Pushing the Boundaries

So I did it! I did my first live stream this past weekend and I’m going to be honest, I did not hit it out of the park. I wasn’t necessarily planning to hit a home run here because if you know anything about me then you know I am terrified when it comes to doing something new, in particular something new that terrifies me in the first place. I’m never eager to fail at anything but I have been doing some growing these past few years, both spiritually and mentally, so I get that in order to succeed at anything there are going to be a few failures along the way because perfect is not a realistic goal. Could it have gone better? Yes! Do I regret doing it even though I feel I could’ve done much better? No! Just in the way that I felt terrified when I started my YouTube channel about being on camera to begin with but then gradually adapted to it and even liking it.

Sometimes doing things that we don’t necessarily want to do can end up being the best thing that we’ve ever done and if we just focused on the fact that it scares us then we would never much of anything.  It’s scary to grow past the box that you have learned to maneuver yourself in. You get accustomed to things being just the way you like them and in a way that doesn’t require you to have to learn anything new or do something you’re not used to doing and in my case, someone who has extreme anxiety and OCD and a nearly paralyzing fear of change, it can feel pretty good to know what to expect out of every day.  But then you never end up growing if it stays that way and to succeed in life with anything there has to be growth.

It’s something that I’m learning along this journey and something that definitely makes me feel uncomfortable. I suppose we all have two choices in the ladder of success. We can hold on to the rung that we’re on with the knowledge that as long as we hold on tight we won’t fall, we’ll stay right where we are. Or, we can have faith that if you just carefully move forward and grab one rung at a time, even knowing that there is a possibility of falling, that God will always be your safety net, thus remaining cautious yet still in motion. 

We can’t hold on at the same level forever, not if we ever expect to get anywhere. Success lies in the ability to reach for the next rung of the ladder and having faith that you won’t fall and if you do that God will be there to catch you and get you back on track. We can’t live in our comfort zones forever, and I’m not sure we should really want to even if we could.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeCourageous #BeBrave

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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Stepping Out of Fear’s Shadow

I’m doing something that terrifies me this weekend and I am partly excited because it’s new and nervous as hell because I don’t know if I’m going to do well at it. As you guys know I have a YouTube channel in which I share my writing life (and sometimes other stuff going on in my life) with the world and whoever cares to watch. Live streams are big in the AuthorTube community (basically the writing community in YouTube) and just about everyone already does them and it’s not a big deal but I have yet to do one.

Frankly the idea of being live on camera without the ability to edit myself and cut out the parts where I mess up is just panic inducing.  Now I’m just doing a one year YouTube anniversary celebration so there won’t be writing sprints this time because I just want to get my bearings in this new pool that I’m dipping my toe into but it’s scary.

Doing new things is always scary. I have a few other new things on the horizon and products that I’m getting ready to launch and there’s a fear there as well.  When you put things out there, or put yourself out there, you want people to be receptive and you want people to like and even love what you’re putting out. I think of all of the things that I want to do with my company and my brand and everything that I am working on and towards are things that I hope and pray will inspire and motivate others and something that can help others to be their best creative and authentic selves. So if I put something out there I’ve put time and love into that creation and I want people out there to get something out of it. 

All of this is to say that we all have fears and things that terrify us and that keep us from just jumping out there with the things that we want to create.  We have to learn to not give into those fears and it’s not something that comes natural. It’s not a natural inclination for most people to just throw caution to wind and go for something without the thought of failing. It’s hard to not think about all of the things that could go wrong.

I have been working on training myself to only think about the things that can go right. That is what is keeping me in the forward moving direction. That is what I hope you will start to put into practice to keep yourself moving forward towards accomplishing your goals.  I want all of us to move out of a constant state of fear and into a persistent state of expectation. You get what you expect out of life and I expect all good things, and I expect them in abundance. 

Until next time… #BeBold #BeFearless #BeMotivated

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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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 

Writer/Editor 

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Can’t Move Forward While Standing Still

“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are” ~Max Depree

I saw this quote and it made me think of how much I’ve grown in certain ways over the last couple of years. It also makes me think of the ways that I still have yet to grow.  There are still risks that I haven’t been willing to take because, simply put, I can’t predict where taking those risks will lead. However, I can’t help but think that perhaps not taking some of those risks costs me way more time than the sheer anxiety of wondering where it would lead. 

