Is There a Point Where Fear No Longer Exists?

Escaping Fear

As I sit here thinking about all of the things that I know I should have been able to get accomplished by now but haven’t I start to wonder if I have enough time to really turn things around. To be honest (in which I always am here) it always seems like the very things that I advise other people against and the things I most try to motivate other creative types like myself towards is the thing I can’t seem to get away from. I try to profess to others that they can’t let the fear of anything keep them from having everything that they’ve ever wanted. Yet I know with an absolute certainty that it is what has been holding me back thus far and what, even with me managing to improve upon it vastly over the last several years, still hinders me now.

I am always amazed at the fact that I can adamantly promote and sell someone else’s work or their products but can never seem to do that same thing for my own works and what I do. I mean yes of course I do some but never has hardcore as I am able to promote others. I had to stop and think why is that? It’s because I’m fearful. Afraid that people won’t like it, afraid that they will criticize every aspect of it, even afraid that they will like it and then suddenly I would have to live up to that higher standard all of the time which is a lot of pressure.

There are so many books of mine that should have been written by now, one’s that I’ve started and just conveniently coaxed myself out of completing. There are plays that I should written by now, songs that should’ve been written and produced by now, magazines that should have been created years ago, that just haven’t gotten done. It makes me ask myself “What the hell am I doing here”. Not what am I doing with my life or my purpose, because I am clear on that, but rather why the hell am I holding my own self back. There is going to be enough people out in this world who will want to see to it that I fail, and who will cross their fingers in hopes that I never accomplish any of the things that I am here to achieve but why the hell am I standing on their side and not my own. It is a tough realization to come to.

With the passing of Maya Angelou yesterday it made me take another look at all of the things that she managed to achieve in her 86 years on this earth and all of the lives that she has touched and it reminded me of that drive that I had when I first started writing. Like I said yesterday, it was her influence, her words, her story, that helped me begin to put that passion I had for writing in drive and out of neutral. Oddly enough I think her passing away might once again help to get me that drive back. Don’t get me wrong, I never lost my passion for writing, never even lost the drive per say, but I was losing the confidence and the faith in myself that I once had.

You know how sometimes you want something for yourself so badly and the desire to become what you feel you are destined to be burns inside so much that you begin to find reasons why it will never happen, why what you want is impossible. Well nothing is impossible and I have got to stop finding reasons why I can’t have what I know is meant for me. Fear can be a really dangerous thing and it can be a really tricky thing to get past but what it all boils down to for me is am I going to let the fear of not reaching my goals actually be the very thing that keeps me from them. What is it that fear is keeping you from achieving and more importantly, are you going to keep letting it keep you from your dreams?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on May 29, 2014 at 4:02 PM  Leave a Comment  
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The Influence of an Angel that Has Passed

Maya Angelou Angel

I had another post that I was going to write today but then I heard the news that Maya Angelou had passed away. My first thought was “no this can’t be true” and I went to look through the news feeds and saw that it was in fact true.

I realize that she was not young and that it should not be a shock but Maya Angelou has always, for me, been one of those people that I could just never see this world being without. It is true that I have known since I was six years old that I wanted to be a writer but Maya Angelou is the writer that inspired me to actually put some action into that drive. Not only that, but reading her poetry and her books is what first taught me that I needed to put emotion and feeling into every single bit of the words that I wrote.

I started writing poetry because of Maya Angelou and everything that she spoke at, and taught on, and wrote I was inspired by and learned from. I never had the opportunity to meet her like one of my best friends Ms. L. did but when I heard her speaking and read her words it was as if she was speaking to me. It was like she knew what was in my heart and spoke it for me.

That is the kind of impact that Maya Angelou had on this world and I am truly saddened by her death. I know that she is in a better place and no longer in any pain but I just know the world is missing a huge part of its humanity now that she is gone. I hope that you are in fact resting in peace Maya Angelou and thank you for being such a blessing on this earth.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Are We Only Giving Our Children Half of the Information that They Need?

