Throwing Good after Bad
photo by admitchell08; creative commons license
There’s an old saying about throwing good money after bad. It means that you’ve discovered something isn’t working but you continue to spend money on it, usually hoping that more money will improve on something useless or inefficient.
But what if it’s not money or anything physical? For me, it was a major hump to get over when I decided that yes, I really could unclutter a closet and I didn’t have to keep a dress I hated and hadn’t fit into for 10 years just because I spent a fortune on it long ago. Releasing the energy and the physical manifestation of it was difficult at first but freeing once I figure out how to detach from it.
It’s much harder when the thing you’ve invested in isn’t physical. Take a relationship, for example. Yes, you’ve been with that person for a year or two and invested all that time and emotion but
you’re getting nowhere. Here’s a big hint: if your relationship gives you stomach ulcers, then maybe it’s time to detach from it? Instead, you keep putting time, effort, emotion, heart, and maybe even soul into something that doesn’t work and probably will never work. You’re too attached to what you’ve invested, and it starts to own you and suck you dry. If it were good money you were throwing after bad, at some point you’d deplete your bank account and have to make a change. With relationships, most people don’t make the change until they hit rock bottom and are emotionally depleted.
The same goes for intangible products or services. I’m currently detaching from a particular way of doing business that’s not working for me. I’ve resisted, though, for a couple of years because…well, because I put a lot of money into the software and set-up for a particular website and changing is like admitting it was all a mistake. I’m changing my view, though. It wasn’t a mistake—though I did lose a lot of financial opportunity—but rather, it was proof that there’s a better way to handle something that’s intangible. In this case, I made a change to an old website from something that was working very well, bringing in lots of traffic and a growing income, to a different model that looked more “professional.” I invested a lot of myself into these new changes, but honestly, what I’ve been doing since I first realized this wasn’t working is throwing good time after bad. Not only did I waste time setting up a new model, but I’ve been continuing to waste time (and life) on it rather than release it and go back to the system that was much more successful.
Nothing requires us to hold onto that expensive dress that no longer fits…or that business effort that’s costing us more in time than we can afford…or that relationship that’s sucking us dry. Nothing but our own beliefs that releasing something is the same as giving up…or failing.