I’m a new trader dealing with the exact same issue. My journey thus far has led me to believe there are three main components of a successful, consistent trader:
- A robust trading system
- Strict money management rules
- Psychological/emotional mastery (the only Holy Grail in trading)
You can have the best trading system and money management rules on the planet, but they’re irrelevant if you can’t control your actions or your emotions while in the trade. Science has proven human emotions are created by our brain guessing why our body is experiencing a heightened biological state, such as a racing heart, sweaty palms, blurry vision, etc. Our minds choose the most obvious explanation, i.e. we’re clearly in grave danger. Queue the fight or flight response. The good news is emotions are not hardwired and you can be the architect of your emotional experiences. Keep these things in mind before and during a trade: 1) You don’t have to fear being wrong, because you have a predefined amount of risk set to test the success of your trade, 2) A single trade is a random event, i.e. you can’t control the outcome, so focus your energy on implementing your risk management, not on freaking out, and 3) Your trading plan was designed to protect you from excessive losses and to let your winners run. Your trading system and money management will protect you if you strictly abide by the rules.
If your anxiety gets the best of you during your next trade, make sure your stop loss is set, take a deep breath and get up and walk away from your computer to clear your mind and regain your composure. The worst thing that will happen is your stop gets hit, but who cares? You just showed your brain that you didn’t die by entering a trade.
Another idea is to trade the smallest lot possible for your chosen asset. I really began dedicating time to trading last year during the crypto crumble. I was trading 0.001 Bitcoin, not because I had to, but because I wanted to focus on my trading strategy. Making money at that point was inconsequential and I was comfortable losing 0.001 BTC ($6) on a trade. An updated version of that might be, making money is the by-product of a property executed trading system and I am comfortable risking capital per my money management rules.
I hope you’re convinced that mastering the trade is within your reach. Keep at it and get better every day.