Children and dreams

We instill in our children when they are younger that they can be anything that they want to be when they grow up as long as they put their mind to it. We as adults understand that putting our mind to something requires more than just thinking up a dream and wishing it to be so. However, our children (while smarter than we often give them credit for) do not grasp at a young age what putting their mind to something actually entails.

I think that we are in a time period where we can’t just say you can be whatever you want as long as you go for it. We have to start telling our children early what going for it is actually going to mean. When I was younger I had huge dreams and while I never had my dreams reinforced by my mother (or anyone in my family to be honest) there were a few teachers who told me that I could be whatever I wanted to be but they never told me about all of the hard work that had to go behind those big dreams and extreme ambitions.

I think that we want so much for the children of the future to pursue their dreams that we forget to inform them of all of the tenacity that they will need and the patience that they will have to learn to develop. We neglect to tell them of all the hard work and studying of the things that they want to achieve that they will need to do in order to get anywhere near accomplishing their dreams.

We forget to remind them that pure talent will not do anything for them if they don’t have the drive to do something with that talent. If their ambitions are to be their own business person we must be sure to reiterate to them how important marketing and promotion of themselves will be which requires confidence because they have to be confident about themselves if they want others to be confident about them and whatever services they were trying to offer.

Our dreams come to us out of nowhere and it doesn’t take anything to have the vision, or even the desire to make those dreams happen. But those dreams cannot come to fruition without certain habits that have to be developed in pursuit of those dreams. They say the problem with the generation coming up is that they expect everything to be handed to them and that they don’t think they have to work for anything and to some extent that is because we fail to tell them that yes they can be whoever they want to be and have all of the things that they want to have but they have to have the work ethic to match the drive to become what they want.

Nothing comes to us easy and while there are some extremely lucky people which seem to have their dreams fall right into their lap because they know all the right people or they have better timing than others, for almost everyone out there going for that dream you have to put in the work and hustle hard.

So make sure to let your children, or grand-children, or any children in your life know that yes they can most certainly be anything they want to be but make sure they are aware that it won’t be easy, it won’t come overnight, and if it’s worth it to them they have to put in more work than they could even imagine they would have to. Arm them with the fact that just dreaming and having the talent and ability will not get them any closer to that dream without the work that goes with it. These children are our future and we have to make sure they are fully prepared with all of the information.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on May 27, 2014 at 9:08 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Worth Its Wait

Dreams worth the wait

I have been writing for years now. Technically, if you want to count the budding stages of my writing I have been writing (I mean really formulating good sentence structure) since I was 10. I can’t even say that I’ve only made this my career choice for the last several years because I knew at the age of 6 that this was what I was going to do with my life. However, in terms of really making a go at maintaining a living as a writer without the distraction of a regular job, I’ve been at this for quite a number of years.

I can say that I was a little naïve to just assume that because I had outstanding talent in my writing and the fact that I considered myself, not necessarily the best writer, but certainly I was head and shoulders above the vast majority. Out of all the things I have ever doubted when it comes to being a writer, one thing that I have never doubted was my ability to write well. I was naïve in thinking that sleepless nights and talent were the main things that you needed in this line of work. I somehow took for granted the need for confidence and most importantly, patience.

Not every writer can be an overnight success and have the following that J.K. Rowling, James Patterson, Steven King, or Terry McMillan has. In fact I am pretty sure that they have all been rejected far more times than they would care to go back and count. And yes it is frustrating to see some writers come on the scene, with not quite as much talent as I have, but because they are better at selling themselves (that’s where the confidence comes in handy) and marketing and promoting their work, they make a bigger splash in the literary world.

I suppose when I first decided to be a writer I thought that if I write one really engaging, well written novel that it was inevitable that I would have that seemingly overnight success happen for me. But then I look at stories like Tyler Perry’s and J.K. Rowling, in which they went through many years of struggling to get their work out there and to be accepted before actually seeing that level of success. It makes those thoughts that I have of giving up and throwing in the towel vanish, and quickly.

