Earlier today, a friend shared a link to an eye-opening article about how we all, from time to time, fall prey to the ‘sunk cost fallacy.’ What this means is that things, people or events we have already invested time and money in, we tend to stick with, even after we realise that there is little or no benefit to do doing so.
For instance, you may have dated someone for a year or more and though the relationship isn’t all you hoped it would be, you are reluctant to give up on the relationship because you have invested so much in it. Or you could be taking an online class that turns out to be fall short of your expectations but you have paid for it and feel that you will have wasted your money unless you complete the course.
The reason my friend shared this link was because she wondered if perhaps followers and students of Doreen Virtue might have fallen prey to the sunk cost fallacy. I think that is a very apt application of this scenario. I often wondered why I persisted in buying more of Doreen Virtue’s products and classes when I already knew how shallow they were (an addiction to ‘spiritual junk food’). I also knew there were better teachers out there… but I had invested in her by getting certified with her and that kept me ‘loyal.’
Hay House know how this illogical behaviour works for customers, of course. They know that they can get us to buy our own devotion and steadfastness even for courses that are of low quality. That is why they make the courses more expensive than they ought to be, because they know that the more invested we are, the more likely we are to complete the learning and come back for more.
An everyday example that most of us will be able to relate to is having cooked a big meal or bought one in a restaurant. How many times have you overindulged because you felt reluctant to let the food you had invested in go to waste? So rather than let it go to waste, you let it go to your waist. Not very clever, is it?
So what can we do about this sunk cost fallacy? Awareness is the first step, as always. Using the Tarot for more in-depth insights about where we are most vulnerable to the sunk cost fallacy might also be helpful. Perhaps doing a Tarot reading on this will help? The Tarot can help you see where you are doing something you know deep down brings no added value to your life and that it would be better to accept that you lost the investment you made.
The Sunk Cost Fallacy Tarot Spread
- What you have invested in – This could relate to something you are already aware of and may give you a new perspective on what aspect pulled you in
- Why you feel a need to complete this – Though you know on some level it is a poor fit with your soul’s calling
- Why it is not beneficial to complete it
- What you should be doing instead
- Why you fell for it – Read with card number two. This is the deeper underlying reason for why you fell prey for this scheme in the first instance
Sample Reading with the Sunk Cost Fallacy Tarot Spread
- What you have invested in – The image of a powerful woman. A projection of my Golden Shadow. (Queen of Wands)
- Why you feel a need to complete this – It gave me a sense of belonging to a tribe of female kindred spirits. (3 of Cups)
- Why it is not beneficial to complete it – It took me further away from home and provided me with a false sense of belonging. (4 of Wands)
- What you should be doing instead – Align more fully with my soul’s calling. Have the courage to listen to my inner guidance and act accordingly. Boldly make those difficult, life-changing choices that help me forge my own unique path. (Judgement)
- Why you fell for it – A deep sense of isolation and not belonging. Fear of not being enough or having enough. For of trusting my intuition and getting it wrong. Fear of fear itself. (The Moon)
Spot on reading, Lisa!
I also like the fact that card one describes what you’ve invested in that you shouldn’t have, as so often we’re still in denial. There are a couple of things/people in my life like that right now.
Having said that, my reading didn’t help me clarify which one/what is an issue, perhaps just my general approach to lots of things. Maybe you’ll see something different…
Card 1 – 9 of Wands – I keep falling for the idea that I have to keep going with things no matter what?
Card 2 – 4 of Swords – it gives me a sense of being able to find calm
Card 3 – 9 of Swords – it’s not beneficial to complete as it just exhausts me and has my mind running in pointless circles
Card 4 – 3 of Cups – instead, I should hang out with a supportive group of friends
Card 5 – Queen of Pentacles – I fell for it because I’m trying to be a good mother, a creative person, a business woman
Hi Chloe, thanks for shaaring your reading. ‘Better the devil you know’ popped into my head for the 9 of Wands and I do believe we could easily feel that way if we are battle weary. Does this make sense? Love, Lisa
Card 1 – 8 of cups (did I ever feel part of this duo? Felt there was always something missing but couldn’t put my finger on it)
Card 2 – 10 of cups ( isn’t this everyone’s dream? To be happily married everafter?)
Card 3 – Queen of Wands (don’t think I was ever cut out for the marriage thing)
Card 4 – 3 of swords (accepting the pain and moving on)
Card 5 – Page of Cups (I neither knew myself nor what I was getting into, 30 years ago – completely blind)
Highly illuminating…thank-you, Lisa!
Oh wow, yes… very illuminating! Thanks for sharing and many blessings as you journey on <3