Can You Ever Really Succeed Without Learning to Fail?

Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of it.” ~Xavier Dagba

If failure is the pathway to eventual success than I must be well on my way because I have been failing spectacularly. Now obviously it is not ever my goal to fail at any of the ventures that I attempt or at publishing my books but perhaps it should be. I know that sounds crazy. Why would anyone actually want to fail? In a perfect world and in the best scenario all of the things that I put out there and am passionate about would not only do well but would exceed my expectations. However, this isn’t a perfect world and after thinking over it for quite a while I came to the realization that I might not have learned half of the things I know without having failed first.

Really think about it. If every single time we try something and we win, what do we ever learn? I mean sure we learn how to be gracious winners (hopefully anyway) and we move up to the next level of what we are striving for, but does that actually teach us anything in life. After all, if you’re not learning in this life then what are we really here for? The tough and valuable lessons are learned in moments of adversity and struggle.

If I had it my way, or the financial means, I would be what some would call a forever student. I would gladly take class after class, degree program, after degree program, to learn all of the things I desire to know. I suppose being a creative entrepreneur is not really any different because with each venture you go after, you learn new things. You learn what you did right, sure, but more importantly, you learn, through failure, what not to do the next time. This makes me look at the idea of failure a lot differently.

When you think that you’ve learned all that you can then you don’t see the value in the lessons life is trying to teach you. You can’t grow if you think that you’re done learning. I think that adversity is the ultimate teacher in life and perhaps we shouldn’t complain about the valley’s that we dip so low down into. We have to realize that without the lows that feel like you can’t get back up, you never truly appreciate the highs where you can see just how far along you’ve come. So, the next time you feel like the Universe has knocked you down and dealt you a really tough blow, think about what the Universe is trying to teach you. What lesson is there to learn in that particular failure? And then take that lesson into battle with you the next time you get up to fight for that dream another day.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeFearless #BeGrateful

Jimmetta Carpenter


Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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Exploring Every Inch of the Road in the Journey

The day we cease to explore is the day we begin to wilt. ~Cicely Tyson

Good or bad, life is nothing but a bunch of experiences. We have really good moments and we have really bad moments, and oftentimes the bad moments start to feel like they are more present than the good.  Where am I going with this you ask? Well, just that mistakes and hard times are simply apart of the exploration that we do throughout our journey. We can’t avoid them and in all honesty we should probably be welcoming them.

This thought process came to my mind because of a zoom call that I had with some wonderfully creative girlfriends of mine. We were getting together (virtually) to discuss Cicely Tyson’s book and other extraordinarily talented black creative artists. Of course the conversation ventured over to discussing our own creative endeavors and what our vision was for the things we were working on. I was singled out, and rightfully so (because they know me so very well), for often being afraid of stepping outside the box and exploring things, mainly for fear of making mistakes.

I have expressed here many times over the years this really tiresome dance that I do with my fear and how I strive to move past that and I’ve made strides and every now and then I realize I hadn’t let go of all of these fears as much as I would like to believe.  Don’t get me wrong, I am way better than I was years ago in terms of dealing with my constant fears and the obstacle the fear itself presents itself to be. I just have a ways more to go. On that zoom call I was reminded of advice from other successful people throughout history which is that the more you fail or rather make mistakes, the more life experience you have to put into your work and the better you can make the next attempt.

Not exploring things, not exploring life, is in many ways not allowing yourself to experience both successes and failures in various magnitudes and to use those learning experiences to fuel your drive and motivation to power forward.  Without exploration we don’t really learn what works and what doesn’t work, what we like and what we don’t like, and we simply don’t learn much of anything about who we are. 

If you are letting fear hold you back or keep you in that place of comfort, stop holding yourself back from experiencing every aspect there is of success, and that includes the moments in which you will undoubtedly making mistakes. It is not failing to get things wrong and to mess up. You only become a failure when you cease to explore at all. Never stop exploring every inch of the road you will walk on your journey.

