Jun 072018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

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When Stella started her business, she sought out the low hanging fruit, just to get some traction and income. She accepted the easiest to find and most convenient customers. But she got stuck in a rut with those customers, who didn’t respect her time. Even after her business was established, they called at all hours of the day and night for minor issues. They insisted on her going out of her way to serve them and wanted special treatment. As she got more successful, they continued to demand an unreasonable amount of time, attention and resources.

To take her business to the next level, Stella knew she needed to expand and seek customers elsewhere. She decided to work with people who weren’t as demanding and would respect what her service provided. But first, she had to let go of her attitude that her business was still just starting up. She had to recognize her original customers wouldn’t be her only ones.

When she did, her confidence improved and she attracted the customers she wanted. She also set some boundaries with her earlier customers to free up some time for the new ones. Her business flourished and her stress diminished.

Are you ready to take the next step of your life? Do you want to change a habit, take your business up a notch or improve your relationships? If so, you’ll have to change the mindset and behaviors that have put you where you are today. Your old behaviors won’t take you up the ladder of success. It’s not to say they’re bad. They’re not. They got you to where you are now. But they won’t take you any further towards your dreams.

Those old beliefs and actions served you in the past. They helped you survive, if not thrive. But they’ve outlived their usefulness. To take the next step and to improve your circumstances, you have to upgrade your self-image, decisions and habits. Otherwise, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” You can’t just increase what you’re doing. Most of the time, to progress, you’ll need a combination of both mindset and and behavior shifts.

Your old ideas have attracted your current conditions. They have limited what the Law of Attraction could create for you. When you let go of the outdated beliefs and establish new ones, the Law of Attraction can draw new circumstances to you that fill and reflect your new attitudes.

For instance, if you have had a series of unsatisfactory relationships, it’s time to consider what you need to change. Do you need to be more sensitive of others and treat others better? If so, it’s time to change your attitude towards people and be more courteous and respectful. However, if you’ve been the one who hasn’t been treated well, then insist on better treatment. Realize that you deserve to be respected and appreciated.

If friends consistently take advantage of you, set some boundaries and say, “No.” The same is true in business for those customers who demand an inordinate amount of attention. This is especially true after your business has stabilized. If they object, then let them go and let others serve them. They’ll create a space for new customers. As you implement new policies, tactics and behaviors, the world responds in new ways.

If you want to positively impact your lifestyle, you have to change what you’ve been doing. To improve your fitness, you can’t just do more of what you’ve been doing. You need to switch things up and include other types of exercise.

Suppose you want to reduce weight permanently, you have to alter your relationship with food. If you lose the weight, but go back to your original behaviors, you’ll gain it back again. When you want to change your life, it means you have to leave your familiar ways behind.

Shifting your attitudes to move to a new level opens your mind to more Universal Good. All the Good has been waiting for you to access it, but your beliefs have prevented you from doing so. Now, you’re creating the space for more of It to flow into your life.

Each step along the way, it’s important to assess if what you’re thinking and doing is effective for you in the present. Is it opening the door to the next step or keeping you where you are? What new beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, tactics or skills do you need to develop? To achieve your goals, you may need to shift your priorities or focus.

Life isn’t static. It’s always changing. There are always new circumstances and opportunities that emerge. If you want your life to improve, you have to be willing to change. Because the beliefs and tactics that got you here, won’t help you to fulfill your vision. You’ll have to upgrade your beliefs and tactics to reach that next level.

Affirmation:
I now release any old beliefs that have held me from reaching my goals and dreams. The Universe is always available to me to help me and deliver more Good to me. I’m willing to make all the necessary changes to take my next step, to reach the next level. As I do, the Universe makes my path easy and smooth.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Open the Door to Your Next Step.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.
May 042018
 

By Linda-Ann Stewart

flowers&sky-8TGb8bdec-smPeople have different definitions of abundance. To one person, it’s about money and prosperity. To another, it’s happiness. For yet another, it consists of health and harmony. Abundance includes all of these things and more. It means having generous amounts of all that you need and want, while allowing you to have peace of mind.

Most people look at abundance from a position of lack. This means that they don’t have what they want. Instead of appreciating the abundance they do have, they’re focusing on the scarcity of what they don’t have. These people have a comfort zone of only a certain amount of abundance. And if Life tries to give them more, they block it by focusing on what they don’t want. When they have this attitude, they’ve built a wall around themselves and are unconsciously holding off more abundance.

