Oct 182018
 

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by Linda-Ann Stewart

Do you sometimes want to change a habit, achieve a goal or cultivate a talent, but something holds you back? It may be something that you think you should want. Or it’s something you really do want, but your beliefs don’t accept it. Many people have this problem. They have a vision of where they want to be, but their beliefs can’t support pursuing or fulfilling their intention.

For instance, Nancee was a business consultant and wanted to help business owners develop better business and marketing plans. But unconsciously, she was afraid of disappointing her clients because she couldn’t wave a magic wand and make their problems disappear. Her service would have improved their bottom line, but she held herself back from promoting her business. Once she realized that she wasn’t responsible for how her clients acted on her guidance, she followed the marketing plan she’d created, and her business grew.

Your Heart and Vision Must Align to Make Progress

Nancee’s heart, which was her beliefs and passion, had to align with her vision, which was her intentional destination, before she would take action. Some people think they want to achieve an objective, but their heart isn’t in it. Or they don’t want to take the actions they need to take to get there. They just aren’t invested enough in their vision. Unfortunately, they just don’t have the necessary passion to follow through on it. .

Other people have the heart, or the belief and passion, but they haven’t developed a vision. Flailing away, they try one thing after another. They confuse motion with action. And they’re so caught up with taking action that they don’t take the time to assess if they’re making any progress. Because they don’t know where they’re going, they don’t have a comprehensive plan of how to get there. They might have goals, but they don’t accomplish much unless they know where they want those goals to take them.

And still others have the belief that they can achieve what they want, and a vision of where they want to go. But that intention has been instilled in them by someone else. For instance, Robert’s father talked him into majoring in engineering in college. Once Robert got his degree and got a job, he found the work unsatisfying. Instead, he wanted to teach high school science classes. So he returned to college, got a teaching certificate and fulfilled his passion.

Is the Problem with Your Heart or Your Vision?

If you have a deep desire that isn’t being fulfilled, check either your heart or your vision. The problem will be in one of them. These two must be in alignment or your efforts will be useless and unsatisfactory. They feed each other, creating motivation and inspiration. When one is not in alignment, it’s like riding a bike with a single flat tire.

For instance, if the issue is with your heart, you won’t pursue your vision with enough energy. Your beliefs get in your way. Fear holds you back, or you simply won’t want your vision badly enough. You could also have other concepts that are sabotaging you, such as lack of self-worth or self-confidence. In this case, ask yourself, “What is undermining my progress?”

However, if the challenge is that you don’t have a clear vision, you take action, but spin your wheels. You don’t have a direction you’re moving towards. When you reach a goal, you backslide and have to start over again. Dealing with details takes precedence over moving forward so you stay in the same place. In this situation, ask yourself, “What do I actually want to accomplish with my efforts?”

Once you become aware of where the difficulty lies, you can begin to resolve it. If you need to work on your heart, or mindset, there are many resources to help you improve it. But if the obstacle is that you don’t have a clear vision, set aside the time to create one. Once you have your heart and vision aligned, it’s a natural progression for you to develop a plan that works for you.

This is an ongoing process. As you progress, you’ll discover that you’ll need to fine tune your beliefs, mindset and vision to continue to support you. You’ll be constantly balancing your heart and vision and correcting your course to make sure you remain on track. But because you have your heart and vision aligned, you’ll have your path clear before you.

Affirmation:

The Universe supports my every endeavor by guiding and directing my efforts. I recognize any beliefs that are holding me back and let them go. They no longer serve me. I now establish ideas, beliefs and attitudes that are in alignment with my dream. That dream is now clear and concise and I know that the Universe wants me to accomplish it. Everything I need is now provided.

Watch the accompanying video, Key Elements for your Success.

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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml
Sep 112018
 

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“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” William James, pioneer in psychology

Most of us tend to be hard on ourselves. We’re highly self-critical, paying more attention to what we haven’t done than what we have. Although we think this helps push us to be better, to achieve our goals, it actually does the opposite. Criticizing yourself is demoralizing and discouraging, and it undermines your motivation and productivity. It makes you feel unworthy and like you’re never good enough. Being self-critical can paralyze you rather than boost you to get more done. It also disconnects you from your inner self and the Universe, making it harder to access your intuition or activate the Law of Attraction.

We’re also taught not to blow our own horn or shamelessly shout our own praise to the world. That’s considered to be prideful and self-centered. So we tend to hide our accomplishments and brush aside compliments. At the same time, we secretly crave acknowledgement and appreciation. These are normal and appropriate desires. It’s only when we abandon ourselves to seek approval from others that these natural impulses can become toxic.