Some of us are really good at jumping into the next phase of the dream and taking things head on and I admire that. Then there are those of us who often are hesitant to reach out and grab the next opportunity that comes our way because we don’t know if we’re going to actually be able to reach the level we’re striving for.

It’s true that you can’t move forward while standing still so if you are anything like me and your anxiety or self-doubt is holding you back from something, don’t allow it to continue keeping you stuck.  Let’s make a pact that we’ll reach for that next opportunity together. We will keep moving forward, even if the steps that we are taking are small little baby steps.

Until next time… #BeBrave #BeFearless #BeReady

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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Don’t Stay Rooted In Your Brokenness

This past month or so the series at church has been about rebuilding yourself in order to begin moving forward. More specifically in the last two weeks it’s been tailored to the subject of healing the past hurts and repairing the broken places. Oddly enough it made me also think about a line I heard on a television show before where the one character was telling the other that it’s a choice to stay broken and that while you can’t change the things that have happened to you, you can choose to work past it and move forward.

When I began this spiritual journey that I’m on a few years ago as a way to work on myself and fixing the things that are broken in me I didn’t have a clue that there would be a specific message one day that would literally speak to that journey. Listening to the message the past two weeks it made me think about the fact that while I still have a lot about myself that I want to continue working on because I’m still not quite where I want or need to be yet, I have actually come a lot further than I had even realized.

There was a moment a few years ago where I would still talk about the trauma that my mother put me through in my childhood with anger and resentment still residing on the inside of me. Back then I hadn’t yet reached the point of true forgiveness because while the words that came out my mouth were that I forgave her, when I spoke about my childhood I could still feel the heat of the anger rising on the inside of me and tears would flow every time because I was still hurting and I had not healed from that. That is different now. I don’t completely explode in tears and I don’t feel the heat and anger rising when I think about it and I have truly forgiven her.

Until this message that I heard these past two Sunday’s I hadn’t realized that all of that time I was choosing to stay broken. I wasn’t doing it intentionally but subconsciously I lived in that hurt and I allowed myself to wallow in that hurt for so much longer than I should have and not forgiving my mother for all of those years wasn’t hurting her because she didn’t care, it was hurting me, repeatedly. The messages of the past two weeks also made me come to the realization that somewhere along the way, while working on my spiritual relationship with God and working on loving myself on a deeper level, I had actually began to heal. I just had to make the choice to get out of the broken place.

We tend to dwell on the things and people that hurt us far longer than we really need to. Now I’m not saying that the pain wasn’t real and that you shouldn’t allow yourself to feel it for a little while but you have to be able to move on from that place of hurt. There is a lesson to be learned through the pain and hurt but you may miss the lesson because you’re too focused on wallowing in it. My pastor said something else that was a powerful statement to me. He said there’s no use dwelling on what hurt you in the past because you can’t go back and change it and you can’t go into the future to make sure it doesn’t happen again, all you can do it live in the present and where you are right now. Just remember that by residing in that hurt from the past you are then making the choice to remain in that broken place and you can’t heal from what broke you while you’re still there. Until next time… #BeVulnerable #BeForgiving #BeinFaith

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Just a quick reminder…

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Doing More than Just Enough

“Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”

~Deuteronomy 5:33

So this Sunday’s message was about restoration of one’s soul, healing from all of the hurts in order to be in the position where God can use you for his greater purpose. One thing that the pastor mentioned was being obedient to God’s word and the direction that he gives you for your life. I don’t necessarily struggle with wanting to be obedient to God’s word. My struggle comes in the form of my inherent nature to question and second guess literally everything.

It’s not that I don’t trust whatever God would have me do. I guess the thing I tend to question most is whether or not the direction that I am hearing is from God or just subconsciously something I want to do myself. They say sometimes that the way you can tell the two apart is because when God instructs you it is usually going to be something you don’t want to do and something that will put you out of your comfort zone.

Another thing that I am working with that my pastor touched on was that we tend to obey the parts of God’s word that we want to and pretend not to hear the parts that we don’t agree with God about because we can’t see the bigger picture. We cherry pick the way we’re going to adhere to God’s will but that’s not what the Bible says that we are supposed to do. There is a difference between doing ALL and doing JUST ENOUGH.

