Browsed by
Category: Article

The Power of Perspective

The Power of Perspective

by Linda-Ann

My mother was an incredible life and spiritual coach. Whenever I’d get upset, she’d ask, “Will this matter in five years? If not, let it go.” She always advised me to take a long term perspective on life.

If I had an argument with a boyfriend, and it wasn’t a fundamental problem in the relationship, she urged me to move on. When I was unhappy over giving a less than stellar presentation, she recommended that I learn from it and focus on the next one. If the issue would be insignificant in five years, she figured that it wasn’t worth getting stressed over it in the present.

Sage Advice

Her advice can be used for most disappointments you deal with. Put the situation into perspective by determining how big an impact it’s going to have in your life in a few years. If you’ll barely remember it, then learn what you can from it and put it behind you. Focus on what’s next for you and allow that vision to pull you forward.

You Have the Power of Perspective

Even if you have a major problem in your life, your perspective can make it better or worse.  Robert Schuller said, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” You have control over how you respond to any situation. If you continue to ruminate over something that happened, or hold onto resentment over it, then you’ll have a hard time recovering.

You can become bitter if you get stuck in suffering. Focusing on a negative event can create a habit of focusing on what you don’t have. This can lead to making decisions that aren’t in your best interests in an attempt to avoid pain.

However, when you choose to find a way to overcome a circumstance, you can improve the quality of your life. A crisis can lead to opportunities you never would have noticed, thought of seeking out or taken advantage of.

Divorce, a lost job, a house burning down all can lead to something better if you keep your options open. First, acknowledge the loss and allow yourself to grieve. Then, switch your attention to what resources you have to create a new experience. Set your subconscious and the Law of Attraction to scan your life for opportunities. In a few months or a year, you could be in a much better position than you are today.

Consider the Outcome

Consider how different your life could be in five years.

  • Will the current setback still be a major stumbling block?
  • If so, how can you turn it into a launching pad?
  • How much will the situation matter in five years?
  • What can you do to improve the situation?

Your attitude and authority over the situation will determine how it will affect your life, for better or worse. When you take a longer term view of circumstances, you’ll have the strength and ability to triumph. And you’ll have less wear and tear on your psyche.

Affirmation:

The Universe wants the best for me. When an unpleasant or upsetting situation arises, I determine to put it into perspective. The Universe provides me with everything I need to triumph over the issue. I keep my mind and heart open for Divine Guidance. I declare that only good comes to me as a result of what’s happened.

Watch the accompanying video, A Tip on How to Endure a Rough Day.

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.

Learn To Say “No”

Learn To Say “No”

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Years ago, I got caught up in too many outside activities. During this period, I was assistant secretary of a community organization that planned a yearly event, the secretary of a creative group that held a yearly contest, a member of an artist’s co-operative, attended classes, acted in community theater, and wrote publicity articles for the same community theater.

I was so stressed that I got very little sleep and my health began to suffer. Finally, I began backing out of some of the responsibilities. For the first time in my life, I had to tell people “No, I can’t do it anymore.” The head of the community theater group pleaded with me to continue writing articles, because “There’s no one else available.” I stuck to my guns, even though it was excruciatingly hard. And I learned that I wasn’t irreplaceable. Someone else did step in and write the articles.

An Important Skill

Learning when to say “no” is an important skill. For if you don’t establish what you can do and what you choose not to do, the world will take advantage of you. You have a right to say “no.” In life, there are always choices. When I wanted to be able to sleep and be healthier, I had to cut some activities out of my life. I then focused on a couple of activities that I felt were most important to me. In another situation, a person may decide they want to go hiking instead of going to a family dinner with their parents. You sometimes have to choose between what others’ want from you and what it is that you really want to do.

When I realized that I was resenting my involvement in so many organizations, I knew I had to let some go. I wasn’t doing myself any good. And even though individually they were activities that I enjoyed, I couldn’t give them my best. In learning to say “no,” I stated to the Universe, and to the world, what I was saying “yes” to. You can do the same. By saying “no” to some things or people, you’re saying “yes” to yourself and to the things that you choose to experience in your life.

Affirmation:

I know that I always have choices to make in my life. Sometimes, I must choose between equally enjoyable situations. In other cases, I must decide whether to please myself or others. I now give myself permission to say “no” to conditions in my life that drag me down or that aren’t of benefit to me at the present time. I realize that as I say “no” to some circumstances that I resent, I’m saying “yes” to myself and to what I really want to experience.

