What Motivates You?

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Mar 272020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Do you wait until the last minute to do your taxes or a report? Do you procrastinate and avoid thinking about them until the night before they’re due? If so, you may be motivated to try to avoid pain, until the last possible moment. In the meantime, your attention is divided, knowing that the project is looming over you. While you’re trying to go about your life, dread nibbles at you.

Or are you someone who does your taxes, or a report, as soon as can? If so, you’re motivated to get your refund faster or to move on to the next task. You look forward to not only getting the unpleasant task done quickly, but to the reward of receiving your refund and clearing your desk. You’re motivated by seeking pleasure. You take your time and make fewer mistakes, because you aren’t pressured.

How the Pain Pleasure Principle Works to Achieve Goals

People are motivated to avoid pain and/or anticipate pleasure. To find out which governs you the most, assess how you deal with unpleasant aspects of your life. If you generally procrastinate or let things go until the last minute, you’re probably motivated to avoid pain.

To achieve your goals, you stir up the pain until it’s so bad that you must move forward to reduce the discomfort. This is fine for the short term and to initiate change, but it’s stressful and extended stress leads to burnout. You’ll associate your goals with pain and eventually abandon them.

Using pain to flog yourself forward wounds the inner self. You also block the flow of the Universe and the Law of Attraction. Your attention is on the pain, and not on your vision and your connection to your Higher Self. To avoid the discomfort, you move in any direction that eases the pain, even if it’s the opposite way you want to go. Or you do the least amount possible to make the pain go away, and that won’t take you to what you ultimately want, either.

To function at your best, your subconscious and inner self need safety, which is the reverse of stress. If you’re motivated by seeking pleasure, you feel more secure. You’re able to be more creative and effective, and have a greater range of resources from which to draw. The Universe and the Law of Attraction are able to expand more good into your life. You also have your focus on what your goals will bring you.

Getting tasks done ahead of time gives you a sense of satisfaction and your attention can then be freed for your next step. Your brain likes the completion, and rewards you with a feeling of being uplifted. Being motivated to anticipate pleasure is better for long term progress. It draws you forward towards your vision. It activates the Law of Attraction to draw to you what you need for your desire.

Using Your Motivation Style to Your Advantage

No matter if you’re someone who avoids pain or anticipates pleasure, you can use this motivation principle to more easily achieve your goals. If you’re been someone who stirs up the pain to initiate action, that’s fine. Once you’re moving, you can shift to the longer term strategy. Here are four steps to help you be more successful.

1. Your goal must be realistic. Create small steps that you can accomplish so you feel like you’re progressing. For instance, if you expect to accomplish five projects, when you only have time for three, you’re going to feel like a failure. Even if you must scale back your expectations, make sure your steps can be achieved in the time allotted.

2. Write out your ultimate vision. Write down what it will look and feel like to achieve your goal. Explain why you want your vision. What changes will it bring into your life and how will that improve your situation? This stirs up the anticipation of the pleasure you’ll feel when you’ve reached your goal.

3. Reframe the pain. Once you get moving, don’t continue to drive yourself with the fear of what will happen if you don’t take the next step. Instead, give yourself credit for each step you’ve taken along the way. The subconscious likes the appreciation and you’ll feel encouraged to continue. Look forward to the benefit you anticipate from your actions.

4. Take mini-steps. Work on your goal in short bursts of energy during the day. Think of it as a series of small sprints, rather than a marathon. Alternate your actions with some other neutral or pleasurable activity. You’ll stop associating the goal or task with pain and negativity when it’s not overshadowing your life. Once you see how much you’re getting done, and feeling the satisfaction, it becomes easier and easier to work on.

It may feel uncomfortable to make a shift to a different way of motivating yourself. You’re breaking a long standing habit. But if you do, you’ll be much happier, more productive and successful in all of your endeavors.

Affirmation:

The Universe wants the best for me and I deserve it. By keeping my vision in mind, I create a mold for the Universe to fill and draw to me everything I need. I acknowledge and appreciate every step I take towards my vision. Each step brings me closer to the achievement of my dreams.

Watch the complementary video, Motivate Yourself with this Strategy.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

How to Detect an Inauthentic Person

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Feb 112020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Recently, I was watching a video podcast interview of a business coach. I was inclined to like him, as his promotional materials indicated that we shared values of being heart-centered, spiritual, and purpose-driven. However, as I watched the podcast, my inner alarms were clanging. I felt something was off between what he claimed to believe and teach, and what I was actually seeing on the podcast.

