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Nial Fuller

NIAL FULLER
Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

Trade What You See, Not What You Think

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By in Forex Trading Articles Last updated on | 41 Comments

As a Forex trader, you have probably read that you need to control your emotions and focus on logic and objectivity instead of giving into the impulses of greed, hope, and fear. However, it is one thing to know you should not trade emotionally and another to actually know HOW to NOT trade emotionally and how to implement this knowledge.

The human brain is primed to work against us in the markets due to the primitive “fight or flight” brain mechanisms that have guided our existence as a species for thousands of years. Unfortunately, these same mechanisms actually inhibit most traders from achieving their full potential in the market. So in order to become a consistently profitable trader it is necessary to devise a plan using our more logical and objective frontal lobe section of the brain, which is the newest area of the human brain and allows us to plan, reason, and comprehend complicated ideas.

By learning to trade what we see, and not what we think, we can make sure that we are operating on logic and objectivity instead of emotion. The following points will provide you with some insight and solid tips so that you more clearly understand why you need to trade what you see and NOT only what you think and how to make sure you follow through with it.

Stop trying to ‘out-smart’ the market

Trying to guess what the market will do next with no real rational or trade setup is exactly the same as gambling your money away in a slot machine or on the roulette wheel. Yet, every day beginning traders as well as unsuccessful experienced traders commit this exact emotional trading error. Rather than looking at the price chart and checking it against their forex trading plan to see if any price action setups are present, many traders simply “manifest” some idea about what price “should” do.

When you trade off anything other than an obvious and visible price action setup, or in accordance with whatever your pre-defined trading strategy says, you are simply operating on emotion and feeling rather than objective analysis of price movement. Many traders trade emotionally after a losing trade or after a winning trade because they give into the revenge feeling that a losing trade elicits or the greed that a winning trade often elicits. It is at these exact moments when traders stop trading off what they see on the chart and begin trading off what they “think” or feel, and it is also these moments that separate consistently profitable traders from unsuccessful amateurs.

Don’t get attached to any one trade

dontgetattachedtotradesIt is important to understand that just because you “think” something will happen in the market does not mean it will. Similarly, even if you do find a very obvious and “perfect” looking setup, you should always remember that the Forex market is a dynamic and a constantly ebbing and flowing arena where anything can happen at any time, so don’t bet the farm just because you think you have spotted a “sure-thing”, because there is no such thing in the Forex market, or any market for that matter.

Rather than allowing yourself to become emotionally attached to any trade or any idea about what the market might do, you need to learn to trade emotionally detached from your trades. Allow the price action to light your way through the noise and confusion of the market, all the while keeping in mind that you must constantly manage your risk even on trade setups that look “perfect”. Always make sure you are trading according to the concepts of your forex trading strategy, and not just on a “whim”, if you are a price action trader then follow the trail left by price instead of getting off track and giving into what you think the market “should” do or “might” do.

Learn to control yourself if you want to make money in Forex

One obvious yet often over-looked fact of Forex trading is that the market simply does not care at all about you or if you win or lose money, the market does not know you exist, and it doesn’t get emotional about you. Yet, most traders get emotional about their trades and about the market, thus they are letting a non-living entity control their behavior instead of controlling it themselves. You will not make consistent money in the market until you learn to control your emotions and reactions to the market.

Once you learn to trade only what you see on the price chart instead of what you think, you will be well on your way to becoming a consistently profitable trader, because trading what you see and not just what you think means you are controlling yourself instead of being controlled by the market. The key is to consistently trade only what you see and not what you think or feel, this will help to keep you from giving into the emotions of revenge or greed after a losing or winning trade. Traders who consistently trade only what they see on the price chart and not what they think “might” happen, along with managing their risk effectively, are the traders who make money in forex. When you learn to trade with high-probability price action setups while simultaneously controlling your emotion and risk, you will be in an even better position to make money in the Forex market.

Tips to make sure you only trade what you see and not what you think

idea_bulbIt is one thing to fully understand exactly why you need to only trade what you see instead of what you think, and it is another thing to actually make sure you do it. Here are some concrete tips that you can use to make sure you only trade what you see and instead of giving into emotion:

• Take a moment and ask yourself before each trade “what I am doing?”, “what is the setup?”, “does it meet my trading plan criteria?”, “am I acting logically or emotionally?”, “am I controlling myself or is the market controlling me?”, “is there a setup or am I am just making one up”? These are all good questions to ask yourself before you enter any trade, doing this will make you think deeper about what you are doing and if a trade is logically justified or if you are simply acting on emotion.

• If you are trading a specific Forex trading strategy, like price action, make sure each trade you take is in accordance with the concepts that you learned in the trading course or educational material. Ask yourself any or all of the above questions before every trade that you take, until it becomes second nature to only trade what you see. Eventually you will develop a refined discretionary trading perspective that will allow you to almost instantly look at a price chart and spot price action setups. Trading only obvious price action trade setups that have already formed, and that are not just ideas or “possible” setups, provides us with a type of “check and balance” to make sure that we are not trading from emotion.

