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I’ll admit it, I feel like a failure at homesteading sometimes. I’m sure the thought has crossed your mind a few times as well. Certainly you’ve had homestead fails too. Things don’t always go as planned.
Sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes weather thwarts your plans. Sometimes animals die. And that’s okay, it happens to the best of us! But how do you move beyond the feelings of failure? How do you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and push forward?
Since I have been in this frame of mind a few times, I want to tell you some ways that we can all move on from homestead fails. Turn those homestead failures into homestead wins!
Realize that you did the best you could.
Most of the time, you really have done the best that you could, with what you have to work with. And yet sometimes things still fail. Some things you just don’t have control over. It might be weather, bugs, disease, or many other reasons why it fails. Just tell yourself that you did the best you could. And then move on!
Research the failures to fix them.
This is the most important thing. If something fails, you should research into WHY it was a failure. Then research some more, to see how you can improve on it.
Turn your homestead fails into wins! Sometimes what worked before, no longer works. That just means you have to tweak it so that it works again.
Keep a positive mindset.
Don’t blame yourself, and don’t just think you are a failure and give up. Keep your chin up, keep on learning, and keep on truckin! Don’t let the homestead fails deter you from future attempts. Just start over and refine your practice. Use it as a learning opportunity!
Ask for help.
If you are unsure of something, ask for help. You will find that your fellow homesteaders have so much knowledge to share! If you are on Facebook, join homesteading groups. Many of these are so valuable for learning new or better ways of doing things! I myself am a member of about 5 homesteading groups, and I ask questions in them frequently. Local homesteaders are very helpful to learn tips on dealing with local conditions as well. Lean on the knowledge of more experienced homesteaders to turn homestead failures into homestead wins!
Some failures are due to lack of time or lack of help. If this is you, ask for help! You probably have family, friends, or fellow church members who would be willing to help you. Don’t discourage their assistance!
This was totally me this year with my garden. I haven’t had time to do my normal gardening chores due to a 40-hour work week, blogging, household chores, and just being a mom and grandma. My family had it in their heads that the garden was “Mom’s thing”. So I didn’t get a lot of help in that area. My garden was so overgrown with weeds, a few of my crops were complete failures. But you know what? I still told the hubs that I wanted to do a fall garden! It has to go in really soon, but I’m going to mulch more to control the weeds, and pick just a few varieties of fast-growing plants. Wish me luck!
Take pride in your wins.
No matter how small, be proud of your wins! If you focus on the failures, it will consume you. Make sure you cherish the things that go well. It was hard when we lost a few of our calves, but I am so proud now of the beautiful cows that we will be butchering soon! They are big and healthy. We’ll have delicious grass-fed beef with no drugs, no hormones. We know exactly what went into that beef. That is a feeling that can’t be beat!
Use your failures to teach others.
I know, most of us don’t like to admit our failures. But homestead fails are such valuable lessons, we should use them to others’ benefits as well! Don’t be afraid to tell your story. It does not make you any less of a person, or any less of a homesteader, because we all make mistakes! Let your failures teach others. Let people see that you have failed and yet still pressed on. You will be viewed as a stronger person, someone who has knowledge to share. Be THAT kind of friend!
Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. -Winston Churchill