There was a definite conflict between what he was saying, and how he was acting. He said all the right things, but his unconscious reactions to the discussion and questions were contradictory. They showed that his values were quite different from those he espoused. Because of that, he lost all credibility with me and my interest in pursuing any kind of business relationship with him.

Be Wary of Inauthentic People

Haven’t you ever encountered someone like that? Someone who seems to be in alignment with your values, but it’s just a mask? This can happen in your personal and professional life. You’re drawn to an acquaintance, but they’re always late to coffee or never show up. A business colleague collaborates with you, but you do all the work and they get all the credit.

If you’re not prepared, the inauthentic person can take advantage of you and leave you the poorer for it. They can undermine your self-esteem, self-confidence, self-respect and sabotage your progress in every area of your life. They can also make you doubt yourself and your perceptions.

It’s sometimes difficult to detect the inauthentic person, especially when their reputation sings their praises. Other people have been taken in by their charm. Don’t let them sway your emotions. They’re probably very good at manipulating your feelings for their purposes. Listen to your intuition and don’t get drawn into their self-promotion.

Recognizing an Inauthentic Person

Everyone hides pieces of themselves to be able to deal with their society and culture. For instance, if you’re an artist, you wouldn’t wear bohemian clothes to your job at the bank. Or when your mother-in-law visits and claims her son loves her goulash, but you know he doesn’t. It wouldn’t be good for family harmony for you to tell her the truth.

The difference is a person’s intention. A truly inauthentic person is deliberately insincere and wants to project an entirely different personality to fulfill their agenda. They may need approval, acceptance, control, status, money or power and the only way they think they can gain it is through playing a role.

Here are some behaviors that people have when they are inauthentic and untrustworthy.

They don’t walk their talk. They say one thing and act contrary to what they say. For instance, in the podcast, the coach said he wasn’t trying to sell anything and just wanted to share information. But he constantly pushed his services hard and disparaged anyone who didn’t use them.

They try to impress or intimidate you. There’s a difference between benign self-promotion and boasting that they’re better than anyone else. A person can show how their talents, skills and decisions set them apart without being a braggart. When they keep telling you how great they are, be wary.

They need flattery and attention. Wanting appreciation is normal. Needing constant praise and approval shows a lack of self-confidence. They need external reassurance that they’re accepted.  

They treat people like commodities. They consider that people exist only to fulfill their wants and needs. Even though they act like they’re kind and giving, it’s very calculated. There’s always a major payoff for them.

They get defensive and aggressive. When they don’t get what they want, they attack the person who has withheld it. The coach belittled a caller who questioned his process. The coach took it as a personal attack, when the caller just wanted clarification.

Keep your distance when you meet an inauthentic person. If it’s someone in your inner circle, like a relative or coworker, minimize contact as much as possible. Unfortunately, they cannot be trusted with your confidences. When they don’t get what they want from you, they’ll lose interest and find someone else who will fulfill their need.

Trust your instincts. If you feel uneasy about someone, pay attention. You’ll notice when something is out of alignment. Let them go, and move on. Because of your new awareness, you’ll start noticing people who are genuine and sincere. These folks are the ones you can trust.

Affirmation:

The One Life within me guides and directs me into safe and appropriate relationships. I listen to the still, small voice from within that whispers to me, letting me know who is an authentic person and who is not. I bless all people, no matter who they are. But I choose to spend time and energy with those who are trustworthy, genuine and sincere.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

How to Manifest Your Ideal Life

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Feb 032020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Do you know what your ideal life would be like? I don’t mean that you’ve won the lottery and are living the life of a multi-millionaire. That would be nice, I know. But I mean a life that is realistic and that you can create for yourself through your thoughts and actions.

You’ve already created the life you have now, through your thoughts, beliefs and behaviors. These have either been programmed in the past or were of your deliberate choosing. The Law of Attraction took that programming and brought you the life you now have. To create your ideal life, take charge and mold your life into what you want it to be.

As you consider your ideal life, you develop clarity about what it would consist of. Contemplate a life that delivers all you need to be happy, healthy and fulfilled. Although it needs to be realistic, don’t aim too low. Really dream about a life that would bring you joy. Once you’ve begun the process, it’s time to get specific.

Six steps to create your ideal life:

Create the vision. Your vision gives your subconscious and the Law of Attraction a destination. It’s where you want to end up. As you develop your vision, consider how your life could flow smoothly. Imagine that all you need is provided. Reflect on what you want in the way of harmony, health, travel and relationships. What kind of schedule do you want to keep? This is the time to really dream.

