Right Before the Wall Breaks

“You will be the most tempted to quit when you are closest to your calling” ~Steven Furtick

For the last, I don’t even know how long, I have been feeling like everything that I’ve been doing has ended in an epic fail. I’ve been striving towards this dream of mine, in one way or another, for what seems like forever and it keeps feeling like I’m never going to make it. So why do I keep trying to beak through that wall of success then? Because as I’ve mentioned here before, I don’t quit, and I am not going to be that person that gives up right before that wall breaks.

I think my biggest problem has always been the doubt that has not only been heaped on me by others but worse, the doubt that I have bestowed upon myself. I’m not sure why but somewhere along the way I had convinced myself that I wasn’t worthy of the success I craved and then when I felt this call for the purpose God placed in my heart I felt even more doubt, as if maybe it was too big of a call for me to handle and that I might not be equipped enough to see that purpose through and I would second guess that call.

Then a couple of weeks ago when my pastor started on the new series we’re currently in and he got to the lesson about seeing yourself through God’s eyes and not just seeing all of the flaws and the things within yourself that need to be worked on. He pointed out that while yes we all have flaws that need to be addressed, it doesn’t erase all of the good that is dwelling on the inside of us and that we wouldn’t struggle to see that good in ourselves if we could just see ourselves the way that God sees us.

I think that it’s one of the ways that we sabotage our own success and our progress. We tend to think of all of the ways things won’t work and make sure to highlight everything that we’ve been doing wrong or failing at when in reality that’s not where our focus should be. Sure you have to know where you’ve gone wrong in order to make sure that you don’t repeat those same errors, but just that fact right there makes the mistakes you’ve made worth so much more than you realize.

The fact that you get the opportunity to have that wisdom of falling (and yes I did say opportunity), getting back up and moving forward, but this time with knowledge that you didn’t have before so that you don’t keep stumbling into that same obstacle over and over again. The only thing is you can’t waste time beating yourself up for those mistakes because then you miss the clarity that they can give you. The next time that you start to doubt yourself or dwell too much in the mistakes that you’ve made along your journey to achieving your dreams just remember that those mistakes are also lessons. One’s that you might have had to learn the hard way, but one’s that you will definitely never forget and that will prepare you to take on whatever might try to trip you up next. Until next time… #BeGrateful #BeOpen #BeinFaith

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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 Just a quick reminder…

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Finally, I will be releasing the first ebook in a 4 part series before the end of this month specifically to inspire and motivate writers who struggle with self-sabotage and I’ll provide more information on that by the next post. If you would like to contribute to my self-publishing efforts this year here is where you can make a donation to the dream https://www.gofundme.com/f/book-project-for-write-2-be-media

The Picture Isn’t Always Perfect

Nothing is Picture Perfect 2

Oftentimes we like to paint a picture for people that things in our world are running smoothly. We like to put a smile on to pretend that things are perfect even if they aren’t. We like to highlight the things that are going well and leave out all of the mistakes that we have been making as we go. It’s the whole fake it until you make it syndrome. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have positive self-talk and to tell yourself that you can do this or that, even if deep down you are unsure of your capabilities. But to leave out the things that went wrong in your journey sometimes does a disservice, not only to you but to the people that you hope to inspire along the way.

If you think about it, there are no real mistakes in life. Everything that happens to us or even for us is by design and has already been mapped out by God. Even the slight detours we take are to teach us something, to show us what we are made of when we start to lose sight of the true depth of our purpose. It is in the failures that we truly triumph because we learn perseverance and it forces us to get back up again even when we don’t feel like we can.

I’ll admit that it feels good when you are presenting yourself to people as if you have everything all together and figured out. Particularly in the instances where you want to impress someone who impresses you, you want to seem like you can make all the pieces to the puzzle fit perfectly. Sometimes you fake it so well that you may even start to believe it yourself and it kind of gets you motivated in a way you may not have been otherwise.

The problem with faking it is that in leaving out the mistakes that you have made you also tend to leave out the lessons that you have learned from those mistakes as well. The people that you want to inspire and who may be looking to you for guidance are being mislead by this false perception of what success looks like and that really isn’t fair to them or you. There is no such thing as a flawless road to success and trying to pretend that there is only makes things look pretty on the outside, but it doesn’t change the reality of how messy the journey really is.

