Growing while others are blooming
“It’s ok to grow while others are blooming.”
I don’t know if Kelly Perry knew just how much I needed to hear those words when she shared them at the Team Flower Conference in March. For me, the message was two-fold: part invitation to trust that we each grow and flourish at different rates and part cautionary reminder to beware of the slippery slope of comparison.
This year has been all about down-in-the dirt growth for our little farm. While we’re only in our second year, last year made it abundantly clear that we needed to step back and take some time to invest in good roots. So that’s just what we’ve been doing: building soil, improving structures, and organizing the back side of the business. All good, good important stuff.
And yet, sometimes I lose sight of just how critical this stage of growth is. Strong roots are unquestionably essential in the process of building a flourishing business. And yet, it’s easy to forget that the unseen elements are, indeed, the very reason for the later success that is so visible to all. Instead of focusing ahead on where I’m going and the beauty of my goals, all too often I start looking around. And I begin to get discouraged.
For me, comparison is the fastest way to put the brakes on forward motion. When I get my eyes on everyone else’s successes, it’s easy to forget that they too, were once down in the dirt, pouring their heart and soul into growing deep roots. They didn’t just wake up and bloom. It took time.
And maybe the time it took them is different than the time it’s taking me. Or the time it’s taking you. And that’s ok. Did you know that calendula can grow from seed to harvest in just 50 days? Yet the wait time on the first harvest for a peony is nearly three years! Both flowers are beautiful and useful in their own right. Each simply needs to be trusted with the gift of time to flourish.
So I’m learning to trust the process that’s so essential in developing deep roots. I’m leaning into the knowledge that everything - every flower, every person, every business - is going to bloom in its own, perfect time. Some things take longer than others. But given the right time and care? They’ll blossom abundantly.
These days, when I catch myself looking around, being robbed of joy by that sneaky thief comparison, I choose to look back instead. When I’m so focused on arriving at a final destination, it’s easy to see everyone that’s “ahead” and entirely miss the joy of seeing how far I’ve already come. Then, after I’ve taken some time to look back and reflect, I choose to I look ahead and focus on the beauty of my own goals and dreams. Only then can I look around again, with a fresh appreciation for my peer’s accomplishments and milestones, gratefully aware of the unseen investment of time and effort to grow deep roots.
Maybe you’re in a season of growth too; down in the dirt just starting out, or perhaps working on a re-brand, or maybe an expansion? Perhaps you’re like me and have to work really hard not to be discouraged by the rate of your growth. Can I offer the tiniest bit of advice? Look back at pictures of your work or your farm when you first started. Notice how far you’ve come. Then don’t be afraid to put the blinders on. Take a break from social media. Rest from looking around and chose to look ahead instead. Revisit your vision board or your business plan. Remember the reason why you started doing this thing you’re doing in the first place. And then just keep taking the next step. We are all going to bloom in our own time, friends.