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.

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.

“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.

Update Your Internal GPS to Reach Your Vision

Update Your Internal GPS to Reach Your Vision

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Compass

You’ve probably used a GPS (Global Positioning System) in your car to find your way to a destination. You input your current location, then input your destination, and let the GPS decide the best way to get you there. The GPS tells you the best route to your location.

But the GPS isn’t always accurate. For instance, when repair people use their external GPS to find our house, they usually end up on the other side of town and have to call us for directions. A vehicle’s GPS often is wrong, based on old or incomplete information, and eventually will have to recalculate when new data becomes available.

How Your Internal GPS Functions

Some people say that we have an internal GPS that guides us to reach a goal, and that all we have to do is follow its directions. It’s true we have an internal guidance system, but it isn’t always accurate, any more than an external GPS is always accurate. This inner GPS motivates your decisions and actions. And you may have incorrect or outdated information in your subconscious mind that influences your internal GPS.

Your subconscious mind is the interface between the Universe and your conscious mind. Even though you’re always getting accurate guidance from the Universe, your subconscious filters it through its programming. The message you receive from the Universe may be garbled due to old programming and you don’t understand it clearly.

You can’t follow a GPS’ (internal or external) directions blindly. Without monitoring, old data may detour you, take you down a dead end, or guide you off a cliff. Literally. For example, my husband used to work in a mountain town nearby. Many times, a customer would come into his place of business and would tell him that their GPS had directed them incorrectly. The GPS had said to go left, which would have driven them off a cliff, instead of right, up the road to his business.

Using Your Internal GPS

Instead of mindlessly following directions, with either an internal or external GPS, stay present as to where you’re going and what you’re doing. Be mindful of what turns or steps you’re being guided to take. Engage your rational mind to check and confirm you’re still going in the right direction. There’s an old saying, “Trust, but verify.” You have chosen a destination, and you also have the responsibility to check if the next step is moving you in the right direction. .

If your inner GPS is prompting you to avoid a path, like taking a long detour, this may be old programming based on fear. That’s not intuition or guidance from your internal GPS. Avoidance can be an old idea that is trying to keep you safe in a situation that you’ve outgrown. Only you can determine if it’s warning you of a current danger or if it’s from the past.

Maybe you’re attracted by something new that may sidetrack or delay you from your vision. This could be for your wellbeing or your subconscious is using the detour to sabotage you. You may need more resources or knowledge before you can reach your vision. Or it could be that your subconscious considers your route threatening. Again, it’s up to you to figure out whether the delay helps or hinders you.

Updating Your GPS

It’s always important to assess your mindset about your goal or vision. Your mindset isn’t just about positive thinking, but about how you feel about yourself, your life, and your vision. Do you believe your vision is possible? Are you procrastinating taking action? If so, why? Do you have any resistance to achieving your goal? Are there any old beliefs that are holding you back? Updating your mindset so that it aligns with your vision will ensure your GPS can calculate the best route for you.

As you address each of these areas, your GPS may gain new information and need to course correct to get you to your vision. Keep your thoughts positive, take action and stay focused on your vision and you’ll stay on course. Your internal GPS will recalculate as needed to update its directions to find you the clearest path to your destination.

Affirmation:

I am being guided at all times by the still, small voice of Infinite Mind. I open my mind and heart to clearly hear that guidance. The Universe supports me to accomplish my goal or vision. Any old idea that restricts my path is outdated and now dissolves in the light of day. I keep my mind inspired and uplifted, make wise decisions and take effective action to achieve my dream.

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.

Listening To Your Intuition

Listening To Your Intuition

by Linda-Ann Stewart

A while back, I was lunching with someone who stated that she didn’t want to get between one of my friends and myself. I almost blurted out, “Since when?” Many years prior, that’s exactly what she’d tried to do. But I caught myself before the statement came out of my mouth. I reminded myself that she’d changed in the ensuing years, and that she was just trying to be helpful. I mistook my intuition for old information and second-guessed myself. A few months later, I found out that my initial spontaneous response was correct.

