Encouragement (for Life as well as the Garden) Garden Organic Gardening

Gardening – Don’t Allow Fear of Failure to Keep You from Success

A reader wrote to me at the beginning of the year about various things. During the course of our email conversation, I asked her if she started her plants from seed.

Her answer to my question is the only part of the email that stuck with me.

She said she always bought seed, but never planted it. She was afraid it wouldn’t grow.

If we are to be successful in gardening, or any other endeavor, this fear of failure to the degree that it stops us from taking action is something we have to overcome.

Substantial success, even outstanding success, in gardening is not unrealistic. It is well within the reach of most any man or woman. But action is required. The seed won’t grow if it’s not planted.

Risking Unpleasant Experiences for Greater Rewards

Life has taught me over the years that you sometimes have to risk unpleasant experiences for greater rewards. Those unpleasant experiences can come in various forms.

It can be as simple as having seeds not germinate, having seedlings die, having a mature plant die, and so on. Or it might be much more unpleasant, like peer pressure or ridicule from those around us because we’re doing things differently than the majority. Or it might be severe, like doing without food or clothing.

Value What is Truly Valuable to You

If we live our lives not doing something because we’re afraid it won’t work, we could end up missing out on all the great stuff.

And If we live our lives going along with what the majority are doing, it would be my guess that we more than likely WILL miss all the great stuff. (Keep in mind that the majority has been wrong many, many times.)

With every action and every step you take towards your goal (in gardening and anything else) your chances of winning and reaching the goal are greatly increased. You’re closer to what you wish to accomplish with every action if you’re persistent and don’t give up when faced with disappointments and difficulties. (Many do.)

Unpleasantness in any form is not something we look forward to. And everyone feels the fear of failure every now and then. But the successful person (gardener, etc) takes action anyway. They see past the fear and disappointments to the great rewards when the goal is reached.

The Fact

Our world promotes instant gratification in spite of the fact that most things of greatness take time to accomplish. And many, if not most of those things, are and can be accomplished just by taking the necessary action consistently.

Final Thoughts

Michael Jordan who reached the pinnacle of fame and achievement in basketball knew that losses and disappointments were part of reaching the goal.

He said,”I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”


Related Posts:

Focus on What You Can Do

And to Think – They Said It Couldn’t Be Done

Decide What You Want and Do It

A Trap Anyone Can Fall Into

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  • This is for the lady afraid to plant. 2014 was the first time in 30 years I’ve had a garden. Plus, I’m not usually great with plants. So now that I’m retired & living in the country I asked my husband to roto-till a ‘small’ garden area. He dug 30 x 40! Anyway, we planted seeds I started in trays & just seed in the 2nd half of each row. Happily we have lots of fresh, delicious veggies. I’ve made lots of mistakes & will learn for next year. But if my purple thumbs can grow a plentiful garden, so can anyone.




  • So many of the seeds I plant don’t come up, or do come up and then disappear, due to bugs, birds, or whatever, but there are a few that make it, and those few are rewarding; it feels like a little miracle as they produce delicious and/or beautiful things. It is a risk, but the intermittent reward is so worth it. I think it might be an addiction!

  • I suffer from the same exact fear of dipping my toe in the water for fear of failure, so I can relate. But I’ve noticed with gardening, that despite the mistakes, you get SO much back for so little effort and that gardening is very forgiving. Also, Ray’s right – there’s really no other way to learn. Be brave, jump in, and you’ll never look back. Have fun!!

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