I’m not saying that I want the same exact level of success in my work as Tyler Perry or J.K. Rowling (not that I would mind it) but I know that any level that is near to theirs takes time if I want it to last and not be a fleeting moment. There is no dream that one could have, if it is something they are truly passionate about and really want to make happen, that isn’t worth waiting to see it through. I’ve been waiting this long for things to come together, why would I ever give up now.

If you are in that place where you’re not sure you made the right move pursuing your dream full time or where you are feeling that it should’ve happened by now and that if it hasn’t yet then it probably isn’t going to. Don’t allow those negative thoughts to seep into your dreams and corrupt all of the hard work that you have put in thus far. Stay persistent and stay motivated, but more importantly, stay patient. Every dream is worth waiting for but you can’t give up before you reach them.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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We Are Called to Be Set Apart

set apart

Most people spend most of their childhood and the better part of their adult lives trying to fit in. I know I certainly did. Sure people will always say I’m my own person and I am not trying to be like anyone else, and I don’t care if anyone else likes me or what I do, but when you think about it that’s not really 100% true.

When we’re younger we want to wear what the other kids are wearing, we sometimes start speaking like the “so-called” friends around us because God forbid we sound different and like our own person. When we get older and we first get to be on our own in college we sometimes study the career avenue that we think would make our parents proud and not ask us are we crazy. Even when we march to the beat of our own drum we are still often times trying to harmonize with others so that we don’t stand out and throw everyone else off beat.

Often times with us creative types we almost can’t help seeking the need to fit in with our peer group because we look to them to approve what we’ve written, or the dance we’ve composed, or the piece of music that we have written, or the photographs that we have shot. But what it all boils down to is the fact that our creativity and our sometimes social awkwardness, in addition to our somewhat abnormal way of viewing things is what makes us uniquely different from the ordinary and average person.

There are some people in the world who were meant to be average and the go with the flow type and there is absolutely nothing wrong with being ordinary. However, there are some of us (and I include myself in this category) that are simply destined to be different, and great, and to far exceed the limitations that society and sometimes the people around us would like to keep us within. Every person in the world is not extraordinary. Hard fact I know but it’s true.

So for those of us who know we are meant to be more than average and are being designed for extraordinary missions in this life, why do we keep trying to fit in with what society says we should be like? God called us to be set apart from the rest so why do we keep trying to squeeze into this bubble that we have no business being in.

Next time you get upset because something you wrote or created didn’t please the masses think about the fact that if you were meant to be like them then God would have created you to be just like them. He created you to be who you are and to complete your own mission that he has designated for you. Don’t be a carbon copy of someone who you weren’t meant to be!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on May 21, 2014 at 8:00 PM  Comments (1)  
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Motivation is the Key, But By Who?

Got motivation

I think that in some way, shape, or form, for the better part of my life I have always sought out the encouragement of others. I was always the one wanting those accolades and that reinforcement that I was on the right path and that someone else thought I was talented. I was always looking for someone to show me, or tell me, that I was good enough because for so long I was told that I wasn’t.

As I have gotten older and learned a lot more about myself and my own capabilities I have sought out other’s motivations a lot less and started to learn to begin how to motivate myself that much more. However, there are times when I get too much inside my own head and those doubts and those negative words come back to the forefront of my mind and I start to wonder am I really good enough. I hold myself back from doing a lot of things and I’m not sure if it’s that I truly don’t have all of the resources that I need to really go after these things I want or if it’s that I am afraid that those voices of people who said I wasn’t good enough will be proven right.

I will say that I am getting better with not questioning my own talent and ability so much but I know that I have a long way to go before I have absolutely no doubts in my mind at all. I keep thinking that I am finally past that point where I need someone else to make me feel like I am as good as I think I am most of the time but then it creeps up on me. I need to learn, really learn how to keep myself motivated and not looking to others to reinforce what I already know, deep down inside, to be true.

It is true what they say about motivation being the key to success and the key to leading a life without fears but motivation but who is the question. I think that we writers especially feel like we need to hear those accolades and those words of adoration in order to consider ourselves good which makes sense because writing is in fact a career in which you depend on your readers liking your work to gauge your success.

