Yesterday I had a trade setup that I simply just choked on. No excuses, no stories I just became a deer in headlights and it's all because I didn't follow my I.P.D.E. (Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute). I actually had this trade on my radar for a while when price action was trading sideways. I had two potential opportunities identified depending on which way the market decided to break structure. Yesterday morning it broke towards the bearish side so I adjusted my fibs and lines and identified a potential reversal zone. Originally I called it a Gartley pattern because it met all of the qualifiers, but there was a double top that weirded me out some. But I told myself whether I define it as a Gartley or not, I still had a good ration trade setting up. That was my first mistake. I should have looked through my trading plan to see if I should actually define it as a Gartley that I trade or not. Reason being is because I trade all advanced patterns with an aggressive entry, while if I'm simply using my Combined Technical Score (CTS) to trade ratio's and harmonics I have different rules depending on how high the score is.
However for some reason I didn't do this. I probably told myself that I had a long time before price action reached that level so I could worry about it later. So although I identified and predicted correctly, I left out the decision part. I also forgot to write it on my whiteboard which I use to keep track of which pairs I should be watching closely. Later that night I happened to check the chart right when the market moved into the zone that I predicted it would go to, but because I never identified how I would trade the setup I was caught off guard and had to go through my mind on what to do. Because I never properly identified what I was trading earlier I had no plan of entry and it was that hesitation that cost me. What's ironic was at the same time I was missing this trade, I was reading a chapter in a book that was specifically talking about missing opportunities and how you have to take everyone to be successful. Talk about feeling like an idiot. This hesitation caused me to miss my entry. Now you're probably asking yourself how come I just didn't enter market when I saw that price action was in my predicted zone. Well then answer is I've made the mistake before of having a large reversal zone and entering market without a plan and it didn't end well. Since then I told myself I would always have a plan before entering a trade. So in hindsight it would have been a profitable move to enter market, but to me it's the principle that matters the most. Let's say I do enter market and the trade goes on to be very profitable as it was, then that opens up my mind to thinking that I can get away with trading on the fly like so and I know that will eventually kill me as a trader.
The lesson learned from this is that if I would have properly went through my I.P.D.E. when I first saw the setup, I would have had my limit orders set up well in advance, and would have been filled by the time I looked at the chart. Or even if I wasn't filled, I would have known that I had orders set and the market just didn't hit them (which stinks but I can live with that). However because I didn't I'm stuck with the worst feeling a trader can have. Missing a profitable trade knowing that I should have been in it. Even if it didn't win, simply knowing that I missed an opportunity is harsh enough because trading is a numbers game. I feel like you're always going to have a certain amount of wins and losses no matter what so if it's a loss you might as well get it out the way so another win can come. In this case I missed a win which means that I missed making up for two losses.