What Determines Your Success?

Definition of success

I read an article the other day about signs that you are in fact succeeding in life even if you feel as though you are not. Before I even began to read it I was already guessing that more than half of the signs on their list were going to be things that I have not accomplished yet. I have this idea set up in my mind of what determines if someone is successful and in my eyes I am nowhere near the level of success that I had hoped I would be by now or that I think I should be by now. I have a long way to go before I get half of the things on my list accomplished. However, after reading this article I can see that maybe my evaluation of what is successful was a little off.

This article described being a success as being someone who has had growth in themselves, in their personal and professional life, in how they deal with things. It described success as having family and people that cared about them and people to lean on for support. It described being able to feel like home in whatever place you reside and raising the standards you have for yourself. It described a great deal of things that I never even thought would be someone’s idea of successful, it certainly wasn’t what I had in my mind under that label.

I’ve never been all about making money but let’s be honest, when most people think of their level of success, money is certainly a factor. It was never my absolute desire to be rich with massive amounts of money (not that I would turn it down if the opportunity presented itself) but to live a life that’s comfortable where I don’t have to worry about having enough for me and my child, yes that would be nice. When I ran down the list in the article I realized that 20 out of the 25 things on it I could say were true for myself. It made me sit back and think that maybe I’m not failing at things as badly as I often times feel that I am and maybe what I see as not having it all together, someone else sees as having it together enough for the moment I am in.

I think that sometimes we get these ideas in our heads of what the standard of success and fulfillment are and we don’t realize sometimes that the little things that we are taking for granted could be so many other people’s ideas of what success is. We think that simple is not the answer but sometimes in this life, in the moment that we are in, simple is more than enough. I think that I am going to start viewing my ideas of what having it all really means and whether or not having it all is truly someone having it all. All of what would be the important question.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on June 26, 2014 at 6:41 PM  Leave a Comment  
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There Are No Other Options

There are no other options

It’s a sad thing that there are some people in this world who only want to see you fail. They want to see you as someone you’re not so that they can justify wanting you to have nothing and no one. They will see you with a glimpse of something good, whether it be an innocent friendship or a direction for your life that they may not have, and they want to rip it away from you so that they can have the satisfaction of seeing you knocked down. I don’t understand these people. I don’t operate that way and I don’t understand the people that do.

I am not a person who is very open or trusting and it is true that I don’t have a lot of friends but that is because I’ve had a lot in the past and have been burned by so many that I would just rather not go through the trouble. I think that it is a better thing to have one or two really good friends rather than a whole lot of false ones. I am guarded, extremely guarded, but when I do let people in, then I am a very all in type of person no matter what the nature of the relationship, whether it is business, romantic, or just a friendship.

I also don’t share my dreams with just anyone either, because too many people won’t understand it and they will find ways to trivialize it, or to try and rationalize it and there just simply aren’t any. I am getting used to being the target for people, to people always taking my weaknesses and using them against me, to people taking the things I value the most and treasure deeply and basically demolishing them the best way that they can.

I think the more that people try to knock me down and the more times I have to keep pulling myself back up (and I admittedly stay down way longer than I should) the more I realize that I don’t have any other choice than to succeed at what it is that I am striving to do with my business and with my life in general. I am not only motivated by passion for what I want to do in my business but also by the people that desire to see that I never have it.

I refuse to give the people who want to see me down to nothing the satisfaction of seeing me fail. I just can’t let that be an option. So the only other option I have is to succeed. If that means that I have to be a hardened person who everyone abandons then so be it because when I get to where it is that I am going everyone who ever doubted me, who ever ridiculed me, who ever purposely tried to destroy me, and whoever abandoned me when I needed them the most, well they are going to be the ones who wished that they had held on for the ride. I will not give them the satisfaction. Failure is not an option.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on June 25, 2014 at 4:41 PM  Comments (1)  
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It’s Okay To Be a Dreamer

It's okay to be a dreamer

There are so many people that I hear give up on their dreams (or at least on dedicating their entire focus to their dreams) for the purpose of being there for their family, mainly the children. Some people feel like if they are too focused on the dream that they have that it will take too much focus away from their children and that their children would end up resenting them for it. In all honesty, it is possible that the dream that one has for their life, for fulfilling their purpose, could very well place attention heavily on the efforts that need to be taken to commit to that dream and yes the children may initially feel slighted.

