3 Major Causes of Anxiety in Prop Trading and How to Overcome it
One of the biggest challenges some prop traders face is excessive anxiety. I know anxiety in trading is natural, but too much of it can ruin prop trading success. As a prop trader, you want to make sure you regulate your stress and anxiety level and stay emotionally healthy as much as you can.
In today’s blog post, we will talk about the major reasons why some prop traders experience anxiety and suggest ways to help you overcome or stop it. Here are three of the most common reasons:
1. Losing streak
A losing streak can be a major source of anxiety for some prop traders. Some of us may become very anxious if we encounter consecutive losses, leading us to feel miserable and like we are on the verge of losing our account. Although this is a valid reason to be worried, you do not need to overthink it because the situation can still be reversed.
To overcome losing-streak-induced anxiety, you need a combination of discipline and perspective. Here are a few tips to help you fix it:
Take a break: It’s important to take breaks and step away from trading when you’re on a losing streak. Also, meditate if you can. This will help you clear your head and come back to your trading with a fresh perspective.
Stick to your trading plan: It’s essential to have a well-thought-out trading plan that includes risk management strategies and entry and exit criteria. Sticking to your plan can help you avoid making impulsive decisions based on emotions.
Focus on the process, not the outcome: Instead of focusing on the outcome of each trade, focus on the process of trading. Execute your trades based on your plan, and don’t get discouraged by losses.
2. Fear of blowing an account or violating its drawdown limit
The fear of blowing an account or violating its drawdown limit also seems to be a dominant cause for worry (sometimes even before some prop traders begin taking trades on a new account). This anxiety causes some traders to close trades prematurely, become too careful, and hesitate when entering trades, leading to missed opportunities and unproductivity. They become limited by performance anxiety and, as a result, self-sabotage.
To overcome this fear, you need effective risk management strategies and a clear understanding of your trading goals. Here is how to go about it:
Set realistic trading goals: It’s essential to have realistic trading goals that align with your risk tolerance and account size. Set clear goals for your trading, and make sure they are achievable.
Implement risk management strategies: Risk management strategies can help you minimize your exposure to risk and avoid blowing your account. Set stop-loss orders, limit your position sizes, manage your daily drawdown limit and diversify your trades to minimize potential losses. Risk what you can afford to lose.
Focus on the long term: Instead of focusing on short-term gains, focus on the long-term goals of your trading. I guess you know the popular saying, “Trading is a marathon, not a sprint.”
3. Trading inexperience
New or amateur traders may experience anxiety because they lack confidence in their trading skills. They may worry that they’re not good enough to be successful or that they’re going to make a mistake that will cost them their account.
Here are ways you can overcome the anxiety that comes as a result of trading inexperience:
Educate yourself: Read books, articles, and online resources to learn about trading strategies, risk management, and market analysis. Take online courses or attend seminars to learn from experienced traders.
Practice with a demo account: Before risking real money, practice trading with a demo account. This will help you get a feel for the markets and allow you to make mistakes without risking capital.
Find a mentor: Reach out to experienced traders and ask for their advice. Attend meetups or join online trading communities to connect with other traders who can offer guidance and support.
Anxiety doesn’t have to control you. With these tips, you can manage it and become a productive prop trader.