A Mind Game
So learning how to conservatively plan my trading became a game. Did I have what it takes to not trade? Could I manage my emotions? At first, I resorted to walking away from my keyboard for a few minutes. Taping your hands to your desk, tying and untying knots in your shoelaces, or other such distractions work equally well.
Over time, I got better at not jumping in. I’d simply say, “Wow! Look at that big candle! How come I didn’t see that coming?” This survival skill didn’t come quickly, but it was an important setup in my development as a trader.
Over time, I began to miss fewer and fewer trades. I began to find trades that I could recognize, and I began to spot them over and over again. For example, I found myself trading 5/8 crosses after a bounce at a reversal pivot point. For some reason, I found them easy to see and traded them a lot.
Then, as I gained more experience trading, I started seeing other trade setups, such as pullbacks to moving averages and candlestick patterns. Then I experimented with various time frames, such as four-hour charts.
This additional experience helped me add more repeatable trades to my repertoire. I just got better and better at spotting trade setups. This is because I recognized what the market was doing and traded it. If my plan was wrong, I didn’t trade. I only traded on my terms on my turf.
It was only natural that I got better. It wasn’t from making a lot of trades. Trading didn’t provide the experience I needed to succeed. ...