If you are interested in learning to trade with price action and in developing your “pure” price action trading skills, then please check out my forex trading course, in it you will learn how to trade with the same simple price action setups that I have mastered during my trading career. When you combine the concepts that I teach with a consistent ability to only trade what you see and not what you think, you will be headed towards achieving your goals as a consistently profitable Forex trader.

Good trading, Nial Fuller

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About Nial Fuller

is a Professional Trader & Author who is considered ‘The Authority’ on Price Action Trading. He has a monthly readership of 250,000+ traders and has taught 20,000+ students since 2008. Checkout Nial's Professional Forex Course here.
  1. Alex April 25, 2014 at 2:18 am

    Hello, Nial.
    Great article Nial, I’m really enjoying being part of this trading site. With each of your article, I’m a successful professional trader. It’s really giving me the boost and better understanding of forex trading…
    Thank you very much.

    Reply
  2. Fred May 21, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Nial,
    Thanks for your generosity in sharing info with us. I am trying to trade Price Action now. I have tried dozens of indicators and purchased several courses. Some of the courses seem to be good but I do not have much luck trading them. Far too many of them use ma crossovers which can be confusing if trying to enter after the crossover.
    I use 21 pma as a guide to determining price direction.
    So, thank you for the articles and videos on Price Action Trading.

    Fred D. Riggins Jr.

    Reply
  3. Stoyan May 7, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Hi Nial, I’m about 5 years into forex trading and before I found your website, my trading strategy was pretty similar to yours but after reading/watching what you had to say I must admit that a lot of the fog has lifted. I hope I’m making sense, english is not my mother’s tongue. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  4. Richie February 26, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Nial,

    Awesome article! Sincerely appreciate you always reminding us beginners how easy the process is and that patience, money management and a good simple plan like PA is all you need. Thank you all you time and expertise! I owe you a beer!

    Reply
  5. Worapong Ngamsanga February 13, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Nail
    Thank you so much, sent me lessons I try to learn and follow, I buy
    stocks in Thailand, not easy to control myself.

    Thanks
    Worapong

    Reply
  6. TRACY February 10, 2011 at 3:57 am

    This is the second time I’ve read this article and again it blows my mind. This game is all about mastering your patience. If trading came in a bottle, everyone would do it…but because it takes a lot of waiting, 95% of us can’t do it. Now i get such a rush from just waiting for the right time to strike on my trade. I LOVE THE WAITING GAME! This was probably my favorite article to read. Thanks, Nial!

    Reply
  7. Luke Peacemaker February 8, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Nial, Great lesson ill be taking your course this week. I really look forward to the insight. Thanks.

    Reply
  8. Willard Campbell February 5, 2011 at 4:11 am

    Nial,
    You seem like a rough character at times but I can live with that. I appreciate that these articles are a comfort in an uncertain environment. They provide an anchor and a chart and just like the real world leave the Captain to sail or sink with his own ship. I like it.

    Reply
  9. Sri NAth February 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Excellent…!!!

    Reply
  10. Jason Tay February 2, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Hi Nial,
    Thank you for the article. This article has reminded me of the recent trade that i have made. It was a disastrous trade and i was stop out in no time. Realised that it was a “predictive” trade approach anticipating what the market would behave rather than strictly following the price action trade pattern with discipline.
    Thank you and i have always enjoyed your price action trading articles.

    Reply
  11. xback77 February 1, 2011 at 1:54 am

    thanks for the good article and good lesson for me as a beginner.

    Reply
  12. Abdul Rahim January 31, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Many thanks Nial.You certainly have a very deep and profound knowledge of the psychology of a forex trader,especially for a newbie like me.I think your course is worth following.

    Reply
  13. Dave January 31, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks for the reminder! I remember a few months ago emotions ruled my trading and I payed for it. Now The problem is I find myself back at break even time and again. While I’m confident that this is a result of risk/reward paying off, its screen time I think I’m lacking in. Thanks for all the free course info Nial! The videos, the articles, and the set ups. Its really helping me become a better trader.

    Reply
  14. joshua January 31, 2011 at 3:43 am

    really enjoyed this article, if only one can follow all the principles that you hv listed out, one will always mk profit in his trade. This is what many traders know but do not put to practice because of lack of decipline. am guilty of it too. My trading will change 4 good after this moment. Thanks. Keep doing the good job, “spreading good news”.

    Reply
  15. Michael January 30, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Thanks for the article Nial, I never tire of reading your stuff

    Reply
  16. ernie January 30, 2011 at 3:00 am

    This may be the most important article a new trader will ever read. There are so many sub consience factors that will affect your trading that most traders never figure it out. They just continue to think they have figured it out. And a teribble cycle begins. Most look for the Holy grail. When stops working or more than likely never never worked for them, they just go to the next one. It all can be avoided by trading what you see. Mr Fuller is one of the best at pointing out the truth of what you see.

