Point of no return bias 

There are about a dozen psychological, subconscious biases that lead to what I like to call the point of no return bias.

We have dissonance when we become attached to an idea, especially after we invest in that idea. It’s very hard to change our mind  because of the dissonance. Even if we haven’t invested beyond liking the idea, we’re still often fully vested. 

We also have a need to see ourselves as a good person. Part of that is being consistent so other people can rely upon us.

We also have a tendency to like what we’re used to. Liking is merely familiarity. So when we have a way that’s worked in the past we don’t like to entertain new ways because that seems inherently risky in comparison. Even if it’s not.

All of these biases and more contribute to the point of no return bias. 

When making decisions we often assume, subconsciously, that we are past the point of changing our approach. 

And the trouble is, we’re not aware of this.

And so when we need to make a change because things aren’t working we often won’t and will allow ourselves to fail simply because we believe we are already passed the point of no return

But, there are very few instances where you’re actually past the point of no return. 

Certainly that doesn’t mean it’s free to change your mind and to do things a new way. But the expense doesn’t mean it’s not possible. 

Of course we also have a bias that tends to make us obsess over short term costs at the expense of long-term costs.  So that kicks in as well when we’re considering the added cost in the short term. We tend to think, why change? That’s going to be more expensive than just sticking with our guns!

You should take away from this that you have this bias too. And when you’re struggling with difficult problems where it seems like maybe there should be a different way to do things, remind yourself that you have a tendency to not want to change things and that maybe you should suspend your doubt and really entertain what it would be like to change things because that might be the exact course of action you need to be successful and avoid a failure.