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Author: Linda-Ann Stewart

As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women entrepreneurs and small business owners to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, wellbeing and prosperity.To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, register for her FREE training video and accompanying action planning guide at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.
Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

Relaxation, harmony and ease are your natural state of being. When you’re tense, anxious or worried, you’re actually just blocking the flow of the Universe through you. The good that you desire hasn’t gone away, it’s just tied up in knots and can’t move. Your attention is on what you’re afraid of, rather than on what you want. And “where attention goes, energy flows.” When you let go, you let relaxation and good surface and express in your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Why Is Focus Important for Success?

Why Is Focus Important for Success?

Ingafay Faison Cavitt and I met at a virtual networking event. She introduced herself as a Confidence Coach for Women. Since that was one of my specialties in my hypnotherapy practice, we scheduled a video call to get to know one another better. She works with women in direct sales to become the person they were destined to be. At the end of our conversation, she decided that my approach as a focus coach would work well on her podcast.

Being able to focus is vital to being successful in business, so that’s the approach we decided to take. I shared my story of  how, when I focused on one item at a time on a long to-do list, I was finally able to complete items in a short period. Ingafay agreed that doing one thing at a time is more productive.

We discussed how getting distracted can feel rewarding, but you don’t get much done. And it can cause you to seek out more distractions. Oddly enough, one hour of focused time is equivalent to many more hours of distracted time.

I shared 4 steps that anyone can use to develop the skill of focus. One of those steps was to take breaks after a period of concentration to give the mind time to recover. Ingafay asked if a break could be like doing household chores and I said, “Yes.”

At the end of the podcast, she asked me about something I’d mentioned  when we’d had our first conversation. She asked, “Can you talk again about introverts and extroverts?” I explained that introverts and extroverts need different types of stimulation to focus for productivity. Extroverts work best around other people and introverts work best alone. I shared how a friend had tried me to work her way, and I couldn’t. I really enjoyed talking with Ingafay and wished we had more time. We both have the mission to lift women up, support and empower them to have better lives. Women have the power to fulfill their dreams.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Uphold Your Boundaries for Greater Self-Worth

Uphold Your Boundaries for Greater Self-Worth

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Traffic light that signals both stop and go

When I was a child, I didn’t agree with the phrase, “Give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile,” when referring to how people treat you. I believed that people were kind and would treat others the way they’d want to be treated. As an adult, I learned this wasn’t always true. I’ve encountered many people who tried to take advantage of, or dominate, me.

Originally, I’d explain my boundaries because I expected my limits to be respected. But over and over again, people ignored my limits and steamrolled over them. As I became older and wiser, I realized that the phrase should often be, “Give them a millimeter and they’ll take your soul.”

Boundaries vs. Barriers

There’s a difference between boundaries and barriers. Barriers are walls based on fear of getting hurt, getting too close, or being exploited. Barriers are designed to keep people away. These barricades were probably developed because of painful experiences you had in the past. Unfortunately, barriers don’t just keep others out. They imprison you and prevent you from having your best life. And you deserve the best that the Universe has to offer.

Boundaries are the limits you set on the kind of treatment you’ll allow from another person. This person can be someone you know socially, personally or professionally. These limits define where you leave off and the other person begins. In Universal mind, we are all one. But on the physical plane, we are separate individuals. You have your values and rights, and they have theirs. They’re not entitled to impose on you or vice versa.

Your boundaries are a function of your sense of self-worth, values and self-respect. If you lack these, then you may be allowing people to demean or abuse you. Boundaries are established from a position of strength, assurance, and self-value. They ensure that your rights are respected when people get close to you. They install a sense of safety for you, as well as for the other person. They know where your lines are drawn, and that they must respect them or suffer the consequences.

How to Establish Boundaries

It’s not easy to set and keep boundaries. There are some people who will continue to push against your boundaries to test them, no matter what you say. Others will honor them. But it’s your responsibility to make sure your limits are upheld by the following:

Decide what you’ll tolerate. It’s best to make this determination before the situation arises. Will you allow someone to tease you unmercifully if they’re a family member? What if they’re a boss or a client? Figure out the characteristics of good and bad clients, coworkers, and friends and set your intention to the Law of Attraction to attract positive people. A signal that a boundary has been breached is if you feel uncomfortable with certain interactions. As much as possible, avoid those who continually violate your boundaries.

