Nov 092017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

“Watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Over 90% of your thoughts, beliefs and actions are ruled by habits. Those habits were formed from what you focused on, and the actions you took over and over again. They dug a groove in your psyche, and when triggered, you react automatically.

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Some of those habits are beneficial, such as brushing your teeth or sending a thank you card for a referral. But many of them don’t support where you want to go in life. They actually undermine it. Your negative habits developed at a time when they were helpful, but they’ve outlived their usefulness. They’re so automatic that you may not even realize that they’re no longer suitable.

They may be habits that you’ve just fallen into because of laziness or not being aware of the effects they would have on your future. Habits have cumulative effects, either beneficial or detrimental, that don’t show up until later in life. And they will shape your future.

For instance, do you exercise? Over the years, not exercising negatively impacts the quality and quantity of your health. You’ll get weaker as you age, have problems with balance, and not be able to walk very far. But I know people in their 80’s who still hike several miles every week because they’ve stayed in shape. Exercise keeps your heart healthy and reduces the incidence of many diseases. Cultivate this habit for a better, healthier life.

The habitual tendency of pessimism or optimism builds up over time. Either way, it affects the quality of your relationships, as well as your success in life. In my youth, I knew a young man who enjoyed putting others down. He considered it a game. Years later, as a mature adult, he verbally attacked others in cruel and malicious ways. That habit escalated over the years to its present level. It’s cost him jobs, friends and loved ones, but this habit is so ingrained in him that he sees no reason to change.

Do you procrastinate? That habit probably formed early in life. Although it might have been helpful then, it’s not now. For instance, chronically putting off paying your credit card won’t help your pocket book because of late charges. Needing to have the latest phone or gadget won’t benefit your bottom line either. You could have had a nice nest egg if you’d invested that wasted money.

For example, in the stop smoking classes I facilitated, participants were encouraged to save the money they used to spend on cigarettes. They put it into a jar to save for a specific goal. Within 18 months of starting that habit, one couple was able to take the cruise they’d always dreamed of. That money accumulated quickly to bring their dream to reality.

Do you want less stress and anxiety? Become aware of habits that promote those feelings. Small issues can be the worst contributors. For instance, where do you put your keys when you come in the door? Do you put them in one specific place, like on a hook or in a bowl, or do you drop them in random places? How much time do you waste looking for them when you need to leave? Are you ever late for work or an appointment as a result? What kind of impression does your tardiness make on others? That one small habit could mean a lost opportunity or promotion.

It all comes down to your habits. Are your habits supporting your path or sabotaging it? Your habits create your destiny by the thoughts you think and the choices you make on a day to day basis. If you want a different outcome, you’ll have to start making different choices.

Your first step would be to decide on the result you want. Do you want less stress, more joy, to be healthier, or more successful? It must be something you really want and are willing to work towards. Your subconscious doesn’t like change. Your motivation must be stronger than the natural inclination to fall back into the old groove.

Your second step is to decide what habits have to be in place to support your dream. For better health, you’d need to make better food choices and exercise more. To be more productive at work, determine what tasks you need to focus on to reach your goals.

Your third step would be to become aware of the habits that are interfering with your chosen result. They may be small, insignificant ones. Such as always checking your email as soon as you get to work and letting them sidetrack you from your priorities. Or chronically waiting until the last minute to get gas and either running out or running late.

The fourth step is to commit to substituting the new habit for the old one, each and every time. Habits aren’t easy to break. You have to stay aware of what you’re doing whenever you’re in that situation, and make a different choice. It isn’t easy, but it can be done.

When you create habits that support what you want, you’re changing the course of your life. It will take persistence and determination to do so, but your future is worth it. Your habits determine your destiny. Make it a good one.

Affirmation:
I now decide what it is I want in my life. I realize that I deserve to have a better future. The Universe always wants for me what I want for myself. Everything I need to support my choice now appears. As I make the choice to change, all levels of my mind align to strengthen my resolve.

Watch the accompanying video, Better Habits Make for a Better Life.

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.
Nov 022017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

I used to create a long to-do list that would have been impossible to finish in three times the allotted period. Not only did I constantly overestimate my capacity to complete my list, I would underestimate the time the tasks would take. In addition, I’d have several creative projects under development at once. I’d dart between them, working on one then the other. None of them got any quality or quantity of my attention. As a result, I always felt like I was falling behind. And I was. I felt stressed and my to-do list consumed my thoughts.

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Do you have this problem? In today’s world, most people take on too much. People try to compensate by multitasking in an attempt to get more done. But multitasking for increased productivity is an illusion. In actuality, less gets done. Research shows it’s an inefficient use of time and mental resources. It failed massively when I tried to work on several projects at once. But because we’re overwhelmed with everything we have to do, we grasp at straws. And those straws won’t keep us afloat.