Stop trying to make everything look easy to everyone else because by doing that you diminish all of the hard work that you have likely put into your journey. Your path has more substance because of the obstacles and failures that you have had as you have walked along it. All those times you fell that you would like to instantly forget are important because they taught you that you are not a quitter and that you can get back up again. The detours on that straight and narrow road that you had planned to take likely gave you something that you needed at those particular times. Don’t leave out what you believe are the bad parts of your journey because odds are the good that came out of it wouldn’t have happened any other way.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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The Fabric that Creates Our Stories

Fabric that creates our stories

Let’s talk about the stories that make us! We all have moments in our lives that we sometimes wish hadn’t happened. There may be certain experiences that we wished had gone a different way than they did. Or even just a small rough patch that you wish you could’ve somehow dodged along the way. I know that I have a huge chunk of childhood experiences I’ve wished I could have replaced with better ones and some mistakes that I’ve made in my teenage or young adult years that I would do over again if I could.

The problem with trying to recreate history, however, is that if we were to do that we would completely miss out on the lesson that we were supposed to learn. In addition to that we would also not have the experiences that help to shape and mold us into the people we were meant to become. I was watching an episode of Oprah’s Master Class and the guest was talking about the fact that the stories that we share with others, the wisdom that we tend to draw on from other people’s experiences, come from the rough patches in life.

We wouldn’t have those experiences and those moments that give us teaching tools for life if there were no rough patches to begin with. What I’ve gone through in my life, the issues I’ve had with deep depression, the abuse I suffered in my childhood, even my struggles with my weight throughout most of my life, sure I may wish they hadn’t happened, but they could very well be the inspiration that someone else needs down the line.

I think of all of the inspiration that I’ve gotten from other people’s struggles and the obstacles that they’ve overcome to get to the level of success that they’re at now and it’s amazing. Knowing that when I finally achieve the goals that I’ve set out to accomplish and when I get to that level of success where I can truly influence others, to think that I could possibly provide some inspiration to someone else in the future and possibly give them feelings of hope is extremely comforting to me.

Our struggles that we endure and the obstacles that we battle through become some of the greatest fabric to our story. To ever try and wish that away would more than likely be a costly mistake because so much of our trials and tribulations are woven so intricately into our lives that without them we could be completely different people and not necessarily who we were ever meant to be. So when you start to dwell on the hard times that you’ve experienced, stop and think. If you were to wish those hard times away, those rough patches, then you wouldn’t have a story to tell. Those experiences have built your character and they are the reason that you can inspire the world around you. So make your stories count and let them be a way to heal somebody else.

 

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

Writer/Editor

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Boxes on a Shelf

boxes on a shelf

I was watching a Joel Osteen Sermon this past Sunday and as always his message was something that I could really relate to and that resonated with me right at that moment. He spoke about having faith in yourself and in your abilities enough to ask God for what he already said was yours. You know we pray for the things we want out of life and finagle our way around obstacles in order to achieve them. But I think that perhaps if we were more sure about the fact that those opportunities that we want and that we see for our future are already in God’s plan and that they are already ours to grab ahold of we wouldn’t worry so much while we are praying about whether or not they are going to come to pass.

Joel used a metaphor that our opportunities are like moments that are all in boxes, lined up on shelves, in this massive warehouse in heaven, just waiting for the people whose names are on those boxes to actually ask for them. It made me wonder just how big my box of opportunities would be because I know that I am one of those people that while I am praying for my opportunities and wishing that they would come true, I am also crossing my fingers to cover all my bases.

Crossing your fingers is not a sign of true faith, and neither is worrying while you are praying. It’s so funny because I have no trouble believing in other people’s dreams and in the fact that their opportunities will come to fruition but when it comes to mine, it’s like I let all of those demons of doubt cloud what I know in my heart. I don’t want to get to the end of my journey and see my opportunities sitting in these boxes on some shelf just waiting, unclaimed, and unused.

There’s so many other things that I am unsure of in this life but my purpose, my desire to change this world for the better with my message and through writing and other media avenues, that’s not something that I am unsure of. So while you are seeking your opportunities and praying for the doors of opportunity to be opened for you are you crossing your fingers or are you surrendering in faith? It makes a difference on whether or not the right doors will be open or not.

You can’t receive all of the blessings and opportunity that God has planned for you with your fingers crossed because then you are not fully prepared to receive them. So try having absolute faith that what is meant for your life, the opportunities and changes that you have been waiting for, will come to you. And when you have that absolute faith, that unshakable belief, then ask for ALL of what it is that you want. Not some, not just enough to get by, not just one door and then you’ll worry about the next door when you get to it, ask for it ALL. Aren’t you worth EVERYTHING it is that you want?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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Leaders Must First Learn To Follow

To lead you must first follow 2

I know that you’ve heard the saying “Be a leader, and not a follower” a lot, probably more often than you even care to count. This saying is particularly used towards those who are aspiring to run their own businesses and striving for successes of great measure. I always believed in that saying, for the most part and have always tried to steer clear from ever being put in the category of being a follower. However, I recently have come to a realization that you can’t really be a true leader if you have never known what it is to follow.

