Do We Always Have to Be “On” to Prove We Showed Up?

Last week was a rough week and I tried extremely hard not to show it. Now it was supposed to be a really exciting week in terms of my YouTube channel because I was doing a collaboration with one of the biggest AuthorTubers on there and it’s someone who has motivated me and inspired me through her own channel so that part was very exciting. And believe it or not it went well. But I had to mask a lot of pain that I was in to make it seem as though everything behind the scenes (for me anyway) was okay.

I woke up last Tuesday morning in excruciating stomach pain that is looking like it may be a hernia but that explanation for the pain wasn’t considered until near the end of the week and after the exciting collaboration happened. But I did what most of us creative entrepreneurs who are also moms have to do. I smiled my way through the pain and pretended everything was okay. The only way you would have known anything was wrong (at least until my first week of May vlog comes out later today) was if you happened to be close enough to me for me to confide in.

We often have to be “on” sometimes even when we don’t want to be. Even when we may be in pain or, for some, grieving, or depressed, or when you just plain old don’t feel like putting on a mask. If we want to succeed, if we want to get to a point where we can truly thrive, where we can enjoy what we’ve built and have the luxury of being able to say no if we want to, there are oftentimes pieces of ourselves that we have to sacrifice.

There are far too many instances where we find ourselves amplifying the performance we have to put on just so no one sees us struggling and my question is why. Why is it wrong, or weak to show when we are struggling. Why is it that we feel like we would burden someone else by telling them that we may not be okay, or that we need some help. It’s a question I think that we should all ask ourselves because I sure hope that I’m not someone that other people feel that have to put on a show for.

I just want to be a light, and some sort of inspiration and motivation for as many people as I can. I suppose that’s why I sometimes feel like I have to contain my struggles. I hate the thought of pulling anyone down or not being able to inspire someone. But sometimes I need a break from being “on” too and that’s okay. Striving as a creative entrepreneur should never mean having to put on a mask to hide our pain. I like to think of it in terms of a phrase that I used to hear in the church I grew up in. They used to always say that all were welcome to come as they are. When we come into any space, creative or other, no matter what we are struggling with, we should always feel as if we can be free to come as we are.

Until next time… #BeVulnerable #BeThoughtful #BePatient

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Are You Watering Your Past or Your Future?

I saw a post on social media that posed this very question and it made me really think and start to mentally check off some boxes in my head. I spent a good portion of the beginning of my adult years (really into my early thirties) regretting things I didn’t get right as I grew into my adulthood. There were so many things that I would’ve gone back and changed and done again if only I could have. At the time I didn’t see anything wrong with playing the “what if” game, but now I think I was really doing myself a disservice.

Now I can see, that while I will admit that I have made some mistakes and some moves in my life that took me off track a lot and some decisions that changed the entire trajectory of my journey, they have also made me who I am today. I’m not perfect but I think that I’m a pretty good person who has done some good things with my life and those things from my past helped me get here. Now I have a lot more good things I would like to do in this world for lots of people as I’m sure we all do which is precisely why we can’t keep reaching back in our past for the things we didn’t get right. Our past is the history that made us but definitely not where we should live in.

We have to remain focused on the here and now so that we can steadily move forward towards the future we are making for ourselves. I know that it’s easier said than done to not live in regret and constantly wonder but to do so would be watering the seeds of the past and not the seeds of the future that we are journeying towards. Yesterday has already happened so today and the future, are really all that we have.

As we are going forward on our own paths to the purpose that we are striving to fulfill we have to be careful that we don’t start to nurture resentment for things that have already taken place. It’s true that those are the things that shaped us into the versions of ourselves that we are now. However watering the seeds of the future is going to shape and mold us into the versions of ourselves that we have yet to become, most likely the best versions of ourselves. In a garden it would be meaningless to continue watering dead plants, dead things don’t grow. We water the seeds that have yet to sprout because that is where new life breathes. Don’t keep watering the dead things in your life when there are new seeds just waiting for you to tend to them so that they can grow.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BePresent #BeFocused

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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It’s the Steps We Never Take That Hold Us Back

The only difference between where you are and where you want to be is the steps that you haven’t taken yet.”