Actions follow attention. So when someone’s focus is on what they don’t have, they aren’t taking any action to improve their lot. Instead of being proactive, they simply react to whatever happens in the present. They don’t seek to change or make a better future. Rather than looking at the horizon, where their future is, their vision is focused at their feet, at the here and now. They remain in their comfort zone, and never move towards their dreams.

With a scarcity mentality, they don’t believe there’s much more available to them than what they already have. Even if they were tripping over opportunities, they wouldn’t recognize them. Because they’re so fixated on where they are, instead of where they want to be, they turn them down.

For instance, when a friend wanted to introduce her to a buyer for a boutique, Grace had an opportunity to turn her jewelry making hobby into a business. But Grace didn’t believe her jewelry was good enough or could sell for a price that would support her. So she declined the introduction instead of being open to the possibility. She stayed in her comfort zone, only making jewelry for herself and her friends.

When you expand your vision of abundance, you start to break out of your comfort zone. You start seeing more possibilities and you’re willing to reach for them. When you consider that there is more than enough for you, you become aware of ideas and synchronicities that appear. Here are some tips on how to shift from an attitude of lack to a mindset of abundance.

1. Focus on the abundance you have in your life. Start with the basics. Do you have enough air to breathe? What about food on the table? Friends? What you focus on expands, and you’re able to get a feeling that you have enough in some parts of your life. Once this is done, you can then expand that feeling into other areas of your life.

2. Keep a gratitude journal. Research shows that this exercise can improve your attitude within a few weeks. And when you have a more positive mindset, you become more attractive to others. You will also notice more of the positive things in your life. And the process continues to expand in your life. You also become more attractive to the Law of Attraction, which will then draw more abundance to you.

3. Change your attitude from “can’t” to “maybe.”
This alone will open the door to possibilities. Even if you don’t completely embrace the idea of abundance, you’ve broken the lock on your comfort zone. Any belief you have becomes a goal for the subconscious and Law of Attraction. It seeks to fulfill and confirm it for you. So when you begin to change that belief, your subconscious and Law of Attraction will scan the environment to help you achieve your goal.

4. Expand your mental acceptance of more.
How much abundance can you be comfortable with? In reality, most people have a set point for the amount they can accept. And your subconscious and Law of Attraction will keep you at that level. To expand it, determine where your current state is. Then stretch it a little bit and imagine how it would feel to be there. This allows your subconscious to catch up and support you in your quest.

When you raise your gaze from what’s at your feet to looking at the horizon, everything within your view is possible for you. Your belief changes from anticipating the worst to expecting that things can improve. As a result, your actions follow your attention and you’re able to fulfill your vision.

Affirmation:
There is more than enough abundance available to me. I am now open to the natural flow of abundance, in the form of health, harmony, joy, prosperity and everything good. All of Life desires this abundance for me. It’s safe for me to expand my acceptance of more abundance into my life. Abundance now flows to and through me, blessing every area of my life.

Watch the video, Meditation to Accept More Abundance, that complements this article.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

Is Your Stress a Habit?

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Apr 182018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

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Our lives today are filled with things that keep us busy and distracted. We obsess over our cell phones: talking, texting, tweeting, checking Facebook and surfing the internet. We’re working longer hours and have less time off. When we do take vacations, it’s generally rushing to a location so we can participate in activities that keep us busy.

Our frantic lives have become a habit. We have a need to fill every waking moment with activity. When we don’t have anything to do, we feel anxious, panicked and seek to do anything that will relieve the discomfort. This craving to be productive has spun out of control.

We can actually become addicted to the adrenaline rush that stress provides. Many people become adrenaline junkies, seeking thrills in ever dangerous sports so that they get their hit of this chemical. Once we’ve reached this high level of stress, our ability to think things through, reason, be creative and learn decreases.

We can become addicted to the habit of stress. A habit is formed by doing the same thing over and over until it becomes automatic. Not only do we get a physical jolt of adrenaline from it, but we also receive emotional rewards. And a habit tied to an emotional benefit can become hard to change.

Some of the benefits to chronic stress include:

  • Stress can distract a person from what isn’t working in their life.
  • It gives people the excuse not to deal with a bad relationship, unhealthy eating habits, or family issues because they’re just so busy.
  • People have used it as justification to indulge in destructive lifestyle habits, such as drugs or excessive drinking.
  • Many people think that when they’re frazzled, they look more important or committed.
  • Looking busy and stressed can also keep people from dumping more responsibility on them.
  • People feel sorry for the person who’s stressed, and do what they can to keep from upsetting them.

Chronic stress will eventually lead to a physical, mental and emotional collapse, because sooner or later the adrenaline runs out. This amount of stress also reduces the effectiveness of our immune systems and makes us more susceptible to illness and disease.