Being overwhelmed means that you’re stressed all the time. When you’re stressed, you can’t think clearly and your productivity drops. Because you’re distracted by what’s stressing you, your decision making ability is diminished. All your resources are being used to deal with what’s going on right now. You’re in a fight or flight mode, just trying to survive. Haven’t you felt like this? It means you’re reacting to circumstances, rather than being proactive, innovative and creative about how to get things done. Overall, you have less emotional resources to deal with life’s issues. You’re just trying to tread water and progress floats away.

Overwhelm, and the stress it causes, impairs spiritual progress. Think of your mind as a glass that filled to the brim and overflowing. It doesn’t have room to add anything more. Your subconscious is simply handling too much and you can’t address anything else. You can’t focus, because your attention is split into so many different directions. And without focus, the Law of Attraction can’t work effectively. Stress and overwhelm means you’re out of alignment with inner peace.

Fortunately, there are some strategies you can use to reduce the feeling of overwhelm. You’ll have to concentrate on implementing these strategies, because it’s all too easy to get dragged back into the old pattern.

1. Distinguish between what’s immediate and what’s important. The immediate would be a coworker calling you for advice. They have your attention right now, but you could actually call them back later. Something important would be working on the report that’s under a tight deadline. Put off the immediate until after you deal with what’s important.

2. Eliminate what’s not working. What chores or tasks aren’t actually necessary? What’s keeping you from working on what’s truly important? Certain chores may have become a habit, but aren’t helping you anymore. For instance, we all need to check our email periodically. But if you have it open all day, it’ll lure you away from your important projects and to check it frequently. Instead, check it only three times a day.

3. Create a strategy to make sure you don’t get overloaded.
This could be cutting back on your to-do list (like I did). Or you could set a timer to deal with email, easy tasks or a project. Delegate what you can. Don’t micromanage others. These all mean that you have to let go of some control.

4. Focus on one thing at a time.
This is the opposite of multitasking. When I began to focus on one project at a time, I was able to complete it much faster. It doesn’t mean that you have to focus on one project or task and do it to completion. It means that when you’re working on it, you eliminate all distractions and it’s all you pay attention to.

5. Schedule things. For an ongoing project, set aside 60-90 minutes at a time to focus on it. Keep that appointment with yourself. With all other tasks, put them in your calendar and expect them to take twice as long as you expect. That way you have plenty of time to work on them, and if you finish early, you may actually have time to fit in others.

6. Take time for self-care and self-development. When I was overwhelmed, meditation and self-development were the first things I abandoned. Referring back to #1, this item would be something classified as important. Not only will self-care reduce your stress, but it will give you mental and emotional resources to handle your tasks better. Meditation, reading, exercise, taking bubble baths all contribute to your spiritual progress and peace of mind.

Over time, I learned to reduce my to-do list to a few items. I would include a few extra each week, in case I actually had time to work on them. But if I didn’t, I moved them to the following week. I never got everything done. No one ever does. We’re all human beings, not human doings. Reduce your load so you can cultivate more ease, peace and happiness.

Affirmation:

I am Divinely guided to make wise decisions in taking care of myself and my life. I release what doesn’t contribute to my life’s purpose and peace. And I accept things that contribute to my purpose and peace. That means that I take care of what’s important, including myself. When I do, I open the way for more abundance and joy to come into my life.

Watch the accompanying video, Make Yourself a Priority to Reduce Overwhelm.

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.

Are You Putting the Cart Before the Horse?

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Oct 052017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

“Action without planning is the cause of every failure.” Alec Mackenzie, time management expert

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Last year, my husband and I hiked a mile-and-a-half down the South Kaibab trail in the Grand Canyon. We planned and trained for almost a year. When the day arrived, we had the right boots and equipment, and enough food and water to sustain us. Unfortunately, many people on the trail hadn’t had the same foresight.

There are warnings all over the park and at the trailhead about how much water a hiker needs. But sadly, many hikers we saw took only a fraction of the water they needed. We witnessed several people in distress due to dehydration: weak, tired or dizzy. A family fought over their child’s small bottle of water, because they’d already drunk their allotment. Two women hiked the dirt and rock trail, that was hundreds of feet above the canyon floor, in high heels. One turned ankle in the wrong place could have been disastrous.

These visitors let their enthusiasm overrun their common sense. Instead of thinking ahead, they impetuously jumped into an experience and suffered for it. Fortunately, most Grand Canyon visitors survive with just blisters, sore muscles and a headache from dehydration. But they could have avoided those consequences if they’d just heeded the warnings and considered what they’d need for a safe hike.

Unfortunately, many people act in a similar way when they get an idea. They leap into action before they even know what to do. In our Western culture, action is idolized. Supposedly, if you just take action, any action, you’ll be successful. Action is considered a panacea and always brings you results, so the thought goes. But how many people do you know who are so busy that they barely have a personal life, but they’re not achieving their goals?

