Know that the feeling of perfection can be fleeting. For instance, I enjoy decorating each living area of my home and sharing it with everyone. But this year, I decided not to decorate my outdoor space with the gusto I usually have. Why? Even if I created my fantasy patio space with every piece of furniture, plant, and accessory perfect—it wouldn’t last. First, the seasons would make the perfect patio a temporary pleasure. Second, the elation I’d feel would also be short-lived. I’d either soon get bored with it or get so used to it, it wouldn’t feel perfect anymore.
Once we achieve that “perfect” feeling, then what? We’ll probably enjoy it for a bit, but as time passes, we may forget about it or even determine a new way to achieve perfection. Thus, perfection is an illusion.
Embrace the imperfections. If the mistake is not one that renders your project unsafe, doesn’t harm the structure, or doesn’t make it unusable—then learn how to be OK with those imperfections. After all, those flaws make your project one of a kind!
Make lemonade. Sometimes it takes a DIY mistake to allow a better project to come forth. Consider how the Slinky came to be. Richard James, a naval engineer, was trying to create a spring to help transport fragile instruments on ships. When he accidentally dropped the spring, it performed its now trademark “walk” across stacks of books, the table and then the floor. He saw the potential in his accident for the spring to be a toy, marketed it, and the rest is history.
Even if your project or mistake ends up not meant to be, you still received an important lesson through the process. Consider it a gift.
If life was easy and never challenging, we wouldn’t learn. Life is meant to be lived and the brain is meant to be worked! Studies show that mental exercise and activities that step outside your comfort zone can create new neural pathways in your brain. So when that DIY project ends up being a bust or taking way too long to finish, consider it a workout for your brain.
How do you work through DIY mistakes and failures? Are you also a perfectionist? What are your tips for embracing the imperfect?