We’ve all been here
Training Behaviour Through Repetition
Picture this scenario.
You’ve waited patiently for a trade, price comes to your level, and ding, you get a lovely entry long. The market starts to move immediately in your favour. Things are looking good. Zero drawdown, nice setup, and sized correctly.
Your target is some way away and you know price will take some time to get there, it’s likely going to pull back or pause at some point but you’re determined to hold the trade. It’s something you are working on getting better at.
Sure enough price stalls and starts to tick lower. You said you wouldn’t but you sneak a peek at your unrealised P&L. Price starts to head lower, slowly drifting down, and all you can see is that unrealised getting smaller and smaller.
A little voice is telling you to close the trade and bank the profit. Another is telling you to hold, price is not at your target, and you knew full well there would be some kind of pullback. Stick to the plan.
Price pops back up a touch, you feel good. Then it reverses and starts to head back down again.
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Objectively you know this is just a shallow pullback but you can’t bear to give back any more unrealised P&L. You close the trade and a wave of dopamine floods your body. What a great trader!
Within seconds price kicks back into gear, bounces off the pullback lows, and starts to make new highs soaring up through your target. That confident feeling instantly disappears and it’s replaced with frustration and disappointment.
“I said I would hold this trade, I said I would stick to the plan, why can’t I just do that?”
And the cycle continues. When you feel pressure you crumble.
Because you need more exposure to those scenarios.
You need to get more reps in. 5 or 6 trades aren’t enough 50 to 60 is…
You need to experience that many many more times before you can expect to behave in the ‘unatural’ manner and hold the trade despite the urge to close.
You’re demanding too much from yourself to do something tough against human nature after a handful of reps.
Practice practice practice.
Get yourself into that position again and again. Decent unrealised profit yet not quite at target and fearing a reversal?
It’s one more rep – regardless of what you do with the trade. Eventually, you’ll be in that position for the twentieth time and think to yourself.
“You know what, I don’t fear giving back that unrealised anymore, f*ck it, I’m holding this to target”
You’re training your behaviour through repetition.
Just like anything else you want to get good at, it takes rep after rep after rep. The problem with trading is you can’t just go to a tennis court to practice your serves for an hour. Sometimes you need to wait for the market to give you a chance to get a rep in…
Try writing down the things you are trying to improve in your trading. Then when you get a rep, make a mark and count how many you get over the coming weeks. If you find yourself getting angry at your response, just check the rep count.
Less than 50? Then keep going…