SteadyOptions is an options trading forum where you can find solutions from top options traders. Join Us!

We’ve all been there… researching options strategies and unable to find the answers we’re looking for. SteadyOptions has your solution.

Are Your Emotions Trying To Tell You Something?

As a trader, you may find yourself frequently trying to ignore or rationalize emotions.  You may have even created your own “solutions” to manage them. You exit early to lock up profit and avoid a potential blow-up if the trade turns against you.

You stop trading on days your emotions are too high, until you can get your head on straight. You may even do the following:

  • Move a stop to break even
  • Walk away from an active trade so you don’t interfere with it
  • Quit a session early to ensure a profitable day
  • Review sticky notes on your monitor before entering a trade
  • Talk to yourself to stay disciplined and motivated
  • Constantly remind yourself of basic concepts, like “losses will happen; don’t let it affect you”
  • Take extended time off from trading


Or, conversely, perhaps you find yourself doing this instead:

  • Moving your profit target out of a greedy attempt to make a killing
  • Chasing the market from a fear of missing out
  • Overtrading out of anger to make up for losses or mistakes
  • Thinking you can outsmart the market because of overconfidence
  • Sticking with a losing trade too long because your confidence can’t handle another loss


The problem with all of these behaviors is that they minimize your profitability, as well as your ability to adapt and improve as a trader. Trading smaller, exiting earlier, and booking a profitable day in an effort to keep your emotions in check can significantly limit your upside potential as a trader. And making trades out of a mixture of anger, fear, greed and overconfidence or underconfidence can be downright dangerous.



Let’s dig in a bit deeper. It’s a myth that emotions such as anger, greed, and fear are the problem causing your trading errors. These emotions are actually signals. This is a critical change in perspective. Rather than fighting your emotional state, treat your emotions as signals and get curious about what they’re trying to tell you. We do this all the time when it comes to physical ailments. And, like our emotions, sometimes the real cause is not always obvious.


For example, let’s say you’ve been getting headaches at the end of the trading day. At first you think they’re caused by the stress from trading. Family and friends agree with you, but you still get them on the weekend and even after a weeklong vacation. You go to the doctor fearing it’s something worse, yet everything checks out. You’ve been taking over-the-counter meds for a few months now, trying to manage your headaches, but you still haven’t found the cause. Then, as you finish up your trade journal at the end of a trading day, you notice yourself squinting and decide to get your eyes checked. Turns out, your vision has progressively worsened over the past six months and eye strain is causing your headaches. Change your eyeglass prescription, problem solved. Headaches weren’t the problem—they were a signal, and it was your job to interpret what that signal meant.


Similarly, negative emotions are signals of the hidden flaws that undermine your trading. For some people, these hidden flaws cause subtle problems. They’re like computer programs running in the background but not open on your desktop. They dull your sense of the market, reduce clarity in your thinking, and slow your reaction time.


For others, the hidden problems are the cause of a barrage of error messages and blue screens. You make trades you know you shouldn’t, but you can’t stop. You stare at a textbook trade but can’t pull the trigger. You know you should close, but fear or greed blinds you. You know the right way to react, but can’t stop yourself from overreacting. Regardless of how much these flaws impact your trading, they must be identified and corrected to consistently trade at the level you expect or aspire to.


Think of your emotions like the indicators you follow in the market. As a trader, you use signals all the time and, based on your level of expertise, you are more or less skilled in leveraging those signals to deploy your edge. 



The good news is that your emotional reactions happen again and again for the same reason. There’s no randomness in the mental game. So, just as you spot patterns in the market and develop a strategy for taking advantage of them, you can identify the underlying causes of your emotions by mapping the patterns of your reactions. 


Many traders are blind to the patterns in their mental game, but recognition is a learned skill. And like any other skill, the more you work at it, the better you become. The key is to write down the details as they happen. Keep a record of your trading mistakes, noting what happens before, during and after. Make sure to note your thoughts, emotions, behaviors, changes to decision-making, and the nature of the mistake.


For example, let’s say you quickly re-enter a losing trade out of anger. Here’s what you might want to map:

  • Thoughts: I can’t believe this is happening. I’m not letting the market stop me—I’m going to get this trade right!
  • Emotions: I want revenge when any trade I know has an edge doesn’t pay off 
  • Behaviors: I’m hyper-focused on one position and constantly looking at PnL
  • Change in decision-making: I’m focused on getting revenge and getting my money back
  • Trading mistake: I’m taking the same trade over and over, until it’s clear I’m wrong and getting nowhere

Before the next time you trade, think back to previous instances where the errors happened, and start writing out those details as best you can. This way you can immediately avoid repeating some of these mistakes. 


As this process gets easier, start looking for earlier signals. What happened before?  If you get too caught up in the day to remember to track your emotions, consider setting an alarm at some regular frequency that isn’t too disruptive (i.e., every 15, 30, or 60 minutes) to take stock of where you are. Some clients have also found meditation and mindfulness training to be beneficial in creating greater levels of awareness.


