Patience Through the Struggle

Patience Through the Struggle

Lets talk about patience! I remember sitting in church a few Sundays ago listening to my Pastor talk about having hope as we go through life. He talked about how suffering doesn’t always necessarily mean a negative experience, but simply just an experience. Then he said something that really struck a chord with me. He said too often we get impatient and we tend to walk away before the experience is through and before God has a chance to bring us through to the other side of it.

It made me think about my level of patience (which admittedly I have very little of) and had me questioning myself how many times have I walked away from something because it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, or should be. How many times have I just thrown in the towel because I got told no and felt the sting of rejection was just too much to deal with. How many times did I give up on something I dreamt of because I was just too frustrated to tough it out.

Then it made me realize that I am in this place I’m in right now, behind on my goals and my dreams, stuck running in circles, because I didn’t stick it out and I didn’t let God finish doing his part. I guess you could say I ran out of hope, either in myself or in the purpose that God had for me. It’s almost as if I was right there, right at the goal line, just several feet away from my destination and then I would chicken out and later I would have to start over again.

Fear has always been my Achilles heel and it’s the biggest flaw that I have. Now while I know that nothing is really worth going after without a healthy dose of fear, I have been reacting to the fears that I have rather than remaining hopeful and just pushing past those fears. I had lost hope in the reality that God would never allow me to experience something that didn’t serve a greater purpose. I had lost my patience in the fact that he would never leave me and will always bring me through whatever challenges I meet along the way.

So no matter what experiences you are currently going through on your journey, remain hopeful. Don’t lose sight of the fact that God is never going to leave you and you just have to be patient so that he can bring you through to the other side.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on February 16, 2018 at 1:09 PM  Leave a Comment  
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There’s No Lid on the Box that is Your Comfort Zone

No lid on the box

So let’s talk about our comfort zones! No one understands needing to have a routine more than I do. I am that person that annoyingly has to have a plan, a plan to map out the plan, and have all of the plans organized in a very particular way (I also have OCD issues but that’s a story for another blog post). I don’t say this as if I believe this to necessarily be a great thing, but rather, it is one of my many flaws that I wish I could do away with.

Obviously it’s good to have some organization when you are prioritizing your goals. However, sometimes I feel hindered by my obsessive need to over-plan and excessively organize things. It’s all done in an effort to stay within my comfort zone and admittedly it has held me back from doing a lot of things and it has in many ways perpetuated the fear that I’ve always carried along with me for most of my adult life.

My fear has stopped me so many times from taking chances and seizing opportunities but that need to remain in my comfort zone and sticking with my routine has only enhanced those fears. I suppose you could say that I had found a sense of security within my comfort zone and that being safe was far more enticing than living in the unknown realities of what it means to take risks.

I don’t advocate to anyone that they stay inside the box that they’ve created for themselves. I have been trying to get out of my own box for many years now but there’s always that invisible lid that I imagine will hit me on the head and knock me back down. I have been diligently working to change that about myself and I’m going to be open and welcoming to all opportunities that may come my way. If you haven’t already, start knocking down those walls of comfort that have been surrounding you. The only lid that is on the box that you have confined yourself to is the lid that you imagined is real.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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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

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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

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Published in: on January 12, 2018 at 2:52 PM  Comments (1)  
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Don’t Over Plan Your Way Out of Opportunities

Missed Opportunities

I woke up today and realized something. I waste entirely too much time planning. I have always been a planner, one who has to have a list for everything and everything in its place before I go for the end goal. When I was younger it worked for me and my love for being the list maker and the consistent planner grew. But as I got older the plans and the lists began to hinder me because what I never accounted for in all my planning and goal setting was life just unfolding as it was going to, as it was inevitably meant to.

I have a tendency to plan so thoroughly that by the time I am done with the plan the opportunity to actually follow through with any of those plans has long passed me by. I will think of something, have a vision for something if you will, and by the time I have worked through all the lists and plans it ends up being too late and someone else has presented something to the world far too similar to mine for me to move ahead with it.