~Rigel J. Dawson

There are a lot of things that I’ve dreamed about doing in my life. Some things I have done, some things I probably will never get to do, and some I’ve barely touched the surface of but have somehow convinced myself it was out of reach. It’s that last thing that keeps me up late at night (okay I’m just a night owl that gets nagging ideas late at night lol) wondering what it is I could have done differently to achieve those things that I still have it in my heart to do but seem so unattainable. Some of the things are career related and have to do with areas of the industry I have wanted to write in since I was a child and at some point just got knocked off the trajectory of that course. Some of them are things that I always said “if I ever become rich and famous I would do this, that, and the other with my money to help other people”. Both of those areas are something I am wondering constantly is it too late to still do those things.

Now if I’m being honest with myself (truly honest) being a traveling media journalist is probably something that I have passed the point of being able to get into because, well I’m not young and adventurous anymore and journalism is typically for the young and daring when you’re just starting. Only if you’ve already been in journalism for a while can you still be past a certain age and doing it. However, writing for television (soap operas in particular) has always been something that I have wanted to try and am thinking that perhaps it is not too late. Now I’m just wondering what steps I could be taking, what more could I be doing, to get someone to open the door when I knock on it. Unfortunately that answer would be not enough. Largely in part because I had just convinced myself that my time had passed in that area too.

The other things, the one’s more on the charitable side, the things I’ve always said if I had the money I would do, now that is a bit trickier. I have charities that I want to donate to that I’m sure wouldn’t care how big or small the size of the donation is. Then I have organizations and charities that I would like to start to help other people that I just don’t have the money to start yet. Those are the things that I’m really struggling and working to achieve success for because if I can become successful, and yes wealthy, then I can do some good for other people. Then I can really get to the heart of where all of this purpose in me is headed. I want to make a difference in this world, and not just with my words, not just with me motivating and inspiring others, but with the ability to actually be able to help others.

I wonder sometimes if we’re just so convinced of something not working that we just talk ourselves right out of trying. Do we cut ourselves off at the knees with telling ourselves what we can’t do, what we will never be able to do, instead of just actively going for what it is we want anyway. I mean we could fail and fall flat on our faces. But we could also succeed beyond our wildest expectations. Isn’t taking those steps towards where we are trying to get to worth the risk? If we don’t just go for it and take those steps, then won’t we fail anyway? How much do we derail our own journey by refusing to take a step forward and instead remaining still? It’s the steps that we don’t take that I feel we will regret the most because even if those steps don’t get us to our goal, they still move us forward.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeCourageous #BeDetermined

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Are We the Mistakes We Make?


Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you.”

~Matthew 7: 1-3

I swore I was not going to write about this issue and yet here I am getting ready to do just that. We all know (unless you are living under a rock) about the slap heard around the world that happened at the Oscars roughly two weeks ago. Well, I’m not going to say that I believe that Will Smith was right for responding to a tasteless and crass joke about his wife’s medical condition in the manner in which he did, or even that Jada Pinkett-Smith needed to be protected in that way. What I will say is that if you read Will Smith’s book or know anything about his childhood then you can understand why HE felt that he needed to be protective in that way.

Violence is never the answer, and he could have, and should have, handled it differently. However, I will not sit here in judgment of this man who has had a 30 plus year career without nary a blemish and who has been beyond an extraordinary example to all who are watching, over the one time he dared to show that he is in fact a human being and that he does make mistakes just like the rest of us mere mortals. He made a mistake. He is aware of that mistake, and he has since apologized multiple times for said mistake. There is no time machine, and he can’t go back and erase the mistake he made so what more is it that people want him to do?

We cannot keep throwing people away because they display that they are human beings. We get so caught up in the idea of perfection and in us admiring people who have maybe reached the level in their lives that we are seeking to get to that we tend to put them on this unrealistic pedestal. We hold them up as a model (which is fine until you take it too far) of the dreams and levels of success that we strive for and then we act shocked when they make a mistake. It’s almost as if we somehow forgot that just because they are a celebrity or someone in a position much higher than us that they are also human beings just like the rest of us.

