I’m sure you’ve been there. You bought the paint, thought it was going to be perfect, finished the whole room only to discover it’s all WRONG. Now what? Do you start over? Do you live with it even though you hate it?
Recently I had one of these moments and to make matters worse it was a mural that I painted.
I started out painting the main walls of the kitchen green (Behr: Moss Stone) which was great and then thought an orange accent wall would be perfect.
When that didn’t seem right I added two pink sections to the wall and a little curvy line. I could have stopped at this point. It was different and fun and received good feedback. But something wasn’t working for me.
Added a green curvy line. No, not good.
Went full on crazy and added more colors. What was I thinking?! This was becoming stressful.
How could I fix this? I had now invested three days of painting and couldn’t help but feel that if I started over now that all that time was for nothing. Welcome to my experience with the sunk cost fallacy. It’s a tendency for people to continue moving forward with a decision or action because of invested money or in this case, time. I felt frustrated like if I can’t make this work I’ve failed. What was it all for. But the truth is, at this point I had to face the fact that what was done was done. I spent all that time and it wasn’t going to get any better by investing even more time. I had to start over. I can’t help but relate this to other aspects of my life but for now we’ll stick with the mural ;)
So, after coming to this realization I said goodbye and painted over the whole thing with a different shade of green (PPG Deep Forest Pine) and finally, I was satisfied. A very complicated way to end up with a plain green wall but here we are. Happy at last.
Whether it’s painting a wall or some other aspect of your life sometimes you just know what’s right and wrong. Listen to your gut and do what’s best for you. Start over, change direction. Don’t worry about the time you’ve lost but focus on what’s ahead instead.