    Reply
  17. shinobi_brian January 30, 2011 at 2:27 am

    Thanks again for another great lesson Nial :)

    Reply
  18. Belinda January 30, 2011 at 1:41 am

    Nial,
    Please keep writing your articles, I thouroughly enjoy reading all of them. You truly have taught me so much from your wisdom & experience.
    I am still struggling with the emotional issues of trading but will try your advice above.

    Thanks again.

    Reply
  19. Ed January 29, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Nial,
    I enjoy your articles and trying to take the emotion out of my trading. Slowly improving and feel that your stuff is beginning to make that difference I need to become a profitable trader. Thanks.

    Reply
  20. mason January 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Hi Nial,
    what you write here it comes from experience,
    thank you so much for that.hopefully we can practice them in real trading.
    good luck

    Reply
  21. Mathew K January 29, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Nice article, that part that I can relate to the most was “Many traders trade emotionally after a losing trade or after a winning trade because they give into the revenge feeling that a losing trade elicits”. The latter is where I I stand currently. Ie I had a considerably profitable trade only to give it back and ‘more’ the following week. I went into that week ‘expecting’ a loss after my windfall. My psychology was so skewed that my trade plan was self sabotaged and it has affected me even to now. Am yet to get back on my horse. It is refreshing to read an article that helps me to understand ‘me’ and my trading. Thanks Nial

    Reply
  22. Ezzywave January 29, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Good points very well put.

    Cheers

    Mike

    Reply
  23. Olajubu January 29, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Thanks very much.I know that the only thing i need now is patient to trade succesfully.

    Reply
  24. Richard January 29, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Very good and smart article will help me for future trades as a beginner. Thanks

    Reply
  25. Guy Derby January 29, 2011 at 6:06 am

    I’ve made a list of the questions and have them stuck to my computer.

    Reply
  26. Justin January 29, 2011 at 3:56 am

    Great article Nial! Emotion kills most traders before the can master a plan. It’s key to remain patient. It’s a tough battle but I try to stay level headed on every trade. Thanks and keep them coming!

    Reply
  27. Raul Lopez January 29, 2011 at 3:50 am

    Hi Nial
    Good Lesson
    Raul

    Reply
  28. Mark O January 29, 2011 at 2:01 am

    For those still mulling over whether to get the course. Get it ! The course material is very good and the daily commentry is my trading “friend” keeping me on the right track. Excellent Nial.

    Reply
  29. David January 29, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Thank you for a very informative article, best wishes David

    Reply
  30. Flash January 29, 2011 at 1:32 am

    Good questions one should be asking of oneself when trading.

    Reply
  31. Walter January 29, 2011 at 1:16 am

    You give me refresh idea every time with the articles and videos. Reading your article is my daily routing. You are so Great.
    Thank very much.

    Reply
  32. Jeff January 29, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Thanks Nial, another very important lesson for all traders

    Reply
  33. Galen January 29, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Hi Mr. Fuller

    Most interesting article. I am there, like a bobber on the surface; thank you for pulling me down to a deeper understanding. I like the article.

    Your student

    Reply
  34. Mr Wong January 28, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Ahh Mr Nial
    You be wrighting so cleverly good info lately. Its so true.Tank you so muchly

    Reply
  35. Mamudu Obagah January 28, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Hi Nial,Thanks for your very educative articles and videos.I am now becoming more confident to enter the forex market without fears and emotions since you started sending in the lessons.I appreciate your mentoring prowess. Please keep it up.We hope to meet you on top someday.You are simply GREAT.

    Reply
  36. Manjula January 28, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Think this is the most important part of a trading process. Great article Nial.So help full as always.

    Thank you

    Reply
  37. Steve R January 28, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Hi Nial,

    I joined the Forex Education Course last week after almost a year of receiving this newsletter. The quality and insight into trading psychology with this article is profound. You seriously have my attention.

    Steve R

    Reply
  38. Dominik January 28, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Another great lesson from a talented guy from learntotradethemarket! Thanks Nial!

    “is there a setup or am I am just making one up” – something to bear in mind I think for all.

    All the best and good weekend,
    Dominik

    Reply
  39. Jaime January 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Great lesson Nail, please keep giving us these great lessons.

    Jaime

    Reply
  40. T Allen January 28, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Good Lesson – Nial …. Thanks for the nice summary of what it takes to follow the market and rely on the odds.

    Reply
  41. Hugo Venter January 28, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Hey Nial,

    Thanks for the articles, I enjoy reading them!

    I think my current limitations are that I am finding and sometimes taking trades that are not with the trend, but in a trading range.

    I am trying to teach myself the patience to wait for the obvious trend moves before employing the price action setups.

    Really want to buy your course and get access to the members area….

    Thanks for all the free content.

    Hugo Venter

    Reply

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