Focus on one area. If you try to work on too many goals at the same time, you spread your energy too thin. Your subconscious and the Law of Attraction will get overwhelmed. You’ll be able to advance a little bit on some of them, but it will be so small that you’ll get discouraged. Instead, pick an area that you really want to change, and focus on that first. You’ll reach it much sooner and then be able to move on to your next goal.

Develop the steps. What do you need to do to create your ideal life? Break your steps down into mini-steps, making them easy to accomplish. How much of it can you achieve in 90 days? Make that your goal. When you have a vision, it may seem too distant and unattainable. Breaking your vision into 90 day goals makes it much more approachable and doable. Then attend to your immediate goal every day, accomplishing one task toward its achievement. This convinces your subconscious and the Law of Attraction that you really are dedicated to your goal.

Construct a visualization. Visualization isn’t just “seeing” something in your mind. Write out your vision completely, as if you’re scripting it. Include how you act and feel with it being accomplished. This gives your subconscious and the Law of Attraction a model to follow. As you do, you may discover that you want to change some habits or attitudes about yourself or your vision. Also script how you accomplish your next step. With this visualization, you’re rehearsing your actions, which make it easier to follow through with in life. Read your script every day.

Check your progress. As you move forward, you may get detoured or distracted. This is normal. Life happens. Every week, take a few minutes to evaluate how far you’ve come and whether you’re still on course. If not, adjust your course to get back on track. Plan out your week, and schedule your next steps. Continually committing yourself to your vision means that you will accomplish it and empowers the Law of Attraction.

Celebrate your achievements. No matter how small the accomplishment, give yourself a mental pat on the back. It feels good to acknowledge that you’ve taken a step. This rewards you for your efforts and encourages you to keep going. Since you want more of those positive feelings, you’ll stay focused on your next step so you continue to feel good.

As you work through these steps, you’ll discover information and resources that you need. Your focus allows you to notice ideas that you would have ignored before. You may also discover you need to shift your priorities or give up outgrown ideas or relationships to accomplish your vision. You deserve your ideal life. Open the door to receive it.

AFFIRMATION:

The Universe supports my endeavors and helps to keep me focused and on course. I deserve the best life that Life has to offer. I now envision it and give myself permission to open the door to succeed. The Universe empowers me to take each step, knowing that each step brings me closer to my ideal life.

Read the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Create Your Ideal 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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Are You Resisting Your Vision?

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Dec 052019
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Power Struggle Between a Man and a Woman

Do you find yourself putting on the brakes when you’re pursuing a dream, vision or goal? You could find yourself procrastinating, allowing yourself to be distracted or just feeling uncomfortable about moving forward. This is your subconscious mind causing you to resist taking the actions you need to bring your vision to life.

Your subconscious isn’t a bad guy; it’s just following previous instructions from you. If you’re feeling at all anxious or uncertain about your goal, your subconscious will interpret that as you feeling threatened about change. Since the role of your subconscious is to keep you safe, it will throw up roadblocks to maintain the status quo.

Reasons You Resist

There are three major reasons why you resist taking action:

1. You have the wrong vision.
Although you have an idea of what you want, it may not be the right direction for you.
• You’re following a goal someone else laid out for you. For example, someone told you what worked for them, and expects it will work for you, too. What part of your dream excites you the most?
• You’re violating your values. Family time is important to you, but your goal requires you to sacrifice that time to be able to accomplish your goal. How can you adjust your vision to support your values?
• You’re out of alignment with who you are. For instance, you could be an introvert trying to become the best cold calling salesperson in the office. What best aligns with your skills and personality?

2. Fear is getting in your way. You’re afraid of the unknown or changes that might happen.
• You feel intimidated to leave your comfort zone. When you try new things, you feel uncertain and uncomfortable. But if you don’t spread your wings, your world will contract.
• You’re afraid of criticism. When you start making changes, it draws attention to you, and others may object to how you’ve changed. You don’t exist to live according to other people’s expectations.
• You’re afraid of the extra responsibility. By taking on more, you aren’t sure of your ability to handle new things. The only way to grow in confidence is to take risks and learn.

