Managing Anxiety While In A Trade


The following is a great question from YTC reader Aaron.

I thought this would be worthy of entry into the blog and newsletter as it's a question which will be relevant to anyone who allows discretion in their trade management plan.

And I'm really keen for anyone else to add their ideas and thoughts into the comments section of the blog post.

Question Received:

Super impressed with all your content. Do you have anything out there on managing your psychology while in a trade? I find I often deviate from my plan due to anxiety from who knows what.

My Response:

Hi Aaron,

Off the top of my head these come to mind:

(1) General psych content which may or may not offer something of relevance:


(2) Perhaps more targeted directly to your question:


But more importantly, give this a try. It's the general framework that I use whenever stuck with any problem like this:


Set aside some time and just brainstorm any and all options which might fit within these categories.

The fact is that there will not be a "one size fits all" solution for this problem of anxiety interfering with trade management. You might need to go through a process of trial and error.

So do the exercise and see what you come up with.

For starters, a few obvious ones:


  • Just go complete passive. Set the stop and target and walk away. Let it fall wherever it falls. (Not my preferred approach, but some people need this)



  • Partially passive in that decisions and actions are ONLY made at certain times or price points. eg. the obvious solution here is when you only assess the trade on the close of each TTF candle. Inbetween these "decision points" you might find it helps to step away or look at other screens.
  • Closely aligned to the above idea, just push your chair back away from the screen immediately after the order is filled and initial stops/targets are set. Don't laugh. It's very effective. If you're out of reach of the keyboard and mouse, it's a whole lot harder to emotionally react.
  • Another option for "partially passive" is to actually split the position into two. One part is managed through a passive set & forget target. The other allows discretionary adjustment. Essentially you're diversifying your trade management across both styles. As a bonus it allows you to directly compare the impact of discretionary versus passive trade management and you'll clearly see whether or not you're adding to or reducing your edge.


Your turn. I'm sure there are a ton more. See what you can come up with.

Nice question by the way.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs



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