We’ve always stressed that deliberate practice and repetition enables you to work on your trading flaws and determine what works and what doesn’t in your trades. Ultimately, this can lead to consistently profitable trades.
But once you are comfortable with a tried-and-tested strategy, you might want to consider trading outside your comfort zone.
I’m not saying that you should quadruple the position size in your next trades, ditch your old trading plan, or even trade in your underwear outside your house (though that would make for a good viral video).Trading outside your comfort zone can be as simple as taking the next valid trade despite a string of losses or trading during a different trading session.
Like an Olympic swimmer who is knowledgeable in various types of strokes, you, as a forex trader, must also be familiar with different kinds of trading methods.
The point of the exercise is to expand your knowledge and challenge your existing trading skills.
Aside from increasing your knowledge of the industry, trading outside your comfort zone also opens you to more trading opportunities (and possibly more money). And if done carefully and successfully, the exercise can even increase your confidence and emotional resilience.
But don’t worry, here’s a list of tips to help you manage that stress:
1. Instead of “breaking out” of your comfort zone, try easing into your new strategies slowly.
Change does not need to be grand. It could be as simple as increasing your average position sizes 0.5% at a time. Or if you’re trading a new currency pair, place a small and insignificant position at first.
2. Use a demo account.
That way, you have absolutely zero risk and the only investment you’d have to make is time. If time investment is an issue for you, then consider using Expert Advisors and backtest mechanical systems on your platform. You can also apply your own tweaks and try forward testing as well.
3. At the end of the day, you can chalk it up to experience.
Most experienced traders routinely go outside their comfort zones. They often have test accounts where they experiment new trading strategies and methods. Sometimes they’re profitable, sometimes they aren’t, but profitability doesn’t really matter to them. What’s important is that they’re learning.
Remember, when you take on any new action–whether it’s just testing a trading method or finding a different way of analyzing the market–your values and ideas will be challenged.
If you remain humble and open, you may see things you didn’t see before, new ideas may pop-up, and you will be forced to grow.
Truth be told, going outside your comfort zone is not easy. You’ll most likely be unsuccessful at first due to the emotional stress or lack of knowledge, but given enough time, you’ll be able to learn, so don’t just try it once or twice. Consistently challenge yourself to try new things.