As traders, we have to accept that we do not know what is going to happen in the future. While our chosen method would look to to profit from an 'edge', based on some form of probability or odds (e.g. trends tend to persist until they don't), we should never approach the markets with an attitude that we can be sure what will happen from one minute to the next, one day to the next, or one week to the next.
Price action in an individual stock, forex pair or commodity can change behaviour at any time.
Therefore, we must account for that possibility in our own method, our mindset and our attitude towards risk.
Being successful as a trader over the long-term involves being consistent in your approach. This means creating a pattern of good habits that you can repeat.
Losing traders may be using an approach that has a positive expectancy, but they are not getting the results that they should - this can be down to poor execution, poor preparation, or making emotional, irrational decisions, as well as other factors.
In 1980 Severiano Ballesteros won his first US Masters by 4 shots. At one point in the final round he was a mammoth 10 strokes clear of the field. If some people thought his win in the Open Championship the previous year was a fluke, this announced his arrival as a world star. In his book Natural Golf, Ballesteros talked about the aftermath of that success and how it actually had a detrimental effect on his game for a time:
Price action earlier in the week meant the trailing stop in my last position was hit, taking me completely out of the market. Over the preceding weeks there was a dearth of setups which met my own criteria - and the few that did simply didn't trigger an entry. As always, I have NO idea what is going to happen, both in the market averages in general, as well as the individual stocks I am looking at. All I can do at this stage is continue to look for potential opportunities in accordance with my own criteria, maintain my watchlists, and wait to see if any entries are triggered.