I find that with the writers who have had that level of success that they sometimes didn’t realize they were looking for, it was often said that they wrote the book that they wanted to read, they wrote for themselves more so than anyone else and that is why their work was such a success. When we do things to please ourselves and not the general public we get more results and we are a lot more satisfied. Maybe there is a lesson in that. You have to give yourself the accolades before you can expect anyone else to give them to you. So have you given yourself the accolades that you deserve lately? If not then start today!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on May 20, 2014 at 3:23 PM  Leave a Comment  
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My Greatness Far Exceeds Average

Greatness within you

“Dare to be unrealistic—Being Realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity”

~Will Smith

I’ve always hated the term average, at least when it referred to me. I think of average as a term to describe someone who is content on things a certain way and never expecting anything greater than that. It is true that I am a person who has a hard time adapting to change and who likes routine but not because I am by any means average. I like to establish some consistency on my journey towards achieving the greatness I know I am destined for. I do believe that having a sense of consistent behavior enables a person to continue to pursue their goals and their dreams.  But as far as ever being content, in that regard I welcome change.

I can’t see myself ever just settling for the way someone else tells me things should be, not when I have my own high expectations for where I end up in life. I think that sometimes my expectations for myself might be far too high and that this is the reason that I get so fearful of tackling the unknown, because I am afraid I won’t live up to my own expectations. However, that isn’t a way go about achieving the great things that I am here to do.

People say that some of the things that I dream up in my mind and that I have on my list of goals are far beyond my reach and that they are a bit unrealistic. For a while I believed that they might be right. But what is being realistic really going to get me? Being realistic might maintain my comfort level and keep me in a place of being content but then that’s not what I want. As much as I hate being in a place where I feel unsure and uncomfortable, I realize that often times it is in those moments of being uncomfortable in which I somehow shine and somehow rise above what seems like impossible circumstances.

If I stay “realistic” about things then I will never go after some of these big dreams I have and I will most certainly never achieve the destiny that was meant for me to fulfill. What harm is there in being unrealistic when it comes to your dreams and what you want out of life? After all, it is your life and shouldn’t you want the most that you can get out of it.

I am not here to be average and mediocre. I am not here to satisfy someone else’s standards of living. I am not here to live up to someone else’s low expectations of me. I am here to be great, and to challenge some people’s ideas of what greatness truly is. I am here to change this world in whatever way that I can. I am here to be unrealistic and uncompromising. So the next time someone tells you that what you are aiming for is unrealistic then you tell them, that’s what you’re here for. Take care and shoot for the moon!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Be Good To Yourself

Take care of self first

I have been told that I don’t take care of myself enough. I mean sure I do little things here and there every now and then for me but when the choice comes between something for me and something for my daughter I almost always will put her first, sometimes to my detriment.

Logically I know that taking care of myself better and doing things for myself on a more regular basis enables my child to have a happier mother and to get through to her that taking care of oneself is vitally important. It’s never that I intend to neglect myself but I do feel guilty whenever I choose myself over my daughter.

I think it is important to remember that creativity is fueled by being relaxed and happy and a certain feeling of being free. If we take on too much stress by trying to do everything for the people that we love in our lives, mostly our children, then we run the risk of neglecting our own feelings of happiness and that free-spirit that we creative types are known to have. How can we feel free to create when we are not letting go and allowing ourselves to relax and take care of our own needs from time to time?

I feel like my neglecting myself sometimes hinders my creativity and keeps me from tapping into the deepest level of my potential. So I think maybe I am going to start listening to that inner voice that tells me that I can put myself first sometimes, and those words of wisdom from some friends who have repeatedly told me to be better to myself. Are you taking advantage of your full potential by being kind to yourself? If not, start now. Those important people that you keep putting first, you can’t take care of them without first taking care of you.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Half-Way to the Point of No Return

Halfway point

It feels like May just started and yet the middle of the month is quickly approaching. As I look on my lists of projects and goals to get accomplished I am noticing a terrible pattern from last year that seems to have repeated itself. I am not anywhere near halfway through my list and the latest financial difficulties that I have been experiencing lately have not helped my business or my moral for hanging in there.

