No Risk = No Reward

No Risk No Reward 2

Children are fearless and their tenacity has no boundaries. It’s wonderful and exciting to watch a child get an idea for something and because they have absolutely no fear and no worries about rejection they go for any and everything. I wonder at what age we lose that fearless, tenacious spirit. Adults are far less likely to try new things, unlike children, because all of the fear seeps in. They wonder, what if I get hurt? What if it doesn’t work? What if someone else does this better than me? What if no one gets it? What if no one accepts it? Children miraculously don’t worry about such things. They just go for it! If it fails they simply get back up and try again as if the failure never happened to begin with. Why do we lose that as we get older?

In my more recent journey of becoming more spiritually grounded I knew that one of the things that I needed to work on within myself and that needed to be changed was my many different degrees of fear. I have a lot of defense mechanisms that have become sort of a crutch for me. One particularly bad one that I’ve been trying to break is one where I play out all of the worst case scenarios in my head when thinking about attempting something new or, in my case as a writer, submitting something. And while it is good to be realistic about the good and bad of something so that you can be prepared for either outcome, in my case dwelling on the possible negative outcomes have somehow held me back from even attempting things at all. It wasn’t intentional but I would find ways to talk myself out of doing something or submitting something because I had convinced myself that it was never going to be accepted anyway so why bother.

I have no idea when it happened? When I began to think about all of what made me afraid of going after the dreams I have instead of the wonderful things that can come from achieving them. I wasn’t always so fearful and I used to like taking risks but perhaps my risks were met with too many rejections and not enough rewards. But that’s life isn’t it. Looking back on all of the “failures” I have had in attempting my dreams I can ascertain the many lessons that came out of them. However, I am also realizing that some of the more recent “failures” I have had happened, not because of the risks that didn’t pan out, but rather because of the risks that I was too afraid to take to begin with.

A lot of times we don’t try new things because we can’t predict the outcome. We don’t want to fail so we think that it’s better to never actually try. Somehow it is more appealing to not put ourselves out there because then it means that we can’t get hurt, our ideas can’t get rejected, and no one can tell us that what we’ve poured our hearts into is somehow not good enough. However, that also means that our ideas don’t get heard at all and that what we have effectively poured our hearts into just sits around never being seen by anyone. If we never leave the place that feels comfortable for us, the place that’s safe for us then we miss out on so many things and we will never truly succeed. At that point we would simply be living in our fears instead of living up to our dreams. So, while our comfort zones may make us feel protected we can’t stay there if expect to get to where it is we are destined to end up.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Plant Seeds, Water Dreams, and Persist Until Success Blooms

 

planting the Seeds of Dreams 2I’ve been thinking a lot about the time limits we impose upon ourselves when it comes to getting the things we want done. For a planner like me who had her life plans mapped out from the time I was ten years old it is extremely disheartening when things get thrown so far off course that you don’t even recognize the road you’re on anymore. A childhood friend of mine read my blog post the other day about going back to the beginning of a dream and provided some much needed words of encouragement that I needed to hear. He reminded me that just because I have not yet accomplished the things that I thought I would have by now that it doesn’t mean that I won’t. He reminded me that a lot of times the success comes later on in life and he let me know that he still believed in me as he always had since the 8th grade poem that a group of us wrote together.

True enough, my plans for making an established career as a writer have not worked out quite the way that I envisioned but I’m not completely sure that I would change things. I can say that now because hindsight is twenty-twenty and looking back at some of the things that certain detours in my plan have brought into my life (one main blessing being my daughter) I can honestly say that I wouldn’t trade the experiences that I’ve had or the obstacles that I have had to work through for anything. I think that when I finally do reach the position in my writing career that I am striving for that those same obstacles and experiences will provide a great foundation for the lasting success that I saw for myself from the very beginning.

There are no time limits on when a person can achieve the success that they are looking for in life. We would like to get to the level of success we desire in a hurry and sometimes that can end up being to our detriment because far too often people aren’t really truly ready for the success they are seeking. I think that we’re often tested to gauge whether or not we’re even serious about what it is that we say we want. Will we throw our dreams away at the first sign of a major hurdle? Will we get halfway down the path to our goals and then get so impatient with how long it’s taking that we turn and double back before we’ve even reached the end of the road? Just how important could our dreams be if we run away from them at the first sign of resistance?

I think things happen for a reason, be it good or bad, and we have to be sure that the journey we are on has our full commitment and that our plans of action matches our level of desire. We can’t just quit on the dreams we have because it gets a little harder than we thought it would be to achieve them. They say that the hardest battles come with the sweetest victories so just imagine how sweet the success will be if you don’t give up on the goal just because the storm became too hard to bear. You’ve already planted the seed so just make sure you keep watering the dream!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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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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Progress Doesn’t Happen In a Straight Line

Progress is Not a Straight Line 2

Let’s talk about progress! Moving forward doesn’t always mean that the trajectory of that movement won’t come without taking a few steps backward. The problem with that is that at times the backwards steps can throw us for a loop and it can take the wind out of our sails. Naturally we lose the momentum that we had and have to reconfigure how we’re going to get everything back on track again.