Some people want to let the Universe guide their way. They don’t have any direction, and just react to whatever shows up in their path. In this case, the Universe is simply acting on their strongest desires. And those desires change from day to day. Even when you let the Universe guide you, have a vision of where you want to end up. You can always intend, “This or something better.” Then the Law of Attraction can draw what you need to manifest your greater good.

Have you ever seen a skyrocket firecracker flying through the air? It spirals all over the place because it has thrust, but no guidance system. Most of the time, it goes up to explode in a beautiful display, but there are occasions when it swirls down to the ground and sets something on fire. This is what it’s like when you jump into action before developing a plan. You’re probably going to go up, but you don’t have any control over your direction. And you also have a good chance of crashing and burning.

The same is true if you have a plan, but you don’t know where you want to end up. If you have no vision, it’s like throwing darts at a target while blindfolded. You don’t know where your target is, so you waste your energy and ammunition. This happens if you have a marketing plan, before you settle on a niche. You spray the consumers with information, but because it’s not aimed properly, it’s ineffective. Instead, you need to find the right people for your product or service then spend your energy on connecting with them.

There are times when jumping into action, without a plan, can be helpful. But it has to be strategic. You want to build up some momentum, stir up some information, gain clarity or some other specific reason. Doing that is a plan in itself. You know the results you want from your actions.

Conversely, you need to keep from getting stuck in the planning process. Your plan isn’t going to ever be perfect. You’ll tweak it along the way. And there will be times when it will change completely, as you get feedback or knowledge. Making progress is better than perfecting your plan.

When you’ve decided to create something new in your life, be intentional about it. Don’t “Put the cart before the horse.” Keep your priorities straight and make sure you have some sort of plan. Life can be treacherous and catch you off guard. If you’re going for a trek in unfamiliar territory, isn’t it a good idea to heed the warnings, make sure you have the right equipment and plenty of resources to sustain you? This isn’t just good advice for the Grand Canyon, but also for every area of your life. Make sure your horse draws your cart, and you’ll make faster progress.

Affirmation:

I decide what direction I want to go in, and the Universe then lights my path. It ensures that I receive whatever I need for the fulfillment of my desire. I stay on track and take the steps I need towards my vision. Each step illumines the next one. And the Universe provides me with whatever is for my Highest Good.

Watch the complementary video Think Before You Leap.

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.

Achieve Success through Self-Trust

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Sep 072017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Emerson-Self-trustQuote“Self-trust is the first secret of success.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you know what you want? Many people don’t know what they want because they don’t trust themselves to achieve it. They’d rather not want anything than be disappointed. They distrust the validity of their own desires and doubt their judgment because of past failures.

Before you take steps towards accomplishing a dream, you have to believe in yourself and your abilities. You need to know that you can access the knowledge, develop the habits, and find the opportunities to create your goal.

What exactly is self-trust? It’s a belief in yourself, trusting that you’ll be there for yourself, that you can handle what life throws at you. It means that you’re accountable and responsible for yourself. When you’re able to depend on yourself, you have confidence that you’ll be on your side. Self-trust ensures that you’re interested in and supportive of your wellbeing.

Being able to trust yourself is the first ingredient you need to be successful in all areas of your life. Not trusting yourself means you don’t believe you’ll finish what you intend to do. Distrusting yourself undermines your relationship with yourself and everyone else, including the Universe.

In business, it’s said that “People do business with those they know, like and trust.” The same is true of your personal life. You’re attracted to those you like and trust and vice versa. Are you trustworthy enough for you to be friends or do business with? If not, how can you reach that place of inner assurance?

Self-trust doesn’t just happen. It has to be built, the same as in any relationship. When you first meet someone, you rarely trust them immediately. Over time and through experience, they have to show that they’re truthful and reliable. You develop a relationship with yourself the same way. Here are four ways in which you can start to cultivate a sense of self-trust.

1. Honor your values. Your values are principles you choose to live by. They’re standards of behavior or ideals that you uphold, like integrity, service, or family. There will be times when it’s hard to stay true to them. But if you don’t, you’ll feel inauthentic and like you’ve abandoned yourself. And you’ll sense a separation from the Universe. When you live according to your values, it builds your self-worth and self-esteem.

2. Honor yourself. Pay attention to your health and wellbeing. When you need to take care of yourself, refuse extra demands on your time. You’re as important as anyone else, and if you don’t treat yourself well, no one else will do so either. If someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do or can’t fulfill, be kind to them (and yourself) and say no. As you support your worth, you’ll develop a positive self-regard.

3. Honor your agreements and commitments. If you do consent to perform some action, follow through and fulfill it. Not doing so breaks a promise to yourself and others. And those who break promises can’t be trusted. The same is true when you agree to a condition, like not to track mud onto the carpet. Keeping appointments you make also falls under this heading. Be on time or as close to it as possible. By doing so, you’re fostering self-respect and earning the respect of others.