What It Means to Acknowledge Yourself

But how can you find the appreciation you crave, when seeking it from others is disempowering? And how can you drive yourself without making yourself feel insignificant for not doing enough? The way you find this satisfaction is by acknowledging yourself and your accomplishments. When you do, you’re not being conceited or vain, but being honest about your efforts. Acknowledging yourself has nothing to do with building up your ego to feel better than someone else. It has nothing to do with anyone but you and what’s right about you. This is the way the Universe has always seen you.

By acknowledging yourself, you are simply recognizing your authenticity and accomplishments. You give yourself credit for what you do and who you are. This connects you with your center and the Universe, which has always believed in you. You also have more clarity to direct the Law of Attraction. As you support yourself with this kindness and honesty, you validate yourself and accept that you have value.

The Reasons to Acknowledge Yourself

One of the things I do with clients is to have them acknowledge themselves and celebrate their accomplishments. Most of the time, they don’t realize how much they’ve done or how things have changed until we do this exercise. The following are tangible benefits of acknowledging yourself.

1. Raises your self-esteem. Your self-esteem derives from your sense of how much you respect yourself. When you begin to notice what’s good about you and what you have attained, your self-worth rises and you self-image improves. You believe more in yourself and your abilities, which mean you are willing to expand out of your comfort zone.

2. Increases your motivation. Don’t you want to do more when you feel like you’re making progress? For instance, you start to go through a pile of papers, filing things, and once you see how much you’ve whittled it down, you want to do more. The same is true when you pay attention to even the small wins in a day. It energizes and inspires you. You feel encouraged and to reach for more.

3. Improves your mood. Don’t you feel good when you check off tasks that you’ve completed? It activates the reward circuit in the brain and triggers the release of pleasure chemicals. The same is true when you celebrate your efforts. You feel better about yourself and life, and have more resources to deal with challenges.

Give yourself permission to celebrate who you are and your accomplishments. Consider your good qualities, your efforts, and your progress. By making this a daily practice, your life will be richer and happier. You’ll be meeting one of your deepest needs and empower yourself to fulfill more of your potential. The Universe would approve. What can you do today to acknowledge yourself?

Affirmation:

The Universe appreciates me just as I am. It believes in me and knows that I can achieve whatever I desire. I now give myself permission to acknowledge what’s good about me and the good that I do. I know that the Universe approves of and supports me in this activity.

Watch the accompanying video, How to Raise Your Self-Esteem by Acknowledging 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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

Don’t Let Distractions Crush Your Dreams

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Aug 102018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

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I recently had lunch with a friend, Mary, who makes jewelry. Her work is in stores and online, and has begun to get popular. But, as with many creative entrepreneurs, she’s having trouble with loved ones who don’t take her business seriously. She struggles with balancing her work with the expectations of her extended family.

Because she doesn’t have a 9 to 5 job, her family assumes that she’ll be available whenever they want. They don’t respect her work time because she hasn’t insisted that they do. She’s put their desires above her interests. Her message to them and to her subconscious is that her work and priorities aren’t that important. As a result, she’s trained her subconscious and the Law of Attraction to not only accept the interruption to her work, but to attract other interference.

Have you ever noticed that as you’re expanding and changing, you have a lot more distractions? They seem to pop up out of nowhere, and keep getting in the way of what you want to accomplish. If you succumb to them, they’ll sabotage your priorities. But it’s a natural part of the change process. The Universe isn’t testing you. It’s your subconscious testing you to see if you really are dedicated to your dream. The subconscious is also trying to keep you in your comfort zone.

I was amazed at how many of my smoking cessation hypnotherapy clients would experience unexpected stressful situations when they quit smoking. It was their subconscious throwing up road blocks to their goal. The severity of their problems was in direct proportion to the amount of ambivalence they had to becoming an ex-smoker. If they weren’t committed to quitting, they backslid and gave up. The distraction was an excuse for them to continue smoking.

Sometimes the subconscious will know you really don’t want to face a task, and your concentration is disturbed. For instance, you need to get the budget done. But you receive a phone call about an insignificant matter that pulls you away from it. You could have let the call go to voicemail, but welcomed the interruption. That’s the subconscious trying to help you avoid what it knows you don’t want to do.

The main purpose of the subconscious is to keep you safe, even if it means keeping you from doing what you want. It sees any change as a threat. If you allow yourself to get off track, the subconscious will get the message that you want to stay off course. And it will begin to seek out new ways to detour you.

However, if you push the distractions aside and persist with your priorities, there will be fewer disturbances. Your subconscious will get more comfortable and will help you move towards your goal. Your priorities are important. The Universe and Your subconscious will support you as you support yourself. When you respect your own priorities above what anyone else wants from you, you’re instructing your subconscious to respect your interests, too.