Stand up for your rights. You have a right to be treated with dignity. Learn to say, “No,” or “Enough,” to those who are uncivil, discourteous or rude. Most people are simply trying to get their needs met. The ones who take advantage are simply trying to get their needs met at your expense. Realize their behavior isn’t yours to fix. It’s their problem and only they can change it. They may not choose to because it’s been getting them what they want. The Universe doesn’t ask that you be a martyr to people to make them feel better.

Consequences. How will you handle behavior that goes past your limit? You can’t change other people. But you can insist that they treat you the way you want. If they don’t, then decide ahead of time what the consequences will be if they don’t. What are you willing to do? Actions speak louder than words. Don’t use a repercussion as an empty threat or manipulation. Both will fail. Instead, state the potential result if they disregard your boundary again, and if they do it anyway, take follow through on your warning. If they refuse to respect you, it’s appropriate to close the door on any future interaction with them. The Universe will find other people that are better for you.

The Result of Establishing Boundaries

Eventually, the people who tried to intimidate me left my life, either through their choice or mine. It’s not easy to establish and maintain boundaries, but it’s certainly better than letting people abuse you. When you set boundaries, you train people how you expect to be treated. And you instruct the Law of Attraction about the kind of people to draw into your life. People will respect you more, disappear or you’ll let them go, depending on the situation. By standing up for yourself, you’re building self-confidence, authenticity and courage. And best of all, you will retain your soul.

Affirmation:

The Universe wants the best for me and I deserve the best that Life has to offer. I am worthy of being treated well in all of my relationships. I have the right to decide how I want to be treated, and to insist that I be treated that way. The Universe completely supports me as I establish my boundaries. As I uphold my boundaries, the Law of Attraction brings me people who will respect them.

As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women entrepreneurs and small business owners to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, wellbeing and prosperity. To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, register for her FREE training video and accompanying action planning guide at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

“I open my consciousness to a greater acceptance of the good that the Universe has in store for me. The Universal Mind is the only Presence and Power there is and governs my life. All of good is with me, right here and right now, as I rest in the knowledge that I am one with the Infinite.”

All the good you could ever want is already available to you. Let go of the ideas, beliefs and attitudes that have blocked it from expressing in your life. As you begin to open your mind to the possibilities, you’re clearing the channels for good to flow more freely. Rather than keeping your focus on what you don’t have, lift your consciousness to view a greater potential. And then be willing to receive more good.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

The Necessity Of Boundaries

The Necessity Of Boundaries

by Linda-Ann Stewart

In my hypnotherapy practice, when a client would come to see me with self-esteem issues, I’d discuss the topic of “boundaries” with them. Some of my clients had never even heard of the idea of boundaries and I had to explain it to them. “Boundaries are like limits you would set with a child,” I’d say, “telling them not to touch the stove, for their own safety. Or not to hit their sibling.” Most of my clients could relate to that.

However, the idea of telling an adult how to treat them could be a foreign concept. “But they should know how to treat me,” my client might say. This is true, but people have different ideas of how to treat each other. And everyone has their own agenda to make them feel more comfortable. Unless you are direct and clear about what you’ll accept and what you won’t accept, the other person won’t know.

What Are Your Current Boundaries?

Boundaries are an important part of life. Think of the boundaries you have now. You wouldn’t allow someone to reach into your pocket or purse and steal your money without complaining. You’ve drawn the line there. Where are some of your other boundaries? In personal relationships and friendships, what kind of limits have you set? Do you allow friends or loved ones to put you down, beat you, take advantage of you? If so, this is an area in which you need to strengthen your boundaries.

When I was little, my parents taught me that having boundaries was a good thing. But as I got into school and made friends, having boundaries meant that I wouldn’t be liked. When a friend hit me and I complained to her mother, the mom told me that I had to forgive her daughter and continue playing with her. The mom encouraged my feelings of compassion for her daughter so that I wouldn’t reject her. From that, I learned to let people walk all over me. 

