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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Your Vision Is Not for Everybody to Understand

Not everyone sees your vision

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

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

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

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

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Weighing the Odds

weighing the odds 2

I spend way too much time weighing the odds. I worry about things that haven’t happened yet and things that have happened in the past. I worry about things going wrong that haven’t even been attempted yet. I worry about rejections that have yet to come to a reality. In worrying about these things I end up stacking the odds against me (in my mind anyway) and then I play the odds game and talk myself right out of what it is that I wanted to get accomplished.

I sit and wonder, what are the odds that someone is going to accept my article? What are the odds that they will like my novel? What are the odds that the message I have, no one will want to hear? What are the odds that my words will make a difference to anyone?

The truth is that there are a lot of odds against everyone in this life but if you waste time playing the odds game every time you meet a new challenge you’re likely to talk yourself right out of going for what it is that you want most. So let’s just all (myself included of course) make a vow that we will stop playing the odds game and stop counting the many ways that things can go wrong. The odds are in your favor if you just believe that they are!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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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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The Better Version of Ourselves

The Best Version of Ourselves

I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose and how to fulfill our purpose in life, what God put us on this earth to do. In order for us to truly fulfill that purpose we have to be the best version of ourselves. The problem is that we waste a lot of time trying to be some version of what others want us to be, or what we think others want us to be, or what we sometimes feel we should be, that we lose a sense of who we really are.

If our purpose in this life is to contribute something to this world before we leave it then can we really do that by trying to pretend we’re something that we’re not. We would like to be flawless but do we really want to be that person that appears perfect with no weaknesses and no oddities about us? It takes a lot of time to pretend you are someone you are not and to have to put on a show for this person or that person so that they can think that you have it all together when in reality you don’t.

In truth what feels like our biggest weaknesses can sometimes become our greatest strengths but if we waste so much time fighting those weaknesses then we often don’t figure that out as soon as we should. There’s this saying that God gives his toughest battles to his strongest warriors and when you put life’s challenges in that perspective then it almost makes you want to tell the world to “bring it on”. It is the challenges that God throws at us that show us what we are really made of but he uses those weaknesses that we try so hard to cover up or ignore that we have to shape us into the very best versions of who we are meant to be.

I was struggling in the beginning of this year and I am finally starting to get my focus back and my writing is getting back on track. I’ve been working really hard on being that better version of myself. Not perfect or flawless, just better. I think that because I have been focusing on how to be the best version of myself I can better see and focus on the purpose that I have been given.

You can’t contribute all that you have to offer this world if you are trying too hard to be someone you are not. Think about what you were put here to do and what only you can bring to this world to make it better and be the best version of yourself and make that happen!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Ask and You Shall Receive, Just Maybe Not In the Way You Might Think

Ask and You Shall Receive

About a month and a half ago I posted about trying to get unblocked and trying to get my focus back on track with my writing. I even sat down and asked God to help me get my focus and ambition back and to get back to making progress in my writing career. Slowly but steadily I have been feeling more and more in tune with my creative flow and the inspiration is coming back. More importantly, the desire to write even when I don’t feel inspired is coming back. Also I think I am becoming even clearer about my purpose and getting that kind of clarity is a wonderful thing.

Someone gave me a book called the purpose driven life by Rick Warren which is all about a person’s spiritual journey and helping you discover, or in my case re-discover, your purpose. Both, in reading the book and in refocusing on myself and my writing career, I have gained quite a bit of clarity about even the most recent of situations. Just recently a person in my life was removed from my atmosphere (not by death, don’t worry) and I couldn’t understand why this was taking place and I resisted it at first but I had to really sit and process what God was doing for me. I asked him to help me get my focus back and I am starting to realize that the removal of that person has allowed me to really get my focus back on track.

Sometimes we fight the signs that show us that God is listening and we do our own thing and are so resistant. We have to learn that when we ask him for help and for answers we have to be prepared for the fact that the answer may not be at all what we envisioned it to be and may not even be something that we like or wish to go through but stepping out on faith is a process and it’s about listening and not questioning.

If we could just remember that wherever our destiny lies, God already knows the end result so we have to trust that whatever path we are on is the right one and the one he directed us to. I’m just thankful that he doesn’t give up on us even when we sometimes give up on ourselves. Welcome back focus and creativity!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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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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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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What Happened to That Girl?

What happened to that girl

I do not recognize the writer that I have become. I think back to my productivity and the ability to just sit down and write endlessly when I was in my teens and early twenties and I wonder what the hell happened. I used to write practically every moment of the day. If it was just moments in between moments that I could somehow grab or steal, I would write. You hardly ever saw me without a pen or pencil in my hand and as soon as I could get to a computer I would type until it was all transferred to the computer and my fingers were partially crippled from typing so much.

I know that things change when you get older have children, get a little more settled in life, but I never envisioned that the way I work, the way I write, would change. I suppose that I somehow thought that I would always be able to pull all-nighters or that my energy levels wouldn’t change (particularly when I developed anemia during pregnancy that never seemed to go away). I equate all night working with writing and getting work done but now I struggle just to keep my eyes open, let alone staying up all night long.

I feel like I’ve lost that girl somehow. That girl who was just so driven to get the words out that I sacrificed my sleep. I feel like I’ve lost a part of myself because I feel like I can’t seem to get it together and I know that I should be doing better than what I am doing, I know that I should be getting ready to publish my 10th book (at least) not still working on getting my 2nd out there. I dwell in things for far too long and I don’t really know how to pull myself out of the funk that I sometimes fall into. I don’t do well with change and when things change I don’t know how to cope.

Perhaps that is where I start to get a little piece of that girl back again. Maybe realizing that not only is change inevitable but rather necessary. I have to figure out how to make the changes that come along work for me instead of letting them go against me. I have to figure out a time that works for my productivity because clearly me trying to force writing to happen at night is not working and I am resisting the change in routine and that amounts to zero productivity. I want to find that girl again but perhaps introduce her to a new way of coping and doing things. But I’d like to keep her fire and her drive. That is one thing I don’t want to change.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Trying to Get Unblocked

Trying to get Unblocked

It’s been a long time since I’ve really written anything, well posted anything here at least. I don’t know why I’ve been so blocked lately but I just know that I have not been the writer that I have envisioned myself being. It was certainly not for the lack of ideas, nor the lack of wanting to just sit down and write.

I even made the excuse that for over half of the time that I haven’t written anything was due to the fact that my computer that I had died and I was unable to write anything but when someone got me the early birthday gift of another laptop there was no other technical excuse.

Every time I would sit down to write I would just be suddenly stricken with this intense creative blockage and nothing would come to mind and certainly nothing came out of my fingertips onto the page. I have been documenting the ideas that I’ve had for the last several months but it didn’t help with the blockage. I actually almost talked myself out of writing this blog post today because I was afraid that if I sat down at this keyboard, once again, nothing would come out.

Even though this is not exactly the eloquent blog post I would’ve liked to have written for you today, I guess I have to take comfort in the fact that it is a step in the right direction. I hope that I can get back into the swing of things as far as my writing is concerned because I have way too many things to get accomplished to continue allowing this blockage to get the better of me. Particularly since I’ve been creatively blocked somehow for the better part of this year.

I have half a year’s worth of plans to catch up on and I know I need to get my act together and push past this blockage. I’m crossing my fingers that I can just jump back into this whirlwind of these goals I have for my writing career. So here goes everything!!!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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