However, I fully believe that if we don’t go after our dreams, focused and driven, then we are telling our children (inadvertently of course) that they can’t or shouldn’t go after theirs. We can’t drive home the point to our children that whatever they dream for their future can become reality if they work towards it and not show them by example that it is in fact true. Essentially our children need for us to follow our dreams and see them all the way through because they need to see that it’s possible and they need to see that you mean what you say to them when you tell them to do the same thing. We can’t preach something to our children if we are not in fact practicing it.

For everyone who has ever felt guilty (myself included) for taking the dream you have and committing to it wholeheartedly and putting that dedication and hard work in to get that dream accomplished. Please know that while it often times does not feel like you are doing what is in the best interest of your children, your family, the reality is that you are doing your absolute best for them. You are showing them that this matters to you. You are showing them that no matter how many people will tell you that you can’t, you absolutely can.

You are teaching your children that not only can they allow themselves to dream big but that they should do everything that they can to make that dream happen. You are giving them the example and the blueprint to follow for when it’s their turn to go full force for their dreams. So the next time you are wondering if you are doing the right thing by being dedicated to what you are doing remind yourself that you’re not only doing this for yourself, but for your children as well, so they won’t be afraid to go after their dreams. You are leading them to their destiny by following the path to yours.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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The Past Is Always Close By, Just Don’t Live There

Don't live in the past

It is true that you cannot live in the past and that you have to learn to put past regrets or hurts aside and move forward for your own sake if no one else’s. It is also true that there are some things that happen in one’s childhood that take its toll on an individual that they sometimes don’t recover from, or at least not quickly. What I can’t stand is when people try and tell you how long it is supposed to take you to get over those moments in the past that hurt you or those things you wish you had never done.

I’ve talked about my childhood many times here and in a way it’s often times therapeutic for me to get some things out that I don’t feel like I can talk to anyone about, reason being that there are some with the stance of get over it already. Let me just say that my level of confidence in myself, or lack thereof, is a result of having a mother who not only physically and verbally abused me, but emotionally abused me too. When your mother tells you that you are never going to be anything at some point you actually start to believe it.

When you are a child is hard to dismiss anyone’s criticism of you but when it is the criticism of one or both of your parents then it is damn near impossible to dismiss it. As a child you look to your parents for confirmation, for guidance, and for reassurance. You need them to tell you that you are important, not to just them but to this world that you are in and that if you want to change the world then you have that power to do so. You need them to build your self-esteem up so that you can go out and conquer whatever it is in this world that you want to. When you are not given that it does something to you.

It’s one thing if you can get that guidance from other strong figures in your family but when it just isn’t there it does some damage to what should be your self-esteem. I personally had to build my own self-esteem up and honestly I’m still not completely where I should be yet in my level of self-esteem and confidence. But when people say to me you have to let what your mother did, or rather didn’t do for you go it infuriates me. It’s not that I don’t get that, it’s the fact that they don’t realize that it’s not going to happen with the snap of my fingers.

My childhood pain, the lack of love from my childhood, it’s still there right on my shoulder to smack me in the back of my head every time I start to actually move past it. It’s in that doubt that I feel whenever there’s something that I know I should go for but convince myself that I’m not good enough to go for it. People don’t realize that I didn’t really start to love myself until I was already an adult, with a child of my own, and that I had to build that up by myself.