Until next time… #BeCourageous #BeInspired #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter 


No Risk = No Reward

No Risk No Reward 2

Children are fearless and their tenacity has no boundaries. It’s wonderful and exciting to watch a child get an idea for something and because they have absolutely no fear and no worries about rejection they go for any and everything. I wonder at what age we lose that fearless, tenacious spirit. Adults are far less likely to try new things, unlike children, because all of the fear seeps in. They wonder, what if I get hurt? What if it doesn’t work? What if someone else does this better than me? What if no one gets it? What if no one accepts it? Children miraculously don’t worry about such things. They just go for it! If it fails they simply get back up and try again as if the failure never happened to begin with. Why do we lose that as we get older?

In my more recent journey of becoming more spiritually grounded I knew that one of the things that I needed to work on within myself and that needed to be changed was my many different degrees of fear. I have a lot of defense mechanisms that have become sort of a crutch for me. One particularly bad one that I’ve been trying to break is one where I play out all of the worst case scenarios in my head when thinking about attempting something new or, in my case as a writer, submitting something. And while it is good to be realistic about the good and bad of something so that you can be prepared for either outcome, in my case dwelling on the possible negative outcomes have somehow held me back from even attempting things at all. It wasn’t intentional but I would find ways to talk myself out of doing something or submitting something because I had convinced myself that it was never going to be accepted anyway so why bother.

I have no idea when it happened? When I began to think about all of what made me afraid of going after the dreams I have instead of the wonderful things that can come from achieving them. I wasn’t always so fearful and I used to like taking risks but perhaps my risks were met with too many rejections and not enough rewards. But that’s life isn’t it. Looking back on all of the “failures” I have had in attempting my dreams I can ascertain the many lessons that came out of them. However, I am also realizing that some of the more recent “failures” I have had happened, not because of the risks that didn’t pan out, but rather because of the risks that I was too afraid to take to begin with.

A lot of times we don’t try new things because we can’t predict the outcome. We don’t want to fail so we think that it’s better to never actually try. Somehow it is more appealing to not put ourselves out there because then it means that we can’t get hurt, our ideas can’t get rejected, and no one can tell us that what we’ve poured our hearts into is somehow not good enough. However, that also means that our ideas don’t get heard at all and that what we have effectively poured our hearts into just sits around never being seen by anyone. If we never leave the place that feels comfortable for us, the place that’s safe for us then we miss out on so many things and we will never truly succeed. At that point we would simply be living in our fears instead of living up to our dreams. So, while our comfort zones may make us feel protected we can’t stay there if expect to get to where it is we are destined to end up.


Jimmetta Carpenter



Shutting Out the Noise

Shutting Out the Noise

Let’s talk about distractions! The noise of our distractions can be so loud sometimes that it drowns out what really matters to us. There are so many things that keep people from succeeding and being productive in their endeavors. From friends and even family, to television and other things that aren’t of high priority, the environment we surround ourselves with can sometimes do more harm to us than good.

What can also be a distraction to our ultimate goals are the no’s that we hear and the failures that we endure. The obstacles that are thrown at us to derail our journey can allow us to get distracted. We tend to get caught up in the failed attempts at whatever it is we were trying to get accomplished that we overlook the fact that a failed attempt means that there was an attempt to begin with.

A failed attempt is a lesson for what not to do in the next attempt. People who like to constantly remind you of what you’ve failed at and who try to discourage you from making any further attempts at greatness are just distractions in disguise. I used to get distracted by the no’s and I’ll admit that sadly I was a person who had allowed defeat to make me feel defeated. I’ve been working really hard to make sure I change that. I have been working to not allow myself to fall into those particular distractions because they are not good for my productivity.