4. Honor your decisions. After you make a decision, stick to it, unless you get new information that affects your choice. Stop seeking others’ approval for your choices. Take responsibility for your decisions and for their consequences. Some people won’t like that you’re being autonomous, but that’s their problem. It’s your life and you make the choices based on your experiences and what’s important to you. Rely on your own authority.

Trust grows more trust, in yourself and others. When you believe in yourself, it allows for innovation, creativity, and the flexibility to change directions when needed. The more you trust yourself, the more you trust the Universe and the Law of Attraction. You’re able to let go of fear and doubt, and have faith that you live in a beneficial universe.

Affirmation:
The Universe perceives me as a worthwhile human being. It has given me everything I need to succeed, personally and professionally. It’s my responsibility to exercise the qualities It has bestowed upon me. As I advocate for myself, I feel more whole and authentic.

Watch the accompanying video Stop Fighting Yourself.

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.

Are Your Motives Clear?

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Aug 102017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

For awhile on my Facebook Business page, someone I knew made belittling and insulting comments. From his remarks, it was obvious he had read only the title of my post, didn’t have any knowledge of the topic nor had read the content. Over time, instead of consistently sharing an idea or article to serve my audience, I posted less and less. My unconscious motivation was to avoid his harassment and not subject my other readers to his attacks. This action was not in my best interest and sabotaged my efforts to share subjects of interest with my followers.

MotivationAre your actions matching up with what you want? Mine weren’t. If not, it’s time to look at what’s motivating you and compare it to the outcomes you desire. That’s what I had to do, once I became aware of what I was doing. To eliminate the aggravation, I banned him from the page. Since it’s public, he can read the page but he can’t interact on it.

Napoleon Hill said, “Your every act is the result of a given cause—your motives.” Your motivation may come from earlier in your life, and you haven’t updated it to support you in the present day. Mine came from childhood when I didn’t want to offend anyone. This time, I decided it was better to risk upsetting this one person than it was to stop reaching out to my followers.

The motivation you had when you were younger may have been beneficial, but the way you execute it now isn’t working for you. For instance, being a class clown brought Joe good attention in high school, but interferes with his job as an adult. Instead of entertaining his boss, he gets written up for distracting his coworkers and not meeting his deadlines. His motivation is to get acknowledgement, but the behavior isn’t fulfilling its purpose anymore.

Or consider when the football star was a bully in high school, it brought him admiration. But in his life now, it doesn’t get him respect, which is what he craves. Instead, he alienates the very people he wants to impress.

Conversely, good intentions can lead to bad results. The grade A student in school, who kept her head down and studied hard, got good grades in school. Teachers praised her for being so quiet and unassuming. But as an adult, it keeps her from taking credit for her work or putting herself forward for advancement.

And then there’s the big sister who was commended for taking care of her younger siblings. But now, when she takes care of everyone, they deplete her energy and bank account. Both of these women had positive motivations and behaviors that were appropriate when they were young. But when they got older, the same type of actions no longer benefited them.

Most motivations operate unconsciously. You’re not aware of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Your motivation may be valid, but the way you fulfill it may be an outdated remnant of the past. It’s important to get clear on the reason that’s driving your actions so you can obtain the outcomes you want.

To recognize where you may be sabotaging yourself, and how to get your motives and actions aligned, explore these suggestions.

1. Are you disappointed, puzzled or confused about why you’re not getting the outcomes you expect? This is a signal that something is amiss. Awareness is the first step, because before you can resolve a situation, you have to acknowledge there’s a problem.

2. Examine your actions. What results have they brought you in the past, and are they bringing similar ones now? If not, then there’s a mismatch between your behavior and your desired outcome. It’s tempting to just change your actions without going deeper. But at the first sign of stress, it’s normal to return to the behavior that’s familiar. Discover what your incentive is so you can stay on track.

3. Assess the purpose behind your action. What is it trying to do for you? It may be trying to protect you or bring you recognition. You may be trying to avoid something uncomfortable, through procrastination or a search for perfection. Or you could be seeking to attract something better into your life, such as acknowledgement or friends. That reason steers your impulses.

4. Now that you know your motivation, how can you modify your beliefs and actions to receive your desired outcome? Once you’ve understood what you need to change, you have a better chance of success. Whenever you get stressed, remind yourself of why you’re changing your habits and stick to it.

Unconscious ideas and urges create situations that you don’t expect. When you get clear on your motives, you can then intentionally change the way you’re fulfilling them. It’s never easy to break with the past, but you have a greater chance of success when you clarify your reasons.

