Article Why Traders Lose Their Discipline

T2W Bot

Staff member
1,465 62
When traders lose money, they often attribute the problem to a lapse of discipline.  Such a lack of consistency, however, is actually the result of many different problems–not the cause.  Traders lose discipline with trading for the same reasons that dieters lose discipline with dieting or people getting in shape lose discipline with exercise.  Quite simply, our moods, needs, and mind states of the moment tend to overwhelm our longer-range intentions.  We pursue short-term pleasures (and avoid short-term discomfort) at the expense of longer-term rewards.
Here are some common reasons why traders (and most other human beings!) fall short of being fully intentional:

Environmental distractions and boredom cause a lack of focus – All of us have limits to our attention span and these are easily taxed during quiet times in the market;

Fatigue and mental overload create a loss of concentration – The demands of watching the screen hour after hour make it difficult to be...
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Veteren member
3,584 787
great article

I hae read a lot of Dr Steenbarger's stuff, and like this article I find them very informative and helpful in classifying what we all must know/experience as traders, as well as attempting to provide tips/solutions to mainly psychological issues affecting one's own trading. Thanks for the article and your continued contributions here and elsewhere.


1 0
Nailed it! I make all these common mistakes. I should probably print this out and keep in on my desk and read it every morning before I start trading.

Futures Hunter

Junior member
36 0
Is easy to know our mistakes. But is very very hard to correct it! On living habits or trading.....human weakness
Hardly authors give solution on how to become disicipline....haizzz


Experienced member
1,868 299
Dr Steenbarger writing on the subject of the psychology on trading is very stimulating and definitly worthwile reading and studying. This article is not ecxeption, even more fruitful when read in conjuction with many other works written by that same author, and easly available on Amazon and on intrnet. The benifits of serious studies of the subjects related to trading are very real. I highly recommend Dr Steenbarger works.


2 0
cant agree more... and just made such mistakes recently.. earned 3 weeks, and giving back all the gains within 4 days.

15 min tlb

Senior member
2,057 98
Emotions regulation

The most important cause of losing discipline is emotions , if all the above criteria are met , emotional hard wiring is required for when market becomes extremely irrational .

foroom lluzers

Veteren member
3,611 135
Good article but he has missed two or more of the most important or more important reasons , mistakes , amygdala hijackings and stress responses .

An Amygdala Hijack is an immediate and overwhelming emotional response out of proportion to the stimulus because it has triggered a more significant emotional threat. The amygdala is the part of our brain that handles emotions. During an Amygdala Hijack, the amygdala "hijacks" or shuts down the neo-cortex.
The prefrontal cortext holds the circuitry we need for abstract thought. It allows us to concentrate on the task at hand while storing useful information in temporary storage for later on. It also prevents you from performing inappropriate actions and is basically the command centre for the brain.

Search on google for "amygdala+hijack" or "neocortex shutdown"

foroom lluzers

Veteren member
3,611 135
You probably HATE to make mistakes. When you have high expectations for your performance, it makes it hard to stay composed.

Your competitive drive pushes you to further develop your physical and technical ability. However, some traders who maintain extremely high expectations are prone to become frustrated and dwell on their mistakes.

You might dwell on mistakes and beat yourself up for missing a break out . The downward spiral of one mistake leading to another, and another, is all too common.

Some try to AVOID making mistakes. You might worry about letting yourself down if you make a mistake. Trying to avoid mistakes will keep you from taking risks and cause you to play “safe”, which often leads to more mistakes.

You will experience frustration , anger , boredoom , anxity and stress.


Junior member
49 2
When you trade with minimum deposits, you can be ready to lose it. That's ok. It's just an experience. If you trade with huge amounts you can't efford losing, you can get a real panic attack after e sequence of losses. Sometimes its a good idea to quit the trading terminal and stop trading for a day or two. Its ok to feel disappointment, but not ok to let it govern your trading decisions.
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