Along the Way

Along the way

Let’s talk about appreciating your journey! When you are pursuing your goals and dreams there is no telling just how long the journey will be to reach your destination. If you are low in the patience department like I am then you want more than anything for it all to come together overnight. You want to be able to map out an efficient plan, put in the action, and quickly see the rewards of all of your hard work and effort.

We can sometimes get so caught up in the end game of what our plans are that we take for granted the small victories that happen along the way. We don’t take the time to celebrate the accomplishments that we manage to achieve as we go along. We want the pace towards success to be quick and preferably painless but that’s not the reality of most people’s journey in life. We even waste time comparing the trajectory of other people’s journey to ours. We get so busy looking over on their road, trying to see how fast they’re going that we miss the scenery of our own journey.

Your journey is your own and you should go at whatever pace is comfortable for you but don’t miss out on the journey trying to rush the process. Stop dwelling on the things that you haven’t been able to check off of your list yet. Appreciate where you are right now and the progress that you have made so far. Don’t rush the journey. Instead, take your time to enjoy the scenery along the way!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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The Words We Tell Ourselves

Be Careful what you say to yourself

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

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

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

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Even Baby Steps Keep You Moving Forward

Baby Steps move you forward 1

Let’s talk about consistency! Do you remember when you were a kid and you discovered your passion, your dream. The moment when you realized that you actually had the talent to do what you dream of doing. You see others doing what you are only dreaming about at this beginning phase and it seems as if they have everything all together and sorted out and to you it would appear that they gained their success fairly quickly because of course you don’t see all the hard work that went into how they got to where they are.

You immediately think, well I’ve got talent just like they do and so it shouldn’t take me long at all and I think I could become an overnight success. When you’re just starting to work towards your goals you have this strange notion that talent will actually be enough and everything else can follow later. Of course when you get older is when you start to realize that there is some hard work and effort that goes into making your dreams become a reality and you start to come to terms with the fact that being an overnight success isn’t really possible.

Success comes in baby steps and it comes with a large dose of consistency. You are never going to get where you are trying to go by thinking that giant leaps are the only way that you are going to get there. Most of your journey is going to be taken in baby steps and you have to remain vigilant in your pursuit of your goals. There is no such thing as an overnight success. Even those who have managed to make it happen quicker than others, still didn’t achieve what they gained overnight.

So the next obstacle that gets in your way, and slows you down, don’t quit. Don’t just stop in your tracks and allow yourself to get stuck, or worse to turn around and move backwards. If you come up against an obstacle buckle down and dig your heels in deeper. The road is not going to be smooth the whole way through but if you keep pressing forward, and keep taking smaller steps at a time instead of trying to take these long strides you will reach your destination in due time.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Let Yourself Be Great!

Let Yourself Be Great

Let’s talk about greatness! There’s a quote that I like which says “who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” I like this quote because it reminds me that God gave me a purpose, and with that purpose he gave me certain gifts that he intended for me to use to fulfill that purpose. With the knowledge of that in mind I know that no matter how big that purpose may seem and how much work I’m going to have to put in to achieve it, this is not something to take lightly and this is what I need to accomplish to achieve the greatness that was predestined for me.

Sometimes I get afraid that I’ve been given too big of a purpose and I start to think, well who am I to say I can do this or that but then I stop and wonder why not me. I start to think about the fact that no one would ever change the world if they ever had the notion that they might not be good enough to actually be the one to make those changes. If they opted out of even trying to fulfill their purpose imagine how that could change the course of someone else’s journey whose life they were supposed to touch.

If we stop to think about how big the objectives that we are taking on actually are we may just talk ourselves out of going after those goals to begin with. We have to give ourselves permission to not only dream the biggest dreams that we can, but also to fulfill the purpose that God gave to us. Not only do we have to give ourselves permission to live the life God meant for us to live but we have to truly believe that we can.

Being great requires that you believe in your purpose and in your abilities. You can’t be great if everyone else around you has to convince you that you are. You have to find it within yourself, for yourself. It may not be easy if you are pulling yourself out of a dark place but if you give yourself permission then you can not only tap into your purpose but you can truly be great. After all, who are you not to be!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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I May Have Been Down but I was Never Out

Down but Not Out

So let’s talk about failure! I hate to fail and what’s ironic is that though I hate to fail I seem to be doing a lot of it. Granted, I don’t view everything that has happened in my life as failures but I have failed enough times to make anyone want to just lie down and give up. In fact, I think that a lot of this past year and half long bout with depression was pretty much just that, me being so tired of failing that I just wanted to lie down and accept defeat.

Writing is definitely not for the faint of heart and rejection is a part of the package that comes with this career but sometimes it can feel so jarring to one’s self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities. I’ve been shopping my novels around to different agents and while I’ve had some of them ask to see the whole novel, which in itself can be cause to celebrate, in the end I have not been received with the kind of acceptance that I crave and truly thought I was talented enough to get. Logically I know that being rejected by a publisher or an agent is not a personal attack on my abilities but as most of you writers know, your novels tend to feel like your babies and my work is personal for me because I always add a touch of myself into my characters (well my main characters anyway).

But I’m learning, or rather remembering that my failures are not what is going to define my eventual success. In reality, my failures are what is going to propel me forward into my destined prosperity. These are the moments that will build me up and make me stronger so that I can be better and excel further than even I thought possible. I’ve always heard that when we plan, God laughs and he must be really laughing it up at me because since the age of ten I’ve had some pretty big plans for my life and career. I had milestones, in my mind, that I just knew that I was going to hit at just the time I envisioned hitting them, some I even thought I would hit earlier than I expected. I couldn’t have been more wrong and being that wrong is just plain hurtful.

However, if some of those plans had come to pass there would be a lot of other wonderful moments that I wouldn’t have had happen, mainly my daughter being born, and I could never regret her. Failure doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It can be, in many cases, what protects us from a disaster right around the corner. In other cases it can just be the sign to let you know that while you may be going in the right direction, you’re not quite ready just yet. There are lessons in the failures that we go through but sometimes what matters is not the actual act of failing itself but rather what those failures can add to our overall story.

 

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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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

My Write 2 Be is…

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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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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

My Write 2 Be is…

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