Affirmation:
I now get clear on the motives for my actions. If the way I fulfill that purpose no longer serves me, I set my intention to change it. The Universe completely supports me in my efforts to improve my life.

Watch the accompanying Coaching Tip video Are You in Alignment with Your Motivation?

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.

Don’t Push the River

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Jul 132017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

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One day, my father and a neighbor left for work at exactly the same time. They entered the freeway with the neighbor’s car directly behind my father’s. My father went with the flow of traffic, not changing lanes in a vain attempt to seek a faster route. The neighbor, however, wove in, out and through the traffic, trying to get ahead.

When my father finally left the freeway about 10 miles later, the neighbor was only one car ahead him. All that effort, stress, and extra gas had resulted in the gain of only two car lengths. Trying to maneuver to get ahead, she’d made very little progress, was frustrated in her attempts and irritated her nerves. She allowed her impatience to make a bad commute into a worse one.

Many times, when you try to compel a situation to move faster than it was designed to, you sabotage your efforts. It can even cause the circumstance to resist and push back. For instance, you can’t convince someone to love, accept or approve of you. The more you try to persuade them, the more you drive them away.

The same is true of not being able to force someone to hire you. You have to let them make the decision to do so. A salesperson that pressures a potential customer to buy their product will alienate that customer. When you try to shove your will onto a situation, you get the opposite of what you want.

By trying to control conditions, you’re tying up your inner resources. You’re stressed by your efforts and it interferes with your innovation, creativity, the ability to listen and to make plans. It also blocks your subconscious from seeking and finding other solutions.

When I was growing up, my mother used to repeat the proverb, “Don’t push the river, it flows by itself.” She explained that, no matter what you did, you couldn’t force the river to flow any faster. I realized she meant to not try to force events to unfold, because all you’ll is to waste energy. For example, have you ever tried to will yourself to fall asleep? The more you try, the more awake you become. You have to let go and allow it to happen.

But, at the same time, you also can’t just hope the river will take you where you want to go. You have to provide the right conditions to maximize your results. For example, to get to sleep more easily, you have to create a calm environment. There’s a fine line between going with the flow and swimming with the current.

If you just drift, the water could crash you onto rocks, or divert you into another tributary. However, if you swim with the current, you’re cooperating with the river and using its energy to propel you downstream. You’re also in better control of where you go. If it tries to tangle you in brush at the bank, you’re able to move away from the trees and back into the flow.

When it seems that no matter what you do, you get swept into eddies at the edge of the river or slammed onto rocks, assess your direction. Somehow, you’re not working with the current and the results are telegraphing that something is amiss. You need to address some aspect of your vision, mindset or plan.

Check your vision. Is it clear enough? Does it reflect what you really want? If it’s your business, do you have a product or service the public wants and needs? Have you communicated it in a way they realize its value? If you have a clear vision, then keep it in front of you every day.

Check your mindset. Do you believe your dream is attainable? Are you inspired to work towards your vision? Do you feel like you deserve what you’re seeking? If your mindset supports your vision, stay focused on where you want to go.

Check your plan. Do you have a step by step plan? Is it right for you? Is it taking you in the direction of your vision? Are you working it every day? If your plan is on track, make sure you’re taking consistent actions to keep you moving forward.

If you’re constantly frustrated with your progress, take a step back and consider. Are you trying to push the river to make it go faster? If so, you’re just wasting energy. Other elements may need to develop before you can get into the center of the channel. Be patient and persistent. When these three key items are aligned, you’ll be in the flow and swimming with the current.

Affirmation:
The Universe isn’t holding my good back from me. It wants me to have all the good I can accept. I now allow things to unfold in Divine Time for my Highest Good. I let go of trying to force events and let the Universe guide the situation. I take the actions I know to take, and align myself with the flow.

Watch this month’s Mindset Coaching Tip video, Stay the Course, which accompanies 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.

Believe You Can and You’re Right

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Jun 212017
 

By Linda-Ann Stewart

Marie went in to interview for a job she was fully qualified for. But she’d had several recent interviews, and hadn’t received an offer from any of them. As a result, she didn’t have the best attitude going into this situation. When she didn’t get the position, she said, “I knew it. I didn’t think I was going to get it.” Unfortunately, she got what she expected. Her belief became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The attitude you have when you approach a challenge, or a change, greatly determines your outcome. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.” Your belief will affect your actions and the way you project yourself. If you don’t think you’ll be successful in a venture, you won’t give it 100% of your effort. You might think you do, but part of your energy will be held back to deal with potential disappointment.

Think about a recent goal you had. Did you believe that you could achieve it? What was your attitude towards it? You may have spent lots of time and action to move it in a positive direction. But if you didn’t believe that you would be successful, guess what? It would be unlikely that you could achieve your goal.

