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You’re Going To Fail

Picture Bryon Lippincott (hubby) took a few weeks ago on a walk we took with friends.

Today we are talking again about creating minimalist simple living and some of the struggles we face. Last week I found a YouTube video of  a talk Larry Smith did last November at a Ted Conference.  I have watched a bunch of talks from the conference and they are all so good.  Each talk/video is like a book presented in a 20 minute talk.

I have wanted to do a bit of a follow up post of my post from a few weeks ago “No Well Worn Easy Path To Follow“.  In that post I talked about how it is hard to change, hard to part with things, hard to do anything differently.  Sometimes it is hard to figure out what to do in life, but it is even harder to do it.  The hard I meant in that post was an internal hard, a breaking the habit hard.

What I want to talk about today is fear.  It is so hard to change to minimalism, or any other counter-cultural area that we believe in because we are afraid of what other people think.  I found this quote in my reading this week that pointed it out rather painfully:

We choose not to be remarkable because we’re worried about criticism.  We hesitate to create innovative movies, launch new human resource initiatives, design a menu that makes dinners take notice, or give an audacious sermon because we’re worried, deep down, that someone will hate it and call us on it.

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!” “What a waste of money.”‘ ” Who’s responsible for this?”

Sometimes the criticism doesn’t even have to be that obvious.  The fear of hearing “I’m surprised you launched this without doing more research” is enough to get many people to do a lot more research, to study something to death and then kill it.  Hey, at least you didn’t get criticized.  Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin page 46

This really hit me.  I am not scared of any of these changes in my life getting me killed or fired or sick or anything else really bad.  I am scared of people questioning my judgement.  I am scared of someone saying I am wrong or that I am not thinking things through enough.  That, when given the facts, I came to the wrong conclusion.  That is scary to me.

Pulled out in the open to look at and given a name, this is a stupid thing to be scared of.  When I look back on my life I can explain out the decisions I didn’t make for safety or major economic reasons, but how am I going to explain to myself why I didn’t make life changes that I knew were right for me because I was scared someone else would think it was dumb.

You and me, we are not going to fail.  We are here (writing, reading, talking) and we are winning.  (thanks to Charley Sheen for making the word funny as well as powerful).  We are winning because we are facing the fear of social questioning and making our life ‘our life’, the one we want to have.

I think it would be good to put a nice list for confronting the fear here.  A step by step approach, but I don’t think there is one.  ‘See the fear and do it anyways’ is all I can come up with.  I think this kind of fear and action is where lots of personal growth happens.

I think it is easy to look at people who accomplish exciting things or make big changes and think that it is different for them.  I don’t believe it is.  Lots of those same people are quoted for being very afraid as well but believing and moving forward.  I want to be someone who can move through the fear and act…it’s the practicing that is hard.

Here is the video of Larry Smiths talk.  It is well presented, funny, and really gets you thinking.  Enjoy!

Book Update: (this has been a scary project for me)

321 Stop – stop running and start living is coming out in 1 week, 7 days  (March 21)

“This is a deeply personal book that shares the story of a family taking back control of their home and life. I was fascinated by Lori’s description of her journey to less stuff and the lessons she shares from it. This is a great resource for those new to the idea of minimalism and looking for a practical way to apply it to their home and life.” Rachel Jonat of  The Minimalist Mom

Blog Friends 321 Stop – Book Giveaways:

  • Enso Journey – starting today.  Posting an interview with me, check it out.
  • The Best of PA Blogspot – Started last month
  • Lots more starting in the next week, stay tuned 😉


  1. I really like this post Lorilee. It’s nice to know someone has the same fears that I have. Ironic that we’re all afraid of the same thing (judgment from others), isn’t it? Maybe I should think about that the next time I judge someone or are critical of them. Thanks for putting out great content on your blog. I don’t always comment, but I’m a frequent visitor. 🙂

    • Paul, thanks for your note! It is ironic….and limiting…and a bit dumb, but it is sure scary 🙂

  2. […] I’ve been thinking about criticism, which really means my fear of it. I recently read a great blog post by Lorilee Lippencott about fear of judgment from others, and this really resonated with […]

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