Intuition Is a Natural Ability

We’re born with the natural ability to instinctively know when someone is lying to us, when they’re trustworthy, when they’re threatening. But many people grow up in hostile environments, with family’s who erode that knowledge. For instance, in an alcoholic home, the child may recognize that Papa gets nasty and sleepy when he drinks that smelly stuff, but Mama says, “No, Papa’s just tired.” Since the grownup knows more, the child ignores his/her judgment. Parents may insist that no one outside of the immediate family can be trusted and the child shouldn’t tell anyone what goes on in the home. As children, we look to authorities to confirm or deny our truths to help us learn discernment.

The instinct of who to trust is still there in all of us, buried and ignored. It’s been called the “Still, small voice,” and is always whispering to us. Most of the time we don’t hear it, mistake it for something else, or our fears override it. Learning to tune into it again takes practice.

Fear Isn’t Intuition

In my experience, if you experience obsessive thoughts about a situation, such as “He always lies,” or “They’re going to steal my idea,” that’s not intuition, but old information trying to protect you. The subconscious is comparing the current situation to a past condition. The concerns may or may not be correct, depending on the circumstances. But generally it’s just mind chatter, coming from past fears.

However, if you have an instinctive response, as I did, to a situation, then I’d suggest you pay attention. Investigate further if you have a nagging feeling that won’t go away that something just isn’t right. A visceral, physical response to something going on is a definite sign. Having nightmares, tense muscles, anxiety, intestinal upsets, or frequently getting sick may begin to happen if you ignore the signals. This is the intuition getting more serious and forceful in its attempts to get noticed.

How to Determine What the Message Is

Once you identify that something has caught the attention of your intuition, begin using your analytical mind. Is everything that’s going on congruent? Do the person’s actions and statements match? Are they contradicting themselves, or what you know to be true? When you discuss the situation, do you feel satisfied with their responses, and how they treat your concerns, or are you still uneasy?

Ask the Universe for clarity. It’s amazing, once you do that, how often the truth comes out. But you have to be open to what you hear, because sometimes the answer will mean you have to make some hard choices. And there are also times when the more positive answer is harder to believe in the light of our old experiences.

Practice Being Guided

One way to learn to discriminate between your fears, logic and intuition is to begin asking to be guided in different ways. For instance, ask what you need to wear that day, what order you should do your errands, what route should you take to work, etc. You’ll begin to notice that sometimes you’ll be guided to do something out of the ordinary that proves to be of benefit to you.

As you learn to distinguish between your rational mind and intuitive promptings, you’ll be better able to pay attention to your instinct and let it direct and protect you. It’s always there, whispering into your mind. Tuning into your intuition will help you live a safer, smoother and more harmonious life.

Affirmation:

The Universe is guiding me at every moment of time and every point of space. It is always whispering to me. My intuition comes from that soft voice flowing through my subconscious. I have a true instinct of who is trustworthy, and when there is danger. I can now distinguish between my rational mind, my fears, old concerns and my intuition giving me relevant guidance. The Universe now provides me with clarity about any situation and I am able to correctly recognize the awareness.

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.

Simple Steps to Positive Change

Simple Steps to Positive Change

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Breaking chains so you can take simple steps to positive change

Have you ever wanted to make an improvement in your life, but avoided taking the necessary steps to do so? Maybe you wanted to lose weight, start an exercise program, uplevel your business or learn a new skill. Instead of taking action, you shifted your attention to something easier or more immediate. You don’t do this deliberately. It’s an unconscious response to change.

Change is scary, even if it’s a good change. If there’s change, you don’t know what the new situation might demand, or what it would require of you. To the subconscious mind, change is a threat. Your subconscious wants to keep you safe, by keeping your life the way it is. But the nature of life and the Universe is progression. Therefore, if you’re not progressing, then life and the Universe is passing you by and you’re actually being left behind.

Ways You May Be Avoiding Change

You may unconsciously be concerned about whether you can successfully achieve your goal or uncertain you could handle the change. As a result, your subconscious mind creatively finds ways to keep you stuck in a rut by doing some of the following.

Makes excuses. You find reasons why it’s not a good time or you’re not ready to make the commitment to take action. Examine your excuses to become aware of what they’re really telling you.

Sticks to old habits. You created habits to serve you in the past. But they may be outdated and not working for you now. Assess your habits to learn whether they’re currently beneficial and if they’ll support or sabotage your new desire.

Distracts you. You find other, more immediate things to do, rather than taking steps to your new goal. Distractions come in small and large sizes. If you’re having other issues grabbing your attention, ask yourself how dedicated you are to moving forward.