Yes the past is something that you should not live in and you should most certainly forgive those in your past who have hurt you and done damage that was almost unable to be repaired. However, we all know that your past is a part of you, whether good or bad, it is what molds you and shapes you into being the person you are now, so our past is never truly behind us. It is there to remind us of where we came from, how much we have come through to get where we are now, and more importantly, particularly if it is a painful past, it is there to show us how strong we actually are. We are not who we were in the past, but we most certainly wouldn’t be who we are now without that same past.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on June 19, 2014 at 3:28 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Boxes on a Shelf

boxes on a shelf

I was watching a Joel Osteen Sermon this past Sunday and as always his message was something that I could really relate to and that resonated with me right at that moment. He spoke about having faith in yourself and in your abilities enough to ask God for what he already said was yours. You know we pray for the things we want out of life and finagle our way around obstacles in order to achieve them. But I think that perhaps if we were more sure about the fact that those opportunities that we want and that we see for our future are already in God’s plan and that they are already ours to grab ahold of we wouldn’t worry so much while we are praying about whether or not they are going to come to pass.

Joel used a metaphor that our opportunities are like moments that are all in boxes, lined up on shelves, in this massive warehouse in heaven, just waiting for the people whose names are on those boxes to actually ask for them. It made me wonder just how big my box of opportunities would be because I know that I am one of those people that while I am praying for my opportunities and wishing that they would come true, I am also crossing my fingers to cover all my bases.

Crossing your fingers is not a sign of true faith, and neither is worrying while you are praying. It’s so funny because I have no trouble believing in other people’s dreams and in the fact that their opportunities will come to fruition but when it comes to mine, it’s like I let all of those demons of doubt cloud what I know in my heart. I don’t want to get to the end of my journey and see my opportunities sitting in these boxes on some shelf just waiting, unclaimed, and unused.

There’s so many other things that I am unsure of in this life but my purpose, my desire to change this world for the better with my message and through writing and other media avenues, that’s not something that I am unsure of. So while you are seeking your opportunities and praying for the doors of opportunity to be opened for you are you crossing your fingers or are you surrendering in faith? It makes a difference on whether or not the right doors will be open or not.

You can’t receive all of the blessings and opportunity that God has planned for you with your fingers crossed because then you are not fully prepared to receive them. So try having absolute faith that what is meant for your life, the opportunities and changes that you have been waiting for, will come to you. And when you have that absolute faith, that unshakable belief, then ask for ALL of what it is that you want. Not some, not just enough to get by, not just one door and then you’ll worry about the next door when you get to it, ask for it ALL. Aren’t you worth EVERYTHING it is that you want?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on June 18, 2014 at 3:13 PM  Leave a Comment  
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The Circle Surrounding You

The circle around you

Last week was a very blatant reminder of why I keep my walls up and am not so quick to let just anybody in my little bubble. I get hassled all the time about the need to trust people and allow people to get close to me. However, some things transpired last week with the few people that I have recently let get close to me which quickly knocked me over the head with a reminder that I just can’t trust a whole lot of people.

I hear all the time that maybe people are so spiteful towards me because there’s something that they see in me that they are jealous or envious of and I could never wrap my mind around that concept because I always feel that there are so many things that I lack. I mean yes I have a lot going for me, and while my confidence does waiver from day to day sometimes from the ultimate low to other days being at the ultimate high, I still have a stronghold on what my dreams and my purpose here are and I’m not giving up until I get there. But I never think of those things as something that anyone would have to be envious of.

I am envious of the people that have it already together and are where they always wanted to be. However, I have to remind myself that people’s perception of things, my perception of things, are not always evenly linked. What I see as them having it together might be them trying not to let people see that they are falling apart and what I see in myself as falling apart might be, in their eyes, me getting it together slowly but with a solid foundation. A solid foundation is everything and can often times be the difference between you having everything you wanted for only a moment’s time and you having everything you wanted for a lifetime.

People say that you should only really depend on yourself and I never really wanted to let myself get so cynical where I truly felt that way but I am starting to understand what is meant by that. It’s not saying that you don’t need someone around you, someone in your life to lean on from time to time, but rather that you have to be able to lean on yourself, to believe in yourself, and to build your own confidence up for yourself and that you can’t expect validation from others and for them to believe in you for you. Essentially, your circle can’t be filled with people who aren’t for you and who don’t push you to be for yourself. Also with that, you can’t rely on the circle that surrounds you for something that you have to find within yourself.

