really important.

JensG Dec 2, 2016 9:14am | Post# 30

{quote} True. In my opinion rethinking one's strategy also requires pulling away from the platform for a little bit though. Getting a fresher perspective is really important.
Sometimes you just can't see the forest for the trees. Taking a break if things don't go that smoothly is usually a good idea. As an owner of an engineer office I used to say "I solved the problem on the loo". That was obviously joking but the true core is that I frequently spent hours working on a problem and when I finally left the office (or sometimes just my desk) the solution hit me.

GodfatherSam Dec 2, 2016 10:06am | Post# 31

For me listening to some soft tracks keeps my nerves cool and my senses calm. Thus I would like to suggest you to listen to some cool and calm music while suffering loss.

ForexIdiot69 Dec 3, 2016 3:27am | Post# 32

Get and read, Trading in the Zone, by Mark Douglas.
This is an absolute must. I've actually be rereading it this week. Anyone who wants to be good at trading needs to read that book. Performance errors are costly. I think overmanaging trades kills bottom line. Just get in, and let it do its thing.

Also, JensG mentioned that people don't typically think in percentages, I think it's a must. Work out your percentage risk and exits before you enter. And then just ride it out. I would much rather get stopped out than pussy out halfway to either order and miss a great move.

Rparm Dec 3, 2016 3:37am | Post# 33

Wow this Thread was brought back to life after nearly 9 Years,

Anyways I hope the following benefits whoever stumbles across it:

Any career or task in a stressful and/or high risk environment requires certain qualities to allow success.
A few examples are being a Boxer, a Brain Surgeon, or Bomb Technician. These example careers put the individual in a high stress environment with "a Lot on the Line"
Lack of emotional control could result in the End of a Career, Serious Injury, or even Death.

Ultimately your consistent satisfactory performance determines your success in each of those fields. Sound similar to Trading?

Tip #1. gaining Experience and actively looking at mistakes and working on improving them. Having just Experience alone, without criticizing and fixing mistakes is something that many fail to do.
It took me about 2 years to get rid of my trading nerves, and another year to trade like a Robot. I dedicated my Life to this Career and reaped what I sowed so the amount of time it will take differs from person to person.
Funny thing is I use only Automation to Trade BUT I was still experiencing stress as I would sometimes watch trades in action, it took countless impulsive changes to my Trading Systems before I realized that these mistakes were affecting the growth of my Trading Career.

So below are a few more things that one can do to develop greater self control:
1. "A Lot on the Line" the more $$ you're trading with, the greater the level of self control is required to remain calm and make logical decisions not impulsive emotional decisions.
Think about a Boxer in a Fight that if won would financially change his/her life...
Or a Brain Surgeon performing surgery on someone they love... etc.
See how in each of those situations when they had "a lot on the line" required greater self control to perform well
Solution: Decrease your Trading Sizes

2. Most Aspiring Traders dream about quitting their Jobs or using trading as a means to significantly change their lifestyle. Both of these goals can trigger emotions in many people. The same way if the chances of you getting into a good university or landing a good Job comes down to how you'll perform during a Test or Interview... this can cause stress! And if you were to fail either of those things you would feel stress because you may have been relying on them to change your life.
The same way many Traders when losing feel stress, or when winning feel excited.
Solution: Know the goals that you want, recognize the amount of work and sacrifices you must do achieve those goals, and understand that your emotions do not improve your Trading in any way in fact they do the opposite. Understand the level of work that other successful individuals have done to "make it" and that for you to "make it" will require at least an equal level of work. And nobody can do work on your behalf, look at the careers I mentioned above each one requires work and personal sacrifice.

3. Going back to experience and work. If you do not know the accurate probabilities of the Trades you open prior to opening them you are setting yourself up for failure! If you find yourself saying this trade will "Probably, Surely, Maybe, Possibly" Win that is not good enough. Think about the example careers I mentioned, saying "Probably, Maybe... I Think it will work if I do _____." is a serious NO NO in all of those fields. The best decisions that are made in each and truly ANY career are made using LOGIC (and faith but I'll touch on that another time)

3.1 Elaborating on Point 3, Most Traders use research, premade Trading Systems, or indicators created by other people to make trading decisions with... remember how most Traders Fail in the long run?
Solution: Do enough work/research so that you have accurate logic from which you can make confident trading decisions. And since those decisions are made using robust logic there is no need for impulsive changes.

4. Your emotions like anything can be trained. Example, if you want to be more patient put yourself in a situation that you know would make you slightly irritated for an extended period of time, repeat this process on a regular basis but consciously maintain control over yourself. Once you feel comfortable in this situation try something that is even harder for you to stay patient in. Then repeat this process. while gradually increasing the difficulty of the situation...

The same can be said for discipline, intelligence, and physical strength etc. We humans are amazing unfortunately we are conditioned from a young age to look at just the physical things around us, schools teach us about academics and athletics but do not teach us about mental development. A Persons state of mind determines the level of success in life, in academic and athletic fields and the longevity of careers.

Would it not be amazing to be calm when things are not working out, be able to make decisions accurately using logic as opposed to emotions? Well you can, it just takes practice. Start by actively (using your conscious) to monitor how certain things make you feel and recognize that you have the ability to change your emotions in the blink of an eye regardless of the situation at hand, and nobody else not a single person in the world, or situation has the ability to change your emotions. External factors affect your emotions simply because you allow it.

The above may sound as if it would make you into an in-compassionate Robot, however it is quite the opposite.
You know each of your countless thoughts, the things you say, and don't say, and spend every second of your life time with yourself, you know yourself better than anyone else BUT if you do not understand yourself thoroughly, have control over yourself... someone you know more than anything else.... how can you possibly understand someone else's state of mind, or have confidence in any situation?

Practice self control and you will be rewarded in all aspects of life. As for developing self control and clearer awareness of your thinking, as I mentioned earlier all it requires is commitment and a bit of faith, you can do it so give it a shot!

God Bless!

mlawson71 Dec 3, 2016 7:04am | Post# 34

{quote} Sometimes you just can't see the forest for the trees. Taking a break if things don't go that smoothly is usually a good idea. As an owner of an engineer office I used to say "I solved the problem on the loo". That was obviously joking but the true core is that I frequently spent hours working on a problem and when I finally left the office (or sometimes just my desk) the solution hit me.
I absolutely agree. Sometimes the more one focuses on the details, the more they don't notice a crucial detail or a flaw because everything appears the same to them.

BBalazs Dec 3, 2016 11:18am | Post# 35

Wow this Thread was brought back to life after nearly 9 Years, Anyways I hope the following benefits whoever stumbles across it: Any career or task in a stressful and/or high risk environment requires certain qualities to allow success. A few examples are being a Boxer, a Brain Surgeon, or Bomb Technician. These example careers put the individual in a high stress environment with "a Lot on the Line" Lack of emotional control could result in the End of a Career, Serious Injury, or even Death. Ultimately your consistent satisfactory performance determines...
Beautiful post Rparm. Although there is an aspect that I don't quite agree with. Regarding position sizes, I would not recommend cutting back if it makes you feel uncomfortable. From what I experienced so far, every single time I increased my position size, it made me feel a little uneasy, regardless of how small the increase was. I believe it is a natural human response to change. Humans tend to unconsciously resist any kind of change. Even if you know that it would improve your current lifestyle, your brain prefers safety. Safety comes from knowing what to expect.

There is an antidote however. The beauty of the mind and the very reason humans were able to survive up to this point is that our brain can and will adapt if necessary. All it takes is a little time. So, instead of cutting back, try to hang in there with the new, increased position size and your mind will accept the new reality. Otherwise, you will be stuck. I like to think of it as with the lifting of weights. Let's assume that your goal is to bench-press 100kg. Unless you gradually increase the weights as you become stronger, your muscles will adapt to the "comfortable" level and will not grow. If you wish to achieve your goal, increase the weights as you feel that you can comfortably press the current ones.

Needless to say that I refer to a sensible MM. If you trade too big relative to your account, you should listen to your brain as it tries to warn you of danger.

JensG Dec 3, 2016 4:20pm | Post# 36

{quote} Beautiful post Rparm. Although there is an aspect that I don't quite agree with. Regarding position sizes, I would not recommend cutting back if it makes you feel uncomfortable. From what I experienced so far, every single time I increased my position size, it made me feel a little uneasy, regardless of how small the increase was.
That used to be one of the many reasons for me to hide that money column.

ingmarforex Dec 3, 2016 6:11pm | Post# 37

Think About this. Most people trading clueless, full with emotions if you got working plan you have eliminate atleast 70% of it.

1 more hint find something you can do so you just have to check your trading device sometimes. For example i place my orders after ny close then with eyes on THE assian session news i check first if i Will place them of not. Or THE macro view i have from THE news i Will place them stil. Then i check London open quick orders adjust or cancel them dependance overnight. Then ny open i check again taking profit or lss or place net orders or adjust. All this together maybe 2 3 hrd screen time day.

and thats not THE charts i read more what happend flows etc THEn watching those charts they just quick for orders.

OctaveJay509 Dec 3, 2016 8:45pm | Post# 38

Food for Thought:

Inserted Video

BBalazs Dec 4, 2016 5:50am | Post# 39

{quote} That used to be one of the many reasons for me to hide that money column.
Indeed. Once I take a trade, I simply don't look at the chart until it hits my SL or TP. I let the price unfold and do what it will.

mlawson71 Dec 5, 2016 6:43am | Post# 40

{quote} Indeed. Once I take a trade, I simply don't look at the chart until it hits my SL or TP. I let the price unfold and do what it will.
I wish I had the emotional fortitude not to do that. I always have the urge to peek.


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