It will take time, but if you do this consistently, you will eventually be able to recognize more and more of your signals and stop engaging in the behaviors that are getting in the way of your success as a trader. Just as you stop taking medication when your headaches go away, you won’t need to spend time and energy trying to manage or control your emotions, because they will stop getting triggered. 

The payoff can be huge. As one client told me “ Understanding yourself is even more important than understanding your charts. I used to carry around a lot of emotional baggage with me, without even knowing it. After using this system, I’m no longer a slave to the market – now, I’m able to make the market work for me.”

To learn more, check out my newest book, The Mental Game of Trading: A Step-by-Step System for Mastering Trading Psychology.


About the Author

Jared Tendler, MS, LMHC, is a leading expert in how your mental game impacts performance. His roster of clients spans 45 countries and includes esports athletes, financial traders, some of the top poker players in the world, a top ranked pool player, and several PGA Tour players.


The author of two highly acclaimed books, The Mental Game of Poker, and The Mental Game of Poker 2, Jared is currently writing a book on The Mental Game of Trading and is the host of the popular podcast, The Mental GameIn addition to his writing and 1:1 coaching, Jared also previously served as the Head of Sport Psychology for the esport organization Team LiquidHe was a key driver of their success as they won multiple championships, including The International 2017 (DOTA2), the Intel Grand Slam (Counter-Strike) and four League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) titles.


Jared’s straightforward and practical approach to coaching has helped numerous clients solve their mental game problems and perform at their highest levels. After earning a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology (MS) and becoming a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Jared began his coaching career in 2005.


What Is SteadyOptions?

Full Trading Plan

Complete Portfolio Approach

Diversified Options Strategies

Exclusive Community Forum

Steady And Consistent Gains

High Quality Education

Risk Management, Portfolio Size

Performance based on real fills


Non-directional Options Strategies

10-15 trade Ideas Per Month

Targets 5-7% Monthly Net Return

Visit our Education Center

Recent Articles


  • Choosing a broker for forex options trading

    Forex options are options that are tied to a currency pair. Forex options can be both call or put options. The option matures in the money if the exchange rate for the currency is above (call) or below (put) the strike price when the option matures. Forex options are usually cash-settled.

    By Kim,

  • What is Gamma Hedging and Why is Everyone Talking About It?

    The options markets significantly changed following the pandemic. People got laid off from their jobs or sent to work from home and got bored, so they started trading options. But brand new retail traders weren't selling SPY call spreads. They were buying weekly options in high-momentum, and they were doing it in numbers enough to alter the order flow of the entire options market.

    By Pat Crawley,

  • Risk/Reward vs. Win Ratio

    Whether you're a value investor or short-term options trader, the game of financial markets ultimately comes down to putting the probabilities slightly in your favor rather than making deterministic calls as to where the S&P 500 will be next month.

    By Pat Crawley,

  • How to Get Started as an Investor

    Money makes the world go round, as many people are well aware of by now. If you have a measure of wealth, then you also have a measure of freedom and security in your life. Money doesn’t mean living a lavish lifestyle, especially if you want to use it properly and responsibly.

    By Kim,

  • Should You Hedge or Diversify?

    Using the most popular S&P 500 ETF (SPY) to represent the US stock market, this article will look at different ways to manage equity market risk using historical ETF and options data from ORATS Wheel since 2007. We will analyze the following unhedged, hedged and allocation choices:

    By Jesse,

  • Market Orders vs. Limit Orders

    While advanced trading platforms allow you to customize orders endlessly, most of them still boil down to a few basic types of orders:

    By Pat Crawley,

  • 7 Steps To Improve Your Trading In 2022

    Gazing at the trading screen or investing a large amount in the stock market is not enough to improve your trading skill and increase the chance of winning a stock. Rather, gathering proper knowledge, and presence of mind is very important to perform confidently in the trading market.

    By Kim,

  • Starbucks: Using Options to Play Capped Upside Potential Post-Earnings

    Discretionary stocks have led the S&P 500’s recovery over the last several weeks Starbucks faces several headwinds, and the bar might be low enough come Tuesday night when earnings hit the tape, but resistance on the chart suggests caution. ORATS highlights a bearish bet options traders can make.

    By ORATS_Matt,

  • Alcoa Earnings Report July 20th, 2022

    Welcome to the ORATS earnings report where we scan for companies with upcoming earnings announcements, check out historical earnings information, and find a potential options trade. Read on or watch the video overview here:

    By ORATS_Matt,

  • Put Selling: Strike Selection Considerations

    When selling puts, such as we do in our Steady Momentum PutWrite strategy, there are many questions a trader must answer: What expiration should I use? What strike should I sell? Should I choose that strike based on delta or percentage out of the money?

    By Jesse,


  Report Article

We want to hear from you!

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's easy and free!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Options Trading Blogs Expertido