How to Break Through to Your Goal

Becoming aware that you’re holding yourself back is your first step. Once you’ve identified the way you’re holding yourself back, the second step is to uncover the reasons why you’re keeping yourself from your stated desire. What’s the underlying belief? Is that attitude still valid today or not? That belief is probably a remnant from your past that you can update to reflect who you are now.

Your next step is to think from the position of having already achieved your stated goal. How would it feel to have it in your life? How would you act? What would and wouldn’t you be doing? What new habits would you need to develop? What decisions would you be making?

And your last step is to start taking action towards your goal. As you begin to shift and move forward, other beliefs will change, as will your self-image. They must keep up with the new ideas that you’ve incorporated into your life. When one area changes, others change as well.

Why You Must Be Determined

That’s why your subconscious mind is reluctant to help you, unless you’re firmly dedicated to your goal and vision. Your subconscious knows how much of inner landscape will change. But when you convince it that you are committed and confident that you can handle your goal, your subconscious and the Universe will support your endeavor.

Become aware you’re holding yourself back, assess how you’re doing it, examine why, consider how your lifestyle would change, and then take action. Those are the steps that will take you where you want to go.

Affirmation:

The Universe wants the best for me, and for me to grow and expand. I allow myself to flow with Life and progress. Anything that might hold me back is simply an outdated remnant of the past. I joyously release old ideas that no longer serve me. Only good goes forth from me and returns to me.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Imagery to Break Through to Your Goal.

[suffusion-the-author display=’description’]

4 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

4 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Procrastination Clock

It’s the night before a project is due, and you haven’t even started on it. Now, you’re going to have to stay up most of the night to get it done. You make the excuse that you always do your best work under pressure. But really, is that true? Wouldn’t you have done a better job if you’d put the project together earlier, when you were well rested and then fleshed it out? And now, you’ll have a sleepless night and be tired when you turn in the project.

Procrastination is a major cause of stress and anxiety, and lowers the standard of your work. You may miss deadlines and, as a result, undermine others’ respect of you. In addition, this habit reduces your productivity, effectiveness and can cost you money. The chore you’re trying to ignore is always in the back of your mind, taking up emotional and spiritual energy. If you’re like most people, you probably feel guilty and beat yourself up when you avoid a task.

Reasons Why You Procrastinate

Most of us procrastinate to some degree or other, but there are some to whom this is a destructive and chronic habit. To address the issue, you must become aware that it exists, and why it’s a problem for you. The following are some reasons you may be procrastinating.

Resistance. It’s not a task you want to do, so you put it off until the last minute. Because the chore is boring or time consuming, you resent that you must complete it.

Perfectionism. You wait to gather as much information as you can, and hope to find the inspiration to put it all together. But because you never get everything you hope for, you delay starting the task until the deadline looms. 

Fear. You’re not sure how to proceed or to get it done. You don’t believe you have the knowledge or skills to do it effectively.

Overwhelm. It’s a huge task, and you don’t know how to get started, or the scope of the issue is overwhelming you.

Disorganized. You don’t have all your notes or details together. Or maybe, you’re often interrupted so you don’t have time to pull everything together.

Uncertain. You don’t know what to do, so you put off making any decisions or taking any action until you have no other choice.

Ways to Overcome Procrastination

Procrastination is a choice. You decide to put something off, something that’s unpleasant, so you focus on something less important, and easier. Once you recognize your issue, you can find solutions.

Break the chore into smaller pieces. Outline what you must do to get the project done. Make sure each item on the list is bite-sized and easy to manage. Being able to handle small pieces will lower your stress and anxiety.

Schedule the chores. Put each small task on your calendar and make sure to keep your appointment with yourself. Each time you can mark one task done, you’ll get a surge of good feelings because the reward center of your brain is triggered. This gives you motivation to keep your next appointment.

Prioritize your lists. If you have a to-do list (as most of us do), prioritize the items and schedule them in accordance with their importance. Again, as you accomplish them, your brain receives a reward and you have a stronger incentive to repeat your action.

Dedicate 5-minutes. If you really feel overwhelmed or resistant, set aside just five minutes to work on your chore. It’s easier to dip your toe into the pool than to dive in head first. This will allow you to chip away at the tasks, and feel productive. If five minutes becomes easy, extend it to ten or fifteen.