Stress caused by our own busyness is a choice. We make decisions every hour of the day that contribute to the pressure we feel. Some of it is caused by trying to control every aspect of our lives. Trying to be perfect also pushes us to feel overwhelmed. Neither of these is realistic or constructive.

Like any habit, it’s uncomfortable when we begin to break it. Some people get panicky when they first start to relax. It feels unfamiliar, unnerving and unsafe.

It takes a change of perspective before the habit can be altered. We have to realize that our mindset and decisions have helped create the stress that we’ve been exhibiting. Then we have to be willing to handle the things we’ve been avoiding.

Here are five steps to break the habit of chronic stress:

1. Become aware of what you’re doing that’s causing you to be so busy and pressured.
2. Learn what the benefit of it is for you, and decide if it’s worth the eventual burnout and exhaustion.
3. Address whatever emotional reason has pushed you to be so busy.
4. Let go of some of the control that you’ve been exerting in your life. Delegate to others and let them run with the project. Accept that everything isn’t going to be perfect. Don’t look at your cell phone more than once an hour. When you’re with someone at a restaurant, if your phone rings, let it go to voicemail.
5. Take time outs. Do deep breathing, learn mindfulness meditation, practice yoga, do relaxation exercises, exercise. These all work by switching on another physical system that naturally reduces stress.

When you begin to practice these steps, you may feel strange and uneasy. That’s normal. But the physical, mental and emotional benefits are well worth the effort. You’ll be able to think clearer and have more resources to deal with the challenges of your life. Feeling centered will become more natural.

Breaking a habit is rarely easy. You have to perform new actions consistently over and over until you’ve created a new behavior. However, once you have them instilled in your life, you’ll find that your life is much happier and healthier.

Affirmation:
I deserve to have time to enjoy my life. Whatever has been promoting stress in my life is out of balance with the Universe. I now make new choices to restore balance and harmony in my life. Divine Order is now taking place in every area of my life, allowing me to be calm and centered. The Universe supports me in my endeavor to establish peace and serenity.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

What Are Your Excuses Telling You?

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Apr 052018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Message_Bubbles-2103156Caroline was a massage therapist who worked in a spa. The spa did all the marketing and scheduled her clients for her, and paid her per client. But Caroline thought she could have more freedom and get more clients on her own. She left the spa, and opened her own office.

But she discovered that she hated the administrative chores the spa had done for her, such as scheduling, paying utilities, and marketing. This caused her to be chronically forgetful. She’d forget to take business cards when networking, pay her bills, or write down appointments, which caused her to miss them. Although her clients knew and liked her, they learned not to trust her and they went elsewhere. Because of her refusal to work on the details of her business, she made less than she had at the spa.

Finally, one of her friends confronted her and said that Caroline’s excuses were clues she was leaving herself. Caroline realized that she really just wanted to give massages. She gave up her business and returned to the spa, where she could let others handle the tasks she despised. She needed the structure the spa gave her. Even though she was giving up control, she was gaining the freedom she’d craved.

Do you chronically defend yourself, to yourself or others about why you didn’t do what you had agreed to do? At your core, you just didn’t want to do whatever it was. Something within you was preventing it. You’re giving yourself a message that you haven’t listened to yet.

When you use excuses, you’re giving the Law of Attraction conflicting information. On one side, you’ve agreed to something, and on the other, you are reluctant to follow through. By not being clear, the Law of Attraction won’t know what you really want. You’ll just idle in neutral until you decide which way you really want to go.

There are times when excuses are valid. For example, if you had a flat tire on the way to work. Or an important phone call delayed your leaving for an appointment. Events that are unexpected and unavoidable are legitimate reasons why you weren’t able to fulfill a promise. But the question to ask yourself is, are your explanations reasonable or are they just trying to get you out of trouble?

The stories you tell yourself are hints as to how motivated you are to achieve your goals, dreams and vision. They may be telling you how you feel about your commitment or your direction. Here are some of the possible messages your excuses are communicating:

Fear. You’re afraid of the next step or where it may take you. Or you’re not confident that you know how to accomplish your task, goal or agreement. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Generally, when you bring the fear into your awareness, you realize it has little validity. Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to gain that confidence?” It could be something as simple as learning a new skill.

Not the right goal/dream/vision.
You could be going in the wrong direction. Or your task, vision or your motivation to achieve it isn’t strong enough. When you find yourself not taking the actions you need to, ask yourself if you’re ambivalent over your goal. If there’s a part of you holding back, you need to address its concerns. Are you really committed to your dream or vision? If not, choose another one or scale back on your current one.

