I’m gonna sound like a douchebag for saying this, but man up and just commit to your decision.
Let’s talk about a simpler trap, the Bison scissors trap in SF4. lk scissors is +0 on block and pushes Bison out to a range where his only solid options are cr.lk xx scissors, s.mk, s.hk, or scissor kicks. However, those options are exceedingly safe and lead to the same situation. s.hk beats jumping out, s.mk beats most anything they can do on the ground (as does s.hk, but s.mk won’t whiff if they do nothing and beats Ryu cr.mk), cr.lk beats pretty much everything but will push you out on block, and scissor kicks can be punished by jumping or just hitting buttons. If you block, bison can just scissor kick you over and over and chip you to death. If you jump, s.hk hits you and you get reset into the same situation. If you hit buttons, you might get hit by s.hk. If you DP, you flat out whiff if he does nothing and can’t FADC. So what do you do? The answer is just to commit to an option and ride it out. You can’t take away scissor kick traps, you can only try to get out of them or try to avoid them. With Ryu, you have to hit cr.mk there sometimes even though it gets countered by a safe option. You have other buttons, like cr.mp and fireball and lp srk, that will help. But nothing will flat out make you comfortable. You’re going to get hit by the trap if he cycles through his options intelligently. Don’t freeze up just because your opponent makes a good read or you play into their hand once. Now, don’t be obstinate with doing stuff that your opponent proves they can punish on reaction just because you’re lazy. But being “scared to hit buttons” is just a matter of forcing yourself to either A)re-evaluate the situation and find new options or B)Picking your option and riding it out.
If you’re limiting your own options (by using insufficient combos or not using the cheap offense or whatever) then you’re putting yourself into a corner. A lot of it is just confidence. Nobody goes into SF4 being able to do 3 1 frame links in the same combo (Except Sakonoko, but forget that guy). And I don’t think things like that are realistic for players trying to get into the game. But if you don’t try to do the hard things in SF4, like play reactive and anti-air consistently, then you will never get better. And you will mess up, oh so many times trying to do the good stuff. You will mess up so many times, in clutch situations, and lose to something dumb. But if you don’t put yourself out there and really learn what’s possible in the game then you’re plateauing far before your actual skill level.
You know how you learn footsies? You hit Ryu cr.mk enough to realize the spacings it works at, what it whiff punishes, what to do when someone can whiff punish you, how to whiff cr.mk and then input a DP to stop people from just jumping over it, reacting to focus with cr.mk xx shoryuken, option selecting with super and knowing when to do it… You learn every little thing incrementally.
The important thing to note about SF4 is that every offensive string has a weakness. Either there’s a gap you can exploit or you can just ride it out and the opponent will get pushed back or you’ll tech the throw. If someone wants to do jab jab jab walk jab pressure, you can jab in between their jabs and get your own knockdown, or you can just backdash to reset the situation. Just because someone stops you from doing obvious reversals doesn’t mean you have to decided to block forever (although blocking is REALLY safe usually).