Having a Conversation with Self-Doubt

gardenI used to dream of having a beautiful, lush garden like the kind you see in magazines while waiting for the dentist. I love nature so the idea of creating my own “green utopia” was very appealing. But every time I was at the garden store, there was something inside me that whispered “no,” and I would walk away empty-handed.

One day I sat down and asked myself “Why not?”. Here’s how the conversation went…

Q: Why can’t I just buy a plant?!?

A: Because you’re not a nurturing person Jennifer. You’re not a girly girl. You’ve never been good at domestic kind of things like gardening, cooking or crafts. You’re a tomboy, not Suzy Homemaker.”

Q: So? How complicated could gardening be?

A: You can’t just walk into a store and buy willy-nilly. There’s a lot to know about plants. Things like climate zones, full-sun, full-shade, drought tolerant, soil conditions, pest resistant, and on and on. You don’t know anything about those things.

It might sound weird, but I actually have had conversations with the “voice of self-doubt” on many topics. If you ask it questions, the whisper becomes louder and you can get to the root (accidental pun) of any insecurity.

I wasn’t moving ahead with my garden because I didn’t believe I was capable of doing so. Most of my life I’ve focused on my career. But that didn’t mean if I focused on gardening, I couldn’t learn. So I reassured the voice that I would take it slow, and absorb as much information as I could about plants. But I’m buying a damn plant! I did learned about gardening, bought lots of plants and created the landscape of my dreams.

Update: I still love a beautiful garden, but as it turns out, I don’t like gardening. It’s hot, dirty and buggy! Way too much work. I’d rather take a walk in the woods – God’s garden. I have managed along the way to create a landscape for my life. I’m still building it, tending it, and loving it. Listen to your self-doubts, hear what it has to say, don’t dismiss them. It’s a doorway you need to go through to create what you want.