It’s a “should.” You think you “should” want a particular goal. Others have told you that it’s the right one for you. But it doesn’t really resonate with you, or you felt pressured into doing it. This one is especially true when you’ve agreed to do something you really didn’t want to do, such as participate in a charity event. Is it really your priority, or someone else’s? To simplify your life, decline someone else’s objective for you and focus on what you really want

These are just a few of the excuses we make. The only way you’re going to fulfill your goals is if you transcend your excuses. Listen to the message they’re telling you. When you hear it, and change your responses, you’ll be happier and on track to your dream.

Affirmation:
I now become aware of the excuses I make. I realize that they’re giving me powerful messages about what’s holding me back. Since the Universe only wants the best for me, it must be my beliefs and attitudes that are sabotaging me. By understanding the messages I’m giving myself, I’m able to change my beliefs and thus change my responses to support my dreams.

Watch the accompanying video, Stop Believing Your Excuses.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

Break Free from the Prison of Conformity

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Mar 072018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

prison-539636-smWhen Miriam was growing up into a teenager, she craved to fit in. She submitted to peer pressure to conform to the norms of the group. Just to have a date, she would go out with guys she didn’t like. Although she loved art, she took home economics in high school because it was expected. When she tried to stand out and show her creativity, she was accused of showing off and faced criticism and derision from her family.

Maturing into adulthood, Miriam brought those painful lessons into her personal and professional life and she complied what others wanted. But her desire for approval, and submitting to be average, didn’t give her the opportunity to thrive or explore her talents. She became more and more unhappy.

It can be less stressful to conform, because you don’t have to make decisions for yourself. You follow along with the herd. When you yield to others ideas, you allow them to set your agenda. You’re accepting their goals and vision as your own and abdicating your potential so that you avoid attention. For many people, this is fine. They’re content to set themselves on autopilot and sleepwalk through life. It frees them to spend their energy on family, hobbies and activities that they enjoy.

But if you’re pursuing a dream, or want to fulfill your potential, conformity breeds mediocrity. You do just enough to get by, and fall back onto what’s worked before, even if the situation is different. Although it’s important to utilize proven methods to make things easier, blindly relying on old ideas stifles innovation and progress.

And conforming to others ideas signals the Law of Attraction that you’re willing to settle for less than the best. So when you want to manifest something better, you already have a stronger instruction that undermines that desire. It will draw to you only what fits into your limited vision of what is acceptable.

Eventually, the discomfort of conforming became too strong for Miriam. She decided to be authentic, follow her own path and take art classes. It wasn’t easy. Although some of her friends encouraged her, loved ones tried to convince her to retreat back into what they wanted her to be. They were uncomfortable with this new person who didn’t accept their authority over her.

It takes courage to break free of conformity. You may face opposition from the environment, colleagues, friends or loved ones, as Miriam did. They know how to relate to the old you. The new person doesn’t fit their ideas of who you are or who they want you to be. They may object and try to pressure or manipulate you to return to what they expect you to be.

As you reject conformity, you may feel the Universe is against you, because difficulties may rise up. But the Universe is on your side and supports you. The problems are caused by your subconscious being concerned for your wellbeing. Old habits and ideas are working their way to the surface to be acknowledged and released. Persist, and the challenges will begin to melt away.

As you leave conformity behind, you reclaim your authenticity. You start to make your own decisions, are accountable for them and follow your own agenda. It’s more important for you to be true to yourself than to accommodate others and make them comfortable. This also means you establish and live by standards that are right for you. For instance, if you resent your brother using your garage for his storage, you give him a time limit to find another facility.

As a result of Miriam turning her back on conforming to what others expected of her, she became a successful artist. Not only did she work in watercolor, but the lessons she’d learned in home economics allowed her to become a fabric artist. In her new life, she was finally able to thrive.

Conforming doesn’t allow you to evolve into the person you want to be or are destined to be. It constricts and restricts you to the prison of other’s expectations. To fully thrive and pursue your dreams, you have to risk becoming more authentic. It means a big shift for you, but you are rewarded by becoming fully and completely your own person.

Affirmation:
I know the Universe wants the best for me. I now expand my ideas to accept the best that Life has to offer. I let go of any need to conform to anyone else’s ideas about me. The Universe has a perfect idea of who I am, and I begin to accept and expand into that greater idea. I allow myself to become the person the Universe destined me to be.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

Decide to Choose Clarity

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Feb 222018
 

By Linda-Ann Stewart

Signpost-confused-medBecky lived in an apartment with a couple of roommates, and she wanted a space of her own. Faced with all the options available to her, she kept saying, “I’m so confused.” She was afraid she was going to make the wrong decision, get trapped somewhere she didn’t want to be, or miss out on something better. The confusion left her paralyzed. So she didn’t choose anything different and even when her roommates changed, she stayed where she was.

