Most of the time, prices do what they have been doing or normally do based on the current context. But what about when they dont, or instead do the opposite? For instance a strong bear breakout of a . Five minutes ago prices were rallying higher and higher, with no end in sight. Now prices are falling dramatically, what is a trader to do? Is he going to continue trading as a or trading range? Or does he exit his longs with a loss and sell at the market? Unless he accepts the reality that in a market truly anything can happen and anything is possible, he will more likely be unable to let go of the past and not willing to recognize the opportunity being presented right now. In this scenario he would probably fail to take the later action, and instead continue to fight the strong bear breakout because his mind is convinced prices are still in some form of bull trend or trading range. Until a trader truly accepts this fundamental point of market reality, it is easy to get caught up in what should happen and the true opportunity continues to elude him.
The reality of the market is; every moment in the market is unique, and every opportunity has a different set of risk, reward, and probability. What worked today, may or may not work tomorrow. Most beginners fail to appreciate or even realize this is the case, as they attempt to apply rigid rules to a constantly changing environment. This prevents a clear, objective view of what prices are likely and not likely to do. As a result, this does not allow the trader to correctly identify the opportunity being presented "right now."
A major obstacle to trading the "now moment" is where a traders awareness lies at any given time. Is he thinking about what happened an hour ago, or what may happen by the end of the day, or is he intently focused on what is transpiring in this very moment? Identifying and becoming aware of what is occuring internally while trading is helpful in this situtation. The idea is not to fight or prevent emotions from occuring, but rather acknowledge they are present and inturn may lead to a poor trading decision. Most trading errors are due to an emotional outburst or the traders awareness being somewhere else other than the market. Beathing exercises such as focusing on the breath and taking slow, deep breaths, can help ease the internal tension and return focus back to the market. This is a form of awareness training (mindfulness), which can help a trader with concentration and placing his awareness on the trading task at hand. It is also beneficial to practice some form of mindfulness outside of trading to become more intune with yourself, and ultimately the market.
Trading along side stress / emotions
What makes the difference between an amateur and professional trader is not the lack of thoughts, emotions, or stress. Professional traders too have these characterstics as we are all human, although they may be less obvious to the observer. However, a professional does not act on these feelings, and instead does what is necessary based on the market structure, not how he feels or what he thinks. He may find himself distracted with thoughts or an emotion, but then brings his awareness back to the trading task at hand. Amateurs do the opposite by allowing these feelings and emotions to lead to actions in the market, which more often than not are trading errors. Amateurs get stuck so to speak in the stress or emotion rather than the correct trade action. Moving past this is not easy, but returning awareness to the market rather than internally is the first step. An easy way of accomplishing this is to periodically throughout the day ask yourself "Where is my awareness?" or "Where is my mind?" The next question is, "What is the opportunity being presented right now?” or “What is the market telling me to do right now?”