3. Old beliefs are undermining you. You were programmed with these ideas long ago and they’re still controlling you.
• You don’t feel worthy to achieve your vision. Either you don’t take any action or you sabotage yourself whenever you get close to accomplishing your dream. Adopt a new self-image that reflects the possibility that you deserve the best.
• You identify too much with your old attitudes. How you describe yourself determines the actions you take. Change the way you view yourself to be more in agreement with someone who undertakes your goal.
• You don’t feel capable. Just because you don’t know everything right now doesn’t mean you can’t learn. Each step will bring you new knowledge and confidence.

Dissolve Your Resistance

Identifying what’s sabotaging you is the first step to success. Ask, “What is my resistance trying to tell me?” Or, “What part of my vision am I resisting?” Once you know what your reason is, you can begin to overcome the resistance.

Instead of reviling your subconscious and its resistance, appreciate that it’s been so helpful. Realize that your subconscious has been trying to keep you safe. Communicate to it that this thinking is outdated and now change is needed. Adjust your attitude or actions to ease your subconscious mind’s concerns.

There is a reason behind the resistance to your dream, vision or goal. Once you discover what that is and what it’s trying to do for you, you’ll be able to work with and through the block. Ultimately, you’ll be much more successful by listening to what your resistance is trying to tell you.

Affirmation:
My subconscious mind is trying to help me at all times. But sometimes it does it in outdated ways. It’s now safe for me to move forward with my dreams. I take responsibility for my actions and the results. I’m worthy of all the best Life has to offer and am capable of far more than I know.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Overcome Resistance.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Assumptions Don’t Serve You

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Nov 072019
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Ass_u_me

People make assumptions all the time. There’s even a cliché for it. “When you assume, you make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me.'” Not very classy, but it makes the point. It means that you suppose that you know all the facts when you form an opinion, when you don’t. And you aren’t questioning that maybe you you’re missing evidence on which to formulate your conclusions. You’re building a house on quicksand and don’t know it.

For instance, I’ve had a lot of people comment on my name, Linda-Ann. Many of them assume that I’m called by my first and middle name because I grew up in the south. They’re basing their assumption on some facts. Fact: I grew up in the south. Fact: Many men and women in the south are called by their first and middle names. Conclusion: That’s why I hyphenated my name to Linda-Ann.

The facts are true, but the conclusion is false. It’s missing another fact. I go by that name because, when I was young, my two best friends on my street were also named Linda. Everyone was confused when we played together. We never knew which of us was being referred to when someone called, “Linda!” said, “Linda did that” or, “Linda, stop that!” To tell us apart, our folks and friends started using both our first and middle names.

Facts Are Important

People draw the wrong conclusion because they don’t have all the facts. None of us know everything about another person or a situation. We can’t read someone’s mind. That’s why it’s dangerous to assume you know why someone did or said something to you. You draw a conclusion based on faulty or incomplete information. It doesn’t serve either you or the person you’re evaluating, because you’ve probably made an incorrect assessment. And you make flawed decisions and take actions accordingly.

For instance, you could think that you lost a sale because you didn’t deal with the prospect’s questions well enough. Instead, it could be that it just wasn’t the right product or service for them. Or you could assume that a friend is angry at you over something you said. But it could be that what you said triggered an unhappy memory and they’re just trying to process the emotions that have surfaced.

Unfortunately, assumptions lead to creating whole stories around the supposition. And those stories become real to you. They can keep you stuck, affect relationships, further miscommunication, and block opportunities and progress.

Reasons We Assume

There are a lot of reasons why we leap to an incorrect conclusion. Here are just a few.

It’s easier. Not taking the time to discover the truth means you don’t have to make any changes. For instance, you could decide that getting in shape is simply too hard, when you really don’t want to make the effort.

It’s expedient. It’s a shortcut to a decision about a situation or person. You want a quick answer and don’t want to take the trouble gathering information. If you act on your choice, it could lead you in the wrong direction, damaging relationships and your future.

It feels powerful. When someone jumps to a conclusion, it makes them feel like they have some control over the situation. Feelings of control reduce stress, so this is a way for them to ease inner anxiety.

It’s out of fear. You could be afraid of what you might find out, so drawing a conclusion feels safer. Unfortunately, it’s the more dangerous road to travel because it closes doors.

Gain Clarity for a Better Life

A way to gain clarity about your assumptions is to question them. What facts or evidence do you have that support them? Or that refute them? Do you have all the facts or evidence? What can you do to gain more? You can ask for more information and reevaluate your conclusion for accuracy. It feels risky, but people are usually delighted that you care enough to make a decision based on all of the facts.

