In life and work, we have a hard time changing course. When we wind up in a miserable job, a failing project, or a floundering romantic relationship, we rationalize, make excuses, and stick with our bad decisions—even when the writing's on the wall. Why? Usually we assume the driving force is sunk costs: we don't want to admit we've wasted that time or money. But in fact, the root of our stubbornness is a psychological trap called “escalation of commitment.” Once we understand that, we can start taking steps to protect ourselves from… well, ourselves. WorkLife is made possible with the support of LinkedIn, Logitech, Morgan Stanley, SAP, and Verizon.