This is a diagram I drew to represent a very definite negative state associated with trading which I have called “being scattered”… I know many of you will know what this means. This could relate to various things in life, but lets just relate it to trading.
The big red dot of course represents a negative emotion, either from something like a large drawdown, frustration that you are not making progress, getting stopped out yet again, feeling as though you’ll never master this skill etc. The little blue dots are what happens to your ability to focus as a result. It just blows your thoughts to dust.
I find that when I enter this state, I start making lots of little crazy trades or I start tinkering with things, like indicators and EA’s or surfing the net and reading a million articles etc. I now tend to do that in my demo account in the name of experimentation but actually it is just negative undisciplined behavior. You just basically totally lose it. You come apart in your head.
Now the point is that this is the worst worst time to be trading – you need to get yourself out of it ASAP. The problem is I’ve observed you can be stuck in this state for days and not even realize.
The way I now get myself out of it is to do a massive conscious refocus. You have to STOP and start over.
Get clear on you goals. Do you want to be a professional or just mess about for ever wasting time and money? (These are the types of questions I say to myself). AND I find it’s important at these times to scale back – scale back in you margin, focus on practicing ONE THING at a time. Or even just leave it for a while.
I’ll tell you honestly what a big source of this is for me, the idea that it will possibly take me years to master this skill just throws a spanner in my works. Occasionally, perhaps after a trading loss, I’ll just get thrown into the scattered state – my head is buzzing with conflicting trading idea, like a swarm of flies. It’s all in a million disconnected pieces, I can remember it all but put non of it together. I’m confuuuuused!!!