Fred (not his real name) was a good solid trader who performed high quality analysis before he traded. But he kept pulling out of trades which he believed in, as soon as someone on one of his Discord channels would doubt his trade. Which was often. When Fred came to me as a trading psychology coach, we mapped out the problems he was experiencing and it became clear that he was experiencing a fear of missing out.
In general, while we may think that our fears come from our own experiences alone there are actually several sources of fears in our lives.
In this article we look at fears that come not from genuine danger, fears that make sense, but fears that we often have that are harder to rationally explain. For example, fear of rejection or fear of missing out. These are not life and death situations but often our bodies and minds act as if they are just as scary.
There are three sources of fears that we draw on from our trading.
The first one of these are the general fears that exist across cultures and societies. These are
- The fear of unworthiness
- The fear of not being good enough
- The fear of rejection
- The fear of lack of capacity
- The fear of not being able to trust
- The fear of not being capable
- The fear of being weak
- The fear of not being allowed to be powerful
- The fear of being a piece of trash
Everyone holds one or more of these.
The second source is from society and culture specific to the trading world. There are many of these but the purpose here is not to go into all of them. These are fears that exist in the trading community that we may learn to have as we go into these communities. Or they could be in the community you are already in. Some (not all) of these may include:
- Revenge trading
- Fear of missing out
- Fear of being seen as stupid
- Fear of failure
- Fear of success
- Analysis paralysis
- Fear of laziness
And finally, there is the fear that comes specifically from you and the fear of missing out on your values. Your values determine where you want to go in life, they are your why?
And you fear that you may not achieve these in this life.
While knowing this structure is unlikely to illuminate your specific fears (I would recommend the best trading psychology book I know on this subject for that) it can help you understand that there are many sources of your trading fears and you are not alone.
In the end Fred realised the source of his fear, and moved beyond it, and it now a very profitable and self trusting trader.