Clarity is vitally important for you to know what you want. Once you are clear on your goal, you can focus on it and move in that direction. Clarity is necessary for you to have success in any area of your life. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll just drift along and receive the results of the average of your thoughts.

Without clarity, you’re in a perpetual state of confusion. This causes insecurity and stress, which simply creates more turmoil. You run around in circles and don’t get anywhere. You might look at one option after another, and all the possibilities you face produces more chaos for you.

But the only person who is generating your confusion is you. By affirming that you’re in this state, refusing to commit to a path, or allowing yourself to get overwhelmed by choices, you’re contributing to the challenge. You’re giving your subconscious mind the message to keep you scattered. The underlying issue may be that you’re trying to avoid responsibility, afraid you’ll make a mistake, get stuck in a situation, or fail.

Believe it or not, uncertainty is a choice. It’s a decision not to decide. Once you whittle down your choices, and choose a direction, it clears away the mental fog. It may become evident that you don’t want to go that route. That’s fine. You can stay open to other possibilities and change your mind. But don’t change it too much, or you’ll find yourself back in the mists that clouded your mind in the first place.

When you pick a track and determine to continue on it, the haze clears away, and you can see a little way ahead. Take one step, then another. At this point, you don’t need to know where you’re going to end up. It’s enough that you’ve chosen to move in a direction. Because when you’re moving, the Universe can guide you.

Initially, any direction is better than being stalled. So even if you’re not certain about what you want, choose a path. As you’re moving, you’ll discover what you want and don’t want. Write down your goals or intentions. This prompts you to be more specific in what you desire. Then read them every day. Ask yourself, “What can I do today that will move me in their direction?”

Once you’ve made a decision, don’t second guess yourself. If new information comes your way, or circumstances change, then you can reevaluate your choice. But don’t be distracted by a shiny, new idea or opportunity that leads you in a different direction without some reason. The diversion is a mirage and simply an old habit trying to prevent change. If you become uncomfortable, it’s just the old habit of confusion trying to lure you back into its lair. Stay on track, and confusion will fade away.

As you build your commitment to your decisions, you’ll gain confidence that you can make wise ones. The Universe and your inner self will guide you to make ones that take you on your optimal path. Trust yourself, because you do have the knowledge within to make the right choices for your greatest good.

Affirmation:
I am always being guided and directed by the One Life within me. I pick a direction, make a choice and take a step. As I move forward, the next step is made clear to me. My path is made smooth and straight. Each day, I take action to propel myself towards a greater good.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

How Your Beliefs About Stress Affect It

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Feb 012018
 

stress-desserts-yckrqARKi-smWhen I was in school, I had a debilitating fear of tests. Even though I’d studied and knew the material, the stress would cause me to freeze up. It sent me straight into fight-or-flight mode. I viewed the test as a threat and couldn’t remember the answers. Sometimes, if I had time to go over the questions a second time, I would be more relaxed and more answers would surface. Despite this, my grades were decent. But I know they could have been better without the paralyzing fear and stress.

This is one of the things stress does when we feel threatened. Our bodies were developed to deal with physical dangers by having extra energy to fight a danger or flee from it. But in our modern society, having a tense relationship with the boss, a deadline for a project or taking a dreaded test can trigger the exact same response. The mind doesn’t distinguish between a physical danger and a mental threat.

But stress does have a good side. When stress is controlled, then it helps us to learn and grow. To build a muscle, we stress it by lifting weights or going a bit beyond what’s comfortable. When we feel excited, creative, stimulated or challenged, we’re triggering the same pathways as when we have excessive stress, just not to the same degree.

The downside of stress is that it can also make us feel anxious, tense, hypervigilant, drained, depressed and hopeless. We feel like we have no control. There will always be some stress we can’t control. The best we can do is minimize its effects on us. For instance, when we have too many things to do, a toxic boss, or a loved one who is ill, we need to take steps to take care of ourselves.

But there’s research that shows that if you don’t believe that stress is harming you, it doesn’t. Your belief and perception that stress is a challenge reduces the dangers of the same amount of stress that harms other people. I once had a friend who refused to use the word “stress.” He didn’t like the connotation, so he used the word “pressure” instead. Research is showing he had it right.