I don’t know anyone who has not made a mistake and honestly far worse mistakes than Will Smith made that night. I don’t think that any of us are in a position to judge another man (or woman) by their worst mistakes because Lord help us if we are judged by ours. We don’t (or we shouldn’t) just toss someone aside simply because they disappointed us. We should instead show that person some humility, show that person some grace, show that person some forgiveness and do for them what we want other people to do for us when we mess up. I mean even Jesus got angry and flipped over a few tables (Matthew 21: 12-13) and if Jesus can be imperfect than who are any of us to expect perfection from any ordinary or even extraordinary human being. Be careful who you are tossing aside and make sure that you can measure up to the judgment that you are casting onto them.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeHumble #BeGracious

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Give Up What is Weighing You Down

It is not easy being a creative entrepreneur. Yes, I know being an entrepreneur period is hard work but when you are a creative individual you are not only expelling all of your emotional and mental energy into what you are passionate about. You are also having to tap into a business mindset that, if you’re anything like me, just isn’t something that is second nature to you. I think for creative individuals what stands in our way more than anything is our own self-doubt and lack of confidence in our ability to conquer the things that don’t come natural for us (like business know how and anything related to math in general lol). We get so hung up on what we think we can’t do that we lose sight and focus of what we can do.

So much of what holds us back from living up to our full potential can typically be relegated to an extension of one thing, fear. Whether it’s a fear of failure, a fear of success, a fear of change, fears of financial ambiguity, fears of disappointing either the people in our lives or ourselves, or just a fear of what is unknown. We come up on these boulders (obstacles) sitting there in the road, standing in the way of us getting to our destination. It seems immovable at first because we’re just seeing this obstacle that is taking up the entire space of the road and that instant feeling of defeat sets in. We spend so much time focusing on the boulder (obstacle) itself that we don’t even realize that if we just give it everything we have inside of us to move it, if we just physically push it off to the side of the road, then we can continue on the journey to reaching our goal.

Fear is that boulder in the space of our minds. It can take up so much space in our head, forcing us to lose focus on whatever particular thing we are fearful of in that moment. It can overwhelm us so much that we don’t even realize that if we just tackle that fear head on, just give it everything we have and push past it, then we can move that fear aside (at least for that moment anyway) and continue pushing through to accomplish our dreams. 

Fear is a heavy burden to carry. It weighs on us like that immovable boulder. It starts to seep into our everyday lives until we are afraid to do just about anything that will move us forward. Fear likes it when we are comfortable because when we get comfortable then we never truly grow and we stay stuck right where the fear wants us to stay. Still. So if we want to succeed at all of those dreams we’re so passionate about,  then we have to give up all of those fears that keep us weighed down and tethered to that box we get so comfortable staying in. In order to fly, to really soar beyond our wildest dreams and imaginations, we have to be willing to let go of all of that dead weight.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeCourageous #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Rest If You Need To But Just Don’t Quit

The journey to fulfill your dreams is not going to be a road without obstacles. In fact, it often feels like the closer that we get to those dreams that we’ve been striving towards for so long, the harder they seem to be to reach.  I’ve said it here before, but anything worth having, any goal worth achieving, is going to require hard work and tenacity to attain.  However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be days in which you will want to quit.

I know it doesn’t seem like it here or if you follow me anywhere on social media (particularly my YouTube channel) but I grow exhausted with the amount of effort I have to put into this dream of mine. I grow increasingly weary at times with the fact that every time I take two steps forward, it seems to be followed with three steps backwards. I get frustrated at the fact that I’m not anywhere near (at least in my mind anyway) where I think that I should be with my career or life in general. I have wanted to quit so many times that I’ve lost count. But I can’t quit so I just rest.

We all have our moments where things get so hard that we just want to throw in the towel. You think to yourself sometimes that if this is something that you were meant to do, if this is truly your calling then it shouldn’t be this damn hard. You think about all of the people who, things seem to come so easy for them, and you have that quick thought questioning why it’s not that easy for you.

The truth is that we have no idea what someone else’s journey has been like. While it looks like they might have had an easy go of it, their journey could have been just as rough as yours seems to be now. We should never compare our journey to someone else’s because each of us has a different hill to climb. Nothing worth having is ever going to be easy so if it’s something that you really want, that really matters to you, then be prepared for the hard road ahead. I believe it will make actually accomplishing your dream that much sweeter.