I’ve worked with hundreds of smokers in my practice and classes. If they repeat to themselves, “I can’t quit,” then it will be practically impossible for them to quit. When the smoker changes their attitude to “I can quit,” their subconscious works with them to make it possible. Until then, no matter what tools and techniques they use, they’ll be fighting against themselves and the directives they’ve been giving their inner mind. Your subconscious seeks to prove your belief is correct.

Your subconscious must act on what you tell it. If you want a new direction in your life, or to accomplish a goal, first you have to believe that it’s possible. Your subconscious will take its cue from where you focus your attention. Taking action without believing that you can be successful undermines your abilities and determination. You might make progress, but it’ll be a hard road with few rewards in comparison to the amount of labor you’ve put into it.

If you’re thinking, “This is never going to work,” then your subconscious will follow your direction. Not only that, if opportunities do come your way, you won’t be aware of them. Your subconscious will filter them out of your consciousness. It will be as if they don’t exist. Either you won’t recognize them or you’ll dismiss them. Your subconscious mind has to be congruent with your beliefs.

However, if you decide, “This has a good possibility of being successful, and I’ll do everything I can to accomplish it,” your subconscious will help you. For instance, when you’re choosing to change a habit, your inner mind will be in alignment with your goal and make it easier. If you’re working on a project, opportunities and information may drop into your lap.

What if you want to improve a corner of your life, but aren’t sure you will be able to believe you can accomplish it? Are you doomed to failure? Not necessarily. The more difficult you believe a goal will be to attain, the more commitment you have to bring to it as you work towards the goal. Your attitude needs to at least entertain the possibility that you can be successful.

Then you need to put more effort into the steps that will bring it to fruition. An abundance teacher says that the further away from Source you feel you are, the more action you have to take in the physical world.

Make sure your attitude isn’t one of “Just going through the motions,” because that will short-circuit your efforts. Take small steps, and praise yourself when you successfully complete each one. Your activity and dedication will impress your subconscious with the importance of your goal.

You may take two steps forward and one back, but you will start to make progress. And as you recognize the positive results of your efforts, and begin to believe that it is possible, your progress will accelerate.

Combining a positive attitude with being willing to do whatever is necessary to succeed is an unbeatable recipe for success. When you believe you can, your subconscious will help you to be right.

Affirmation:
If I can believe it, I can achieve it. The power of the Universe is at my command when I decide to commit to an intention. I realize that when I believe I can accomplish it, my subconscious seeks to prove me right. The Universe and my subconscious mind know how to bring about my intention, in a way that resonates with me. As I pair action with my belief that I can succeed, the Universe supports my every effort.

Watch the accompanying Monthly Mindset Coaching Video Build the Strength to Achieve Your Goals

Jun 092017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

What is your deepest dream? It could be to change a habit, develop a skill or achieve success in your life or business. It’s a dream that you have control over and can accomplish. The next question is: Are you taking action on it and headed in that direction? If not, then there’s something that’s holding you back. If you are taking action, but keep finding yourself having to start over, then there’s an element missing that’s creating the loop.

Success rarely happens by accident. It happens by design. Even when chance seems to be involved, there was thought and energy directed towards a dream first. As Seneca, the Roman philosopher, said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” When you prepare for success, you know a break when it appears. If you aren’t ready, then you won’t be available when the possibility shows up, and you might not even recognize it.

Hand holding seedlingSuccess is a lot like a garden. It takes thought, attention and consideration. For instance, you could just throw some seeds onto the ground, forget about them and hope for the best. But for your seeds to sprout and grow, you have to make sure they have the best conditions in which to thrive.

When you have a deep desire to grow and sent out roots in your life, there are three main areas you have to address to achieve your dream. Each of these is vital to the success of your venture. If any of them is missing or hasn’t been created, then you’re unlikely to succeed and your seeds will never have an opportunity to grow.

Vision

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” Lewis Carroll

You may have a dream, but no clear vision of making it real. Not only do you have to know exactly what you want, it must be personal for you and compelling enough inspire you to fulfill this dream. If you have no vision of where you’re going, you’ll just float, at the mercy of outer circumstances. The Law of Attraction needs a clear vision to be able to use as a mold and pattern. Without a vision, it will simply use the average of whatever you’re focusing on. To fulfill your dream, decide on exactly what you want to plant, and then plant the seeds for that bush, flower or desire

Mindset


“The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs.” James Allen

This isn’t just about positive thinking, though that’s vital to success. Mindset also includes your beliefs and attitudes about your vision and yourself. Are you afraid you won’t achieve it or maybe that you will? In addition, you need to have incentive and motivation to stay the course. How badly do you want your dream? The Law of Attraction needs you to keep your attention on your vision, so you water it, fertilize it with positive thoughts and weed out any negative beliefs about it.