When my pastor said that I had to rethink a lot of things regarding that statement because there are times when God will tell me to do something, or to ask someone for help with something and because of my doubts, or fears and anxiety, or because it might make me extremely uncomfortable, or even worse, because of my pride, I only half way do what he has told me to do. I convince myself that it’s okay because I’ve almost done everything God wanted me to do and I rationalize that he would understand because he knows me better than anyone right.

The thing is when we are asking God for ALL that he has in this life for us and we are walking in faith that he can do exceedingly and abundantly for our lives, we can’t then say well I’m just going to do half of what I was told to do. We are supposed to be doing God’s will, not ours, because his plans are always going to be better for us than the one’s we have for ourselves. It’s about having trust in God knowing what is best for us and not relying on our own interpretation of his word and his direction for us.  

The thing is that I hate being uncomfortable. I have a routine and a list for nearly everything. I don’t like surprises (unless they are good one’s of course lol) and I always question whether I’ve made the right decision or not, often times second guessing myself out of something good. A lot of the things that God instructs me to do, things regarding all of my dreams and the purpose I feel I was put here to achieve, are things that make me very uncomfortable and anxious and I try to skirt my way around them doing the parts that I feel okay with and leaving out the parts of the instruction that make me almost have a full blown panic attack. However, that is not what God said for me to do. He didn’t say do things halfway. I know that I don’t want just half of his blessings that he has for me. I can’t ask God to do all he can for me if I’m not willing to do all he asks of me. That means ALL, not JUST ENOUGH. Until next time… #BeObedient #BeFaithful #BeUncomfortable

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Just a quick reminder…

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Also, if you have just finished your book and you are looking for an editor or even just someone to proofread find out how I can help by clicking on this link

https://write-2-be.com/write-2-be-freelance-writing-services/

 

The Journey Doesn’t End at a Closed Door

on the other side of the door

As I started this year with all of the excitement and anticipation of anyone dead set on taking their dreams to the next level I sat and thought about something that my pastor preached about a few weeks ago. He talked about not just asking God for what it is that you want out of your life but believing and knowing that God will do for you all that he promised he would do. The important part of his message that he spoke about was how sometimes we allow our impatience and our discouragement hold us back from getting all of the things that we’ve been asking God for. We want what we want right at that moment and somehow we think that if it doesn’t happen on the time table that we had in our mind that it means that it’s never going to happen at all.

I think that that’s what I have been doing, unknowingly of course, but I’ve been so impatient. It sounds funny saying that when I think about the fact that I’ve been at this for over a decade now but if I think back there have been so many moments where I felt like a breakthrough might have been coming but then an obstacle presented itself. Instead of holding steady and pushing through that door which was simply stuck, I turned and went backwards trying to trace my missteps to figure out what I missed that would have made the door open easier and quicker. The truth is, in those moments where I turned and tried to see where I went wrong my energy would have been better spent trying to push through that door that was just stuck, not locked, simply hard to open.

There isn’t a set time where everything is just supposed to magically come together. Just because the results aren’t immediate or as fast paced as you think they should be doesn’t mean you’re not making progress. Everything that is worth having has been won in a struggle. We have to stop putting a time table on our dreams and making it as if they’re not worth striving for if they don’t happen at the precise moment we want them to.

There will always be a different door at the turning point of any moment in your journey and what’s on the other side of it won’t always be easy to access but we can’t give up and we can’t turn back trying to create our own do-over. Now it’s true that there are some doors that were meant to be closed in order for others to open but we can’t confuse what’s not meant for us to open with what just appears to be too hard to open. We have to just push through, no matter how hard we have to push, until we knock that door down. Don’t walk away before you finally get everything that it is you’ve been waiting for. The journey isn’t over just because you have to stay in the same place for a little while longer than you initially planned. Keep pushing through those doors because the next level is coming!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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The Year of No Excuses

The Year of No Excuses

It’s a New Year now with new possibilities and more hopes for a better year than the last. The first day of the year really does feel like you’re getting a fresh start. It seems like this year truly feels like the time to take further risks, no holds barred type of risks. I’m more of a risk averse person but I know that given the visions and dreams that I have for my future, avoiding risks is never going to do me any good.