In an eight year study, researchers found that people under high levels of stress had a 43% increased risk of dying. That’s not unexpected. We all know the dangers of stress and how it can affect our health. Those who had a negative view of stress were most likely to die.

But the study also found that those under high stress, who didn’t believe that stress harmed them, and instead perceived it to be a benefit, were less likely to die. They also had the least negative effects from stress, almost equivalent to people who reported low stress. Their bodies secreted a hormone that counteracted the cortisol that stress creates.

Those who worried about stress and believed it was harming them suffered more consequences. Their belief became a self-fulfilling prophecy for them. In the same way, those who perceived the stress as energy, preparing them for a challenge or excitement minimized the unhealthy effects. Changing your mind about stress changes your body’s response to it.

Belief is powerful. Not everything you believe is factual or real. But you make it so by your attitude towards stress. Henry Ford said, “Whether you believe you can, or you believe you can’t—you’re right.” You are instructing your subconscious mind and the Universe how you expect stress to affect you. And it complies with your expectation. So how can you shift your attitude and make stress work for you? Reframe your perception of it.

For instance, when I got into college, I decided to change my attitude towards tests from one of fear to thinking of them as a challenge. It allowed me to more easily retrieve the answers from my memory and my grades reflected my improved mindset.

When you reframe your attitude towards stress, you shift your relationship with it. No longer are you helpless in the face of stress. You’re taking control, which is one of the ways you reduce stress.

To downgrade your emotional charge around the idea of stress, use the word “pressure,” like my friend did. Or use some other word to describe it, such as “hassle.” Words matter. When you use a different word, it immediately changes the way you feel about the subject. And the way you feel affects your body, your thoughts, and your responses to the situation.

Like my shift in perception about tests, look at the situation or condition as exciting or a challenge. Instead of resisting the stress, which increases its power, change your attitude so it becomes natural and something that you can handle. By viewing it more positively, it also allows you to think more clearly about what you want to do. You open a clearer channel for your intuition and Divine guidance.

Your beliefs can put you in control of how stress affects you. When you change your beliefs, you you change your life conditions. Once again, the idea that Norman Vincent Peale stated, “Change your thoughts and you change your world,” is confirmed.

Affirmation:

Stress is a normal part of life and I have control over how I believe it affects me. I now choose to change my beliefs about the stress that I experience. It simply primes me for action and keeps me on alert for anything unexpected. By shifting my attitude, I’m able to think more clearly and be more open to my intuition and Divine guidance.

Watch the accompanying video, 6 Simple Ways to Take Control of Stress.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

Set Your New Year’s Intention

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Jan 112018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

List-62160At the beginning of the year, many people will take time to review the past year, what they’ve achieved, what they didn’t accomplish and assess why they didn’t. Then, they’ll establish a long list of New Year’s resolutions in an attempt to create the life they want. They dedicate themselves to tackling everything on their list at the same time. But this overloads the subconscious. One habit is hard to break. Trying to break several of them simultaneously is simply unrealistic. The Law of Attraction doesn’t know what to focus on with so many to choose from.

By the middle of January, reality sets in, stress arises and life overwhelms them. The subconscious and Law of Attraction can’t handle all the changes and life’s challenges, too, so it abandons everything that isn’t of primary importance. And then all those good intentions get forgotten as their subconscious deals with more immediate matters. It’s not that the Universe doesn’t want your life to be better, it’s just that the Law of Attraction is clogged with too many changes.

One way you can be successful with a New Year’s resolution is to prioritize them. Take the most important one and work on it. When you have incorporated it into your life and made it second nature, take the second one and work on it. You may not get your entire list done by the end of the year, but you’ll have some improvements you can be proud of.

But if you’re disenchanted with New Year’s resolutions, or don’t want the pressure of specific goals, what about setting an intention for the year? Instead of being goal oriented, an intention is more a general idea of a quality, attitude or condition that you want to cultivate in your life. This can become your compass, pointing you in the Antique Compassdirection you want to go. It will give your subconscious and the Law of Attraction the guidance to help you fulfill your intentions.

For instance, last year I set my intention to “Be open to more good” in my life. I chose to stop restricting the amount of good I’d allow to come to me (as many people do) and open my heart to it. Instead of bracing for difficulty, I shifted my attitude to expect something beneficial to come out of a situation. And I reminded myself that it was safe to experience more abundance and flow. As a result, I won or was given several gift cards during the year.

As an intention, you could decide that you want to practice a value, such as compassion or empathy. Or you want to be kinder to yourself or exercise self-care. Maybe you want to be more diligent in your goals, be more focused or have more balance in your life. Confidence, self-assurance or assertiveness may resonate with you more. What kind of change do you want in your life in this next year?

