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SALT LAKE CITY — There are a million fantastic ideas spanning various subjects on Pinterest. Unfortunately, not all of them turn out perfect when you try them.
Be cautious when looking at this perfect life and wanting these perfect things. When we fail miserably at recreating them, it gives our self-esteem a beating.
Here are three concepts to keep in mind while you explore this perfect world and apply them to your imperfect life.
1. The best you is not perfect
The best way to succeed is to fail. Every time you fail you know one more way it can go wrong and how to remedy it. The key is making sure you learned from the mistake so it does minimal damage to your self-esteem. The problem that many have (including myself) is realizing that this perfect world you see on Pinterest or in magazines is not real at all. No one can have a clean house, creative activities for the kids, gourmet dinner prepared and organized closets at the same time. Plus, it is exhausting being perceived as perfect. When you are always worried if someone else thinks you created something amazing, you're not enjoying it yourself. So embrace the imperfect, sub-par you! It is what makes you uniquely incredible. But for those times when you feel bad about messing up your Pinterest dreams, check out the blog Pinterest Fail. It will brighten your spirits.
2. Be realistic
You need to be honest with yourself in that you may not have the skills to complete a project in the impeccable way it is depicted. We all want to be socially accepted and appear to be knowledgeable, but at times we are incompetent. Any time we try new things, we will be unskilled. But this cultivates the feeling of accomplishment when we finally succeed.
So don't be hard on yourself if you get frustrated while taking on a new venture. We should really be doing these crafts/cooking/braids because they bring us some sort of joy. If it is satisfying to better your skills and hone your craft, you should pursue it. But if it becomes discouraging and destroys your self-esteem, it's not worth the heartache.
3. Experiences are more important than appearance
Trying to appear as something we are not is the biggest problem with social media. We spend a great deal of time trying to appear as always happy, crafty, secure and confident people, but we are only happy a fraction of our time. Life is incredibly messy, but a messy life can also be amazing.
The worth or the importance of the activity is not how "Pinterest-worthy" it appears. The reality of a "Pinterest-worthy" family picture, for instance, is that most kids are crying, fighting or being bribed throughout the shoot. But your friends on Facebook only see the split-second shot where everyone was smiling. Being in the moment with your family as much as you can is what builds relationships and happiness, not perfect photos.
My challenge to you is the next time you find yourself taking a selfie or worrying about how amazing you will look on Pinterest, stop.
Take the time to look around you and notice the moment. If you are with a family member or friend, pay complete attention to them and the activity you are doing.
This means looking at the smaller details. The smells you smell, the things you hear and the emotions you are having. This mindfulness activity will help bring you clarity and reduce the need for being "socially" accepted. It will also give you the chance to actually enjoy yourself no matter how it appears to others. Jessie Shepherd, MA, ACMHC, specializes in assisting children, adolescents and parents to overcome life's challenges. She is the director of youth services at Life Stone Counseling Center. Learn more at lifestonecenter.com.