When you get weary and grow tired and feel you’re stuck in reverse, don’t quit, simply rest. Rest so that when you have sat with those frustrations and feelings of doubt, you can then get back up and keep climbing up that hill. Eventually you will reach the top, but only if you keep moving forward. Our dreams are worth holding on for.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeTenacious #BeSteadfast 

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Are You Willing to Play the Long Game?

 

For any individual who decides to become a creative entrepreneur, the phrase consistency is key will be one you will often hear. That’s because as a creative, unless you get super lucky or you know all of the right people you are most likely playing the long game. It will also not be an easy journey as you make your way along either. There will be a lot of no’s and not nearly enough yeses to balance out the scales. Some days your passion for whatever artistic gift you have decided is going to be what you do with your life is going to be the only thing keeping you going.  Hold on to that passion because you are definitely going to need it.

I don’t say any of that to be discouraging. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. I say that because on the really hard days, the days when it just seems like no matter what you do nothing is working, it will be your passion that carries you through and whispers to you to keep going. For me and my writing career it has been a really long road and while it has been fruitful at parts, it hasn’t moved nearly as quickly as I thought it would or would have liked for it to. Honestly, if it wasn’t for my passion for the words themselves, I probably would have thrown in the towel a long time ago.

I recently took David Baldacci’s Master Class and one of the things he said was that if you really want to make it as a writer with longevity you can’t just see writing as a hobby or even just a job. Rather you have to see writing as a lifestyle. For me that’s exactly what it’s always been. I’ve known that writing was what I wanted to do with my life since I was 10 years old (really and truly it was 6 but I started producing actual material at 10) so my heart has always been in this. I have at times wanted to quit because it’s hard seeing the potential outcome and never being able to achieve that reality. However, when passion is the driving force it’s kind of hard to quit because the passion won’t let you.

So, I’ll leave you with this. If you are struggling and you’re having more and more days where you want to just quit, don’t. Anything worth having is never going to be easy to attain and if the life of an artist is the one you want, you’re going to have to be prepared to work really hard for it and stay consistent. Consistency really is the only guarantee that you won’t fail because one thing is for sure, if you don’t keep trying and working at it then you won’t ever get there. If this is something you are passionate about, something that is really in your heart to do for the rest of your career and your life, then you can’t give up now.

Until next time… #BeConsistent #BePassionate #BePatient

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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It’s Not in How You Failed, It’s in the Way You Keep Trying

“My greatest concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

~Abraham Lincoln

Feeling like a failure is inevitable. At some stage in your life, depending on how ambitious your goals truly are, you will repeatedly try new things and while some of them will work out brilliantly, some of them won’t. Trial and error is a very normal part of life but sometimes those errors just seem like they keep coming, one after another, after another. To put it plain and simple, failure can be, at times, relentless and exhausting. Last week I felt like I was failing at life in general but specifically in the area of my writing business.

However, I was reminded last night when I was watching the History Channel’s Documentary on Abraham Lincoln just how much failure is ultimately a part of eventual success. After all, Abraham Lincoln had a lot of losses and he suffered from severe depression after a lot of those losses. But what he never did was give up. He never gave in to those losses and he kept trying.  In the end he still won the ultimate goal he was going after, being the office of the Presidency.

I suppose I keep thinking about failure in the wrong manner. I tend to think of failure as this immovable boulder that just abruptly landed right on my path to my goals and me not being strong enough to lift it out of my way or to even work around it.  Therefore, it leaves me stuck right where I am, most likely feeling weak and incapable. Of course, that’s not the way that failure should be looked at.

What failure really amounts to are mistakes that can and should be used as lessons to navigate us through the rest of the journey forward so that we, provided we actually learn from those particular failures, can avoid making the same mistakes again. Failures allow us to know what we are doing wrong so that we can course correct and get things right. I know I’ve written this before and perhaps I repeat it because I need to keep reminding myself as well (because on the really hard days I tend to forget) but if you are failing it generally means that you at the very least, tried to do something in the first place and as long as you are trying you are not failing.

