Even an Icon Like Oprah Can Have Fear

“The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free.”

~Oprah Winfrey 

This morning Oprah was on the CBS This Morning show and she was promoting her network, OWN.  She talked about a lot of different things but one thing that struck me was when she admitted that if she knew then (when starting the network) what she knows now she probably wouldn’t have done it (or at least not at the time that she did it).  She acknowledged that when she launched her network she was not ready.  In fact that was one of the lessons that she took away from her process of starting the network, that you shouldn’t launch something just because you already gave a date to everyone else if you are not ready to.  

That was both shocking and admirable to me and just made me want to model my business sense (that I am still trying to mold) after the road she has already paved for the women coming after her even more.  She spoke of the critics in the press who have criticized her brave but somewhat dismal start to her cable network, and one headline, “Oprah not quite standing on her OWN”, that she tries not to let dictate whether she is in fact succeeding or failing at her new endeavor.  In her words, “it’s just press”.  She said that because you fail at something (which her network is in no way failing) doesn’t mean that you are a failure.  

It made me start to think about that good old fear of failure that I can’t seem to shake for the life of me.  Why am I so afraid to fail?  It’s not as if my failing at any given thing would mean that it’s the end of the road for me and my dreams.  In my heart I know this but my head (or perhaps that little devilish angel sitting on my shoulder) keeps telling me that if I fail even one more time at something then that’s it, I’m just destined to be a failure.  If only I could shake that demon trying to creep its way into my subconscious every time I think I’m going to get somewhere.  But maybe that’s just it.  Maybe it creeps in because I am getting somewhere.  

My best friend, Ms. L. always says that when everything starts to begin to go wrong that she knows she must be doing something right.  She says that it just means that the devil is working overtime to stop the progress she is making.  And look at Ms. L., she just launched her magazine, PIEhole (of which I have an article in) and it’s taken off better than I think even she expected it to (although I knew it would).  Although she never acknowledged being afraid as often as she probably was, she never let that fear stop her.  

Hell, if Oprah can have the courage to admit that she was afraid of something (because it seems that she just does this stuff so fearlessly) but that she pressed on anyway, then why couldn’t that be my story down the line as well?  I know that I would never want to be doing anything else and I truly feel as though God instilled in me this specific purpose and I owe it to him, if not myself, to see that purpose through.  As Oprah also said in her interview, “There’s never going to be a time to quit.  I will die in the midst of doing what I love to do and that is using my voice and using my life to try to inspire other people to live the best of theirs.” 


Jimmetta Carpenter


The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”







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