Whenever we put effort into anything, a relationship, a project at work, a paper for school or any undertaking, there comes a point when a decision needs to be made. Should you end it, scrap it, start over or walk away? Just how can you make that decision – what goes into the process? Read below for some ideas about how to make the difficult decisions you may need to make.
1. Throwing Good Money After Bad: don’t chase a bad decision with more effort or money.
Leslie bought a designer dress she was lusting after when she found it on sale for half price. The size of the dress was bigger than she would have liked, but she couldn’t pass up on owning something by this particular designer, and especially this dress. She didn’t waste time letting the dress acclimate to her closet. Leslie immediately brought it to a tailor for alterations. Due to the expensive fabric and intricate work required, tailoring cost the same amount as the dress, doubling the price. Leslie realized after wearing it that it didn’t look as good as she expected when taken in – the proportions were off. She threw good money after a bad decision and wasn’t happy with the result. What should she have done? Listened to the advice of the tailor when he told her she wouldn’t like the new proportions of the dress once altered. Instead of having it altered anyway, she could have attempted to return or exchange it, or given it to someone else. Or she could have bought the dress at full price instead of paying the same amount of money to have a bigger dress altered that she didn’t look good in. Have you ever done something like that?
2. The Must-Have Relationship: let someone else have him.
Amanda found love with a man who was everything she wanted – extremely handsome, a good dresser and a good earner. At first she basked in the joy of her relationship and the envy of her friends. She loved showing Henry off at parties and work events. Unfortunately for Amanda, she found that Henry was less attentive over time. After dating regularly for 6 months, he began to reduce his contact. He hardly called or texted and they didn’t see each other as much. Henry said he was busy at work. Amanda found herself calling him more, frantically begging for him to meet with her, buying him gifts and showing up at his job. She couldn’t see a future without Henry, didn’t know what she would tell her friends if the relationship failed, and became more desperate each day for things to “go back to the way it used to be” between them. Ultimately, the decision was made for her. Henry blocked her number and she never saw him again. Once the initial shock wore off, Amanda was able to see things more clearly. She kept putting more work and effort into a relationship that had already failed – she just refused to see it. Painful as it might be, Amanda resolved to never go that far again.
3. The uneasy fit: see it for what it is and stop spinning your wheels.
The task for work was simple, analyze marketing strategies and present the findings with a recommendation. Michael knew he wanted to recommend something that would showcase his social media skills. He headed in that direction, even though his research indicated that social media wasn’t the standard in his field. The more he looked into it, the more he learned that social media was an ineffective marketing strategy in the field of medical equipment. It wasn’t going to work and he had nothing to back up his recommendation with. Eventually, Michael was forced to let it go after wasting much time trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. When you start with an idea and aren’t open enough to other facts, you can get sidetracked and lose the point.
What you can do to jettison a mistake more quickly:
Realize that you are attached to your idea for a reason other than it’s a good What else is behind your desire for that dress, or keeping a bad relationship or your desire to showcase your skills? Is this a self-confidence issue?
Stop worrying about being judged by other people. They may judge you, just don’t worry about it any longer. Feel the freedom of making a good decision without fear of other people’s opinions.
Ask yourself to imagine what your life will be like in 6 months after dumping the bad decision. Will it be significantly better or worse; will it even make a dent? You may be surprised to find that what you currently believe is 100% essential to you will not even be a blip on your radar in just a few short months.
Go ahead and experiment with your life. And don’t hold on to mistakes when you see them for what they are! Go ahead and quit while you’re behind.