It’s all about mindset and the ability we have to change ours. Instead of seeing the obstacle on the road, we need to see the multiple paths that lead us around that obstacle. They are detours from what you originally had planned but they are alternate paths that still can lead you to where you want to go with knowledge you didn’t have before. You will still have that lesson that you learned to carry with you into the next stage of the journey and with each mistake you may make, you will pick up even more knowledge. The key is seeing the mini failures along the way as opportunities and not necessarily as obstacles that need to be dodged. Just remember, when you are feeling like everything is going wrong and you aren’t getting anywhere, that you are not alone and that trying is what matters most.

Until next time… #BePersistent #BeResilient #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Pride Can Derail the Journey

“He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but He who does not ask remains a fool forever”

~Chinese Proverb

I was having a conversation last week with a friend of mine in which I opened up about some personal issues I’m having and their first question to me was why haven’t I asked for help? The only response I had (which admittedly is not a very good one) was that I am too embarrassed to ask for the help that I know I need. They returned with the question of what I could possibly have to be embarrassed about and I took a moment because I knew what I was going to say sounded silly. My answer: That I’m not exactly where I should be in life at my age, and I shouldn’t have to need any help at all.

You know what’s telling. When you can hear the answer, you’re about to give someone and in your head, it made sense but logically when the words actually leave your mouth you realize it makes absolutely no sense. Now I’m not going to get into what my situation is in this post, except to say that it does boil down to financial setbacks, but I am a person who hates having to ask for help. I am typically the one who likes to figure out ways that I can help other people so to turn that around and have to admit needing the help myself is a bit touchy for me.

Nevertheless, my friend was absolutely correct in saying that having a setback of any kind in life is not and should not be embarrassing. Life comes with all kinds of roadblocks and things that just knock the wind out of you, both physically and emotionally. It shouldn’t be something that we are afraid to talk about or seek help about. Pride is not a bad thing when you’re talking about having pride in your job or career path, or something your child or family member does. However, pride that just keeps you stuck in a bad position, or even worse, makes your bad situation that much worse, is not something to cling to.

If you are having a hard time and going through a setback, you are not alone. If you need help to get through your setback then please don’t be afraid to ask for it. Don’t be so strong and proud that you end up putting yourself in an even worse position. There is nothing wrong with experiencing setbacks in life. In actuality, setbacks can very often become the set up and the building blocks for the next level that you are on your way to. Don’t let your pride be the hill that your dreams die on.

Until next time… #BeCourageous #BePatient #BeResilient

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Give Yourself Some Grace

The mind is a funny thing. Sometimes you can find yourself slip back into old habits and old ways of thinking without even realizing it. I try to maintain optimistic because my spirituality has been a way for me to be assured that everything is going to work out the way that it is supposed to in the end. However, lately I have heard myself sink back into my old ways of thinking and have found myself saying things like ‘I know that the other shoe is going to drop soon’, or ‘when it rains, it pours, or just yesterday I said ‘the Universe is working against me’.

Now instinctively I know and believe deep in my heart that God is going to make sure that I’m okay, even if things don’t go as I planned them to, or even remotely the way that I want them to. But my old anxiety and self doubt creep in and I realize I still have some work to do to get rid of that self-sabotaging nature. Without realizing it, I have been, once again, giving power to fear and doubt about what I am capable of achieving.

I think that it gets lost on some, those who don’t struggle with mental health issues or constant anxiety and overwhelming and crippling fear, just how hard it can be to stay in a positive mindset. I constantly get from people how positive I am and I don’t mind that at all but make no mistake, it is work to try and keep a positive frame of mind. Some days are astronomically harder than others and the good days can start to feel like they don’t happen often enough.

I’m writing this post today because I want people to give themselves grace, as I am trying to give myself some. Grace when you’re not feeling at your best. Grace to make the mistakes you need to make so that you can do it better the next time. Give yourselves grace to let yourself cry when you feel like it. Allow yourself some grace to just be honest when you’re not doing okay to be able to say so without any feelings of guilt. Give yourself grace to, on those days when things are just too overwhelming, simply do nothing but be.

Until next time… #BePatient #BeCourageous #BeKindToYourself

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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