I mean following is essentially being a team player. Learning how to work within a setting where it is not just your opinion that matters and things don’t just rely on what you say but on what others say or do as well. After all, once you reach your leadership status, you are asking others that are working for you to be that team player right, and follow you on your journey to help build your dream and your legacy up. Is it not only fair that you, the leader, would have some knowledge of what it is like to be a part of a team, to work with others to form a well working collaboration, to in essence, follow.

How can you blindly ask people to do something for you that you have never at one time had to do for anyone else? You can’t. In all actuality, unless someone was just born into wealth and an already built legacy, you have to follow for quite some time before you ever get to lead anyone. So where did this saying come from? Where did people get the idea that following at some point in your life, is a bad thing? Yes you have people who are natural born leaders but they too must first be followers before they can learn how to lead anyone.

I think that sometimes people get hung up on this saying and pass up on many opportunities that would allow growth within themselves because they don’t want to be labeled as a follower. I myself have done that. Passed on something that would mean I am helping someone else build up their dream but yet taking away from working on building up my own. Not even realizing at the time that those whose dreams that I help to build can then show me the way to in turn build up my own. I may have not seen certain situations for the opportunities that they truly were, all because I didn’t want anyone to ever see me as a follower and not the leader I know I was destined to be.

But see the good thing about getting older and making certain mistakes is that you also get wiser and learn how to work smarter. One of the bigger lessons that I am learning now is that in order to lead you must first learn how to follow. It is the lessons that you learn while following others that you can then take into your journey of leadership. So remember that before you turn your back on opportunities that require you to follow all because you don’t like that label. All leaders were once followers. Stay focused and pay attention!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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The Best Things Can Sometimes Come Out of a Bad Situation

When you're down to nothing

I seem to find myself having to make the best out of a bad situation more often than I care to.  It always feels like just when I think I can cruise on down my path for a little while without any bumps and bruises, there goes another obstacle in my way and often times it feels like it’s a mountain just sitting there, knowing that I cannot move mountains out of my way.  I’m simply not that strong.  At least that’s what I convince myself at the time when I am staring down the very thing that is causing me to stop dead in my tracks.

I guess the truth is that I sometimes don’t know my own strength and that the strength that I need is not necessarily physical but rather spiritual and it comes from God.  I have realized throughout the years (and have been reminded whenever I forget by Ms. L.) that I am so much stronger than I think I am and that each time I make it through a struggle I am always, somehow, better off for it.  I suppose those that have never struggled through anything cannot fully appreciate the things that they are fortunate enough to ascertain in this life.

Nothing that you want, that is worth having, is ever going to come to you easily and if it does you better believe that there is some kind of string attached to it, visible or not.  I’m in a bad spot right not, it’s certainly not a spot I want to be in, but I can already see the lesson brewing out of it.  I guess the real failure in failing at anything is not learning from that failure and not fully capturing the lessons that there are to be built upon and shared.  Times are hard right now, but they could be so much worse, and when they get better I know how to avoid a repeat.  Trouble doesn’t last always and this too shall pass.  Stay blessed and be grateful!

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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My Past is Preparation for My Future

learn from past not live in it

I saw a post on Facebook that had a quote that said “don’t look back, you’re not going that way”.  It got me to thinking about the past and things I’ve been through, things other people have been through and how the past really does affect our lives.

It’s true that we can’t let our past hurts and tragedies alter our lives in such a way that it stunts the growth that needs to be made throughout.  However, aren’t our past experiences a huge part of who we are, of what makes us stronger and more motivated, and what, all in all, equips us with lessons and oftentimes harsh realities that prepare us for the purpose that we are placed on this earth to fulfill.  What we go through in our childhood, in our teenage years, in our early adulthood, they give us tools that we need to be able to deal with the long and at times tiring journey to our destination.  Particularly if our past experiences are not so ideal.

There’s a saying that you can’t have a testimony without any tests, so maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to completely forget our pasts experiences.  I will be the first to admit that I am an extremely emotional person and that I have allowed certain instances in my past to affect my present way too much, which inevitably affects my future.  While I know that I can’t exactly forget everything that happened, I’m not even sure I can totally forgive (just yet), I do know that I need to let go a little.