Assumptions aren’t helping you. Instead, they’re hindering you. When you realize that, you open doors to much greater possibilities for a better life. Letting go of your suppositions, and checking the evidence, improves your mood, relationships and actions. Take back your power and find clarity, which will lead you to wiser decisions.

Affirmation:

I let go of my assumptions about myself, situations and other people. Instead, I take the time to seek out the facts and become clearer on what’s truly going on. The Universe guides and directs my inquiries; bringing me information I need on which to form a clear opinion. As I do, doors to a greater life full of harmony and joy open for me.

Watch the accompanying video, Are You Seeing Clearly?

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

How to Stay On Course with Your Priorities

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Oct 032019
 

By Linda-Ann Stewart

Train Tracks

Recently, I had a day with a lot of priorities and deadlines. They all had to be done before a video meeting I had at the end of the day. I started out well, focused on getting my first task done. But then, life started intruding. I had a couple of clients email and message me with issues they were having. As happens all too often, I got lured into dealing with the immediate and distracted from from projects with a close deadline.

I could have postponed answering the messages for an hour and finished one of my tasks. Instead, I bounced from answering the messages and coaching them to handling my priorities. But, as I multitasked, I started to feel stressed and like I was scrambling to keep up. Fortunately, I finished my last task one minute before my video meeting started.

Priorities Get Forgotten

Have you ever had a day like that? Or worse? Life happens so fast nowadays that our priorities fall to the side as we get too busy, scattered, and just deal with one crisis after another. Your priority could be to get your work done, stick to your diet, establish a healthier routine, or be more even tempered. But your priorities get forgotten as you get stressed and off course.

Priorities are what you consider the most important to you, and they can be personal or professional. You make those decisions when you’re relaxed and considering what you really want. But when you get stressed, you start to react to what’s in front of you. Because your mind is full of other issues, you can’t make the best decisions. You fall back on habits or what’s worked in the past. And usually that completely undermines your priorities.

When you have too much going on, the Law of Attraction doesn’t know what to draw to you. It gets confused about what you want. Without clarity, the Law of Attraction acts on the average of your thoughts. And confused desires bring muddled results.

How to Get Back on Course

An easy way to open the valves to clarity and better decisions is to take long, slow, deep breaths. The best way to achieve this is to inhale to a count of four, and exhale to a count of eight. Just a couple of minutes of this will allow you to reverse the fight or flight response that stress activates. Research shows this technique releases a natural tranquilizer into your system. When you’re able to trigger a calmer state of mind, you can remember your priorities and decide whether to follow them or deal with what’s immediate.

When you want to reduce weight, and you’re faced with a temptation, such as a donut, stop. Take a couple of minutes and breathe. Then ask yourself, “What’s more important? Do I want to stick to my diet or eat the donut?” Research also shows that this deep breathing technique improves your decision making ability. At work, you can use it when you’re faced with emails and deadlines. Do you answer the emails or work on the project? In the evening, decide what your priority is, watching TV or exercising?

What’s Most Important?

Before any point at which you might automatically react to a situation, stop, breathe, and ask, “What’s my priority here?” “Can this be delayed until I’ve finished what I’m doing?” “Do I really want that piece of cake and destroy my diet?” When you’re angry, the traditional advice has been to count to ten. Instead, take a couple of minutes to take deep breaths, with longer exhalations, and then ask, “Will lashing out help the situation?”

Taking those deep breaths brings about a greater sense of balance. You’ll feel more centered and be more mindful of your choices. You’ll be able to reconnect with Universe and create clarity for the Law of Attraction. On my crazy day, I didn’t take two minutes to calm myself down. But I frequently took slow, deep breaths to refocus my attention on my priorities. Although I felt a bit frazzled at the end of the day, I didn’t feel like I’d run a marathon. Respond to the stress in your life by making the time to breathe. You’ll make wiser decisions and feel better at the end of the day.

Affirmation:

At every moment of time and every point of space, the Universe is guiding and directing my decisions and choices. I simply need to clear away the mental noise of daily life to listen to that still, small voice. I stop, take a few moments to inhale deeply and exhale slowly. This calms my mind and body, opening the channel to hear my Higher Self’s guidance. And this guidance is always for my Highest Good.

Watch the accompanying video, Reduce Stress and Anxiety Quickly and Easily.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Be Kind to Yourself for More Success

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Sep 052019
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Hanging Hearts

What is your relationship with yourself? Is it adversarial or hostile? For instance, when you make a mistake or fail, are you your own worst critic? You may think that putting yourself down, berating or criticizing yourself will help you do better the next time. But it doesn’t.

