Cutting your losses

Sometimes things we invest a lot into do not work out. Could be a project, an investment, a relationship, a business. The more personal resources we invest, the harder it is to let it go. To curtail our losses, we may invest more into it- only to lose more.

Friend of mine recently put money down on a place she was going to live in. It did not work out. She will likely lose some of the money she put down. But in order to avoid losing money, she is considering trying to make it work for a while- and putting more money into it. In business, this is sometimes referred to as sending good money after bad. After I tried to explain this perspective to her she said, "But then I will lose the money that I put down."

Yes. But you are talking about putting more money into something that does not work, in order to not lose money. But all she could see (at first anyway) was avoiding the loss of her hard-earned money- which I can totally relate to.

The same thing applies to emotional investments and time and energy investments. I had a job in which I designed a program. I put my heart and soul into it. Higher management got political pressure to move in a different direction. I kept trying to incorporate my program into what we were doing. But it was at odds with the new direction, and I eventually had to let it go.

This blog is about that time from when we know it will not work and when we ultimately have to let it go. In my friend's case it was money. In my case, it was emotional investment and time and energy.

My suggestion is that we consider cutting our losses when we first realize it is not going to work. Feeling and grieving the loss. And then not trying to beat a dead horse.

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