I would say that I need to let go completely but those things are what makes me the person that I am and what will give me the strength to continue my journey into being who it is I am truly meant to be.  Without the past I don’t know that I would be fully ready for the future that God has planned for me.  So with that said, I tell you, that while you shouldn’t keep a firm grip on your past experiences, maybe you shouldn’t completely let them go because they are what is building you up to take on whatever is coming your way as you travel to your destination.  Our pasts can only hinder us if we allow it to and if we allow ourselves to only remember the hurt and not the lessons that came from that hurt.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Honoring Your Testimonies for the Stepping Stones that They Are

stepping stones

I’ve done it more times than I can count.  Not only that but I never even gave a second thought as to what it is I was really doing.  I’ve wished away all of the bad things that have ever happened to me at one point of my life or another and I’ve regretted so many past mistakes that were made and wonder what if I could go back and change things.  It really is no way to live, always wanting a do-over and never wanting to make one single misstep.  Knowing what I know now, after much growing and lots of learning, honestly if I could I may just go back and make even more mistakes in my life, on purpose.

I know that sounds crazy.  However, if you really think about it, can you really say that all of your mistakes and blunders did not get you any kind of unexpected reward or bless you in some way that you didn’t even know that you needed it.  The more mistakes that you make the more life lessons that you learn and there can never be enough lessons learned in life.  But most importantly, if you have lived a perfect life, a life with not one mistake and not one regret, did you really live life at all.  Can you really enjoy life taking such careful steps in it that you never step out of bounds?

When I think about the not so ideal childhood that I had and all of the things that I once would have liked to forget, they were some of the toughest things I have ever been through.  While they weren’t pleasant and certainly not perfect, looking back, they made me stronger and I believe now that they were a part of the preparation that I needed in order to eventually fulfill my purpose.  I don’t think that I would be the person that I am now without the struggles that I went through then or even the ones that I have recently experienced.

Our mistakes, the things we regret, the obstacles that we struggle to get through, they are what builds our character.  They strengthen us for the greatness that we are destined to achieve.  They help to prepare us for the journey that we are on to fulfill our purpose.  They provide little blessings along the way that we would have never had otherwise.  So stop regretting the mistakes you’ve made in the past.  Don’t treat them as events that have held you back, treat them as the stepping stones that can propel you forward.  With great risks comes even greater rewards.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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Write 2 Be Magazine is now out so please go check it out at http://write2bemagazine.com/.  Also please go and join the magazine on twitter https://twitter.com/write2bemag, join the email listing for the magazine or submit a request for an author interview at Write2bemagazine@yahoo.com, and also like the Write 2 Be Magazine fan page https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine.  Please help support my endeavor and my new journey and help me spread the word about Write 2 Be and its meaning.

A Fortune to Be Told

I know that most people don’t give a lot of credence to fortune cookies or the supposed advice that they provide inside of them.  However, I am one of those people that do often times (not all the time) take what my fortune cookies have to say.  Of course they have to make some kind of sense or else I just toss them to the side.

My fortune cookies seem to always have meaningful messages that somehow just magically apply to whatever situation I am going through or whatever motivation that I happen to need.  At moments when I questioned whether I was making the right decisions I would get fortune cookies that read “Depart not from the path which fate has you assigned”, or “All your hard work will soon pay off”, or my personal favorite “God will give you everything that you want”.  Now I know that they may sound like some really good lines that the fortune cookie writer just happened to come up with but you have to understand the timing in which I received them.

Fortune Cookie Inspiration
Fortune Cookie Inspiration

So I stumbled upon one today (yes I keep all of the good ones stored away) that reminded me of how much our past experiences help to mold our future.  It read “the best profit of future is the past” and that is true for anyone but I think writers in particular get great use out of their past experiences.  We take the stories from our past and use them to shape the stories of our future.  One experience that impacted you greatly when you are younger, for a writer, can turn into hundreds of stories when you are older.

Thinking about this, in some ways, makes my somewhat cherish my bad childhood, or even the mistakes that I made as an adolescent or young adult.  I used to wish that I could take some of my mistakes from my past and get a do-over but then I would be changing my story, and the stories that I have to tell in the present and in the future.  I would be erasing all of the material that I have for some pretty good novels or even non-fiction cautionary tales in the (near) future.  You can’t go back to the past but you can turn your past into a very beneficial future.  You can let your past fuel the passions of your future.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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Write 2 Be Magazine is now out so please go check it out at http://write2bemagazine.com/.  Also please go and join the magazine on twitter https://twitter.com/write2bemag, join the email listing for the magazine or submit a request for an author interview at Write2bemagazine@yahoo.com, and also like the Write 2 Be Magazine fan page https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine.  Please help support my endeavor and my new journey and help me spread the word about Write 2 Be and its meaning.