Procrastination is a habit that developed in your life over time. The habit won’t be overcome in a day or a week. It took time to create it, and it will take time to break it. Breaking it takes time, dedication, consistency and focus. When you realize that you have the choice to procrastinate or take action, then you’re empowered to choose what’s in your best interest.

Affirmation:

At every moment, I’m Divinely guided with every step I take. As I take a step, the Universe ensures the next one appears. The Universe provides me with everything I need to complete my tasks. I am confident, inspired, uplifted and empowered to take action and fulfill my goals.  

Watch the accompanying video, 3 Tips to Overcome Procrastination.

[suffusion-the-author display=’description’]

Take Charge of Your Life by Living with Intention

Take Charge of Your Life by Living with Intention

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Plane flying

Most people live on autopilot. They routinely think and behave in the same way day after day. If a situation comes up, they unconsciously act as they’ve done in the past. They go through their lives without taking the time to consider what they’re doing. And because they simply react to circumstances, the overall condition of their life rarely changes.

When you react, you’re reinforcing Einstein’s definition of insanity, “Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.” For your life to improve, you have to change your thoughts and beliefs first. Even if you try to change your situation, it will return to what you’ve experienced in the past unless you shift your attitude.

How to Stay in a Self-Sabotaging Rut

For instance, Sara was a graphic artist. In a proposal early in her career, her estimate to complete a project that was too long for the client, so they went elsewhere. Because of her inexperience, she didn’t realize that their requirement was entirely unreasonable. But from that time on, she was afraid that if she didn’t offer to do the work in a ridiculously short amount of time, she’d lose the job and have very little business.

So she gave completion estimates that she’d barely be able to meet, even if they were her only client. Since she regularly missed her deadlines, she got a reputation of being late with her work. Of course, she lost business because of this, yet she never changed her protocol. Her fear of losing work became a self-fulfilling prophecy. She continued to react to a previous situation, never changed her policy and continued to lose business.

By reacting, you behave the same way you have in the past, which keeps you right where you are, just like what happened to Sara. And you’re acting out of the same mindset, generally one of fear, anger, or sadness. This negative space isn’t a good place to act or make decisions from. As one of my mentor’s said, “Fear isn’t a guidance system.” It won’t bring you the results you want.

How to Change Your Results

Only by intentionally choosing your thoughts and actions will you be able to change your results. It’s not an easy path, but it’s more rewarding and will create better outcomes. To do so, you have to stay aware of what’s transpiring, and not give into impulse.

If Sara had been more aware of her actions and their consequences, she would have chosen more realistic time estimates for projects. It would have been scary at first. She would have had to face down her fears. But she would have gotten more confident as customers approved her proposals and were happy with the end product being delivered on time.

When you live with intention, it means that you’re choosing to respond to situations rather than react to them. You’re being more deliberate and aware with your thoughts and actions. When a situation arises, you’re proactive, thinking your words and actions through. This puts you in the captain’s seat of your life.

How to Become Mindful

The first step is to become mindful of what thoughts you focus on, because they develop into your beliefs. Your beliefs shape how you feel and how you act. For instance, depending on whether you feel comfortable with accepting a compliment or not, you’ll either be delighted or deflect it.

Your second step is to become aware of how you habitually react to specific situations. Does it get you the results you want? If you feel defensive and attack whenever anyone questions you on your work, does this help your career to progress? Or would being open to constructive suggestions help more? Assess whether your reactions are helpful or sabotaging you.

The third step is to consciously choose and implement your new response. When a coworker asks you to lunch, instead of isolating yourself at your desk, go with them. This step gets tougher when crises come up and you don’t take the moment or two to remember your intention. But with practice, this will become easier.

Living with Intention

This is living with intention. You’re being responsive, aware of your choices and purposely choosing your actions. Jack Kornfield, author and Buddhism teacher, said, “Intention leads to behaviors which lead to habits, which lead to personality development which leads to destiny.”

Be deliberate about your thoughts, words, and deeds. You’ll get better results. Instead of riding helplessly in a rudderless boat, at the whim of the wind and water, take the helm. By living with intention, you take control of your destiny.

Affirmation:

I become aware of how I react to situations, and assess whether it’s helpful or hindering me. It’s safe for me to make a different decision than I normally would. I have the knowledge and the resources to deal with the challenges of my life in a new and better way. By choosing to live with intention, I take control of my life.

[suffusion-the-author display=’description’]