Why do we hold onto bad decisions? / by Krista Boivie

Monday evening I spent the evening at a friends house, we ate dinner, talked and then she suggested we watch a movie. She had picked the movie up at the library and thought it sounded interesting.  I had never heard of it, but there were a couple of big name actors in it and I thought it couldn't be too bad.  Boy, was I wrong. 

The movie was laughably awful.  The lead actress was so over-the-top and the story was not very believable. We joked before we put the movie in that we would give it 15 minutes and then turn it off and watch something else.  Fifteen minutes came and we kept watching it--in fact, even with as bad as it was--we kept watching it.  

Why? Why did we continue to watch a movie that was so terrible? In fact, why do we engage in any behavior or relationship that is not enjoyable/interesting/empowering?

In The Social Animal David Brooks writes:

The great business sage Peter Drucker said that about a third of the business decisions he observed turned out to have been right, another third turned out to be minimally effective, and another third were outright failures. In other words, there is at least a two-thirds chance that what we have done is wrong or largely wrong. We believe that it is great, because we want to believe we are great. We want to preserve our egos, so we’re spinning ourselves. But the truth is life is about producing failure. We only progress through a series of regulated errors. Every move is a partial failure to be corrected by the next one.

I know that I often allow my ego to get in the way.  It is difficult for me to admit I have made a poor choice and so I stick with bad decisions longer than are necessary.  

Do you stick with things longer than you should? How do you work your way out of a bad decision?