It’s like the story where the man is waiting to be rescued from the sinking boat he’s on and every person that is sent to rescue him he tells them that he is waiting on God to rescue him and to take someone else. When he drowns he asks God why didn’t he save him and God tells him that he sent three different people to rescue him and he refused them. Essentially he sent the opportunity that he needed and he missed it. I feel like I might have missed far too many opportunities that were sent my way because it didn’t fit with the plan, or undoubtedly because I hadn’t finished planning for that opportunity and I was blinded to what was presenting itself right in front of me.

For example, quite a long time ago I had an idea for a show about women living their lives behind prison bars and about what they go through, how they get treated, how they maneuver their new lives. I started making plans and lists but it was never quite as perfect as I needed it to be and before I knew it I was hearing about this new show on Netflix, “Orange is the New Black” and (No, no one stole my idea, I never communicated it to anyone else) I watched it and felt deflated as I saw what I had been planning for unfold from someone else’s imagination. It was my own fault and my own neurosis that kept me from what could’ve been a breakthrough opportunity had I only not wasted so much time trying to make it perfect.

I say all this to say that if you too are like I was, like I have been, stop wasting so much time trying to make everything just right, and planning everything through to a tee. I’m not saying don’t plan at all, or don’t have your lists. I’m saying don’t focus so much on the lists and the plans that you forget the goal, the vision, and so you don’t miss the opportunities that can come your way while you’re busy planning. Sometimes the opportunities can be so small that if you blink you’ll miss it so pay attention to what’s in front of you before your lists and plans are all that you end up with. Until next time… plan less, live more!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on March 16, 2016 at 11:02 AM  Leave a Comment  
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I Have To Move Out of My Way

I have to get out of my own way 2

So I have been trying to figure out what it is that I have been doing wrong all this time to still not be where I should be in my career. It’s very disheartening when you realize that the person who has been standing in your way the most is you. I’ve posted here before that throughout my adult years I have suffered with bouts of depression, some worse than others, and one just recently in the beginning part of this year. I’m getting better and I’m starting to feel that drive and ambition come back but even still I think I have become somewhat lazy and I have no idea where that came from cause that has never been me.

In the past I was always that person who you couldn’t pull away from the computer or that notepad because I was always writing and working on something to further my dream but even then I think I’ve always been afraid of the submission part of things. Part of it is being scared to put myself out there but a larger part is being afraid that my work wouldn’t be seen as good enough, that I wouldn’t be good enough. And the times I do get rejected I take it really personal because I consider myself to be an extremely talented writer (which makes me wonder why I’m so scared to submit my work) and I suppose I still get offended that talent these days doesn’t seem to be enough.

I think another part of it is that when I dreamed of being a writer when I was younger and I dreamt up all the books and television shows and plays I would write I only thought of the artistry of it all. The business side of it was the part that I just completely ignored and that is the part of it that confronts me now. I have plenty of ideas and I have the words just lying dormant inside of me but what makes me anxious, what makes me fearful, what makes me downright panicked is the business side of writing.

When I think about it really, the submission process of writing is also the business side because I have to think about marketing and my numbers and stats and I have to create packets to present myself in just the right way, and sometimes I just want to write but when I think about the business of it my writing ceases up.

Sometimes it feels like an outer body experience. I can see all the potential, I can see the end game of what I want and I know the things I need to be doing to get there and I’m watching myself paralyzed by fear and sheer lack of confidence just standing there not moving. I want to scream at myself “what are you doing just standing there?” but nothing comes out and I remain still. I have to get out of this cycle because it’s the only way that I am going to see what I want become a reality. I swear I don’t mean to get in my own way.

I’m in a self-evaluation process because I know that I can’t fix the problem without analyzing and figuring out what all there is that I need to work on. I have to really evaluate where I went off track at to begin with. I am a work in progress but I have to be real with myself and truthful with myself if I expect to get myself back on track. So this is not a post excusing myself, in fact this is me realizing that I have no excuses and I can’t keep allowing myself to stand in my own way.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on August 21, 2015 at 12:23 PM  Comments (3)  
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How Do You Win a Battle Against Fear?

