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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Published in: on August 13, 2015 at 11:43 AM  Leave a Comment  
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The Magic Starts When You’re Willing to Change

magic happens when you allow change

By nature I am resistant to change. I have a routine, I plan things out, I make to-do lists and I try my best to stick to them. I am one of those people that practically pulls their hair out when things don’t go according to plan. I firmly believe that routine is good. However, as I grow in life, in my experiences, in my occasional reluctance to fail, and my oftentimes irrational fear of everything outside my comfort zone, I realize that change is something I desperately need to succumb to.

Most of the time I never realize how good the change would be for me until I have no choice but to allow the change to happen but I wonder how much better the change would be if I didn’t resist it so much to begin with. In my last post I wrote about how I need to learn how to just trust the answers that God gives me and not fight him on it. The same can be said for the changes that he continues to try and bring in my life that I am so adamant about not accepting all because they weren’t in my plan, or in my schedule for how things are supposed to go.

I think I really need to keep reminding myself that just because I develop and formulate a plan it doesn’t mean that it is in line with God’s plan, and his plan trumps mine. I’m starting to realize that a lot of the obstacles and struggles that I have had, or am still having, in building up my career, my life, in the way that I want it to go is because I place those obstacles there myself by not listening and not allowing the things that are going to change my life for the better to just happen.

I push against what I don’t know, against what I don’t plan, and I couldn’t be more wrong in doing that. But I am on a journey to learn from the mistakes that I’ve been making and to do better so that things can be better. Change is inevitable and to fight it is just resisting whatever good will come along with it. I realize that the magic starts when you just let change happen!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on July 31, 2015 at 12:55 PM  Leave a Comment  
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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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Published in: on July 23, 2015 at 12:34 PM  Comments (4)  
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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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It’s All In the Subtle Reminders

God's Subtle Reminders

It’s very funny how God works. I don’t mean funny as in a laughing matter but rather in an ironic one. I talk to God all the time but every once in a while when I get in that place of confusion and I start feeling like maybe I’m losing my way, or maybe I am not going in the right direction like I thought I was, I sit down and really pour my heart out to God and I talk to him, no holds barred. Sometimes I get so deep into my feelings in talking with him that it literally brings me to tears. And then I wait and I listen or I pay extra attention following that talk because sometimes in the silence God answers you. Well last night I had one of those no holds barred talks with him.

I was really trying to figure out what it is that I am doing wrong and whether or not I am really on the right path like I believe that I am. I suppose I was checking in to make sure that I was on the path that God wants me to be on. So after my talk I went to bed and I truly felt better that I had gotten all my frustrations out and asked all of my questions and now I just had to make sure I was paying attention.

So this morning as I was going through Facebook I saw that one of my friends had shared a video of a young girl, just starting high school, and the girl was sharing her story of how she had been bullied from quite a number of years and how it made her feel and the harm that it made her do to herself and she reminded people that everyone reacts to being bullied in different ways and words do hurt. In that moment I felt like it was God showing me that there is still a need for me, for my purpose, for what I set out to do in developing my Write 2 Be brand.

There are many purposes that I wanted to serve with my Write 2 Be brand. In developing what I wanted it to stand for I knew that one thing for sure was that I wanted it to serve a purpose for children who are suffering from being bullied and from feeling like something is wrong with them just because they’re different or unique from everyone else. I feel like coming across that video this morning was God’s way of telling me that I was still on the right path and that I have to remember all of the reasons why I am in pursuit of this dream of mine. Sure it’s to change my life and my daughter’s life but I feel like he was reminding me that it’s also about all of the lives that I want to improve with my work, my writing, my brand.

I have always wanted to make a difference and it wasn’t until the recent couple of years that I realized just how much I could actually make a difference and sometimes, when it gets really tough and when things don’t look like they’re going in the right direction, I forget that and I forget that I can really make a difference. God works in really ironic ways and I am thankful that he is so patient with my lack of patience and I am thankful for these subtle reminders.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on February 25, 2015 at 3:52 PM  Leave a Comment  
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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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This Dream Is Everything To Me and I Cannot Fail

Chasing my dream 2

I realized when I woke up this morning that I am still not having the rate of production that I want so far this year. There’s something else I realized too. I cannot handle the thought of failing at this. Not failing in general with various tasks that may fall through or fall short of what I expected. Not failing simply in terms of getting thrown off course and sent in a different and unexpected direction. Not failing as in not completely fulfilling all of the larger than life goals that I have for myself.

I can handle all of that because I have learned (and read from many successful people) that failure is a part of succeeding, quite possibly a more vital part than people realize. What I absolutely cannot handle failing at is the overall goal of fulfilling the dream I have had since I was six years old of being a writer, and not that person who has a full time job and writes as my side gig (not that there is ANYTHING wrong with that AT ALL). I don’t want to have to go back to having to balance both the fulltime job and my writing dream because when I had to do it before it didn’t work for me at all, on any level.

My dream was to make a living as a writer and that I was going to influence this world, even if it’s only to a small sum of people, in a major way. I have too many people who doubt me, including my own mother, and most of my entire family, and I refuse to prove them right in any way. Now me succeeding and making my dreams come to fruition is definitely not about proving anyone else wrong (not solely) but we all know it’s a bonus when you can do something everyone said that you couldn’t.

I have my plans set and my projects that I am supposed to be completing for the year set and they seemed so achievable when I wrote them down. However, January is almost over and I don’t see where any breakthrough has happened yet. I know I have to be patient but did I ever mention that patience is not really my strong suit. I have been at this so long and the journey has been quite daunting and tiresome and when you have people in your ear questioning you on whether you should just go ahead and give up or admit that it’s just not going to happen quite the way I want it to, it can be really frustrating.

I won’t give up on this vision of mine, largely in part due to this nagging feeling in my gut that keeps telling me that I’m on the right path, even if it doesn’t always feel like it, and to not give in to what other people think is best for me. The other reason I won’t give up is because this is the purpose that God has given me in life and I won’t turn my back on that purpose. I’m strong enough to persevere and as for the patience, well I’m working on that part (lol) but I won’t back down from this dream.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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Published in: on January 27, 2015 at 6:24 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Perspective From the Middle Rung of the Ladder

Perspective from middle rung of ladder

I had a conversation the other day with an older woman, who I have befriended because both of our daughters participate in the same activity. She has taken a liking to me and I to her and I gain a lot of wisdom from her and she in many ways motivates me. I have been able to share my goals and vision for what my dreams are with her and I don’t share my dreams with just everyone.

Every time I feel that fear creep up inside me and I get discouraged and start to doubt myself Ms. Yvonne (that’s her name) always seems to be right there giving me that dose of motivation that I need to get going again. It got me to thinking, there are so many people that see this potential in me, this light as some people say, surrounding me, and that they know that I am going to do so many big things to change this world but I can’t seem to see what it is that they see.

Why is it that other people can see things in us that we either can’t see or refuse to see in ourselves. When I see the journey that I am on to achieve my goals I sometimes get so defeated at how much further I have to go on this journey instead of realizing and appreciating just how far I have come and without acknowledging and thanking God that I am not where I was.

I often feel as if I am still on that bottom rung of the ladder because I keep thinking of what I don’t have yet but if I look at how far I have come and just what I have come through then I can see that I am actually in the middle of that ladder. Perspective is everything and so many times my perspective is thrown off. It’s one of the main things I have to work on in myself and particularly as I go into this new year with new goals and new determination and drive to make these things happen, fear be damned.

Ms. Yvonne told me that even when I don’t feel like I can do it I have to convince myself that I can. If you tell yourself enough that you can, eventually you believe that you actually can and I’ve been telling myself for so long what I couldn’t do because I didn’t have everytihng I needed and things weren’t perfect. It’s time I start telling myself what I can do and open my eyes to the me that other people see.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on December 10, 2014 at 12:01 PM  Comments (1)  
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Focusing on the End Goal

Focusing on the end goal

Well National Novel writing month is more than over and I have had a whole week to decompress from the event that went more than a little off track from me. From my technical difficulties to the distractions of life and (if I’m being completely honest) just sheer procrastination the month of November was definitely disappointing in terms of actually completing my projects.

Nevertheless I am not going to use that as an excuse to stop working on finishing these projects. I have done that in the past, get so upset with myself for not completing something that I just sink into a dark whole of depression and end up not doing anything. Well 2014 was a year full of promise and it was all wasted and it was the fault of no other person than myself. Setback after setback I allowed that negative voice in my head to get louder and louder.

With each setback I gave myself even more reasons of why I couldn’t get what I wanted accomplished. I focused so much on the things that I didn’t have at my disposal instead of using what I do have to my advantage. If you focus too much on the things that you don’t have then you can’t sufficiently notice all of the blessings around you that you have seemed to overlooked.

So I am going into the year 2015 with real hope and with faith that can’t be shaken and with the knowledge that whatever God wants me to have will be mine and that he will make a way for all of the plans that he has for me to come to fruition. I have to stop counting myself out before I even truly get into the race. I’m not doing myself any good by doubting God and his belief in me. So no more excuses for why something didn’t get accomplished. Nothing but results from here on out.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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At Times the Horizon Seems So Distant

Horizon in the distance

“What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the world tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up, it’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon’.”

~From “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

 

I saw the above quote on a friend’s timeline in my seemingly constant Facebook surfing (which is really great for inspiration by the way) and it struck a chord with me. It’s kind of like those quotes that say don’t give up because success is right around the corner except in this quote it is much more profound and hard hitting. I won’t say that I am a person who gives up a lot because I am still not where I thought I would be, and long after the period in which I thought I would be there, and I still get people who tell me to just go back to working a regular job so I could live a much more comfortable lifestyle. Yet here I am, still going for it and pursuing it, one crushing blow after another.

But I’m not going to say that I haven’t had constant moments of doubt and wonder about whether I should give up. That quote hits home with me because I feel like I am constantly being tested, and not to sound too melodramatic, but I feel like the tests come at least every other day and they don’t ever stop. It is said that the bigger the battle the bigger the victory that God has in store for you and I just keep thinking that God must have one (excuse my language) hell of a victory waiting for me at the end of this part of my journey.

I suppose one would think that the constant testing is to make sure that you are absolutely certain about what it is that you say you want, what you say your dream is. We as a society tend to expect immediate results a lot. We want what we want, when we want it, and exactly the way we want it to happen. I suppose it is natural to have a plan and to actually expect that plan to go accordingly but in such an unpredictable world with surprises at every turn, we can’t allow ourselves to be so thrown off course that we simply stop moving.

I sometimes feel like this journey for me is like a trek through the desert. I keep seeing mirages of what I think is about to be my breakthrough. I see glimpses in the distance of what my future will look like but those glimpses seem like they will take forever to reach. Oftentimes it seems like I am standing in some figurative form of quicksand where I am sinking faster than I can find some far away branch to grab ahold of. And even when some spiritually appearing hand pulls me out of that quicksand the well of water sitting underneath the shady palm trees (my dream) still seems so far off in the distance that I feel like just giving up and succumbing to dehydration and heat exhaustion.

But I am still here. Through every test that the Soul of the world seems to be giving me, I am still making my way through that desert. I may still be seeing mirages far off in the distance but I know that the well of water and the shady palm trees are there and I will get there, eventually. I don’t want to be one of those that collapses along the way and finds the well and palm trees right at the edge of their fingertips at the point that they gave up. I plan on being the one who survives every tests and who makes it to the well. And if that well is dry, I plan on being the one who treks on until I find the well that is full, of all my dreams and all that God has in store for me. I am told that I am stronger than I give myself credit for and looking back on just how far I have come in this journey of mine, without giving up even once, I am starting to realize that maybe they are right.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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