Why Boundaries Are Necessary

Without boundaries, we allow the world to treat us as they want to. Not as we expect to be treated, but in ways that are convenient for them. Boundaries are necessary for our safety, and to teach others how we expect to be treated. If we don’t teach people to value us, then we have only ourselves to blame when they take advantage of us. A boundary is the communication of how we choose to be treated, and what the consequences are if we’re not treated that way. Sometimes, you don’t even have to state it as long as you have it firmly planted in your consciousness. Your attitude will communicate it clearly.

When I began setting boundaries and standing up for them, it was scary. The people who didn’t value me began to leave my life. In any relationship, when one person changes, then the relationship itself changes. My “friends” weren’t willing to change with the relationship. But then I started attracting people to me who treated me the way I wanted to be treated. And I didn’t have to tell them how. Since I’d gotten it clear in my mind that I wouldn’t be browbeaten anymore (boundary), and if I was I’d end the relationship no matter how much I cared about the person (consequence), that commitment to my well-being communicated itself.

Boundaries Are Your Right and Responsibility

You have a right to establish the standards by which you choose to be treated. The Universe gave you that right by your having been born. You don’t have to accept treatment that devalues you as a person or as an expression of the Universe. You also have a responsibility to yourself, to the Universe, and to the other person to decide on your boundaries. If you don’t, then you’re allowing other people to choose how you will be treated and you’re at their mercy. By setting and maintaining boundaries, you’re accepting the responsibility for your well being. Boundaries demonstrate that you value yourself and that you value the relationship enough to create a secure environment in which it can grow.

Affirmation:

I have a right and responsibility to myself and the Universe to establish meaningful boundaries. I deserve to be treated well, with respect. If my boundaries are violated, I have the right to act on the consequences that I’ve decided on to keep myself safe and secure. I do this with compassion for the other person, but also with compassion for myself because my well being is more important than someone else’s convenience.

As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women entrepreneurs and small business owners to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, wellbeing and prosperity. To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, register for her FREE training video and accompanying action planning guide at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Podcast Interview – Thrive Through Greater Self-Worth

Podcast Interview – Thrive Through Greater Self-Worth

Emmalou Penrod M.A., of Healing Your Families, and I were introduced by a mutual acquaintance. In our initial conversation, we realized we had something in common. We both had been trained to use hypnosis to improve people’s lives! She’s a retired schoolteacher, and now coaches families to have more peaceful homes. She’s a parenting and family strengthening expert, and brings her knowledge of counseling to help heal families.

As we talked, we had such a connection that she invited me to be interviewed on her podcast at WinWinWomen.tv. Although family issues aren’t my professional area of expertise, one topic that affects everyone is self-worth. My specialties as a hypnotherapist were stress management, success programming and self-esteem/self-worth issues. Since Emmalou and I agreed that having better self-worth made better parents, we decided that would be a great topic to cover.

In the interview, we began by talking about how I became a focus coach for women small business owners. I explained that women tend to be scattered because of all their responsibilities. It’s difficult for them to focus for any length of time on any one thing. But focus is necessary to accomplish anything.

Then Emmalou asked about the opposite of focus, “What do you think of multitasking?”

“Multitasking” is a myth,” I answered, and explained why. She said she’d heard it described as “a lie,” which is also true. Multitasking keeps your brain fractured between all the different tasks. It breaks your train of thought, so you can’t build up momentum on any project or task.

This led into discussing the difference between self-esteem and self-worth. Self-esteem can be impacted by outside variables and self-worth is more internal and fundamental. And both are impacted by having a strong inner critic. Emmalou liked my perspective on the inner critic not being a bad guy, but fulfilling a role that a person has outgrown.

Emmalou asked how a person could improve their self-worth. I answered that being kinder to oneself and being mindful helped to support and build self-worth. At the end of the conversation, I shared three simple steps on how to be kinder to yourself.

Because of Emmalou’s background, expertise and knowledge, I loved talking with her about this subject. I could have gone on for hours, but we had to fit into the podcast’s time frame. But I have articles on this topic here and on my website to help you reclaim your worth. And Emmalou has articles on her blog to help you become a better person, and thus, a better parent.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

“4 Ways To Allow Your Inner Wisdom To Help You”

“4 Ways To Allow Your Inner Wisdom To Help You”

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Our culture considers asking for help a sign of weakness. You’re supposed to be able to take care of things by yourself. And most people were taught that “God helps those who help themselves,” which discourages turning even to God for assistance. So, you work to become self-reliant and try to bootstrap your way through the challenges of your life without any assistance.