Nevertheless, I have not now, nor have I ever been a quitter and while I know that it is going to be quite a stretch to get the majority of my goals tackled by the end of this year, the main thing is that I make the strongest effort possible. Now I have gotten quite a few things started, projects that I have begun working on and have either gotten stuck on, or just have some more preparation to do to get it going, but starting is the important part. I feel like once again I am behind the eight ball and of course I always know that there is more that I could be doing but I do the best I can with what I can.

Last week was one of the most peaceful and joyous feeling weeks that I have had in a while and not because I didn’t have any problems or complications. But rather because I finally stopped stressing and obsessing over those very problems and complications. I enjoyed each day as it came and whatever came with it. I did things spontaneously that I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. I hung out with my best friend and spent some money that I probably wouldn’t have spent otherwise because I would’ve been too stressed about how spending that would’ve affected something else. I had fun and I lived in the moment last week, something my best friend has been trying to get me to do for the longest time. I couldn’t change the difficulties but I could live in the moment and enjoy it.

Now because of some technical difficulties I was not able to really blog last week but I am glad that I am back to my blog this week. I hope all of you are where you need to be as we get closer to the middle of the year but if you’re not, don’t worry, you’re not alone. As long as you are putting in the effort and doing the best you can do then you should be proud of yourself. But what’s important is that you live in the moment and enjoy the little things along the way. Take care and embrace the moment you are in!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on May 12, 2014 at 11:47 AM  Leave a Comment  

What’s On the Other Side of Quitting?

Other side of quitting 2

There is nothing that is worth having that comes easy and if it comes too easy then you better beware of the strings that come attached with that feeling of ease. I remind myself of this every time I see someone who (no offense to the less talented) seemingly does not have the talent in one pinky that I have in my whole body achieve their goal (that they just thought up two seconds before actually going for it) practically overnight.

It makes me wonder what the point is of me trying so damn hard and trying to fulfill my purpose because years of dedication still haven’t landed me in the position of the overnight success story. I think about quitting for about 5 seconds (okay sometimes a little longer than that) but then when I think about what is on the other side of me quitting I get right back at it and keep pushing through.

There is no achievement in quitting (unless you’re talking about quitting that job you hate to start the business you love). When you are sitting in the midst of that struggle, and you’re feeling that longing to reach your destination, and you feel like you just can’t wait anymore. Your patience is wearing thin. Just take a minute and think about the other side of the spectrum.

You quitting on your dreams, you essentially quitting on you, leads to a lifetime full of wonder. It leads you to a lifetime full of what ifs and watching everyone reaching their dreams and thinking that should’ve been you. It will forever put you in a place of envisioning something that you just stopped reaching for. It will mean that all of the good in the world, all of the changes that you were supposed to bring about won’t happen now because you quit.

Think about the lives that come after yours that will forever be altered because your dreams didn’t come to fruition and enable them to achieve their dreams. Think of the miracle that achieving your dreams would have brought into someone else’s life if only you had not given up. Think about the fact that victory was probably just around the corner but you just didn’t know it and you gave up right before you could see that light. It costs nothing to dream, to strive for that dream, and to put a plan of action into play in order to achieve that dream. But it could costs everything if you don’t.

You don’t want your legacy to the generation that comes after you to be that you quit and that when things got too hard you found an excuse to give up. Stand up for your dreams, and push your way towards them. Don’t give up. It’s too important for you to reach those goals. Remember it’s not just your life that it affects. It’s the lives of your children, and the generations to come after you. It’s the lives of whoever is meant to be touched by your gift, by your dream, it’s their lives that quitting will affect. When you have a dream, particularly one that services many other people, it is not just about you anymore. So the next time you feel like throwing in the towel take a moment to think about what is really on the other side of quitting.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on May 1, 2014 at 12:00 PM  Leave a Comment  
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