What's Overrated... | Daylily Blog on The Joneses

It's worth saying that in our quest to belong, we isolate ourselves into a world of comparison and imagined competition. Often I meet people who are not comfortable sharing pictures of their seedlings or their garden, fearing that what they have is not on the same level as others. They might have some gorgeous seedlings, but they are fearful to share them because they aren’t a "breakthrough" or they don’t think anyone will care about daylilies hybridized by someone who isn’t "well-known" in the daylily world. Others stand on the mountain tops and proclaim their successes – finding only the frustrating echo of their own voice as company. Poor them.

I recently shared pics of my seedlings for the first time to a broad audience.  I was nervous.  But an amazing thing happened.  Others started to share for the first time.  (We have to be brave with our own lives so others can be brave with theirs...)

When we falsely compare ourselves to others, we needlessly belittle our accomplishments. We also give weight to the wrong idea that small successes are overrated or inconsequential. Doing what other people expect you to is what's overrated!  The skies may never open up to shower you with gold coin, but regardless, you should feel proud of trying. You got out there. You saw it through. Many never feel the sweet sting of success, good or bad, simply for lack of trying. 

Two ladies approached me at the meet and greet of a general gardening event this past weekend to said they wanted to go home and delete every garden photo they ever took after seeing my presentation.  They inspired this post.  I told them that glossy, over-processed gardening magazines and flowery PowerPoints filled with gorgeous photos were not the boss of their garden.  They shouldn't even be considered as a compass.  I also shared with them my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quote-

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Never despise small beginnings, and don't belittle your own accomplishments by comparing them with the perceived successes of others. 

Don’t believe everything you read.
Don’t get wrapped up in what others appear to have.
Despite what some may wish to be true, there is no magic success ladder.
There is no field to traverse to find the elusive pot of gold.
There is no finish line.
Paraphrased from a thousand minds smarter than my own, the journey is what is important.

Keep hybridizing.
Keep gardening.
Keep asking questions.
Just. Keep. Walking.

As Spring arrives and we get back out into our gardens, let's lose our subconscious social comparisons and be ourselves.  "This too, shall pass" and when it does, you can lie down satisfied - knowing you had the courage to have skin in the game.  And that is something not everyone can say.

Daylily featured above is H. 'Aunt Ethel' by Frank Smith



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