How Do You Win a Battle With Fear

It is instinct to be afraid of certain things. You don’t touch a hot stove because you don’t want to get burned. You don’t run out into the street without looking both ways because you don’t want to get hit by a car. You don’t antagonize someone who is holding a gun because you don’t want to risk getting shot. Things like that are natural to be fearful of and rightfully so. Those are fears that are necessary. However, when exactly does fear become unnecessary and illogical? When does someone’s fears become so overwhelming that they start to take over their lives?

I guess I am pondering these questions because I am trying to figure out at what point did I become so afraid of what could go wrong and what dreams I wouldn’t accomplish that I stopped fighting for my dreams altogether? I’m trying to backtrack and place in my mind when I got so far off track that I stopped believing in myself and in my dreams. Yet even as I pose the question to myself, it is not the dream or the vision that I stopped believing in, it is just myself as a writer that I stopped believing in.

There was a point, very young in my life, in which my mother and several members of my family would waste not time telling me how far out of reach my goals were. Even friends, the ones who didn’t understand what it was to be a visionary and a creative individual, would question my goals and mock my drive and passion for writing. But it never mattered before, I knew that I was going to prove them wrong and that I was going to be everything I said I was going to be and I was going to have everything that I felt God had proclaimed for me.

Life, and all of its infinite curveballs, somehow dampened my belief and my ambition. I didn’t even realize it was happening while it was happening. I feel like I need to take some kind of spiritual journey to get my drive and ambition and my belief in myself as a writer back but of course, life can’t just stop because we want it to. I slowly feel my drive coming back and that creative block releasing itself but slow at this point just isn’t good enough.

Yesterday someone who has known me for a long time asked me am I really blocked or do I just not love writing and not have anything to say anymore. It made me pause for just a second but my almost immediate response was that I have a lot to say, it’s as if the words are trapped inside me. They want to come out but for some reason they just can’t. I’m writing this post and I have been able to write bits and pieces here and there, and considering the fact that about three months ago nothing would come out its progress, but I know I’m capable of more.

I am making progress and I suppose I should just rejoice at that but I can’t help but want that non-stop creative flow back. Baby steps I guess but I have been losing this battle with fear for a while now and I just want to win again. I don’t want the fear to win and steal my dreams away from me. So tell me, how do you feel a person can win a battle with fear?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on July 8, 2015 at 1:51 PM  Leave a Comment  
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The Element of Control

Element of Control

I keep wondering if success has an age attached to it. If there is a certain age that if you haven’t reached a certain level of success by that time then you are doomed to be unsuccessful at everything that you attempt. Is there an expiration date on the possibility of succeeding at what you want in life?

I don’t think that I can recall a time that I didn’t have outrageous and over the top plans for my life. My goals were always (as I was constantly told by the non-believers surrounding me) beyond my physical reach. It never used to matter what other people said I couldn’t achieve because I knew different. However, at some point, when the dreams haven’t happened yet, when you reach a certain point in life, a certain age, you start to wonder (or at least I did) if I haven’t achieved everything I wanted to by now, then isn’t it too late.

I realize that I cannot control when it is that my plans start to fall into place. I can’t help the obstacles that are bound to get in my way as I struggle to get to where it is that I want to be. What I can control is my thinking and my actions.

As you all know, my actions lately haven’t been up to par for a person who wants to achieve big things in their life, largely in part to letting the setbacks, failures, and the feelings of defeat, get the better of me. I wish I could say it’s as simple as me allowing myself to fall into a state of depression but for anyone who suffers with frequent bouts of depression you already know that it doesn’t work quite that way.

While I may not have been able to control the feeling of depression that came over me I sometimes wonder if I could’ve somehow kept it from completely taking over and not just wallowed in it instead of doing everything I could to pull myself out of it. Now that I am finally starting to feel things shift and turn around I notice I am starting to get my drive back and my creativity is beginning to flow again.

I realize that while there are many things that I have to accept are beyond my control and that I just have to let go of, there are still some important aspects of my plans for the future that I can control. I am working on my projects again and I am not giving up on my dreams and my journey to success. I know I’m not getting any younger but as far as I know, success can come at any time as long as I keep pushing and moving forward and that’s exactly what I intend to do.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on July 1, 2015 at 12:44 PM  Comments (1)  
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Letting Go of What Holds Me Back

Letting Go of Whats holding me back

I had a conversation with a very successful singer/songwriter a few weeks ago right at the point where I was starting to feel my creative block turn a corner. It was an unexpected phone call through a friend who knew that I needed the motivation and we had a 45 minute conversation about artistry and creativity. We talked about fear and being blocked and pushing past those obstacles that are in your way to fulfill a purpose.

Truthfully I suffer with bouts of depression and when these periods of depression come on (far more often than I would like) I get stuck in this fog of gloominess for an indefinite period of time. After talking to this artist I felt reinvigorated and once again energized but the fog was still there. For anyone who has ever suffered with depression or is currently suffering from it then you know to just say I don’t want to be in this state anymore is not enough.

One of the main things I remember her telling me in our conversation was that I needed to write down my list of fears because the fear is what is paralyzing me and sending me into depression. Then she said once I had written down everything that was paralyzing me with fear I needed to work on letting it go. I am guilty of dwelling in things for far too long. I dwell in the things I can’t change more specifically and I dwell in things that I fear that haven’t even happened yet. I get hit with a setback and I completely sit in the stickiness and muddiness of that mess of a setback and I dwell there.

It’s not something I am proud of but I figure if I can admit that this is my problem then I can better work on fixing it. So that’s what I am working on, letting go of those fears that old me back and that paralyze me. Learning to let go of the routine of things because the fact is that things do change and everything will not always go how you planned it out. My life is definitely not where I want it to be and in order to get it there I need to get over the fear of change and let go of all of the negative self-talk bouncing around in my head. Some things you just can’t hold onto forever.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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You Have To Be Willing To Get Out Of Your Own Way

Getting Out of Your Own Way

In the midst of our journey’s to get to wherever it is that our destination is leading us there are many things that we do to create our own obstacles. It’s not intentional of course because no one purposefully sets out to not achieve their goals. Nevertheless our own actions, or majority of the time our inactions, cause things to get off track.

I know that personally I have allowed, for far too long, for my fear of everything not being perfect and fear of someone else not liking what I have written, to keep me from even trying to get the goals I set done. Then I look back and wonder to myself why wasn’t I able to get a particular thing published in this or that publication, or why wasn’t I able to get this book or that book out there for people to buy. The reality is that it didn’t get published in a publication because I was too afraid that it wouldn’t be perfect enough and it would get rejected to send it in, or I was too afraid that people wouldn’t like it to get it published. I stood in my own way.

I was talking to my best friend and he said something the other day that I have now added among my quotes on my bulletin board. He said “if you get out your own way what’s really there to stop you”. We weren’t talking about anything writing related but it applies all the same. I keep putting up these road blocks that no one else has put up but me. No one ever does anything perfectly, let alone writing, so why do I keep feeling like I have to.

No one ever gets to where they are going without ever hearing no and truthfully I have already heard no more times than I care to count so why do I care if I hear it again. Everyone isn’t going to say yes and logically I already know this. I get inside my own head a lot, some might say too much, and it’s a part of what makes me a good writer but it’s also what hinders me when it comes to following through with all of these larger than life ideas that I have, and I have plenty.

I suppose if I don’t ever get out of my own way I will never see those ideas come to fruition and I would hate for that to happen because I do think that I have a lot to offer the world and I would hate to leave this earth not having fulfilled my purpose. So that’s what this year is all about for me, moving out of my own way and letting God do his work on me and my life and listen to his plan for my life.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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