May 112017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Affirmation:

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

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

As a speaker, hypnotherapist, and vision coach, Linda-Ann Stewart helps business and professional women who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to create their vision, prioritize, and focus so they increase their productivity, prosperity and peace of mind. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.
May 052017
 

Sparks of Insight“Whatever you hold in your mind will tend to occur in your life. If you continue to believe as you have always believed, you will continue to act as you have always acted. If you continue to act as you have always acted, you will continue to get what you have always gotten. If you want different results in your life or your work, all you have to do is change your mind.” – Unknown

It’s said that the definition of insanity is “Doing what you’ve always done and expecting a different result.” You have a beliefs and attitudes about circumstances in your life, even if you’re not aware of them. You act on those beliefs when a situation arises in your life. Changing the way you react means you have to change the belief that prompted it. Therefore, when you change your belief, you change your response, and, as a result, the outcome.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

May 032017
 

Question about affirmationsQuestion: I’ve been taking medication for depression, but what are some more holistic ways for me to deal with it?

Answer:  I’m not a medical doctor nor psychologist, so I can only give you some suggestions. But first, I completely support taking medication to start feeling better. Ernest Holmes, founder of Science of Mind said something to the effect of, “You might as well feel better while you’re getting better.” The medication will give extra energy to help think straight. And until that happens, healing can’t happen.

Studies are finding that much of depression is caused by the way we think, and what we think about. A thought always precedes a feeling, even if the thought is a fraction of a second long. It can create a downward spiral that results in depression. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns, M.D. has exercises to help you turn those thoughts around. Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman, Ph.D. discusses much of the research into this.

Walking or exercise is also effective to improve one’s mood. They’ve done studies that have shown that walking 30 minutes a day 3-5 times a week (depending on the study) is as effective, by itself, as antidepressants. But when you’re feeling so down, you can’t get yourself moving, which is why medication can help jumpstart you.

One more suggestion, do some journaling. It’s been found to help depression when you write about your feelings about the traumatic events of your life. Not just about the experience, but your feelings about it. By itself, it doesn’t help PTSD a lot, but it does help. Write 15-20 minutes on at least four consecutive days, preferably in the morning.

A final note, STOP MENTALLY BEATING YOURSELF UP! If you notice you’re getting negative, so what? Condemning yourself for it will just give it more energy. Start writing down what your negative thoughts are, and then you can see if they’re valid.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Apr 142017
 

Sparks of InsightEveryday we have an undercurrent of statements that we repeat to ourselves. Most of them are neutral as we talk our way through our day. But many of the statements are self-derogatory. Putting ourselves down and criticizing what we do. How would a friend respond to this kind of condemnation? The Universe certainly doesn’t believe this way. You are your best friend, and need to treat yourself as one. Become aware of your automatic remarks, challenge them, and change them into positive ones.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Apr 072017
 

Sparks of Insight“The subconscious mind will not take the trouble to work for those who do not believe in it.” ~ Theodore Simon Jouffroy, French philosopher.

If you don’t trust the subconscious to take a goal and find a way to manifest it, it won’t. By not believing in the subconscious’ creative powers, you’re giving it the direction to ignore your conscious choices. It will then only act on the overall tendency of your thought. The subconscious is the creative part of you. Believe it will work to solve your problems, using all of the Infinite’s resources, and it will act on them.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Mar 172017
 

Sparks of InsightAffirmations change the way you think about your life. They act on the basic beliefs and attitudes that prompt your reactions, and align with the Source of all Good. But to convince your subconscious that you actually want to change, you must also take actions to reinforce your positive statements. It doesn’t matter what kind of action it is. It just needs to show your subconscious that you’re a willing participant in the transformation. This will make the change much quicker and easier for you.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Meditation to Improve Your Self-Image

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Mar 142017
 

Your self-image affects everything about you and your life. The way you perceive yourself filters how you view and respond to the world. It’s built of beliefs, and beliefs can be changed. Watch and listen to this short meditation that will help you start to shift how you think about yourself so that it’s more positive.



Transcript:
Your self-image is how you perceive yourself to be. And it affects your decisions, actions, attitudes and relationships. Your self-image is the filter for who you think you are and how you respond to situations around you. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that you make true. But you can also change it because it’s build of beliefs. And beliefs can be changed. Here’s a short meditation to get you started.

If you want, close your eyes. Take a deep breath, let it out, and relax.

Consider what is right about you. Think of the things you’ve done that have been right and good. Reflect on what’s good, valuable and worthwhile about you. Contemplate what you like about yourself – your appearance, talents, characteristics. People view you as a good person. Think of all the compliments you’ve ever been given. Accept them. Allow yourself to feel the warmth of their glow. Now, consider the person you want to be. What do you need to believe to be that person? What if you start believing it now? What would change? You can start making those changes right now. How would that feel?

Open your eyes. When your negative self-talk starts to bring you down, shift your attention to what’s positive about you. This will help to improve your self-image and will make massive changes in your world.

Read the article, 3 Steps to Improving Your Self-Image, that inspired this meditation.