But there’s a place where you can always go for help. Within you, there’s an innate core of creativity and resourcefulness that’s available for you to call upon. Most people don’t turn to it because our culture also doesn’t trust anything it can’t control. And you certainly can’t predict how instinct or intuition work.

Inner Guidance

Although you may not actively seek out inner guidance, you often tap into your instinct without realizing it. Whenever you have a gut response or a hunch, you’ve accessed it. You may get a sense that the person you’re dealing with isn’t trustworthy. Or you have an impulse not to take that particular route home. These are the types of incidents that cause you to automatically access your instinct.

Your instinct generally catches your attention through a physical or emotional feeling. Some people are more tuned into it than others. It’s very basic, and operates on an unconscious level. Instinct’s main drive is to keep you safe and help you survive.

Instinct is something you’re born with. But you can also draw on your intuition, which comes from your knowledge and experience. Intuition can be developed and be a valuable tool for guidance or to help you discover solutions. It’s simply letting the subconscious mind satisfy one of its essential purposes, to solve problems.

Whenever you need some direction or guidance, you can always ask your own inner creative power for help. It’s always willing, available and functioning. As you begin to listen, you’ll notice an idea come to mind, a word, a sense, or a slight urge in a specific direction. It may take awhile for the subconscious to come up with a solution, but since its always working, it will find one.

Access Inner Wisdom

Here are some ways to begin accessing and developing this valuable wisdom:

1. Ask for help, a solution or direction from your inner wisdom. A good way to do this is to write down the request. Then, ask about it several times a day, and let it go each time. This keeps the request at the top of the subconscious mind’s “To do” list, and lets it know that the issue is important. Answers may come when least expected, such as when your mind is occupied with something else. Be open to any ideas or promptings that might come and write them down.

2. Before bed, ask a question and forget about it. Then, “Sleep on it.” This allows the creative mind to mull over the request while you’re in slumber. In the morning, when you’re awake, an answer or at least a possibility to follow will probably present itself. If not, ask again that night.

3. Whenever receiving an answer, idea, sense, or hunch, acknowledge it. Even deciding not to act on the concept recognizes the impulse and validates it.  Valuing the creative mind’s efforts gives it permission and power to ponder the issue even more. French philosopher Theodore Simon Jouffroy said, “The subconscious mind will not take the trouble to work for those who do not believe in it.”  The subconscious needs to know that it’s being listened to and trusted.

4. Use your conscious mind to evaluate the idea and decide if it’s appropriate or fits the situation. The subconscious isn’t going to be right on target every time. It may come up with ideas that are close, but won’t actually work. Let your subconscious mind know if it’s on the right track or not. If it’s not, get more specific to allow your creative mind find a more suitable solution. But if it’s close and just needs more refinement, give your subconscious more information as to what is right about the idea and what doesn’t work. Then start the process over again.

This is a practice. You’re developing an unconscious awareness to be able to use it deliberately for conscious insight. By doing so, you can then take inspired action. And just as when you’re cultivating any skill, the more you use it, the stronger and more accurate it’ll become.

Affirmation

My intuition is a resource I can call upon for guidance and help. It’s a natural ability that I can develop as I use it. I’m simply tapping into my subconscious mind’s essential purpose to solve problems. I pay attention to any sense, prompting, idea or hunch that arises. As I listen to it and take the impressions seriously, the stronger and more accurate it is. I trust that my subconscious mind has the knowledge to direct me to the Divine Right solution.

As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women entrepreneurs and small business owners to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, wellbeing and prosperity.To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, register for her FREE training video and accompanying action planning guide at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

How Are You Programming Your Inner GPS?

How Are You Programming Your Inner GPS?

You have an inner GPS that guides you to your goal or vision, just as an external GPS will tell you the route to take to a destination. You program your inner GPS either deliberately or inadvertently, and it will keep you on course or take you off it. But you can correct its course by staying aware of your direction. Learn the 3 things to stay aware of as you progress towards your vision, and how they program your inner GPS.

