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

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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

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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

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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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The Element of Control

Element of Control

I keep wondering if success has an age attached to it. If there is a certain age that if you haven’t reached a certain level of success by that time then you are doomed to be unsuccessful at everything that you attempt. Is there an expiration date on the possibility of succeeding at what you want in life?

I don’t think that I can recall a time that I didn’t have outrageous and over the top plans for my life. My goals were always (as I was constantly told by the non-believers surrounding me) beyond my physical reach. It never used to matter what other people said I couldn’t achieve because I knew different. However, at some point, when the dreams haven’t happened yet, when you reach a certain point in life, a certain age, you start to wonder (or at least I did) if I haven’t achieved everything I wanted to by now, then isn’t it too late.

I realize that I cannot control when it is that my plans start to fall into place. I can’t help the obstacles that are bound to get in my way as I struggle to get to where it is that I want to be. What I can control is my thinking and my actions.

As you all know, my actions lately haven’t been up to par for a person who wants to achieve big things in their life, largely in part to letting the setbacks, failures, and the feelings of defeat, get the better of me. I wish I could say it’s as simple as me allowing myself to fall into a state of depression but for anyone who suffers with frequent bouts of depression you already know that it doesn’t work quite that way.

While I may not have been able to control the feeling of depression that came over me I sometimes wonder if I could’ve somehow kept it from completely taking over and not just wallowed in it instead of doing everything I could to pull myself out of it. Now that I am finally starting to feel things shift and turn around I notice I am starting to get my drive back and my creativity is beginning to flow again.

I realize that while there are many things that I have to accept are beyond my control and that I just have to let go of, there are still some important aspects of my plans for the future that I can control. I am working on my projects again and I am not giving up on my dreams and my journey to success. I know I’m not getting any younger but as far as I know, success can come at any time as long as I keep pushing and moving forward and that’s exactly what I intend to do.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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Published in: on July 1, 2015 at 12:44 PM  Comments (1)  
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Can’t Watch the Scoreboard and Play the Game

watching the scoreboard 3

I was watching a motivational video a few months ago, still in the fog of my depression and very much still creatively blocked, and they were talking about getting to that place of success that you want to get to in life. He had a lot to say about his journey to success and about the sheer work ethic that it takes to accomplish the goals that you set for yourself but I think the most profound statement he made was that you can’t play the game that you are in (because succeeding in life is very much like playing a game) and watch the scoreboard at the same time.

It’s something that sounds really obvious if we are actually talking about playing some type of sport but in the game that is life and success overall we don’t think about that. We’re always so busy checking to see what progress we’ve made, watching the scoreboard so to speak, that we don’t realize that all the time that we waste checking to see where we’re at in life is time that could be spent making more progress.

I do that a lot. I watch the scoreboard, waiting for my side to be in the lead, showing me that I am making progress and that I’m doing something. When I’m not in the lead, when my score is not reflecting my effort, I get defeated and then my effort starts to change. I think that if I weren’t so busy keeping score of my hits and my misses then I wouldn’t have time to get defeated or to feel the sting of the setback.

If I just kept my focus on what I want and know that that is what I am aiming for without continuously watching to see how far I’ve come in my journey, or sometimes how far I still have to go in my journey, I think I could actually get to where it is that I’m going. It’s like that watched pot that takes so long to boil when you are watching it. If you just walk away and let it be, stop hovering over it and trying to watch the water come to a rolling boil, it would happen a lot sooner than you might expect. So I’m going to work on not looking at the scoreboard as I travel on this journey and just trust that as long as I’m moving forward, and never backward, that I am winning!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Letting Go of What Holds Me Back

Letting Go of Whats holding me back

I had a conversation with a very successful singer/songwriter a few weeks ago right at the point where I was starting to feel my creative block turn a corner. It was an unexpected phone call through a friend who knew that I needed the motivation and we had a 45 minute conversation about artistry and creativity. We talked about fear and being blocked and pushing past those obstacles that are in your way to fulfill a purpose.

Truthfully I suffer with bouts of depression and when these periods of depression come on (far more often than I would like) I get stuck in this fog of gloominess for an indefinite period of time. After talking to this artist I felt reinvigorated and once again energized but the fog was still there. For anyone who has ever suffered with depression or is currently suffering from it then you know to just say I don’t want to be in this state anymore is not enough.

One of the main things I remember her telling me in our conversation was that I needed to write down my list of fears because the fear is what is paralyzing me and sending me into depression. Then she said once I had written down everything that was paralyzing me with fear I needed to work on letting it go. I am guilty of dwelling in things for far too long. I dwell in the things I can’t change more specifically and I dwell in things that I fear that haven’t even happened yet. I get hit with a setback and I completely sit in the stickiness and muddiness of that mess of a setback and I dwell there.

It’s not something I am proud of but I figure if I can admit that this is my problem then I can better work on fixing it. So that’s what I am working on, letting go of those fears that old me back and that paralyze me. Learning to let go of the routine of things because the fact is that things do change and everything will not always go how you planned it out. My life is definitely not where I want it to be and in order to get it there I need to get over the fear of change and let go of all of the negative self-talk bouncing around in my head. Some things you just can’t hold onto forever.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

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