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Nial Fuller

Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

Why The Best Trades Are SO Hard To Pull The Trigger On

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By in Forex Trading Strategies By Nial Fuller Last updated on | 34 Comments

pull trigger keep calmDoes the following trading scenario sound familiar to you?…

A market has broken up through a level and starts trending aggressively, starting to gain a lot of momentum. Then all of a sudden, you see the market rotate back to a good solid level and then a nice price action signal forms at that level and in-line with trend. However, rather than taking quick action and setting up the trade, you just stare at it blankly, like a ‘deer caught in the headlights’, unable to take action. You think to yourself something like: “I’ll let the market run its course because I don’t think it can possibly keep going with how far it’s already moved, I’m not going to get in here” etc.

Not long after this ‘deer in the headlights’ moment, the market continues on its way without you on board. You feel anger, frustration and generally like you want to punch your computer screen into a thousand pieces.

Let me tell you, the above scenario is something many traders experience and today I want to talk about some similar scenarios you might find yourself in and give you the solution to avoid them in the future…

The ‘deer in headlights’ trading problem…

Many beginning and even some experienced traders are sometimes faced with fear of pulling the trigger on trades. What can you do to overcome this fear and move forward in your trading?

First, let’s discuss what tends to happen to traders who face this problem…

Trading can be difficult because each trade and market scenario is going to be unique. Indeed, as the late great Mark Douglas said in Trading in the Zone: “No two moments in the market are ever exactly the same”. As a result, traders often hesitate or are confused as to whether or not “this signal” is one worth trading or not.

We tend to think ourselves right out of perfectly good trades sometimes…

How often have you seen a dead obvious trade signal and you just stared at it instead of entering it and then it comes off in your favor as you continue to stare in disbelief that you didn’t enter it??

Trending markets are often so blatantly obvious that we can’t believe the market will continue. Indeed, one of the biggest problems people have is they think something like “Oh this market has fallen (or risen) so far in this short space of time it can’t possibly go any further”, I have even been guilty of thinking like this in the past. Essentially, we are presented with beautiful evidence that it can go further, in the form of a strong trending move, but we convince ourselves that it can’t. This is classic over-thinking / over-analysis / analysis-paralysis, call it what you want.

I have even recently been noticing that in aggressively moving markets, pullbacks / retraces tend to not be very deep or significant. When the market is moving, we need to find an entry point to take advantage of those big market moves, we don’t want to be constantly waiting for a pullback that never comes.  Of course, this involves developing your trading skill and gut feel so that you can know when a market is trending aggressively and when it’s not.

Another common scenario of the ‘deer in headlights’ syndrome is when we see a level holding firmly as price tests it but we begin believing it won’t hold when we are about to trade. We think “Oh watch, now it won’t hold for my trade” etc. So, we sit out and then of course the market turns on a dime at that level we planned to trade at, without us on board again. Frustrating, to say the least.

It’s after going through these various scenarios that the hindsight trade mentality then takes over. We get confident based on these trades we analyzed but didn’t take and then the next time around we do take a similar trade but if it’s a trade that loses, we then destroy ourselves mentally. You can see how this becomes a vicious mental circle where you see a trade work out that you hesitated on, then take a similar trade and it fails, then you start getting mad / over-trading etc.

The key here is that if we had traded both setups (the one we hesitated on that would have been a winner and the next one that failed), we would now be in the money if we had a 2 to 1 winner and then the one loser.

Here’s a classic example of a recent move that many traders probably hesitated on…

Notice in the AUDUSD daily chart below that the market had been in an uptrend before reversing and pulling back nearly 300 pips at the end of April. People didn’t want to believe that the trend had turned, they thought “oh it can’t fall any further, it’s fallen 300 pips in a pretty short time…”. Then, what happened? The market promptly fell another 300 pips, with none of those people on board…


Here’s another trade from the same move in the AUDUSD, this one I actually traded myself…

After nearly a 600 pip move to the downside, most people were trying to pick the bottom, they figured it can’t fall anymore. Why was this wrong? Well, it’s simple; the price action evidence on the chart was still very bearish and there was plenty of room for price to keep falling. These are the types of trades people look at it and think “it can’t go any further”, but then it does…