When you can’t find it in yourself first then you start to let people in your circle who are not really for you and who don’t want to see you move forward and they will cause you to second guess yourself and to rethink what your purpose really is. Don’t get so caught up in having a circle of people around you that you can’t see who in that circle is truly for you and who is against you. Don’t try and make your circle fill the void of what you are looking for within yourself because then you end up trying to please them instead of fulfilling your purpose.

Watch closely the people who are around you. Are they like-minded people? Are they rooting for you? Are they challenging you to move forward? Or are they making you question everything that you already know in your heart is meant for you? Think about who you are allowing yourself to trust and decide have they earned it or are they just trying to distract you from your purpose?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on June 17, 2014 at 4:12 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Don’t Forget to Celebrate Who and Where You Are

Live in the moment 2

There are a lot of things that I had set out to do in my lifetime and while I know that I still have time left (hopefully) on this earth to accomplish them sometimes I can’t help but feel like I have failed myself. I saw this image that stated “Stop hating yourself for everything that you aren’t and start loving yourself for everything that you are.” When I saw that I realized that I can take an endless inventory of the things that I haven’t managed to accomplish yet but yet I haven’t even taken the time to take stock of all that I have achieved.

I haven’t really celebrated the good things that have happened over the course of my life because I have been way too focused on the things that I haven’t been able to check off of my list. Sure I haven’t been able to travel the world yet, and I never managed to get over my stage fright long enough to make a go at a singing career, and I am not on the New York Times Best Seller’s list (yet). However, I have managed to get two degrees (one in communications and a Master’s in Psychology), and I have experienced places that some people may not have been able to experience yet, I have a beautiful daughter that I am extremely proud of, and I do have 2 published books to add to my credit. I may not be where it is that I saw myself being at this point in my life but I am far better off then I was and a great deal better off than some others.

One’s story in life cannot be measured by the achievements that they sought out to conquer but rather the accomplishments that have already taken place. Of course every moment may not be the total victory that you were looking for but in life if you are never defeated then can you truly enjoy the victories that you reach. Sure we have a plan for our lives and we have every intention of going after and obtaining those plans. But at some point, when things take on different directions and the course changes, we have to learn to let go of the plans that we had and accept the plan that is waiting for us on that new course that we’re being redirected to.

Life is about how quickly we can get back on track when the course has been suddenly changed without warning. So stop dwelling on what hasn’t happened in your life or the plans that haven’t come together just the way you planned them out. Start focusing on the moment that you are in, take stock of what you have managed to achieve, especially things achieved in the most trying times, and celebrate those challenges, and the strength that you showed to accomplish all that you have even in the midst of them.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on June 5, 2014 at 2:57 PM  Comments (3)  
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Is Practicality Really Just a Sugarcoated Way of Disguising Our Fears?

Practicality disguised as fear 2

I listened to a commencement speech that actor Jim Carey gave at Maharishi University of Management that was very inspiring. He said something that really resonated with me. He said that “So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality—what we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect so we never dare to ask the universe for it.” When I heard that I thought of how true that statement was.

I think that there are a lot of people out there who stay in a position where they don’t really want to be, with claims of simultaneously working on going for their dreams, when all they are truly displaying is their fear of moving forward. I know that I sometimes wonder if I should have continued doing a regular 9 to 5 type of job and focus on my writing career at night until I got a stable footing to do the writing full time. I have various people, friends and associates, some who understand first-hand about the vision that I have because their vision is not far off from mine for their own lives, tell me that I need to go back to the regular 9 to 5 thing to get myself on even better footing. I won’t say that I didn’t think about it (heavily) but I truly feel that I would be doing myself, my art, and my daughter a great disservice if I did that.