I read Shonda Rhimes book, A Year of Yes, the year before last and after reading it I really wanted to be able to take the bull by the horns and say yes to everything that came my way. However, I really wasn’t in the position to say yes to everything that I wanted to say yes to, and I wasn’t really sure if saying yes to everything would have the same effect on my life as it did for Ms. Rhimes. This past year however, through the magic that is social media, I saw on a friends Facebook page that she had made 2018 her year of yes and she truly committed herself to leaving no opportunity untapped. Of course she had moments that were scary, moments that pushed her far out of her comfort zone and frankly it was a really beautiful thing to watch, even if only through the lens of social media.

Now here was someone who wasn’t Shonda Rhimes (but maybe the next Shonda), having one of the best years of her life all because she was saying yes instead of no. I had a flash of what it might be like for me to be able to say yes to every single little opportunity that has come or will come my way and thought to myself that maybe it was time for my year of yes. Then the reality of the fact that I’m still not quite in the position to say yes to everything, just yet. A Year of Yes is a nice notion if you have endless financial means, or at least unstrained anyway. So it got me to thinking about starting smaller. Now I could just resign to the fact that I just can’t do the Year of Yes this year and leave it at that and just simply say that I will try my best but that’s not what I’m going to do. I’m making this my year of no excuses on my way to my Year of Yes.

I know that they might sound similar but my premise is that maybe I can’t make it to Atlanta to attend a writer’s conference in the summer time that I’ve been wanting to attend for the last couple of years now, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t instead drive to a writer’s conference somewhere closer to where I live that won’t drain my finances. I haven’t yet been able to secure myself an agent for my novels (and the rejection letters have really been piling up in my inbox) but there’s nothing really stopping me from going ahead and beginning the self-publishing process and taking that leap to put my own work out there. Sure it wasn’t the way that I had imagined it would happen but why should I keep letting that stop me.

One of the scariest things that I am doing this year is starting a YouTube channel. Not only will it take me extremely out of my comfort zone, but it will push my boundaries in the technology area which I’m not really all that great at and quite frankly I’m terrified that I won’t be any good at it and that no one will want to watch but I’m going for it. While it’s a big step for me I’m just jumping into it and the not knowing how things are going to turn out is a little nerve wracking but no excuses right.

I’ve become a pro at making excuses for why something can’t happen so it’s really time for me to take the leap of faith that say I have in myself and my abilities and just go for it all. I mean I couldn’t fall on my face any flatter than I’ve already fallen in the past right so why not. So maybe I won’t be able to say yes to all the things that I want to do this year but that is no excuse that I can’t find a way to make things happen that will get me closer to that yes for next year. So here’s to the Year of no excuses and making things happen. Even if they have to be a slight variation to the yes we want, it can be the yes that we need to keep moving forward. Here’s to a brand new year with a brand new mindset! Whether you are having a year of Yes or a year of no excuses, take a leap of faith with me! Let’s do this!

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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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

Writer/Editor

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The Words We Tell Ourselves

Be Careful what you say to yourself

Let’s talk about self-doubt! I think everyone can admit, if they are being honest with themselves, that they talk to themselves. We tend to debate with our own conscience and question our every move, oftentimes second guessing things that we instinctually believe to be good initial decisions. We are sometimes our biggest champions but we can also tend to be our own worst critics. If something doesn’t go the way we think it should, or the way that we had planned it to go we lose a little bit of hope each time our plans falter. The problem that I don’t think that we realize we are inviting is that we are now speaking negative outcomes to things that we have positive intentions for.

It does no good to speak positively about what we are wishing to accomplish and then turn around and name all of the reasons that we think will cause us to inevitably fail. That negative self-talk that we do to ourselves is precisely what can change the course of things because now we’ve spoken negativity into the goals and dreams that we once had such a positive outlook on. There is no guarantee how anything that we map out will ever go so to talk ourselves down from following through with any idea we have, already assuming that it won’t become a reality, is just us sabotaging ourselves.

We have to be more mindful of how we talk to ourselves. We have to take special care to make sure that we are not talking ourselves out of things simply because we’re afraid that we may not succeed in it. We have to make sure that we are not talking down to our own inner conscience and that the negativity that someone else may be projecting onto you doesn’t get ingrained within our deepest thoughts. We have to make sure that we are our biggest and loudest cheerleaders and that the criticism that we give ourselves isn’t negative but rather constructive. How you talk to yourself matters, probably more than anything anyone could ever say to you. So be kind to yourself and always believe in the power that is within you. You are your greatest champion!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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