Mary decided to make appointments with herself to work, and keep them no matter what. She wanted to make sure nothing got in the way of that time with her jewelry. This will convince her subconscious that she’s committed to her work, and her inner mind will start to support her by reducing distractions. When she recognizes the validity of her business, she’ll be able to stand up for her priorities. As a result, she’ll create boundaries and insist that others recognize them.

Is there some goal or dream you want? If so, set it as a priority. Work towards your goal and don’t let anything get in the way. You can attend to other people’s wishes after you’ve satisfied your priorities. But your priorities come first. How can you respect your priorities and stand up for them? When you figure that out, and act on it, your path to achieving your dream will get easier.

Affirmation:

The Universe supports me as I support myself in the pursuit of my dream. I deserve it, and I respect my time and efforts. I realize that other people may have desires of their own, but I put my well being and interests first. I fulfill my priorities first, then I can address the desires of others.

Watch the video that accompanies this article, Making Your Priorities Important.

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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml
Jul 052018
 

succcess-goldkey_84055-smI’m sure you’ve heard the computer adage, “Garbage in, garbage out.” This means that the machine will operate on whatever data you program into it, whether it’s good or bad, correct or incorrect. The computer will use that information and your result will be based on it. If it’s valid and accurate information, you’ll get a correct outcome. However, if you’ve entered bad data, it will give you a flawed product. It all depends on what the operator (you) feeds into the computer.

The same can be said of your mind. Your mind operates on the ideas you load into it, from the past or present. If you are functioning on false information, you’re going to get outcomes you don’t want. Unless your mental programming supports your goals, vision and dreams, you’re going to undermine your success. Because the Law of Attraction acts on that information, drawing to you want you’ve accepted as true.

The good news is that you can change your programming. You’re always reinforcing commands in your mind by the beliefs you’ve accepted, the attitudes you’ve developed and the statements you say to yourself each day. Your subconscious (your mental computer) and the Law of Attraction act on your beliefs and bring them into a reality in your life. But your subconscious and the Law of Attraction must follow what your conscious mind decides. When your conscious mind makes a new choice and follows through on it, your subconscious and the Law of Attraction must comply and attract the equivalent.

Follow these steps to program yourself for success:

1. Change your beliefs. Are you programming yourself for what you want or what you don’t want? If you aren’t getting the results you want, assess what your beliefs about it might be. You can change your beliefs, because they’re only ideas that you’ve focused on so long that they’ve gotten to be habits. And you know you can change a habit, right? What belief do you need to have to get the outcome you want?

2. Use auto-suggestion. Every day, you’re giving yourself suggestions that impress your subconscious mind and the Law of Attraction. It They then seeks out opportunities to make the suggestions true. Once you’ve recognized what belief you need to have, write an auto-suggestion for it, in the second or third person positive. Such as an old favorite, “Every day, in every way, you’re getting better and better.” Or, “Every day, in every way, [your name] is getting better and better.” Repeat your statement out loud for a minimum of 5 minutes every day. Or repeat it to yourself as you’re going to sleep at night. Or both.

3. Use visualization. Many people think that visualization is like seeing something on a movie screen. That’s a fallacy. Imagine what your living room looks like. That’s the way you’ll experience visualization. Imagine your acting on any steps towards your goal or dream. This is like a mental rehearsal and imprints your desires on your subconscious and Law of Attraction. Then imagine that your goal or dream is accomplished and how it makes you feel. You can do this at the same time as you’re using auto-suggestion. It instructs your subconscious mind and Law of Attraction to find ways to fulfill your desires.

4. Focus on your vision.
Keep your attention on your intention. When you do, your actions will follow. And this helps you avoid getting distracted. If you do find yourself getting sidetracked, just get refocused and keep moving. Setbacks are normal. Don’t get discouraged. They give you valuable feedback on what you need to do to correct your course and keep moving forward.

Reprogramming your mind takes commitment and persistence. You’re having to change the course of the stream of your thoughts. You’ll have to move rocks (beliefs) and earth (thoughts) to metaphorically create a new channel. But it can be done as long as you’re determined to succeed.

Affirmation:

The Universe completely supports my endeavors, wanting me to have the best. I accept that I deserve the best and have the ability to create it through the power of my Higher Mind. By keeping my mind focused on my dream and desire, I provide the channel through which the Universe sends my good to me.

Watch the accompanying video, Tips on How to Program Yourself to Be Positive.

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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml
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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

Expand Your Vision of Abundance

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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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml