Perfection Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Perfection Is not what its cracked up to be

Let’s talk about perfection! I think everyone, at some point in their careers, wishes for things to go perfectly. Even when logically people know that the best things that are worth having almost never come easy and that the things that come easy almost never last, people still want a smooth road to their destination. When we allow that need for perfection to keep us from going after our goals and achieving what we ultimately want it becomes more of a hindrance than a help.

I know all about striving for perfection but when I look at where that has honestly gotten me thus far, I don’t particularly like what I see. I have so many projects, books, concepts that are formulated in my mind. I plan them out, then re-plan them, and then outline the ideas to map everything out about two or three times. Then, because things still don’t seem to be fitting perfectly together just the way that I want them to, those plans, books, and concepts get stored away somewhere in a file cabinet where most ideas go to die (or get dug up years later). I think I’ve had at least two ideas of television shows that I never fleshed out and actually developed because I couldn’t get the ideas to perfectly come together in my mind and then years later I see television shows almost mirroring those ideas already created by someone else who probably didn’t wait for their idea to be completely perfect to get it done.

This is what happens when you wait on perfection. Someone else has a similar idea and they just simply get it done, perfect or not. I’ve been working really hard lately on not having to have every idea that comes to mind be perfect for me to get started working on it. I realize that perfection is not always the best thing because nothing can ever truly be perfect. There’s always going to be a tweak that could be made here, and possibly another minor adjustment there, and as a writer even when you hand over your masterpiece that may be perfect in your eyes to an editor, there is undoubtedly going to be something that that editor will see that won’t be perfect in their eyes and will need to be changed anyway.

So if you are sitting on an idea for a book, for a program, for a brand, for a song, or anything that you’re passionate about, stop sitting on it. Just say to hell with perfection and get started on it. No one will ever see it anyway if you don’t just put it out there, perfect or not. Odds are the less perfect the better!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

https://write-2-be.com/

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To Thine Own Self Be True

To Thine Own Self Be True 1

Let’s talk today about checking in with yourself! Sometimes in life things can get very crazy. You’re busy taking care of the kids, taking care of your significant others, you’re checking in with your friend’s needs, your tending to your business and making sure your customers are always satisfied, and if you have a day job then you’re making sure your boss is satisfied as well. While all of that is very important to maintain, all of that would get neglected if we forget to take care of ourselves.

It took a long time for me to learn this, to even learn how to love myself it took more than half of my life so I still struggle with making sure I’m good. I have to have conversations with myself at times to make sure I’m okay and that I’m happy and that I’m at peace. That doesn’t always mean that I have everything I want or even half of what I need. It just means that I have to make sure that no matter what crazy thing is going on, what things would normally stress me out, that I have to have peace within myself to be able to deal with everything going on around me.

What I am learning, the older I get is that even when you have the things you swear up and down that you need, if you don’t have happiness and peace within you that having those things means absolutely nothing. There’s nothing wrong with having alone time with yourself. Time to reflect on things, to do some reading, to do some writing, time to meditate and talk with God, time to take yourself out on a date and just be comfortable being with yourself. Every now and then you have to remember to have a conversation with yourself and to make sure that while you are trying to take care of everything and everyone else that you are also taking care of you.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

https://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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The Freedom of Being Vulnerable

Freedom in being Vulnerable 1

Let’s talk about being vulnerable! There is a certain sense of freedom that lies in being yourself and not caring what others think of what you say or do. Now I don’t mean treating anyone bad or not caring about other people’s feelings in general. I mean not letting other people’s opinions of you and what you do in your life affect how you feel about yourself or how you conduct your life.

Too many times we agonize over, not just the important life decisions that we have to make, but also how people are going to perceive the decisions that we have made. No one else’s opinions should weigh that heavily on our minds. I say this having struggled with the disease of caring too much myself but I have done a lot of work to get to a point where I no longer care about what other people feel about what I do anymore. I mean yeah I take critique and advice but in the end the choice will be something that I want not what someone else wants me to choose.

Being yourself and trusting that people will accept you, with all your flaws, is allowing yourself to be vulnerable and being vulnerable is what allows you to open up and do things that you otherwise would normally never do. Being vulnerable allows you to be more fearless and to courageously pursue your goals and dreams. Being yourself affords you the ability to stop feeling the need to apologize for being ambitious and focused on what your needs are to achieve your future goals.

I don’t think you can truly go for what you want without allowing yourself to feel a certain amount of vulnerability. So when you start worrying about what everyone else thinks about what you’re doing in your life, stop. How other people view you is not something that you should concern yourself with because if someone has their mind made up about you already then there’s nothing you can do to change that. Trust in yourself and who you are and let that be enough to propel you towards your destination.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

https://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

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The Warrior Within

The Warrior Within

Lets talk American Ninja Warrior! I know, what does the show American Ninja Warrior have to do with writing and taking care of yourself creatively and spiritually. Well that’s the thing about inspiration, it literally can come from anywhere and anyplace and at any time. I am just as surprised as you might be because if you know anything about me, aside from finally implementing a gym workout into my lifestyle, I am not a very athletic person. Other than football, and perhaps the basketball championships, I don’t particularly watch that much in the way of sports.

So when I turned on a rerun episode of American Ninja Warrior one day, it was kind of just on and I wasn’t paying that much attention until this young woAmerican Ninja Warrior 1man came on the screen named Kacy Catanzaro (pictured to the left), and it was the episode where she became, at five foot two (possibly shorter), the first woman to ever make it up the warped wall and from that moment on I was hooked. Now I’m late to the Ninja Warrior game so I’ve been watching the reruns every week of older seasons but they’re all new to me so I am just gaining such a huge appreciation for this show, these athletes, and their stories.

It’s the stories behind these athletes that fearlessly run a course of seemingly impossible obstacles that I think are the most motivating for me. Most of these athletes are coming back from injuries, from others sports careers that were prematurely cut short, and from life altering struggles that would make the average person curl up in a ball and just give up, but not these athletes. They show their grit, and their tenacity, and their strength and it’s just amazing to watch it and I’m usually left in awe of these players.

The struggles that they’ve overcome and the things that they are able to accomplish is just remarkable. They are able to put all of their focus and energy into tackling the task immediately in front of them, being the obstacle course, and finish it, and in some cases not finish it and have to get back up again and prepare for the following year to do it all over again. It takes a hell of an individual to do that and in many cases to fail in completing the course and have to come back the following year to do it all over again, not knowing if they’ll end up failing the course again or if they will finally complete it. Some of these athletes took several years before even being able to complete the course one time and they kept returning with such enthusiasm and vigor. It’s a level of courage that I wished I had and makes me question ‘who am I to be afraid to go after my dreams despite the many stumbles and falls? It just inspires me to be better, and to do better.   What inspires you to do better and gives you courage?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

https://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

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There Is No Dream That Is Too Big

NO Dream too big 2

So I want to talk about dreaming big. I watched this video podcast the other day by the wonderful Nikki Woods (who was the producer for the Tom Joyner Morning Show) and she was discussing how your dreams should scare you. Initially I thought, well why would I ever want my dreams to scare me? That wouldn’t inspire me to accomplish them, but rather, it would make me want to hide in the fear.

As I listened to the podcast I understood more in depth what she was saying, and it wasn’t as if I hadn’t heard this before but she put it in such a way that almost made the fear sound acceptable. Not that we should ever give into the fears and let them win, as I had done for the better part of the last year and a half, almost two years, but that we should let those fears drive us to pursue what we want in an effort to dispel those very fears.

I have always been a big dreamer, with little mini dreams thrown in for good measure but I have also let the words of others deter me from going after those big dreams and keeping me at bay with the mini dreams as a consolation prize. I would constantly let their negative words of can’t, and impossible seep into my subconscious and eventually I had begun to believe them. However, I am truly working on getting rid of the negative voices around me that keep trying to be the obstacle on my path. I still have my list of big, scary dreams that seem impossible, mostly because of financial constraints. These are dreams that, no matter how many doubts I’ve had about them over the years, I have never completely lost hope in achieving them.

I suppose all that’s left to do now is stop living in the fear that they won’t be possible and just go out and make them happen, no matter what it takes or how long it takes. I think that the fight to make these dreams come to fruition will make it all even more meaningful when those big dreams that seem like a hell of a long shot become more of a reality. After all, if it’s too easy then it’s not worth it!

So whatever you’re dreaming up on your journey, you know the big scary dreams that you can never really share with anyone because if you say them out loud then someone will actually tell you just how far fetched they really are. Those are precisely the dreams that you should never put on hold. Don’t wait until the right time to go after them because let’s be honest, when is there ever really a RIGHT time to do something that only you can see the outcome in. Go for it NOW! Whatever the dream is, don’t let it die in your mind as just wishful thinking. Make it happen! It’s never too late…

Check out my interview with Nikki Woods on Write 2 Be Magazine https://write2bemagazine.com/2015/01/29/author-interview-with-nikki-woods/

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

https://write-2-be.com/

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Focus on What is Meant for You

Focus on what is meant for you

Let’s talk about focus! We all have our own loads to bare. Some of us have heavier loads to carry than others and we tend to compare our loads to what others are carrying. Or maybe that’s just me. I sometimes reflect on the way that I wanted things to go in my life, in my career, on the timetable that I wanted them to go by and I start thinking maybe it’s just too late. I look at people who have somewhat the career success that I thought I would have by now, people I admire and look at as a road map so to speak, and I start to think about where they’re at and why I’m not there yet. I suppose I start to feel envious but not in a vengeful sort of way but just in a way of how can I emulate what they’re doing so I can get to where they are.

However, lately, more and more, I am realizing that what they have is not for me to have. The level of success they have, at the trajectory in which they achieved it is their journey and there is a reason that it wasn’t mine. Granted I don’t know what that reason is at this particular moment and I don’t have any answers as to the why not of it all but I know that there is nothing that happens that God doesn’t have a reason for, even the obstacles that I come up against, are put on my journey for a reason.

As I’m getting my drive back and letting go of all the fear that has been paralyzing me, especially within this last year and a half, I am steering my focus back on track to where it needs to be. I am also keeping my focus on my own lane and trying hard not to worry about what’s going on in the next person’s lane. Not that there’s anything wrong with getting advice and mentorship and taking cues from people who are where you want to be but not so much to the point where it allows you to get stuck and defeated on your own course.

So when you get frustrated seeing others get to where you feel you should be, try to remember that your lane may end up surpassing theirs. Try and focus on where your stretch of the road is propelling you to. If you’re so focused on the lane next to you how can you really get to where your lane is taking you. I plan on remaining focused on my own lane, my own grass, my own journey, so that I can get to where I am meant to be and keep moving forward. The journey may be rough but I know that it will be worth it when I get to where I’m meant to be!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

https://write-2-be.com/

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Published in: on January 12, 2018 at 2:52 PM  Comments (1)  
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Your Vision Is Not for Everybody to Understand

Not everyone sees your vision

I once was one of those people who got so excited about their dreams and their vision that I would tell any and everyone who would listen. I thought that if I was excited then surely the people that I hold near and dear to my heart would love to hear what goes on in my cluttered mind of ideas. Now I’m not saying that I didn’t have supportive friends who understood that I had a vision and I’m not even saying that they wished me any type of failure or anything but as I’ve gotten older I slowly (and I mean really slowly) have realized that everyone cannot see what it is that you see.

They’re not going to express the same level of excitement, or have the same ambitious drive to stand by you while you struggle to achieve that dream. However, I do think that there should be a certain level of support that is there whether they understand or not and that the people around you shouldn’t constantly try their hand at talking you out of your dream or worse, trying to shape your dream for you into something that they can accept. I don’t really reach out to people like I used to anymore. I have some select people in my life who I hold very dear to me but still, even to these very important people I will not ever go into detail about my dreams or my vision because I’ve grown tired of people giving me the what if’s and trying to either talk me down from my dreams or shape my dreams for their own comfort.

I read a quote once that said to stop letting people who weren’t given your dream and your vision talk you out of yours because they were never meant to see what you see. God gave the vision and purpose that you have for your life to you, not them and sometimes you have to protect that vision. Granted I didn’t adhere to that quote when I first read it, I certainly do now. It can be a little lonely at times, keeping all of these visions for my future to myself and I did have a friend I was very close to who I was able to share those things with because she got it, she really understood, but life happened and she got married and her journey began to really propel forward while mine stayed stagnant and we drifted apart, but I wish her well and I am still cheering her on from the sidelines.

All of this was to say that if you are feeling down because you feel like no one understands you or your goals, don’t let it get you down, let it make you work harder. Your goals and your dreams aren’t meant for others to understand because they’re not for them, they are for you. Sometimes you have to go after your dreams quietly so you don’t lose the focus and the drive that you need to make things happen the way you want, or rather, the way that God intended for things to unfold for you because truly, God’s plans for you will always be bigger than yours are. Don’t feed into what others think you can’t do, or how people may think your dreams are too big to be possible. Be quiet about your moves and let your results speak volumes!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

https://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

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Published in: on January 8, 2018 at 9:48 PM  Leave a Comment  
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I May Have Been Down but I was Never Out

Down but Not Out

So let’s talk about failure! I hate to fail and what’s ironic is that though I hate to fail I seem to be doing a lot of it. Granted, I don’t view everything that has happened in my life as failures but I have failed enough times to make anyone want to just lie down and give up. In fact, I think that a lot of this past year and half long bout with depression was pretty much just that, me being so tired of failing that I just wanted to lie down and accept defeat.

Writing is definitely not for the faint of heart and rejection is a part of the package that comes with this career but sometimes it can feel so jarring to one’s self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities. I’ve been shopping my novels around to different agents and while I’ve had some of them ask to see the whole novel, which in itself can be cause to celebrate, in the end I have not been received with the kind of acceptance that I crave and truly thought I was talented enough to get. Logically I know that being rejected by a publisher or an agent is not a personal attack on my abilities but as most of you writers know, your novels tend to feel like your babies and my work is personal for me because I always add a touch of myself into my characters (well my main characters anyway).

But I’m learning, or rather remembering that my failures are not what is going to define my eventual success. In reality, my failures are what is going to propel me forward into my destined prosperity. These are the moments that will build me up and make me stronger so that I can be better and excel further than even I thought possible. I’ve always heard that when we plan, God laughs and he must be really laughing it up at me because since the age of ten I’ve had some pretty big plans for my life and career. I had milestones, in my mind, that I just knew that I was going to hit at just the time I envisioned hitting them, some I even thought I would hit earlier than I expected. I couldn’t have been more wrong and being that wrong is just plain hurtful.

However, if some of those plans had come to pass there would be a lot of other wonderful moments that I wouldn’t have had happen, mainly my daughter being born, and I could never regret her. Failure doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It can be, in many cases, what protects us from a disaster right around the corner. In other cases it can just be the sign to let you know that while you may be going in the right direction, you’re not quite ready just yet. There are lessons in the failures that we go through but sometimes what matters is not the actual act of failing itself but rather what those failures can add to our overall story.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

https://write-2-be.com/

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Now That the Fog Has Lifted… Back to the Business of Writing!

 

Fog lifted

It’s been so long since I’ve written to you all! My hiatus was definitely not something that I had planned on but nevertheless I am back now. I suffer from random bouts of depression. I get in this funk and sometimes it takes a longer period of time than others to pull myself out of it. I should probably seek out a therapist but I hate the idea of talking to some random stranger who doesn’t know me or anything that I’ve been through in my life sitting there judging me and writing notes about me. It’s not that I don’t believe that they would be capable of doing their job, I just have a thing about telling total strangers extremely personal things about me which is probably what makes the bouts of depression last longer than they should.

Ordinarily writing would help with that but part of the depression was that my writing career wasn’t exactly going the way that I had envisioned it going. Perhaps it was a midlife crisis and realizing that what I had mapped out for my life many, many, many years ago was totally off track and I couldn’t see a way to get it back on track. I saw no light at the end of the tunnel that I was in. This depression that I was in led me to an unintentional hiatus seeing as though one of the issues I was having was a lack of confidence in my writing. That’s hard for me to admit to because that’s the one thing over the course of my life that I have never had a lack of confidence in was my writing. I’ve always known that no matter what no one could take that away from me but over this last year and a half I’ve been feeling like maybe my writing just isn’t good enough.

Of course now that I can feel the fog lifting and I have recently felt a sense of peace even in the midst of the storms in my life I am starting to regain that confidence in my writing that I once had. I’ve been recently planning out my writing goals again and submitting novels to agents, outlining new novel ideas, planning new content for the Magazine, planning out new posts for this blog, and even mapping out an idea for a television pilot I want to write, and the more that I focus on those writing goals I have, the more I start to get some of my writing confidence back. I’m starting to feel like myself again and I love feeling like me because it took a long time for me to love the person that I have become. Writing is a sort of therapy for me and I hope I never lose that.

Any-who, I’m back and I hope you’ve missed me because I sure have missed writing for you. Here’s to new ideas, new opportunities, and many more words that hold purpose and power!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

https://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

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