Your Fears Are Rational

May 31, 2018by

I am going to be posting more often on this blog. I have thoughts about trading and being pragmatically effective that I will share.

My first post today has to do with fears and trading. Obviously a well trodden path. One of the things I have noticed about myself over the years of trading is my inclination to use trading and the markets to handle my inner fears. If I am afraid of missing out, I place a trade to soothe that. I am also afraid of overtrading, so sometimes I don’t place a trade and sit on the sidelines. The fear that speaks the loudest is the one that gets the controls.

I am finding a lot of value in the realization that these fears are not irrational, they are in fact true. I am afraid of overtrading because in the past, I have over traded. I am afraid of missing out because I have missed out. Those are undeniable, and completely grounded in reality. I have also destroyed capital, given back winning trades, and done all manner of damage to my own account and psyche. So in very pragmatic terms, my reptile brain that is sensing danger is absolutely correct, and absolutely grounded in reality.

Think of these fears as voices. They need to have their say. They need to be listened to or they will be acted out in your trading. If you have traded for awhile, you have been wrong, and wrong badly. Being afraid of that, having that in the back of your mind making you jittery, is perfectly reasonable as far as reality goes.

The key to working through these is in identifying them. That can be the hardest part. Sometimes it takes hours of questioning and journaling before you finally get to the point where you say “I am afraid to give back this string of winners because I told my best friend that I was doing well and if I have loses, I have to give that up.” You know you have found it when that fear/tension eases in the back of your mind as soon as you say the truth. You speak the truth, and the tension eases.

The root is there somewhere, and the work is in finding it.

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