As a speaker, hypnotherapist, and vision coach, Linda-Ann Stewart helps business and professional women who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to create their vision, prioritize, and focus so they increase their productivity, prosperity and peace of mind. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

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Mar 092017
 

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Mar 082017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Self-esteem is a basic necessity for all success in personal and professional life. When you like and respect yourself, then you’re likely to make the choices that lead to creating the outcomes that you want. Your self-worth is created by your attitudes about yourself based on what ideas you accepted as a child and the things you tell yourself as an adult.

Your self-image plays a large part in the development of your self-esteem. Your self-image is formulated from your experiences, judgments, labels you’ve accepted, and your talents or your liabilities. These have helped to shape your beliefs about yourself that feed into your self-worth.
Woman with outstretched arms

You always act like the person you believe yourself to be. How do you see yourself? Do you perceive yourself as a competent and dynamic individual? Or do you doubt yourself and your abilities? Do you focus on what you’ve done wrong, or what didn’t turn out the way you wanted? This will erode your self-image and contribute to a low self-esteem.

If you have a strong, healthy self-image, then you make healthy decisions that support your vision, dreams and goals. You’ll exercise to stay fit, eat healthy, and avoid substances that would impair your health. These choices may be difficult or inconvenient, such as quitting smoking, ending a one-sided relationship, or finding another job that gives you a better chance to advance in your career. But you protect your health and well-being because you view yourself as someone who is proactive.

Your self-image forms the filter through which you view yourself and how you respond to situations around you. It demands that you remain consistent with your concept of yourself. Suppose you perceive yourself as a supportive person, who likes to make everyone happy. If so, to be congruent, you won’t stand up for yourself when you’re taken advantage of, even at the cost of your welfare.

For instance, Clarisse owned a service-based business. Initially, her attitude was that she offered a service that happened to be a business. With that approach, she was supportive, sympathetic and enabling of everyone who came to her. But her customers took advantage of her after she’d done work for them. After promising to pay, they reneged, saying they couldn’t afford it. Her business began to flounder.

To be successful, she had to shift her view of herself as a businessperson. She realized she wouldn’t be able to help anyone if she wasn’t in business. She changed her inner position to one of being a businessperson who provides a service. With this outlook, she made decisions based on what was good for the business.

To fulfill her desire to be of service to those who needed it, she selectively provided her service pro-bono to a client every once in a while. But they no longer were the majority of her clientele. Her business began to thrive.

Your self-image is malleable. You can impact it, making it stronger and more effective. But to do so, you’ll have to let go of some imbedded, old ideas. They may even be ones that you value, but they’re not helping you or your self-esteem.

Clarisse had to let go of her self-concept of being of service to everyone who needed her. That way was destroying her business. One major change she made was insisting on payment up front. She also set and kept boundaries, in the form of policies. If someone violated a policy, she refused to work with them. And she refused to take responsibility for others’ decisions that prevented them from living up to their agreements with her.

If you want to have more impact, be more effective and more successful, the first place to start is with improving your self-image. Here are a few suggestions of what to do.

1. Let go of the judgments and labels from your childhood. They belong in the past and don’t reflect who you are now. Besides, they were simply someone’s, usually mistaken, opinion and don’t define you in the present.

2. Stop of focusing on what’s wrong with you.
You’ll always be able to find something to criticize in yourself or what you do. Break that habit as it’s not helpful. Instead, focus on what’s right about you.

3. Make a list compliments that you’ve received.
Don’t dismiss them as untrue or someone just being nice. Accept that they’re true of you.

No matter what your dreams, you’ll always make decisions, and act, in alignment with your self-image. To become the person you want to be, and achieve your dreams, you’ll need to change it so it supports what you want in your life. You can do it. Just consider the life that awaits you and stay focused on your dreams.

Affirmation:
The Universe loves and approves of me as I am. I accept my true worth. It’s safe to let go of old concepts that aren’t true of who I am. I now acknowledge the things that I do that are good and right. People like me, and I accept that I am likeable. I now shift my self-image to reflect the person I want to be.

Watch the Monthly Mindset Coaching Tip Video, Meditation to Improve Your Self-Image, that was inspired by this article.

As a speaker, hypnotherapist, and vision coach, Linda-Ann Stewart helps business and professional women who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to create their vision, prioritize, and focus so they increase their productivity, prosperity and peace of mind. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.
Feb 282017
 

Stake Your Claim: Exploring the Gold Mine Within
By Emmet Fox

This book was the first one by this author that I ever read. The practical, spiritual advice from it made him one of my favorite metaphysical authors. Dr. Fox was a well-known spiritual teacher and his insight is timeless.

The title of the book refers to staking your claim to the good that you want in your life. Short, to the point essays about peace, prosperity, empowerment and much more form the chapters of this book. Each essay addresses a different subject, and stands alone in its wisdom.

The counsel in this book will uplift your thoughts, help you gain a more positive, spiritual outlook on what ever difficulty you might be experiencing, and help you live a richer, fuller life. