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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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

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Published in: on January 27, 2015 at 6:24 PM  Leave a Comment  
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My Balance Is Still Off

Finding Balance 1

This week is almost over and while I have accomplished some things on my to do list for this week (okay maybe only one thing really), I have not done nearly enough towards what needs to be done. When I think about the fact that January is almost over and my novel hasn’t even been touched yet this month I shake my head at myself. True enough I had some things I needed to get out of the way promotion wise before working on my novel but then when I think about it, is that just an excuse.

I said that this was going to be the year that I probably sleep a lot less to achieve my tasks but I’m torn between my drive to succeed in my writing and my drive to get healthier and get my weight loss journey back on track which includes getting more sleep so that my body can be in the best position possible in order to lose the weight that I need to lose and gain more self-confidence and self-acceptance. It’s hard when I put it out there in writing like that because it’s either my dreams and my vision or my health and prolonging my life.

It seems like it would be an easy choice but it’s really not. I do find that when I’m healthier (and that includes getting the proper, or close to proper, amount of sleep) I do produce more in my writing and my creativity is at its best. However, then I see the people that I admire and look to for knowledge and know-how producing massive amount of product and their projects coming one, after another and you see the number one thing they practice is working into the wee hours of the night and getting a very minimal amount of sleep.

That is not me comparing myself to others (not really) because I know that I am not them but that is me acknowledging that to put out more work requires more time and that more time means less of something, typically sleep. I am still working out the balance to get the ball rolling here but I have yet to feel like I’m getting off to a good start. I almost feel like I didn’t start preparing for this year soon enough at the end of the last one. But how much preparation can you do before you should actually begin doing instead of just planning to do.

Balance and focus seem to be a continuing issue and it has to be figured out and quickly if I want this year to go the way that I want it to go. I’m still learning and while I know that there should never really a point in life that you stop learning, I feel like I’m too old to still be trying to figure it out. And yet, I still press on!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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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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Even If It Takes a Dozen Coffee Cans I Will Get There

Coffee Can with money

Another nugget of inspiration that I took away from the Elizabeth Gilbert sit down she had with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday was when she talked about everyone needing to make a plan to go on their own quest similar to the one she went on in her Eat, Pray, Love. She expressed that everyone’s quest is naturally going to be different but that if you have a desire to go on your own quest you should not let any manner of obstacle stop you from doing so.

She told a story of a woman whose mother saved $1.00 a day in a coffee can every day for twenty years until all of her children were grown and on their way and she finally could take the trip around the world that she had been looking forward to taking. Elizabeth Gilbert spoke of getting our coffee cans together and even if life prevents us from going on our quest now, we should still start preparing for the moment when we can go on our quest.

I immediately went to my closet and got my coffee can and put a few dollars in there. I have a quest that I definitely want to go on. It was once my plan to have gone on a trip around Europe around my 30th birthday but circumstances and life and motherhood prevented that from happening and four years later I still have not made it to Europe. What Elizabeth Gilbert reminded me of was that just because my trip didn’t happen the way I wanted it, or in the time that I wanted it to, doesn’t mean that it can’t still happen.

I still want my writing vacation trip around Europe so I am putting my plan into place and I have already started my coffee can savings. I think that this gives me even more to look forward to in my life and it fuels me with even more motivation to accomplish all of the dreams that I have in mind to reach in order to be able to allow things like this writing European trip to happen. The journey is always worth taking, even if you have to save a dozen coffee cans to get to your destination.

 

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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Staying Focused on My Own Journey

My own Journey

An old friend of mine posted some words of wisdom on his Facebook page today that resonated with me. His post started off with these words “Ignore the comparisons and expectations knocking at your door. The only person that you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday. Prove yourself to yourself, not others.” It went on to say more but I stopped there because it dawned on me that while I have gotten out of the practice of trying to impress and prove something to other people around me, I haven’t quite managed to prove the things to myself that I need to. I haven’t quite lived up to my own expectations, both of others and myself.

I have a huge amount of goals for a huge, damn near impossible dream that I have had since I was younger, and where I am now at this exact point in time is not where I imagined I would be right now. My own expectations have not been met and the terrible realization is that I only have myself to blame for that. I have something to prove to myself about my real intentions towards my dreams and about my true ability to be able to get what I need to get done to accomplish those goals.

I make comparisons all the time (subconsciously) about how far someone else has come and about the life some others around me may have. It’s not that I want their life per say, but rather that I see that they are where they want to be in their life and I am not quite there yet. But there’s this quote that reminds me that I can’t drive myself crazy with where someone else stands in their life. It says “don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20” and I am guilty of doing that a lot. I take someone else who is in their home stretch of their journey and compare it to me being in the middle of mine.