Plan

“Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.” Alfred A. Montapert

Without a plan, you could run around in circles, getting no closer to your dream. You could mistake marking items off a to-do list for moving in a specific direction. Also, who or what are making the decisions for you? For example, are other people, crises or what’s immediate determining your priorities? If this is the case, you simply react to events, without making deliberate choices or thinking things through. Are the steps you want to take catered to your needs? If not, then you will avoid taking them. The Law of Attraction needs you to put your energy into what’s important to you. Your actions make sure you schedule watering and weeding, so that your seed has the best setting in which to grow.

If any of these hasn’t been attended to, then sheer chance may result in a few seeds sprouting. But you won’t be able to depend on whether they will or not. With no vision, you might plant dandelion seeds when you want tomatoes. Lacking the right mindset means you let weeds crowd out the plants you want. If you don’t plan to water regularly, then your seeds won’t have the necessary moisture to flourish.

When you address each of these areas, and follow through on your plan, then you’re empowering your vision. You’re giving it the mental, emotional and physical energy it needs to germinate, sprout and grow. By staying on track and paying attention to what you’re doing, you’re taking charge and giving your dream the fertilizer it needs to bloom.

Affirmation:

I now establish what I really want in my life. And I realize that I deserve to have my dream. The Universe wants for me what I want for myself. I decide to take the actions I need to begin moving in that direction. The Universe supports my endeavor and I attract whatever I need to fulfill my desire.

Watch my Monthly Mindset Coaching Tip video If You’re Stuck, Check These 3 Elements that accompanies this article.

2 Steps Forward, 1 Back… Master the Dance of Change

 Article  Comments Off on 2 Steps Forward, 1 Back… Master the Dance of Change
May 112017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

When you start pursuing a dream, or making a change, most people expect that they’ll progress smoothly one step after another. After they take a few steps, and find that they’ve hit an obstacle or had a setback, they get discouraged. They think, “It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. It should have been a clear path to success.”

zig-zag-chart-bw-250560But change doesn’t happen that easily. It generally happens with 2 steps forward and 1 back. You build up momentum, and then you trip or bump into a wall. You may even have to take a couple of steps back to catch your balance. For instance, when you’re on a diet to reduce weight, you don’t consistently lose the same amount every week. There are some weeks when you might not see the number on the scale go down at all. It’s also true in business. Your business will initially grow, then you’ll stall, and your finances will dip. It’s all part of the process of change.

It can be frustrating and discouraging. You can even feel anger or guilt, feeling like you must have done something wrong. These emotions can be more damaging than the setback. Your negative emotions about it can delay or hinder forward movement because you’re focusing on the block. This can lead to getting caught in a feedback loop and going nowhere.

Instead of re-focusing on your vision, you’re critical of yourself, give up, or upset that your momentum faltered. It’s like staring at an obstacle when you’re driving, rather than at where you want to go. You’ll naturally aim for the barrier every time. And because your energy is directed at the block, you’ll create more problems. It’s just the way the mind and the Law of Attraction work. Your actions follow your attention and the Law draws to you what you’re focused on.

The only way out of the loop is to let go of the self-castigation and shift your attention back to your goal. Change rarely happens in a straight line. It takes a zing sag course. By understanding that is normal, you let go of unrealistic expectations of yourself and the situation. You’re human. When you get stressed, tired, or distracted, you lose sight of your vision. It’s natural to then step back into what’s familiar, into your comfort zone.

There is a purpose to this process of change. It’s actually to help you make better progress. And when you realize this, you can master the dance and put the lessons to good use. Here are some of the opportunities that 2 steps forward, and 1 back, can offer you:

  • When you step back into your comfort zone, it grants you the opportunity to assess and process your progress. You decide what worked and what didn’t, and allows you to prepare for your next step out.

  • It keeps you from expanding too fast, going too far, or changing too much in a short period of time. If you do any of these, you don’t have the ability to sustain it. It’s like an army advancing too far in front of their supply chain. They have to retreat to maintain access to food, munitions and fuel.
  • It allows you to consolidate your progress. You strengthen your infrastructure (mentally and physically), and get more stable and stronger.
  • Your subconscious doesn’t like change. A step back lets your subconscious get comfortable with the results of your latest decision. That way, it won’t be tempted to sabotage you.
  • The block may be a message that you’ve gotten slightly off course. Test to see if you’re going in the right direction, and doing it in the right way. This is when you can easily pivot to a new direction or try new strategies.
  • Many times it’s an indication that you need more information, strategies or to develop a skill that you’ll soon need. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” or “What is this teaching me?”

Take the time to refocus on your vision. Go back to your original idea, the plan, strategies and tactics and distill, hone and improve them. Take what you’ve learned from the obstacle and apply it to your next step.

Instead of immediately thinking that things are going wrong, realize that it may be that things are going right. That’s the gift of the setback. It allows you to take a step back and get a better perspective of your path and vision.

It takes a lot of practice to master this mindset dance. You have to shift your attention from focusing on what’s wrong, to what it’s helping you do. When you’re able to achieve that, you make much faster progress.

Affirmation:

Everything that happens in my life happens for a positive purpose. The Universe wants me to be successful. When I have a setback, I bless the situation, and affirm that something wonderful comes out of it for me. I trust that the Universe will guide and direct me, and help me discover the gift in the delay.

Watch the accompanying Monthly Mindset Coaching video, Has Your Progress Plateaued?

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.
Apr 132017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Do you procrastinate when it comes to taking action towards your vision? If so, you’re unintentionally telling yourself and the Law of Attraction that it’s not important. This diminishes your self-worth and reduces your chance of success. When you avoid your dream, you feel disappointed in yourself and empty inside. You rationalize that “It’s not time,” “I’m not ready,” “It’s too hard,” or “Maybe it won’t live up to my expectations.” So your dream remains out of reach simply because you’ve put it there.

Vision SignYou may think that by not trying, you don’t have to worry about failing. But if you don’t try, you’ve already failed. Committing to your vision isn’t always easy, because you do have to make some hard choices. There are so many possibilities out there for you, and you have to set aside the less important ones, so you can focus on your big dream. But when you say “No” to some of those options, you clarify what you want and start to say “Yes” to your dream.

For instance, when you want to save money towards the down payment of a house, you’ll have to curtail your discretionary spending. You’ll choose to eat out less, go to fewer concerts, and not buy some of the toys you normally would. Because of your vision of owning a home, you’ll prioritize saving money for your house. You’ll be able to do some of those things on special occasions, just not every day, week or month.

If your vision is to be healthier, exercise will be your foundation of this goal. You’ll have to give up sitting on the couch and watching TV or playing video games. A trip to the gym or getting outside for a run becomes more important. When you prioritize your dream, it builds self-esteem and self-respect. You’re showing yourself and the Law of Attraction that what you want counts.

However, dreams and visions aren’t set in stone. They shift and change as you grow and evolve. This is normal. You may find that you’ve outgrown the dream that you’ve had for ten years. For instance, you’ve always wanted to learn pottery. But when you take a class, you discover that you don’t have the patience to mold the clay.

You may start taking action towards your dream, and get steered into another, more appealing direction. For instance, a bookkeeper, which is generally a lonely job, discovers she enjoys interacting with groups and teaching bookkeeping classes. Or a network marketer learns he wants to promote his own products instead. Their original ideas didn’t match their expectations, but led to much more satisfying outcomes. But they never would have found them if they hadn’t followed through on their dreams.

Possibly, you’re trying to change your self-image to fit your dream. For example, you’ve always had a vision of yourself being a body builder, but it wasn’t a strong enough pull to get you to lift weights. Or, you wanted to be the person who played guitar in a band, but never learned to play the instrument. In these cases, it’s time to let go of that dream and say “Yes” to another one.

As you set and achieve the goals that move you forward, other parts of your life will also change. No one section of your life is separate from the others. Shifting one area creates movement in the others. For instance, people expect that when they change a habit, it’ll impact only that area of their life. But changing it affects all aspects of your life through a ripple effect.

When a person quits smoking, it influences most of their life. It alters the way they socialize with some of their friends, such as not smoking with them during breaks. They don’t use cigarettes for stress relief anymore, so they have to find other ways to cope. It changes the way they start and end their day, and everything in between and it improves their health. It’s not easy, but if they have a vision of what they want to accomplish with quitting, then they’ll be successful.

The same is true for someone who wishes to lose weight. If they want to just be able to fit into their swimsuit for summer, they’ll achieve that goal, but gain back the weight over winter. However, if being healthier and more slender is most important, then they’ll completely and permanently change their entire lifestyle.

They’ll eat healthier and begin to exercise. Initially, some people will be offended when they refuse pressure to have second helpings or dessert. But when they stand up for themselves and their health, it builds their self-esteem.

When you start taking steps towards your dream, you shift your mental and physical energy to support what’s most important to you. You’re focusing on what it is you want in your life. And your subconscious mind will begin to scan your world for opportunities to help you. The Law of Attraction will draw to you what you want.

There will probably be obstacles, but there will also be ways around them. Or you may have to take a break or step back to reassess your next move. But the only way to succeed is to keep moving forward. The way to gain clarity about what vision is right for you is to start taking action on it. Prioritize your vision, say “Yes” to it, and begin taking the steps to bring it into reality. You deserve it.

Affirmation:
I have a vision of what I want for myself. What I want for myself, the Universe also wants for me. I’m Divinely Guided in the right direction and to the right actions to fulfill my vision. I’m persistent and consistent and take the steps necessary. All of Life supports me and finds ways to benefit my vision and me.

Watch the accompanying Monthly Mindset Coaching video, The Persistence of Your 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.