You Reap What You Sow, Is That Always True?

Last updated by Rosie Harlow

For me, this expression has always sounded like something negative. Like a punishment. I used to hear it as a threat: “If you sow bad seeds, you’ll only have a bad harvest.” Probably something in me thought I had nothing good to sow. Years later, I finally understand that not only can reaping what you sow be very positive, but it had better be, because clearly you ALWAYS reap what you sow.

You Reap What You Sow, Is That Always True?

Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind

A few years ago, before a job interview that I was preparing for between hyperventilating and waking up at night, someone close to me told me the following: “You really need to calm down, because very often, you provoke exactly what we are trying to avoid.” This phrase stuck with me, and it’s linked to my negative view of reaping what you sow. My friend was trying to tell me that I was stressing out because I was trying to avoid falling short. In doing so, the more I stressed, the less likely I was to measure up. By sowing apprehension and fear, I would surely reap failure. BAM! But is this always the case?

Reap what you sow, this expression comes from the Bible 📿. Several verses refer to it, but the general idea remains the same, our decisions and actions, even the smallest ones, have consequences for the rest of our life and the events that will happen in it. So if I sow the wind, I will reap the whirlwind 🌬️, but is it always like this?

Always, always?

The first idea is to say that yes, you always reap what you sow. Always, always. If I spend all my time moaning at work, my work will continue to suck, and it may even get worse because the people around me at work won’t put up with my complaints any longer. Another striking example, which suggests to me that you always reap what you sow, comes from a session with a psychologist. I was talking about the difficulties I was having with my very angry young son. The psychologist asked me about my pregnancy. I told him about the anxiety, the worries, and in particular the reasonable but deep anguish of having a boy and the intense discomfort, the crisis, when I learned that I actually was expecting a boy. He makes the connection: I sowed discontent and disappointment, and I’m reaping anger. Hello guilt! But apart from this feeling of guilt mixed with shame that was sticking to me, I understood above all that I’d wasted a lot of time and opportunity by worrying about the future, rather than enjoying the present moment, my pregnancy.

Just because it’s obvious doesn’t make it easy. There are no off buttons to press when we’re plagued with negative thoughts. Nor can we wipe out all the limiting thoughts in our minds with a sponge. However, the point is to understand that all these little parasites have an influence on what we reap in life and that we may therefore need to get help so that we reap fewer storms...

And what does life do?

Except that I remain dubious about this “always”. OK, by being afraid we no doubt provoke fear, and we’re also surely on the receiving end of anger if we’re angry ourselves, and then it seems clear that we don’t get dumped overnight if we’ve been there or the ideal partner, but so what is it all? Do we make our own good and bad luck? Of course, if I don’t play the lottery I’ll never win 🍀, but I won’t necessarily be richer if I play every week. It might be even worse, even though week after week I would have planted my little seeds! I like the idea, whether spiritual or not, that our actions have consequences, but I also think that life comes along and puts its own spin on things. One example is the rear bumper of my car, which was smashed in while I was at a red light. What impact did I have on that event, none!

Not everything is in our hands, and that makes me feel relieved, because the day we’re really unlucky, we can take some comfort in the fact that we’re not the cause of all of our problems. We have our responsibilities, others have theirs, and they don’t always act together. That doesn’t mean that we can’t act...

>>> Here’s an article that might help you: I'm scared of being scared

Sow the seeds and wait... for happiness?

What goes around comes around. We agree with that, but let’s look at it from another angle. A more positive angle. Yes! For a very long time, I never thought of looking at the expression “reap what you sow” in a positive light, when in fact I think it’s all there. It may even be the key to many things: fulfillment, success, peace, balance, happiness, etc. Depending on what you’re looking for. Are people who find banknotes on the street 💸 luckier than others, or are they just more curious, more adventurous, and more open?

It's said that positive attracts positive, and this is certainly true. The way we look at life, the trust we have in ourselves and in others, and the space we give and leave to our emotions and negative feelings, all play a role in what will happen to us in life, in what we’ll reap. Of course, as the character played by Gwyneth Paltrow in The Politician says so well, “Life isn’t a train! It’s a shit storm full of gold nuggets. You don’t have to plan everything, you just have to try and keep it clean, while catching as many nuggets as you can {...}, but you can’t, that’s the whole point” 💩. Nothing’s simple, and accidents are inevitable and out of our control. Good! We can’t control everything and that’s good news, it means we can learn to let go and consider sowing more seeds that we’ll reap, have others reap, or never reap.

Editor’s note: Every action has an impact

Every action, attitude, habit, way of thinking, and behaving has an impact on us, our relationships, and our lives. This can be negative or positive, and this is where it’s interesting to question ourselves and ask what is or isn’t working in our lives and habits. If you feel that something’s going wrong or if you feel bad, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a psychologist.

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!

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Article presented by Rosie Harlow

Writing has always been a form of therapy for me. For as long as I can remember, I have always used paper as a punching bag. Get to know me, I am Rosie Harlow.

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Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

Wengood's playlist


  1. Only LoveBen Howard
  2. Invalid date
  3. Fix YouColdplay
  4. Beautiful DayU2
  5. Thinking out LoudEd Sheeran
  6. White FlagDido
  7. Lay Me DownSam Smith
  8. Nine Million BicyclesKatie Melua
  9. Put Your Records OnCorinne Bailey Rae
  10. Summertime SadnessLana Del Rey
  11. Imagine - Remastered 2010John Lennon
  12. Shake It OutFlorence + The Machine
  13. Space Oddity - Love You Til Tuesday versionDavid Bowie
  14. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
  15. With Or Without YouU2
  16. HelloAdele
  17. Don't Stop Me NowQueen
  18. Skinny LoveBirdy
  19. WingsBirdy
  20. Californian SoilLondon Grammar

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"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." 

- Oscar Wilde