I have to keep in mind that I’m just in the middle of my journey and I haven’t even begun to realize the blessings that are going to come my way. When that frustration starts to set in and I look around at everyone’s seemingly perfect circumstances I have to be reminded that I don’t know what is going on behind their side of the fence. Their grass might not be as green on their side as it appears and as long as I continue to water my side of the fence my grass has the potential to be just as green, if not brighter.

So I’m going to stop looking over on other people’s paths and stay focused on mine. I can’t afford to be forced into a detour because I simply wasn’t focused on where I was going. I’m going to work hard on staying in my lane and looking straight ahead. What’s for me is on my side of the fence, not over in someone else’s yard.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on September 24, 2014 at 3:34 PM  Comments (1)  
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Fear Will Not Defeat Me

Fear will not defeat me 2

I admittedly was a tad bit naïve to think that this going back to basics challenge was going to allow me to somehow negate the usage of the computer completely. Obviously my research is done using the computer, my social media marketing is done with the use of the computer, and of course eventually even what I write on paper has to be typed up on the computer at some point, perfect example, this blog post. I know my plan was to go paperless for the month but I can’t get away from the computer at all. However, I have been writing more using my paper and pen and writing out ideas and plans and it was has been more than I have worked on in a while.

I am discovering things that maybe subconsciously I already realized but just didn’t want to admit to. I always knew I struggled with my fear. It can be quite paralyzing at times. And while I also knew that confidence was another issue of mine, I didn’t even factor in courage into this journey of mine and whether I have enough of it to reach my destiny. I have always said that I may not be confident in myself in regards to anything else but when it came to writing, I was confident in my ability to write.

What I realize now is that this was a lie I was telling to myself. If in fact I was as confident in my ability to write as I have always claimed to be then why do I always stop short of submitting my work and putting my work out there? As I am finding my creative spark again and having a bit of a creative breakthrough I am getting real with myself and the fact that I have to just let go of all of this fear and embrace some courage and confidence. The courage to put my work out there to as many people as humanly possible, and confidence in the fact that although everyone may not love my work, my writing is still good enough.

I have been defeated by so many people and so many things and I think that all of the defeats stacking up really started getting to me and took the fear that I’ve always had and elevated it to the level of being paralyzed by it. Most of all I am realizing that what I have been defeated by most of all is myself and my own negative thoughts swirling around inside my head. So I am going to let the fear go (it will not happen overnight) and just trust in the talent that God instilled in me and trust the purpose that he gave me and embrace everything that lies in store for the journey to my dreams, good or bad.

Yes I included the bad because I know that without the obstacles that are thrown at you along the way you may never know and tap into just how strong you really are. You can’t have a testimony to share with the world without first being tested. I am tired of letting the fear of these obstacles put me in a state of perpetual stillness and I am ready to get moving towards my destiny. I hope that none of you are stuck standing still but if you are, let’s get moving together.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on September 10, 2014 at 3:51 PM  Leave a Comment  
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What Determines Your Success?

Definition of success

I read an article the other day about signs that you are in fact succeeding in life even if you feel as though you are not. Before I even began to read it I was already guessing that more than half of the signs on their list were going to be things that I have not accomplished yet. I have this idea set up in my mind of what determines if someone is successful and in my eyes I am nowhere near the level of success that I had hoped I would be by now or that I think I should be by now. I have a long way to go before I get half of the things on my list accomplished. However, after reading this article I can see that maybe my evaluation of what is successful was a little off.

This article described being a success as being someone who has had growth in themselves, in their personal and professional life, in how they deal with things. It described success as having family and people that cared about them and people to lean on for support. It described being able to feel like home in whatever place you reside and raising the standards you have for yourself. It described a great deal of things that I never even thought would be someone’s idea of successful, it certainly wasn’t what I had in my mind under that label.

I’ve never been all about making money but let’s be honest, when most people think of their level of success, money is certainly a factor. It was never my absolute desire to be rich with massive amounts of money (not that I would turn it down if the opportunity presented itself) but to live a life that’s comfortable where I don’t have to worry about having enough for me and my child, yes that would be nice. When I ran down the list in the article I realized that 20 out of the 25 things on it I could say were true for myself. It made me sit back and think that maybe I’m not failing at things as badly as I often times feel that I am and maybe what I see as not having it all together, someone else sees as having it together enough for the moment I am in.

I think that sometimes we get these ideas in our heads of what the standard of success and fulfillment are and we don’t realize sometimes that the little things that we are taking for granted could be so many other people’s ideas of what success is. We think that simple is not the answer but sometimes in this life, in the moment that we are in, simple is more than enough. I think that I am going to start viewing my ideas of what having it all really means and whether or not having it all is truly someone having it all. All of what would be the important question.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on June 26, 2014 at 6:41 PM  Leave a Comment  
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