Transcript:

I’m sure you know what a GPS or Global Positioning System is, right? It’s a device that you use, usually in a car, to direct you to your destination. You decide where you want to end up, program that into the GPS, and it calculates the best route to get you there. Then, step by step, the GPS tells you the route to take.

You also have an inner GPS that you program to guide you to a goal you select. Your inner GPS operates on the vision of what you want, and then your GPS figures out how to get you there. Very similar process to the GPS you use in your vehicle.

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a focus coach. I’d like to share the 3 things, after your vision that you use to program your inner GPS.

What if you’re not keeping your attention on your vision? Maybe you’re afraid you won’t be able to achieve it, or you get distracted by something else along the way. Your GPS operates on where you aim your attention.

There’s a saying, “Energy flows where attention goes.” If your attention strays from your vision, you have effectively reprogrammed your inner GPS to wherever you’re redirecting your focus. It may or may not be where you’ve consciously chosen to go.

You can determine whether or not you’re on course to your vision. You’ll have landmarks, or goals, along the way that you know you should be passing or achieving. If you find you’re off course, check if you’ve unknowingly changed your GPS’s programming.

1. Where has your attention been? Has it been on your desired destination or on something else? Have you not been keeping your attention on where you want to go, or have you been distracted?

2. What’s your attitude about your vision? Do you want it badly enough to work towards it? Or are you afraid of the changes it would bring? 

3. What actions have you been taking? Are they ones that propel you towards your vision or to some other destination?

Constantly monitor your attention, attitudes and actions, which all combine to program your inner GPS with your vision. When you assess them and they’re all aligned, then your inner GPS will keep you on course to your destination.

To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, watch my FREE training video, Set Your Course to Success. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com

Thank you for watching. Stay focused.

Read the accompanying article, Update Your Internal GPS to Reach Your Vision.

Podcast Interview – Improve Your Focus

Podcast Interview – Improve Your Focus

I had a lovely conversation with Marybeth Welty of Sustainable Lifestyle Solutions on how to Improve Your Focus and Overcome Shiny Object Syndrome. As an interior designer, she helps create calm and inspiring home and office spaces. In addition to her design work, she also teaches mindfulness and leads guided meditations, both of which are dear to my heart. Her mission is to encourage healthy minds and healthy homes.

In my work with clients, I empower women to be present and aware of their choices and decisions, which comes from being mindful. As we talked about what I do, we discussed how her mindfulness training and my work intersect. It’s so important to think things through and discover new solutions from a point of peace.

In our conversation, we covered what can cause the Shiny Object Syndrome and the problems that result from it. For one thing, it creates stress, which means you can’t think clearly. In a way, multitasking is a part of the syndrome. We agreed that any benefits from multitasking are a myth. Not only do you not finish anything, but you end the day feeling exhausted. Getting distracted by Shiny Objects is a symptom that something is amiss in your business.

We talked about how focus is a skill that you can develop. Mindfulness helps to cultivate focus. And as we discussed the Shiny Object Syndrome, Marybeth was surprised that allowing yourself to get distracted means you’re training your brain to seek more distractions. Distractions and paying attention to something new lights up the reward circuit in your brain. Since it feels good, you pursue more distractions. But it ultimately sabotages you, since nothing gets accomplished.

We exchanged stories about our own difficulties with staying focused. At the end, I shared 5 steps to overcome the Shiny Object Syndrome, with first being to take some deep breaths to calm down your nervous system so you can think clearly. Once you’ve done that, only then you can seek some clarity and get focused.

Marybeth is a calming and tranquil presence. I really enjoyed spending time with her and be able to chat about subjects that are near and dear to both of us.

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

When you begin to change and take your power back, there may be a rebound effect from your environment. Some people probably won’t like the changes and will escalate their demands on you. They could even try to manipulate or shame you. This is an attempt to get you back the way you were, so they have some control over you. When you change, you also change the dynamics of the relationship so that there’s more balance in it for you. Realize that this response is normal. As you persist, things will settle down with a greater sense of ease for you.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart