I heard my first Christmas song of the season the other day. For me it brought a wave of excitement and glee that always accompanies this time of year. However, there’s one thing that’s sure to send my growing holiday cheer into a downspirally disaster: Pinterest scrolling.
Around this time last year, I kept finding myself scrolling, pinning, and liking all these creative ideas! “Oh! That one is beautiful!” or “I could do that in our apartment” or “sigh…if only I could do this one!” Who knows how many hours I spent wishing and wanting our apartment to be decorated like the perfect images and pins I would find. I actually really like decorating, especially for the December holidays, but Pinterest’s perfect pictures left me feeling less than inadequate.
I remember talking with Andrew one night, saying that I wanted to decorate our apartment like this pin, or make something like that picture. He replied, “If you want to decorate, then do it, but do if for you and how you want; don’t try to replicate these ideas because you’ll never get it perfectly. If you keep comparing your decorations to these, you won’t be happy with yours.”
So I decorated, and he was right.
I haven’t really been on Pinterest since then. Yes there are some terrific gems hidden in the pages of pins, but I found that my tendency to compare to others, to define my success by an outside measure is just too strong. I feel the same struggle for authentic creativity in other areas of my life as well: from singing/writing/performing music, to cooking, or painting/drawing, to how clean and organized our house is. When I’m focused on the end product and how it will compare to others, not only is my creativity stifled, but my overall happiness too.
This month we are beginning our year-long focus on wholehearted living. The guidepost Andrew and I have chosen for this December is that of Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison. While decorating and celebrating the Christmas season is sure to be different where it is never really colder than 80 degrees, there are plenty of other ways we can learn to let go of comparison. Throughout the month we will strive to let this principle guide our thoughts, actions, interactions, and decisions and, when appropriate, will share our discoveries with all of you.
We invite you to journey with us and would love to hear what you think about this guidepost:
+ What ways are you comparing yourself to others?
+ How can you cultivate authentic creativity in your own life?
Read/join the discussion here.