Sometimes, as hard as it may be to do, you have to block out the moments of defeat. You have to let go of the feelings of self-doubt that hearing no can bring about. You have to treat those moments in which you feel like you’ve failed as teaching tools for your path moving forward. Don’t be so distracted by the obstacle that you completely miss the lesson that it’s meant to teach you.


Jimmetta Carpenter


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


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

My Write 2 Be is…


Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

Trying to Be Perfect Does Not Always Amount to Perfection

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that fear is something that I struggle with on a consistent basis.  Being afraid of failing has been something that has kept me from doing a lot of things that I have wanted to do.  Too often I have been afraid that I wasn’t good enough to make it, or good enough to even risk trying.

I guess it stems from my childhood being told by my mother on an almost daily basis that I was never going to be good enough.  After a while of hearing the same thing repeatedly from someone who is supposed to shape how you think and feel about yourself, you start to believe that it’s true.  It is that fear of not being good enough that has always made me feel that I couldn’t take certain risks if the preparation wasn’t perfect.

When it comes to query letters for articles, or pitching a novel to publishers or agents, or even sending out a resume to newspapers and magazines I want to work with or for, I have always held back if I didn’t feel that the package that I was sending off was perfect.  A lot of times this resulted in me taking months just to send one thing off.  Trying so hard to make everything perfect only really results in a lot of wasted time and lost opportunities.

It has taken until I was an adult with my own child for me to realize that those voices telling me that I wasn’t good enough were the voices that I needed to tune out.  That the voice that I should have been paying attention to all along was the voice within that whispered that not only was I good enough but that I was going to be greater than even I expected.

In a sense I have failed at being perfect because I’m not ever going to be perfect, and certainly not everything I do or write is going to meet the standards of perfection.  However, if I just continue being the best version of me that I can be, that is good enough.  It’s good enough for me.  It’s not always the loudest voices that deserve all the attention.  Sure they’re loud and extremely difficult to ignore but often times the loudness is just a distraction from the whispers of what we should really be listening to.


Jimmetta Carpenter


The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

Lessons In Failure

“Some failure in life is inevitable; it is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you fail by default.”              

~ J.K. Rowling

The fear of failure is paralyzing.  It is much like a parasite that sucks all of the hope, determination, and courage out of you; chipping away at your will to succeed little by little, day by day, obstacle by obstacle.  But much like any debilitating illness that takes a hold of your body, there is a recovery process.  It may take longer than you think to get there but the key is wanting it bad enough and keeping your eye on the light at the end of the tunnel. 

It is safe to say that we are all going to fail at some point in our lives.  It is both what we do with, and how we chose to perceive that failure that determines whether it will cripple us or make us stronger.  Where some people get off track is in perceiving any moment of failure as anything but a much needed step forward in our road to success.  If we never fail it means we have never taken any risk and that we have always played things safe.  But playing it safe isn’t really living.

We need failure.  Yes it causes us to doubt ourselves, to lose sight of our purpose, even to think about giving up altogether.  But it also brings about a realization.  It humbles us while strengthening us.  It breaks us down and then builds us back up.  It renews our fight and determination to achieve the things that we really want out of life.  Without our failures we might never truly appreciate or grasps the depths of our successes.  If you are afraid to fail then you are essentially afraid to live because in living your life to its fullest potential, failure is inevitable. 

For a large part of my life I have let the fear of failure immobilize me.  Always trying to remain cautious; using the excuse of maintaining a routine as a reason to ward off change, all the while staying stuck in the same place because of it.  From here on out I am not going to be so afraid to fail that I never even try to succeed.  Instead I plan to embrace my failures, every single one of them, because they all mean something.  Whether it is something good or something bad, it is a lesson nonetheless.  Our failures show us what we did wrong so that we can finally get it right.  If anyone reading this is struggling with this same fear, let go of it right now.  It is that fear of failure that is killing your opportunity for success.  Take a risk today, and if you fail, take another one tomorrow.  What else do have to lose?  Think about what you stand to gain.

Jimmetta Carpenter


The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”