Setting your intention is important, but if there isn’t any commitment and action, it remains intangible. So how will you apply it? If you’ve decided to be more compassionate, what attitude do you have to take when someone is rude to you? What will you tell yourself? To be kinder to yourself, what will you do for yourself? What actions will you need to take? Figuring out what you need to support your intention ahead of time will help your subconscious and the Law of Attraction bring them into play when they’re needed.

Once you’ve decided on your mental and physical approaches, put together a plan to reinforce your intention. You could do this by using it as a mantra, turning it into an affirmation or autosuggestion, or visualizing it occurring in your life. For instance, I would imagine good flowing from the Universe into my body, filling me, and then flowing out into my life, and returning to me fulfilled. If there are actions you choose to take, make sure they’re small, manageable and easy to integrate into your life.

Once you’ve created your intention, remind yourself of it daily. Set your intention in the morning and think of it several times during the day. You could use a note, object or picture that would cue you to think of it. I have a small stone I bought that I associate with my intention. It sits in a tray on my desk to inspire me to expand my mind to encompass more good.

If you’re goal oriented, setting an intention can help you reach your goals more readily and easily. And if you prefer to be inspired by a specific purpose, this method will allow you to stay aligned with it and the Universe. Either way, by the end of the year you’ll have experienced greater positive change and improvement in your life.

Affirmation:
The Universe wants the best for me. I now align myself with what the Universe wants. I set an intention for good for this upcoming year. I want to cultivate and further this intention in my life. It guides my thoughts and actions, and I am blessed by the results.

Watch the accompanying video, Meditation to Find Your Intention for the Year.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

How To Make And Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

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Jan 032018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

jigsaw_puzzle-Aibr59k8T-smI used to make a list of New Year’s resolutions, such as: lose weight, exercise, organize my desk, eat better, etc., etc., and so forth. However, within a day I’d broken at least half of them. The rest were blown by the end of the week. Since I felt like a failure, I just stopped making them. I figured why should I put myself through the frustration?

It’s too bad, because resolutions are a positive way to improve your life and change old habit patterns. Starting a new year with the intention of establishing a healthier life helps us to wipe the slate clean, to write a better script. We begin with great hopes, only to get sucked back into the familiar rut. Why is it that so many times we fail to attain our list of resolutions?

Think about this. What if your partner brought you a long list of things they wanted you to do immediately? For example, they wanted you to move all the furniture in the house, change the landscaping, paint the house, completely redecorate within a week? You’d groan, crumble and look for the closest hole to hide in. The same is true of your subconscious mind.

Your subconscious mind processes and stores everything you’ve ever seen, done, heard, thought, or experienced. All of this information mixes together to give you the life you now have.

If you resolve to completely recondition yourself within a month, your inner mind falters. “Too much!” it screams, and then proceeds to get you so involved in life that you forget all that silly stuff. An excessive amount of change at any one time overwhelms your subconscious. However, there are some things you can do to maximize your success with New Year’s resolutions.

First, as you might do every year, write down all the things that you want to change in your life. But this time, prioritize them. Decide which are the most important, then select one of these to concentrate on. By focusing on one area at a time, you will be able to improve your chances of success.

Once you’ve chosen which area you want to concentrate on, write down all the steps you need to take to fulfill that goal. For instance, suppose Sam decides he wants to get healthy. To do so, he chooses to quit smoking, eliminate caffeine, sugar, and alcohol, to stop partying, get enough sleep every night, lose weight, start exercising, and eat right. He can’t do all of these at the same time, or his subconscious will rebel. Therefore, he decides which facet he wants to tackle first.

Break your goal down into reasonable steps. Don’t try to change the world in one week. As you accomplish one component, move onto the next one. It may actually take a couple of years to achieve your whole list, but in a couple of years you’ll be so much healthier than you are now.

Once you have your first element chosen, you can now decide on what physical actions to take every day. Taking physical action helps to convince the subconscious that you mean business, and shows commitment to the process.

Visualize yourself acting out your objective. As you imagine yourself living your goal, this gives your subconscious mind the direction it needs. It must follow your envisioning. Mentally rehearse each day, identifying with your new ideal, feeling how good it is to have accomplished your aim.

Write a short positive statement in the present tense that embodies your resolution. Use this affirmation in your visualization to reinforce it. Say the declaration aloud one hundred times a day. Print it on index cards and place them where you see them often. This keeps you focused on your goal and begins to impregnate your subconscious with what it is that you want. Trust that your subconscious is making deep level changes, and knows the best way to help you to transform.