Instead, because you’re focusing on what you did wrong, you’re simply setting yourself up to repeat the behavior. And rather than taking care of yourself, you become stressed and frustrated with yourself. This may lead to indulging in self-destructive habits like procrastination, overeating, excessive drinking and more.

Your relationship with yourself is reflected in your relationships with others. If you judge yourself severely, you’re going to attract others who do the same to you. How you treat yourself determines the kind of treatment you’re willing to tolerate from others. You’ll allow people to disrespect, insult and take advantage of you, because you think that’s normal. This can negatively affect your personal and professional relationships, holding you back from achieving your goals and being successful.

Cultivating Self-Compassion

Just because you’ve done something wrong doesn’t mean that you are bad. Rather than being so hard on yourself, what if you were kinder to yourself? Research shows that when you’re nicer to yourself, you’ll experience less stress and anxiety. It also improves your sense of well-being, self-esteem, self-worth and your relationships with others.

People who are kinder to themselves have greater motivation to pick themselves up and try again. When you’re compassionate towards yourself, you’re able to accept yourself for who you are. This gives you additional energy and resilience to improve on your weaknesses and make better decisions in the future.

Shifting your viewpoint makes all the difference. By taking a more realistic view when something upsetting happens, you can put it into perspective and realize that you’re not perfect. You’re simply a human being doing the best you can with the knowledge and resources you had at that time.

When you’re kinder to yourself, you support yourself and your endeavors which allows you to reach your goals. You become more patient with yourself and become more confident. You can cultivate self-compassion by making some easy changes in the way you treat yourself.

Ways to Be Kind to Yourself

1. Use positive self-talk. Give yourself uplifting messages, especially when you realize you didn’t live up to your potential. Tell yourself something like, “It’s okay. I’ll do better next time.” Or, “I am capable and have what it takes to succeed.”

2. When you make a mistake, encourage yourself. Treat yourself as if you were a good friend. Be understanding of what happened and why. Mistakes are the way you learn. You can say, “Everyone makes mistakes. I can learn from this and move on.”

3. Write 3 things you appreciate about yourself every day. It shifts your focus to what you’ve done right in your world. This builds self-acceptance and shows you that you support yourself. You inspire and motivate yourself when you pay attention to what’s good about you.

Self-compassion can improve your relationship with yourself. Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have. You’re the only person you’re with every hour of every day. Why not treat yourself well, which is what you deserve?

Affirmation:

The Universe loves and approves of me, just the way I am right now. I realize I’m a spiritual being having a human experience, and as such, I’m not perfect. I do the best I can with the knowledge I have at the time. But I have the capability to grow, learn and be better. I’m kind to myself, and view myself with the same compassion that the Universe does.

Watch the accompanying video, Self-Compassion Can Help Tame Your Inner Critic.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Are Distractions Sabotaging Your Success?

 Article  Comments Off on Are Distractions Sabotaging Your Success?
Jul 312019
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Squirrel

Do you ever feel that your day is filled with distractions? Instead of being able to finish a project, your environment constantly intrudes on your attention? Phone calls, demands on your time by coworkers, sudden tasks thrust on you by managers or crises all erode your efficiency and impact productivity. They keep your mind in chaos, and clog your connection to the Universe.

Many of your interruptions are self-inflicted. Instead of focusing on what’s important, you allow your attention to be abducted by anything new. It’s like the dog in the movie that gets diverted by any movement, thinking it’s a squirrel. The brain loves anything that’s novel or different. It lights up the reward circuit of your brain. That’s why it feels so satisfying to check your email dozens of times a day. But just because it feels good doesn’t mean it helps you accomplish anything.

If you never focus on what you want, the Law of Attraction doesn’t know what to bring you. Chaos instructs the Law of Attraction to bring you more chaos. The more you allow yourself to be sidetracked, the more you train yourself to seek out and succumb to distractions. It becomes a self-defeating cycle. Multitasking falls into this category. Although multitasking feels like you’re getting a lot done, the more you do it, the less effective you become.

How Distractions Cost You

Distractions are more than annoyances. Every time you’re interrupted, it takes time to get refocused. Researchers estimate it takes between fifteen and twenty-five minutes to get back on track afterwards. How much time are you wasting each day, just trying to get refocused? And once you return to your task, you can’t focus as well.

