I don't include psychology as much in the main blogs.
I've had to overcome all of these:
Manufacturing Trade Setups
Eagerness to Trade
Too Soon to Advance Stop Loss
Minimizing Target During Trade
Not Being Prepared to Trade
Lack of Discipline
Planning the Trade and not Trading the Plan
Analysis After Exit While Missing the Additional Opportunity That Exists
Allowing Stress to Lead to Other Habitual Thoughts and Behaviors
Fear of Many Things
Escaping the Hard Work
Needing a Trade NOW
Smothering My Entire Existence With Nothing But Thoughts Of Trading
Demanding Gains From My Trading
-"They" are after my stops
-"They" are "running" our stops
-The market is rigged against "us"
Mistrust of Anyone Trying to Help or Educate
Not Stopping When It's Obvious It's Not Working
Not Understanding Risk
Too Much Risk
Too Little Risk
Trying to "Get Away" with "cheaper" stop that is not technically correct
Trying to "Anticipate" Entry Before Setup Actually Forms
No Stop At All (!) - Very Expensive
Abusing Every New Component Learned By Treating It As the Sole Solution To Use For Gains
-Like learning stochastics and relying only on that without first testing it or sim trading it or just watching it as it relates to the system that I learned
-Learned about NYSE TICK and how it oscillates with the market and then trying to scalp NQ with every single swing move of the TICK - another expensive lesson
-Finding out that the US Dollar rising brings equity prices down and trying to only use that as "the answer"
-I hate to say it, but I've done a lot of this, until just recently when I did learn a couple of new things that seemed to indicate a helpful confirmation in timing, but now I only watch them and have fun seeing how accurate or inaccurate they are as they move and signal in comparison to my system. The most two recent additions to my chart that I have not abused are the good old MACD, and a new one I learned of from talking to a guy at the NY Trader's Expo 2010, the Ichimoku and its clouds.
It's not easy trying to remember all of this dysfunctional crap that I've put myself through over the past year and a half. I am so done with it all that it is a bit scary to even think about it since I sure don't ever want to re-live ANY of this crap. I am almost superstitious in thinking that I don't want to get into it in fear of re-igniting any of it! I won't. If I feel any of this, I won't trade. That's a wacky thought.
Being Emotional - a big subject area
Not Allowing Myself to be Happy - a general area but many general psych areas relate to trading performance
Taking Shortcuts - there are many areas where this could apply
Wasting Energy Fantasizing About Astronomical Gains
-this starts as a diversion from reality, then takes on an accelerated pace visually for me and then wears me down and out and zaps my energy and I become exhausted. I don't do it any more. Bizarre behavior, immature, useless, habitual, I'm done with it.
Staying up until 2 or 3am analyzing my trades that were all mistakes anyway. Trying to fix them in my head and making loads of marks, notes, and coming up with conclusions and revelations as to the thoughts, feelings, analysis, and results, and reliving every single one.
Then waking up late, not being prepared, and making the same darn mistakes again, making more new rules, index cards, schedules, promising myself I would not trade at all if I broke them, trading anyway, losing money, and on and on.
Not really focusing deeply enough in the study of the technical information I already was in possession of and really digging in deeply to understand it, before trying to apply it in my eagerness to trade. For example, I have an Internals DVD and I got the first part of how to interpret the NYSE TICK but there were 3 more subtle but powerful details in there that I didn't absorb until I reviewed it many, many times. I was so wound up, that I couldn't even study it correctly.
At some point, I cleared up a lot of this garbage, and then as I was looking for more psychological junk to clear out, I didn't find any more. Then I kept trying for more. Luckily at that point, I finally absorbed something I heard many times but didn't hear, and that was Greg Capra saying that people keep looking for answers but don't use the internals and they go for new systems, or psychology, thinking that they aren't getting it because there must be something "wrong with me." Well, yes and no. Yes there was, but then after so much work, I was able to get what he was saying and I was able to apply it with no more psych work. Not because he was totally right about that, but those who are functional enough, can get the technique he is teaching and use it if they learn it completely and it works.
Not sure if I am explaining this right. But after hearing that, (and I did listen to this DVD 50 times, but I never once consciously heard this) I began to believe that I am ready to use what he is teaching. I was ready.
Will I ever fill in all the deails under each of the blank headings in this rambling post? I honestly don't want to. I have 800 pages of handwritten nightmare journal that I'm not sure I could ever read. So for now, this is it.