Forex HomeRun - Mrs. Watanabe's Forex Trading Diary

Overwhelmed with probablilities

So I've been trading forex for roughly a year and a half now and have had a varing degrees of succsess. Over this time, one thing that became increasingly apparent was that I had no conclusive evidence I actually had an edge -- sure, support / resitence *seemed* to work and gave periods of success but these were often followed by equally large periods of failure leading me to loose confidence in various approaches and strategies.
So at this point the logical thing to do was to take a step back and backtest. Sure, this would probably have been better to do before any trading what so ever but sometimes you need to fail first to see why you need to do something. Anyway, queue some limitied manual backtesting...
Doing this I realised several things:
  1. there are so many variables. Entries, exits, pyramiding, stop placement, profit targets and changing any one of these can have huge effects on your results, let alone all the various combinations of these factors.
  2. A sample set of 50 - 100 trades on one pair is nothing. I quickly realised that a strategy that works for EUUSD over the last year, doesn't necessarily mean that it would have worked the previous year... or next year... or on another pair... or 20 pairs.
Next, queue some automated backtesting...
So after realising the butterfly effect of changing you entry strategy or approach to take profits I decided to automate the process to speed things up and open up the possibility of trying more variable combinations. This is kind of where I'm at now - I'm using pinescript to test strategies (I get that this isn't exactly the gold standard for backtesting but it seems like a reasonable way to get started) - and am having generally mixed to poor results. The general issue being consistency, what works on one pair doesn't work on another, large periods of drawdown etc. Coupled with this is just the overwhelming sense that most strategies are just temporary runs of consistency in an otherwise chaotic system. The same as getting 5 heads in a row in a series of coin flips.

So I guess my question(s) is this:
Has anyone else been through this process of discovery and come out the other end -- and to those who are professional traders ( or at least have numerous years of consistent profitablitly ) how did you come to trust your system and know for sure that (for argument sake) closing a whole trade at 3R works better statistically than scaling out or using an exit indicator?
Additionally, my most consistent results seem to come when aiming for a a low r:r, even as low as 1:1 -- does any body trade a system that focusses on small consistent profits over the 'homerun' type approaches?

*Edit* Maybe a slightly more succinct summary of my point / question would be:
Having seen how the smallest variable can wildly change the results of an automated backtest over a data set of numerous years, coupled with the fact that strategies can fluctuate between profitable and unprofitable, in essense, at random: Is forex, esspecially if trading based on intuition or a system that you change based on your 'gut', no better than betting on roulette unless routed in hard, extensive statistical evidence?
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