Also, your output, productivity and efficiency suffer and you commit more errors. Another study established that four hours of distracted time was equivalent to one hour of focused work. Think of what you could accomplish if you focused on one task or project at a time for just two hours a day. That would be equivalent to a full day of work.

What You Can Do

You have control over many of the distractions you encounter. When you take charge of what you can, you’ll maximize your productivity and improve your channel to the Universe. You’ll also be giving the Law of Attraction clearer direction. Here are a few tips to help you stay focused.

1.  Focus on your task. Do this by turning off your email notifications, closing your door and turning off your phone. Better yet, schedule checking your email and only do it three times a day. Even better, leave your cell phone in another room. Studies show that even having it in your room diverts your attention.

2.  Stop multitasking. Contrary to popular thought, it does not make you more efficient. The opposite is true. Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you jump from one task to another, your brain must switch gears. That takes up precious time and energy, and shortens your attention span. It also makes your brain run slower and reduces your intelligence. To increase your effectiveness, address one task at a time for at least 20 minutes before you go onto something else.

3.  Train yourself to focus. Focusing your attention is a skill that you can learn and develop. Once you’ve broken the multitasking habit and been able to focus on one task for 20 minutes, take it to the next step. Extend the period you focus on any task by 5-minute increments over a period of weeks. Aim for at least 55 uninterrupted minutes. Another way to train your focus and concentration is to practice meditation. It builds areas of the brain associated with attention.

4.  Focus on the present. Pay attention to what you’re doing now. Don’t allow your thoughts to drift to the past or what you’re going to be doing in the future. When your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the task at hand. This type of mindfulness helps problem solving and improves your memory. You also open to your intuition and connection with the Universe.

Distractions will never go away. But when you stop letting distractions rule you and take control over your attention, your mood will improve. Your sense of calm, clarity, satisfaction and productivity will soar. Because you’ll be spending time on the tasks and projects that bring you results, you’ll be more successful.

Affirmation:

The Universe is always present, guiding and directing me. I now keep my mind clear, calm and focused. The Universe supports me in making positive decisions about where to focus my attention. This allows me to have a greater connection with the Universe. I plan for the future but keep my mind focused on the present.

Watch the accompanying video How You Can Get More Done in Less Time.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Set Yourself Up for Success

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Jul 042019
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

[ File # csp3734634, License # 2326247 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / Sielan

 

Susan committed to eating a healthier diet and wanted to make sure she’d follow through on her goal. The first thing she did was go through her pantry and threw away chips and anything with sugar. At the grocery store, she bought fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins. She assembled healthy snacks ahead of time, so she’d grab them instead of looking for something inappropriate.

She used hypnotherapy to imagine staying on her plan, resisting temptation and enjoying her new treats. Through this mental rehearsal, she established a new habit and lifestyle, and easily avoided impulse snacking. Because she took control of her environment and developed strategies ahead of time, she created the conditions for success.

This same process can be used for any habit or situation you want to improve, personally or professionally. There’s an old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” If you leave the details to fate, hoping that you’ll take the right action in the moment, you probably won’t. Either someone else will decide for you, unexpected situations will get in the way, or inertia will keep you in place. And you’ll just fall back on what’s familiar and automatic.

The Problem with Willpower

Willpower will only take you so far. You need to have strong motivation to be able to get yourself moving in a new direction. Usually, your willpower flags if you get tired, stressed, bored or the results don’t live up to your expectations. Think of the last diet you were on. You probably stayed on it for a while and then began to slack off a little at a time. The slide began with Fettuccine Alfredo at the restaurant with your spouse, then birthday cake at your best friend’s party, and finally you gave up when you went on vacation.

Set Up the Conditions to Succeed

Instead of relying on willpower, set up the conditions ahead of time that will get and keep you on track. Do you want to lose weight, start to exercise or make follow up calls for your business? How can you design the situation to ensure you’ll fulfill your intention? For instance, to permanently lose weight, reframing the concept may help. Rather than thinking of being a diet, consider it a lifestyle change. Decide that you don’t eat certain foods or only a moderate amount of them, not only now, but from now on.

To begin an exercise program, get a buddy or schedule reminders in your phone. Set out your clothes or shoes so you almost trip over them. Start small, with a few minutes a day, and then increase the time as you get into the habit. Design the circumstances so that you know you’ll do it with very little effort.

