Debunking 7 Myths about Living a Self-Sufficient Lifestyle
Living a self-sufficient lifestyle means different things to each person. Some people desire to produce everything they need, but others narrow down their goals. Their goals might be to grow all of their fruits and vegetables required for their family each year. Everyone’s lifestyle looks different.
If you desire to live a self-sufficient lifestyle, you will encounter some myths that aren’t true. You might be afraid to take the leap because of things you are told about the lifestyle. Let’s take a look and debunk a few of these myths!
1- You Must Live Entirely Off Grid
Your goal can be to live self-sufficiently and have electricity from the local company. No homesteading police will arrest you because you didn’t install solar panels and generate your own electricity yet. That might be your long-term goals, but those goals take time. Until then, it doesn’t mean you aren’t living that lifestyle.
Living completely off the grid is a wonderful goal, but that takes years to accomplish. Some homesteads are partially powered. Solar and wind technologies have increased over the past years, giving more options for homeowners. Of course, some opt to live without electricity altogether. What you want to do is your decision.
2- You Have to Produce ALL of Your Food
If you take a look at centuries ago, most families didn’t produce all of their food. We think back to the pioneers, blazing their way west towards the coast. Those families traded with other families and even the Native Americans. Producing all of your food is a difficult task to attempt.
Most of us are unable to produce salt on our homestead, which can be vital. However, unlike other people, homesteaders and those living a self-sufficient lifestyle are more aware of our food sources. We carefully consider what we can produce on our land. When we outsource our food, we tend to find local farms.
For example, you might not have room for beef cattle. Instead, you find a local farm where you can purchase meat or trade with the goods you create. Bartering is part of the self-sufficient lifestyle as well.
Living a self-sufficient lifestyle also doesn’t mean you can’t head to a restaurant. If you want to celebrate your birthday chowing down on wings and a beer at a local pub, do it!
3- “I Want to Be 100% Self-Sufficient.”
Let’s get serious folks, being 100% self-sufficient is nearly impossible. Humanity is intertwined, and no one can provide all of their needs for themselves. Do you have the ability to grow cotton and weave your fabric for clothing? Don’t forget you have to sew them as well. Making your shoes might be tricky.
Isolation from other humans isn’t normal either. Humans are meant to live in groups, sharing the workload to meet goals. Isolation is used in prison as disciplinary tactics for a reason. Embrace others, and realize your goal of 100% self-sufficient probably won’t happen. Make smaller, obtainable goals; you are still living the lifestyle.
4- You Must Hate People
If you start talking to people about becoming more self-sufficient, someone will ask you if you dislike people. Living a self-sufficient lifestyle doesn’t mean you hate people! Some homesteaders are the friendliest people you might meet!
The goal of living this lifestyle doesn’t come from a hatred of others. Instead, most desire to go back to their roots, produce what they can themselves, and live a simple life. Simple doesn’t mean easy or alone. This lifestyle brings a sense of satisfaction that others cannot understand. It is satisfying to see jars on your shelves containing food you grew and preserved. It feels good to walk outside and collect eggs. The lifestyle gives you responsibility and control over your food sources.
5- You Never Go to The Store
Remember how we mentioned that no one is truly 100% self-sufficient? You can still head to the store! Gardening and tending to animals is much easier with the proper tools. Falling trees is much easier with a chainsaw and gasoline.
Most homesteaders do try to avoid purchasing new. You might barter or trade with a friend. You might purchase second hand. Buying new is the last option, but it is still an option you have.
You have to pick and choose what is most important. You might want to heat your home with a wood burning furnace. Your property contains acres of woods, so you use a store-bought chainsaw to fall your trees to produce your heat.
6- You Are a Doomsday Prepper
Being prepared is part of the lifestyle; you never know when your crops might fail for the year. However, most people don’t live this lifestyle because they believe zombies are coming or an EMP might strike. Without a doubt, some people do live this lifestyle out of fear, but most don’t.
Preparing for emergencies is important. You want to be prepared for a job loss, an earthquake, or other natural disasters prone to your area. Living in fear isn’t a way most people want to live.
7- You Need Lots of Land
This myth is far from true. You can start living this lifestyle right where you are right now. Developing skills and gathering knowledge can happen anywhere. You can grow vegetables and fruits on a patio. Remember, your goal isn’t to make everything yourself, but you can make things yourself wherever you are now.
Self-sufficiency is a lifestyle and a mentality more than anything else. It is a set of values and a drive to work hard. You can’t mind getting your hands dirty, and you have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone. Building a compost bin might not be in your comfort zone, but you’ll give it a shot!
Don’t let the myths or naysayers scare you away. Moving towards a self-sufficient lifestyle is rewarding. When you sit down at night, you will feel a sense of satisfaction that makes all of the hard work worth it all!