By following these directions, you will be able to successfully make and keep your New Year’s resolutions. You have all the power within you to create a wonderful new life for yourself. Don’t be afraid to use it.

Affirmation:
This year, I set reasonable goals of change for myself. After I write down what areas of my life I wish to change, I narrow them down to focus on one. I decide what steps I need to take to make the goal a reality in my life, and begin with a single small, attainable action. As I’m successful, I add another step. I visualize myself accomplishing my goal, knowing that doing so fully involves my subconscious in helping me to transform. I commit myself to making the changes necessary to improve my life, knowing that I’m worth it.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

7 Ways You Unconsciously Limit Your Vision

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Dec 152017
 

“Aim at heaven and you get Earth thrown in. Aim at Earth and you get neither.” C.S. Lewis
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Are you aiming high enough to achieve your dream or are you keeping your vision little and manageable? A dream is what you’re working towards. Your vision of it should be out of your immediate reach so it inspires and motivates you and pulls you farther than you thought you could go. You may not get as far as your dream, but you’ll soar higher if you have it as your target. The Universe always wants something greater for you.

But too many people keep their vision small and insignificant, so they can stay invisible and play it safe. If you do that, you’ll never be able to reach much further than where you presently are. You’ll just be playing in the same sand box and never climb out of it to explore what else is possible. And you thwart what the Universe wants for you.

By aiming too low, not only do you limit your potential, you also sabotage yourself by holding yourself back. You don’t take the actions that would lead to success, choosing instead to do what is familiar and comfortable. For instance, you don’t follow through on leads, prospects or customers. In so doing, you’re instructing your subconscious / the Law of Attraction to keep you stuck.

There are all sorts of reasons and ways you undermine your dream. Most have to do with the past or fear of the results. Once you recognize how you’re keeping yourself small, you can turn it around and aspire to something greater. Here are 7 ways in which you may be keeping yourself grounded and how you can cut the restraints.

1. Habit.
You’ve created a habit of creating easy goals to achieve, so you have a feeling of accomplishment. But they’re haphazard, don’t take you in any particular direction, and you don’t make any progress.

Choose goals that lead in a specific direction, each one building on the one before. This takes you out of your comfort zone and creates a new habit of success.

2. Past disappointments.
You figure it’s easier to keep your dream reachable, especially when you’ve been disappointed in the past. So you focus on manageable goals, but don’t get very far towards your dream.

Create a vision that’s just out of reach, and set manageable goals that can take you there. As you accomplish them, it will encourage you and build your confidence to aim higher.

3. Doesn’t fit your self-image.
You want to be a leader in your field and make your mark, but you can’t imagine yourself as that person. The person you want to be has qualities you don’t have and are alien to the way you perceive yourself.

Decide what characteristics you need to cultivate so you can become the person you want to be. Take one at a time, and practice incorporating it into your life.

4. Fear your dream will take over your life. You’re concerned about what achieving your vision would change. For instance, you may have to work longer hours and not be able to spend time on other activities you value.

Reaching your vision will change your life. But you always have control over how much time and effort you put forth.

5. Fear you won’t be able to handle success. Reaching towards your vision stretches you and takes you out of what you’re familiar with. So you try to stay in your comfort zone and safe.

You can always develop the new skills, abilities, and characteristics you need. When you do, you will grow and expand to fill your new role and responsibilities.

6. Fear of being criticized.
You’re afraid of people disapproving of the changes you’ll be making. To avoid this, you make sure you stay invisible, under their radar, so you don’t get hit with their condemnation or rejection.

The person you most need acceptance and approval from is yourself. When you’re pursuing your dream, you’re on purpose and fulfilling your highest potential.

7. Guilt about how it will affect others. If you commit to your vision, you may not have as much time for friends or family. Or you’re concerned that you’ll be taking advantage of others if you get ahead.

Ask yourself, “How much more can I offer if I reach my vision?” Playing small doesn’t help you and doesn’t give you the greater opportunity to help others.

These issues need not concern you any longer. You have gained wisdom, maturity and understanding and can now handle the challenges your vision brings. The Universe will always support you on your path. Use your vision as your destination, and establish goals like rungs on a ladder to climb to new heights. You’ll be able to accomplish your goals, while staying on track to your vision.

Affirmation:
The Universe wants something more for me. I now have the wisdom, maturity and understanding to aspire to something greater. Any old issues are now dissolved in the light of peace. With the support of the Universe, I can handle any situation that arises. I am always Divinely guided and directed to make the best decisions.

Watch the accompanying video, Give Yourself Permission to Dream.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.