How can you make sure you make those follow up calls? The night before you could decide on the list of people to call and put it on your computer. And you could reward yourself with something healthy, such as a break with your favorite book, when they’re done. Another solution would be to have an accountability partner that you’d call or email when you’ve completed your task.

Figure out how you can set up the situation so that you’ll behave the way you want. Formulate guard rails to keep yourself from drifting off course. Make as many decisions as you can ahead of time, so when a challenging situation arises, you’re prepared with a solution. The main item you need to develop is commitment to your vision, as Susan did. If you want it badly enough, you can create the conditions so that you’re successful.

AFFIRMATION:

The Universe wants the best for me and supports my quest to improve my life. I’m guided and inspired as to how to create the right conditions for me to thrive. Everything I need is already available from the Infinite. I simply need to look for and recognize it. I willingly accept my greater good.

Watch the accompanying video Planning for the Unexpected.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

5 Steps to Create a Greater Self-Image

 Article  Comments Off on 5 Steps to Create a Greater Self-Image
Jun 062019
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

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Do you identify yourself as a procrastinator, leader or optimist? How you view yourself is a component of your self-image and it affects your decisions and actions. Without being aware of it, you’ll be congruent with how you characterize yourself. For instance, if you consider yourself to be a procrastinator, then your actions will support that belief. It will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But your self-image isn’t set in stone. It can be changed. When it changes, then your actions and decisions change to agree with your new one. To achieve your goals and vision, personally or professionally, your self-image will have to shift. It will have to be in alignment with the person you need to be to accomplish your vision.

For instance, a procrastinator will not be tapped to be a manager, because they won’t have the necessary quality of being proactive. But if you start viewing yourself as proactive, and choosing those actions, you’ll be management material. You’re not lying to yourself in this new view; you’re choosing to behave in a new way.

Improve Your Self-Image

One way to expand your self-image is to imagine your ideal self. This is your vision of who you are in the future, the person you want to be. This is the same concept as having a vision for other parts of your life or your business. With your ideal self, you have a vision of the future you, so you can create strategies to achieve this goal.

This is the person you must be working towards before you can bring your greater vision for your life into being. You may have these ideal characteristics in some measure, but won’t have fully expressed them at this time. They’re qualities you’re aspiring to embody and are still striving to bring into reality. And your choice of traits may change over time.

Here are five steps to help you create the new, ideal you.

1. Select three to five words you want to use to describe yourself. They need to be reasonable and possible for you. These words are different from your values, but may have values inherent in them or made up of them. They’re concepts that reflect the way the Universe views you. And the ideas probably suggest traits of your most authentic self.

For instance, you could want to be:

  • Compassionate, imaginative, and motivated
  • Confident, proactive, and determined
  • Resourceful, trustworthy, and self-disciplined
  • Spiritual, present, and empathetic

2. Ascertain the qualities you need to develop for your words to be true. These will include attitudes, beliefs, habits, and skills that are cultivated and amplified as you work on your overall vision for yourself. What do you need to develop to fully bring these attributes into reality?

For instance, to be self-disciplined, you need to follow through on the decisions and promises you’ve made, even when they’re inconvenient. To be proactive, you take action to bring about specific results, addressing issues before they become a problem. In developing compassion, you choose to consciously seek the good in everyone and be nonjudgmental.

3. Write your words somewhere so you see them daily. This could be on your phone, tablet, computer or taped on the wall by your desk. They’ll remind you what you’re aspiring towards and that their qualities are important to you.

4. When you read these words, feel what they mean to you. This impresses the subconscious and it will take that as direction to become like them. Say to yourself, “This is who I’m choosing to be.” Identify with them because you tend to become what you identify with. Your subconscious wants you to be congruent with your belief about your identity.

5. Commit to acting on your new characteristics.
For instance, to be more determined, persist when the going gets rough. If you want to be more optimistic, and you’ve had several setbacks, choose to believe the best possible outcome. Be consistent with the behaviors, qualities and traits that reflect your ideal you. Over time, they will feel more natural and it will become automatic.

What you’re doing is creating a vision of the best version of yourself. You’re molding your future you into the person you want to be. As you do, you’re becoming the person who accomplishes your goals and vision.

Affirmation:
The Universe approves of me, as I am, and also has an ideal concept of who I can be. It views me as my best self and knows that I can grow into that ideal. It supports me fully in my endeavor to be a better person. I make the choices that reflect my future, ideal self and act on them.

Watch the accompanying video, 3 Exercises to Improve Your Self-Image.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.