The solutions to the dear in the headlights problem…

  • Understand trading is a game of probabilities – You need to take every instance of your trading edge and not hesitate. If you hesitate on a perfectly good signal, it will throw off your whole trading mindset and rhythm because if you then take a trade that loses you will start to doubt yourself and your method. You need to always remember that we are trading probabilities, not certainties and that any single trade has essentially a random expectation, it’s the overall strategy when traded consistently over time that gives you a high-probability edge.
  • Next time you see something, act on it – Pretty simple. Not to be crude, but you have to have ‘balls’ if you want to be a trader. If you’re going to hesitate and be afraid to take perfectly good setups, don’t try to be a trader. Lowering your risk to a dollar amount that you are OK with losing will also help you to have less fear of a trade losing, which should help you eliminate the hesitation / fear factor.
  • Markets often move further than we think – Remember, markets often move further than you think they will. So, don’t over-think the situation; if you see a strong trend, assume it will keep going until it shows you otherwise…. instead of assuming it will end all the time with no evidence that it will. Don’t convince yourself of things without price-based evidence.
  • Study, know what to look for – Of course, if you haven’t learned how to trade properly and you don’t know what you’re trading edge or entry signal(s) is, you are going to hesitate and be fearful simply because you don’t really know what you’re doing. Take my trading course, learn how to trade properly, don’t let fear rule you; the only solution to fear is knowledge. People are afraid of what they don’t understand.


In regards to the two trade examples above, these types of trades may take a few days or even more to work out. Don’t sit there checking them all day at work or school or home or wherever. Let the market run its course and don’t micro-manage or over-manage your trades by looking at lower time frames than the one you entered on, etc.

This mentality of being disciplined in both when you should trade and when you shouldn’t, as well as having discipline to not micro-manage your trades, is the exact mentality that led to my winning a trading competition recently. I saw the signals, I believed in my method and I was aggressive. Had I sat around like a ‘deer in headlights’, worried about whether “this move will continue or not”, I wouldn’t have won. I simply had to have discipline, trust my edge and back myself, and that my friends, is the ‘formula’ for success as a trader.

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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. In 2016, Nial won the Million Dollar Trader Competition. Checkout Nial's Professional Trading Course here.
  1. MUNGE GATHURI September 18, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    This is an article that need to be reread as many times upto the point it is engrained the sub- conscious mind thankyou again for the great article.

  2. caroline Alegbe September 18, 2019 at 2:25 am

    Thanks for this write up.

  3. Yakawonya Rutson September 16, 2019 at 4:44 am

    Always out with a winner post A teacher to cherish Thanks many thanks over

  4. eessien edet September 16, 2019 at 1:15 am

    Hi Nial,
    I enjoy reading your wisdom-filled articles on trading the financial markets. I have been trading for some years now, picking up useful trading nuggets along the way. Your latest article is, as usual, content packed.

    Thanks Nial for your awesome trading insights.


  5. Nour September 15, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Nial, you are the godfather of the Forex trading.

  6. NKAMA September 15, 2019 at 12:55 am

    You are too much sir. By this you have solved most of my problems.

    • Ekpebo Edwin September 19, 2019 at 7:36 am

      Thanks for all the vital information on retracement trading- entry signals, stop loss placing and profit taking. You sure opened my mind to new idea.

  7. Medi September 14, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    You tha God sent!

  8. NGUYEN QUOC THANG September 14, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Pls support me to explain more about ” Event area ” in the line ” Retrace Entry Back to an Event Area or Prior PA signal.

    Thank you

  9. Mahmudul Hasan September 14, 2019 at 1:32 am

    Super Nial bro…..

  10. Diário de um Poupador March 5, 2018 at 1:32 am

    Hi, i am a brazilian guy who trades for years. I pause my trades during some years, and i came back about 2 months ago. I’ve been trying a strategy with short take, and it has given to me a lot of profits. I am trying to make my mind strong to ignore the market’s movement after i book profit. You have said a very right thing here: the market always makes a retraction.

    This article was very good, thanks. Keep it that way. God bless you.

  11. Solomon Olusegun Oyeniyi December 13, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Thank you for this article.

    • Liton khan September 16, 2019 at 12:14 am

      Very nice Boos.ok go forawd.

  12. GANDUS December 4, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Great always to hear you big brooother Nail. God bless you. timely article for me. love

  13. Noor Azman Abd Aziz November 26, 2017 at 2:10 am

    Nice and very interesting. This article answer the questions why i always close trades with losses while actually I have been profitting during the trading session.

  14. Sboniso Malambule November 24, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    ive bee reading your lessons im impressed

  15. Azmi Yusoff October 17, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Interesting article. This happen everytime. The idea of wanting to wait a little more time may cause us to lose what is supposed to be a profit instead.

  16. Ayanda Mabuza September 18, 2017 at 10:56 am

    reading such artecles really opens my mind.Thanks Nail

  17. Roy Peters September 1, 2017 at 2:39 am

    This happened to me recently on Eurgbp. Up 200 pips and thought it’d go higher. Next day market came down and I booked only 40pips!
    I learn a big lesson.

  18. Rafari July 31, 2017 at 1:29 am

    ok, its been almost 2 years since I start to learn how the market move. I can say most of your articles give me a vision about how to, what to do and don’t. It’s cool because I start move to learn draw some major snr, I got stuck on making it, but your articles show me some clever way to draw “a key level” and some short term. I’ll try my best to practice it everyday !!!

    Thanks Nial, You’re Awesome !