Now of course this means that you have to know who you are and know exactly what will and will not work for you because there are some people who can do both simultaneously and make it work extremely well. Their focus is split but yet somehow still all there. I know that for myself that was never going to work out well for long. In actuality it didn’t work which is why I didn’t continue on that way.

Another thing Jim Carey said in his speech was that “You can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” I suppose that in that way I have never been fearful. I knew that I would never be able to be happy staying in a position, doing a job that I loathed simply to make an attempt at doing what I love, all the while not being able to dedicate my entire focus to that dream. For me, it was more important to be happy and struggle to make my dreams happen than to live comfortably and be miserable and neglect my dream.

I know that it seems crazy to some, hell most days it seems crazy to me, but I can’t explain how freeing it is to be able to devote my full attention to that of making my dreams a reality and how much pride I take in teaching my daughter that the sacrifices she will eventually make for her dreams will be worth it in the long run. I want her to know that it is okay to dive head first into the life that she wants and that she shouldn’t spend one moment of it (unless she wants to of course) doing something that she can’t put her whole heart into.

I think I will remind myself of Jim Carey’s words the next time I start to question the decisions that I have made to move towards my career in writing. If I am in fact going to fail (which is only really a stepping stone to success anyway) then I might as well be failing at something that I love to do, that I am driven to do, that I can put my whole heart into. I would much rather spend my life working on achieving what matters most to me than spend it helping someone else achieve what matters most to them. I can’t build my own dream up if I am spending the majority of my time building up someone else’s.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on June 4, 2014 at 8:55 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Where There is Victory There Are Always Battle Scars

Battle Scars

I stay in my own head a lot. I talk myself out of a lot of things, out of opportunities. I tell myself that it won’t happen before even knowing whether it will or not. I convince myself that I’m not good enough or deserving enough. It’s an extremely terrible habit and one that developed from the negative words cast on me in my childhood, but it’s one that I am trying to break. I think that I do that so that if things don’t happen the way I wanted or expected them to I will be less devastated or disappointed by it. However, I have discovered that rejection is not any less painful or devastating just because you prepped your mind for it.

In all actuality, I have realized that that is just a defense mechanism that I need to get away from. It is my subconscious way of sabotaging myself that I didn’t even know I was doing until I started to really try and work on myself and building up that confidence that I seem to lack. I struggle to live up to the potential that I know I have because I so desperately need not to fail. When you feel like you have been failing most of your life (even if that’s not the reality) the last thing you want to continue to do is fail. However, when I put into perspective that not reaching a particular goal is not failure but rather a stepping stone on the way to succeeding then it almost makes failing seem like more of an accomplishment.

When I think of all of the success stories that inspire me, people who have gotten to the place where I am journeying to, I am reminded of all of their failures that were made on their way to finally succeeding. Without those failures they may have never actually achieved the things they set out to do and they most certainly would not appreciate all that it took to get to the point they are at now. I guess it is humbling to get to the top of a jagged road with a lot of bumps, bruises, potholes, and other obstacles thrown in your way rather than the straight road with no detours that you had in your head when you dreamt up those dreams.

I guess I have to stop asking myself do I really have what it takes to make this dream happen and give myself permission to let go of that idea of a straight road, permission to embrace all of the bruises and bumps and potholes as battle scars to be proud of for when I do reach the destination on my journey. I guess I have to give myself credit for how quickly I bounce back and recover from those moments of so-called failures and view them as accomplishing the goal of not staying down when I get knocked on my butt. It’s not the fall that will cripple a person’s drive to succeed, but rather it is how long it takes them to get back up and get back at the grind of making that dream happen.

The most important thing is that you get up and don’t just lay there waiting for someone else to help you back to your feet. Waiting on anyone else to help you with your dreams could result in you never getting back up to move towards them. Take those battle scars that you are accumulating and wear them proudly because when you look back on your journey those scars are going to be there to remind you of just how badly you want to succeed and of everything you went through to make it happen. Those reflections will ensure that you never take for granted the journey you took and that you appreciate even more the victory that has taken place.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on June 3, 2014 at 6:54 PM  Comments (1)  
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