Every backwards step is not necessarily a negative. Sometimes we have to go back and look at what we did wrong to begin with so that we can figure out how to effectively navigate our way through the mistakes and find the positive lessons to take with us to the next level. The only way you can truly move forward in the journey is to be able to honestly assess everything. We can’t just highlight the good moments and overlook or completely ignore the bumps in the road.

There is no straight line that gets us from point A all the way to Z. This course has many twists and turns and even some ups and downs that we aren’t always going to see as a necessary part of the journey. But even though these pit falls seem like huge boulder sized obstacles that can completely derail us, they oftentimes are bigger opportunities to learn something that we might not have learned if we had never stumbled to begin with.

The key to getting back on track with your goals is to accept the fact that you’ve had a setback and allow that misstep to be a lesson. We don’t progress if we don’t educate ourselves on what we don’t know and sometimes getting knocked backwards is the only way we begin to realize what it will actually take to move forward. Most of the time it’s not the tripping, or even the falling backwards that becomes the reason we don’t eventually succeed. It’s the staying down and never getting back up to move forward that stunts our growth. So stop trying to protect yourself from making mistakes. Just make sure that you learn something from the one’s that you make.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter
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Shutting Out the Noise

Shutting Out the Noise

Let’s talk about distractions! The noise of our distractions can be so loud sometimes that it drowns out what really matters to us. There are so many things that keep people from succeeding and being productive in their endeavors. From friends and even family, to television and other things that aren’t of high priority, the environment we surround ourselves with can sometimes do more harm to us than good.

What can also be a distraction to our ultimate goals are the no’s that we hear and the failures that we endure. The obstacles that are thrown at us to derail our journey can allow us to get distracted. We tend to get caught up in the failed attempts at whatever it is we were trying to get accomplished that we overlook the fact that a failed attempt means that there was an attempt to begin with.

A failed attempt is a lesson for what not to do in the next attempt. People who like to constantly remind you of what you’ve failed at and who try to discourage you from making any further attempts at greatness are just distractions in disguise. I used to get distracted by the no’s and I’ll admit that sadly I was a person who had allowed defeat to make me feel defeated. I’ve been working really hard to make sure I change that. I have been working to not allow myself to fall into those particular distractions because they are not good for my productivity.

Sometimes, as hard as it may be to do, you have to block out the moments of defeat. You have to let go of the feelings of self-doubt that hearing no can bring about. You have to treat those moments in which you feel like you’ve failed as teaching tools for your path moving forward. Don’t be so distracted by the obstacle that you completely miss the lesson that it’s meant to teach you.

 

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

Writer/Editor

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Focus on What is Meant for You

Focus on what is meant for you

Let’s talk about focus! We all have our own loads to bare. Some of us have heavier loads to carry than others and we tend to compare our loads to what others are carrying. Or maybe that’s just me. I sometimes reflect on the way that I wanted things to go in my life, in my career, on the timetable that I wanted them to go by and I start thinking maybe it’s just too late. I look at people who have somewhat the career success that I thought I would have by now, people I admire and look at as a road map so to speak, and I start to think about where they’re at and why I’m not there yet. I suppose I start to feel envious but not in a vengeful sort of way but just in a way of how can I emulate what they’re doing so I can get to where they are.

However, lately, more and more, I am realizing that what they have is not for me to have. The level of success they have, at the trajectory in which they achieved it is their journey and there is a reason that it wasn’t mine. Granted I don’t know what that reason is at this particular moment and I don’t have any answers as to the why not of it all but I know that there is nothing that happens that God doesn’t have a reason for, even the obstacles that I come up against, are put on my journey for a reason.

As I’m getting my drive back and letting go of all the fear that has been paralyzing me, especially within this last year and a half, I am steering my focus back on track to where it needs to be. I am also keeping my focus on my own lane and trying hard not to worry about what’s going on in the next person’s lane. Not that there’s anything wrong with getting advice and mentorship and taking cues from people who are where you want to be but not so much to the point where it allows you to get stuck and defeated on your own course.

So when you get frustrated seeing others get to where you feel you should be, try to remember that your lane may end up surpassing theirs. Try and focus on where your stretch of the road is propelling you to. If you’re so focused on the lane next to you how can you really get to where your lane is taking you. I plan on remaining focused on my own lane, my own grass, my own journey, so that I can get to where I am meant to be and keep moving forward. The journey may be rough but I know that it will be worth it when I get to where I’m meant to be!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Published in: on January 12, 2018 at 2:52 PM  Comments (1)  
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Your Vision Is Not for Everybody to Understand

Not everyone sees your vision

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

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

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

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

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Published in: on January 8, 2018 at 9:48 PM  Leave a Comment  
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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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Weighing the Odds

weighing the odds 2

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

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

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

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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Published in: on September 24, 2015 at 1:07 PM  Comments (2)  
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