The 12 Dangers of Trading Doubt

by | Aug 17, 2023

Doubt is danger.

It’s a big enemy for trading.

And it’s something that is innate, which is hard to escape from.

It leads to you to miss opportunities, destroys confidence, clouds judgement and keeps you stuck in a rut.

When you are infected with doubt, this can infiltrate even the most experienced traders.

This article delves into the various dangers of trading doubt and how to overcome its destructive effects.

  1. Missed Opportunities

When doubt creeps in, traders often find themselves hesitating or second-guessing their decisions.

Once you feel hesitation, you’ll miss great opportunities.

Winners will be left on the table.

All because you doubt it’ll go your way and that the markets are conducive.

If you want to stop the doubt you need to act swift and make decisions within three second.

1, 2, 3 – ACT!

  1. Loss in Confidence

Without confidence, you’re going to doubt.

You’re going to question your skills, strategies, and abilities.

As confidence dwindles, you’re going to feel strong fear, panic and worry.

This will lead to irrational decisions driven by emotions rather than logic, rationality and sound analysis.

  1. Change Your System

Even if you have a winning system.

Doubt could cause you to abandon it.

You might already be thinking of finding another.

Looking for better parameters.

Adding extra elements and variables.

This constant tinkering will prevent you from fully realizing the potential of their proven trading strategy and approach.

This is a time game. Not a week, not a month. Noth even three years.

Your trading success will come from being consistent, persistent and  consistently applying a well-defined strategy over time.

  1. Search for “Better”

You might even doubt trading all together.

You might have lost a bit of money and now you have this desire to make it back.

So you’ll look into gambling, sports betting, Amway or any other scheme instead.

But you’ll most likely be disappointed. Because everything worth doing well for reward, consists of elements of risk and time.

  1. Don’t Take the Trade

Your finger could be between three stone walls.

Or your finger could be 1 mm from the button.

If you have doubt with your trades, this will paralyse you to enter a trade.

This hesitation will lead you to:

  • Miss trades

  • Miss profits

  • Interfere with the system

  • Lose confidence

  • Exacerbate panic and fear

This will only set a precedent for you to do it again.

It’s a bad habit that can destroy you as a trader.

  1. Don’t Follow Criteria

Doubt can lead to a disregard your essential rules.

You might:

  • Get in at different levels

  • Move your stop loss further away

  • Close prematurely for tiny profits or

  • Take a trade that does NOT match the criteria.

If you question the trading validity of your criteria, this will turn you into an undisciplined and unsuccessful trader.

  1. Overtrading

Once doubt sets in – so will mania.

And to break away from doubt, you take on a dangerous path.

In an attempt to overcome doubt, you might start overtrading or revenge trading.

This is where you’ll enter too many trades in quick succession, without following any criteria.

  1. Emotional Roller Coaster

Doubt is not just feeling lazy.

It actually comes with feelings of frustration, anxiety, and self-doubt dominating their thought process.

This emotional turmoil can cloud judgment and lead to reactive rather than rational decision-making.

  1. Analysis Paralysis

When doubt takes hold, this is where you might go all out with indicators, parameters and price action elements.

This will lead you to excessive analysis.

You’ll continuously seek more information before making a decision.

This analysis paralysis can cause a couple of issues.

  • It can overcomplicate trading

  • It makes back and forward testing almost impossible

  • The variables can cause conflict with each other.

  • Your charts will look like Christmas trees

 This can lead you to miss trading opportunities and an inability to take action.

  1. Inconsistent Results

Consistency is key in trading success.

Doubt-driven decisions can lead you to inconsistent results.

You’ll have your journal with how the trades were SUPPOSED to go.

Versus how you made them go.

And this will make it challenging to gauge the effectiveness of a trading strategy over the long term.

  1. Psychological Toll

Doubt is a constant battle.

If you have this, it will infect your mind it will take a toll on your mental well-being.

It can lead to stress, burnout, and even health issues if you don’t fix them.

  1. Loss Aversion

Doubt can cause a psychological bias known as loss aversion.

This is where traders become will focus to avoid losses rather than maximise their gains.

This mindset can hinder traders from taking necessary risks to achieve substantial profits.

Focus on cutting small losses and banking small profits and you’ll have a recipe for disaster.

It’s time to build your confidence

This will come from working on a trading journal, risking less and building a track record.

Over time, the doubt will creep away and the certainty will override.

Let’s some up the elements of doubt for a trader…

  1. Missed Opportunities

  2. Loss in Confidence

  3. Change Your System

  4. Search for “Better”

  5. Don’t Take the Trade

  6. Don’t Follow Criteria

  7. Overtrading

  8. Emotional Roller Coaster

  9. Analysis Paralysis

  10. Inconsistent Results

  11. Psychological Toll

  12. Loss Aversion

Trade well, live free.

Timon Rossolimos
Founder, MATI Trader




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Trade well, live free.

Timon Rossolimos

Founder, MATI Trader



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