  19. kgothatso July 28, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    U ar really a genus.sir u teached me that i should take a risk than to lose the chance **#great things come to those who hustle (lovely)$$$$$

  20. Alan Gillanders June 25, 2017 at 3:25 am

    Hi Nial,
    Thanks for the lesson. This has been my problem for some time. Greed. Always waiting to take more with a small investment. My profits evaporate and majority of times end in a loss.
    In the last 6 weeks I have been taking the small profits. 100 – 200 points instead of trying to get 500-1000 points. seems to be working ok. Thanks again

  21. oluwatosn Matthew June 23, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    That’s a good trading guide. Thanks nial.

  22. Ages Justice June 22, 2017 at 5:40 am

    Keep it up Mentor. God bless you more!

  23. Louis June 21, 2017 at 11:43 am

    This is exactly what was missing from my trading. Realistic exit plans. Thank you Nial.

  24. endurance oki June 21, 2017 at 8:05 am

    thank you sir for your well prepared article. Im a victim of this very situation , i’ve almost hit my profit target then i said i should let the profit run but to my very face , the profits were evaporating until i closed the trade .

  25. DAVID SHUBE June 20, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Thanks Nial, booking profits on-time is right, cos too much emotional traits is involved when one realized that the trade is going to retrace unexpectedly.

  26. PEERALLY June 20, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Thank you, Nial.

  27. Kate M June 20, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Thanks Nial, way to go. You keep writing evolving lessons like these, Ill always have something to learn. And again an opportune time to write this particular article, I think you are the Yoda of trading:)

  28. Lucas Obiora June 19, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Thanks Nial, that’s an eye opener to me, I have that problem of letting profits run into losses, thank you very much for the article.

  29. Kay June 19, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Thank you Nial, well explained and organized article. Definitively help me to prepare my Profit plan. Regards

  30. smg June 19, 2017 at 3:17 am

    Thank you

  31. richadi36 June 19, 2017 at 2:07 am

    Thanks Nial. I really got immense knowledge about booking profits.

  32. Suleiman Bhadmus June 18, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Amazing,am definitely going to include all this point in my trading plan. Though am still on demo, but what have learned from this article in very key to a successful trading.
    Thanks a lot Mr.Nail Fuller.

  33. Matt June 18, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    This happened to me last week. Was up 700 proffit and closed with 700 loss because i had such an attachment to what i thought was a fullproof longterm move in one direction so i wanted to ride the waves but it looks like it wasnt the long term move in that direction i thouht it was.

  34. akhtar butt June 18, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Hi, Dear Nial Fuller, , excellent, well-explained with reality and experience. Thank, cheer

    • Bebe April 30, 2019 at 7:57 pm

      Excellent article,Thanks Nail

  35. Akpos June 17, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Nice….this has been my bane in trading. Not booking profit….

  36. John Promise June 17, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Thanks Nial. My mentor.
    Remain blessed.

  37. Thendo June 17, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Thanks Nial.. great advise. Am looking forward to not closing or closing when the trade goes against you but hasn’t hit your stop loss…

  38. Luis June 17, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks so much Neil as always, great article!, mm please i have a question, what about the case that all the other trading books and gurus says about let profits run until at least 1:2 Risk reward ratio? , because they say if i close before that 1:2 im cutting my profits and that can damage me in the long run! , but in the real life im bored to wait sometimes for a 1:2 and when im at 90% to achieve that profit target the markets turns down eliminating all my profits and making a loss for me, but when i book the profits i see my account growing, what you can reccomend me about that?.

  39. Bruno June 17, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Before reading the whole article, I’m writing this! Just the header alone struck the cord. Toy, Nial, are a mind reading mentor! I’m at that stage in my trading where my edge is consistently delivering profits! But, yes, most times, these profits evaporate. Alot is happening around the political and business world and price is fluctuating between these events. Yes, price still does was it’ll do, but the whipsawing is alarming! I can’t say enough how soothing this article is to me because I make sizeable % of my Acct only to watch some diminish or disappear, even into losers.

    Thank you for this article.

  40. Mavhungu Lufuno June 17, 2017 at 9:14 am


  41. Elpadrino June 17, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Thanks Nial #Legendary

  42. Alin June 17, 2017 at 4:20 am

    I am one of those loosers who do not book much profits on the trades, because I’m setting
    way too large TPs. Thanks for the posting!

  43. Shankara Motay June 17, 2017 at 3:59 am

    Thank you very much

  44. Rongsquare June 17, 2017 at 12:44 am

    Amazing thank you Nail

  45. Mike Coe June 16, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Your articles just keep getting better and better, Nial! Great stuff! Thank you very much.

  46. Siyabonga Mkhize June 16, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Powerful thank you sir

  47. KRISTOFA OKENTA June 16, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Good Teaching As Always.
    Thank you For Sharing Your
    Heart With Us.


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