By Darrell Martin
Why is it that traders hesitate to hit the button to place the trade? Quite possibly, you have spent time perfecting your trading skills, mastering a system and acquiring the confidence needed to place the trades in your demo account. Now you are ready to try it live, but you shock yourself realizing you are afraid to hit the button to take the trade. Sometimes it helps to hear from others who have overcome their fears of hitting that button when using real money.
It takes discipline. If you are not disciplined, you miss out. If you are going to trade, you have to TRADE. Otherwise, you might as well just go walk your dog! It is a challenge. One trader said that it always amazes him. “We work so hard to find a good system. We finally get one and we see it work day after day and sometimes we are still too scared to move.”
The first step is to trade in demo, as stated previously. The second step is to trade live in small sizes. Start out with only one contract until you are confident and successful, and then move on to larger sizes. While you are doing step two, trading in small sizes, you have to do each trade. If you pick and choose your trades, you will be cut short, and that will kill your ratios. Being cut short means you can end up taking the losing trades and missing enough of the winning trades, which you can see how that would then affect your win/loss ratios.
Make The Decision
It comes down to the fact that you have to make a decision: will you trade or will you not trade? You have seen your trades work. You did not come this far not to trade. You did not put in all the time studying and practicing just to continue practicing. There comes a time when you have to jump in and do it.
Getting Past The Fear Of Loss
One trader noted that reading Mark Douglas’ book “Trading In The Zone” four times helped with her mindset. Another trader stated that having both the fear of loss and the fear of missing out cost him good trades and caused him to get into bad ones. For him, he had to be in a position where he felt he had to start making money right away, which caused him to focus on the rules and get past the fear.
This trader said, “One thing that helped me a lot was thinking about the ‘probabilities’ and taking a whole bunch from Mark Douglas. The fact is when you enter that perfect set up, you have no idea what will happen next. You just need to execute according to the rules and let the probabilities play out in your favor. Let go of all expectation of winning a trade or losing. We have no idea what will happen. The probabilities are in your favor with a great ‘edge’ like the IZSS (system) and that is all we can really hope for.”
Other traders report the importance of accepting that you are going to have losing trades, but if you have a proven system, you have to trust your charts and keep going. Control the size of your risk and get back in the trades after a loss. Discipline, money management and following the rules are key, as without it you will have no confidence in life. You will continue to wonder why it does not work when you go live.
Treat Demo Like Live
When you are trading in your demo account, treat it the same as if you were trading in your live account. Make it the same size as your live account. Follow the same rules. Use the same entries, stops and take profits. Do this consistently until it becomes muscle memory.
Don’t Chase It–Ever
There’s always going to be that tempting feeling while watching your charts that you are missing something. If you are chasing a trade or jumping in too late, just let it go. Wait until another one comes along. But don’t chase it ever. One trader advised, “Trust the trail and trend trade. Let your winner run and cut your losers short like you are supposed to. Some days will be a one percent gain; some days will be thirty percent. That taught me to be okay with whatever the system grabs.”
As you face the fear of trading live, use the foregoing to help you overcome that fear. It has been said that you will want to trade live when you are tired of accumulating fake money. Some trades are winners. Some trades are learners. Don’t dwell on the past, you can’t change it. Just learn from it. Take care of today, and tomorrow will take care of itself.
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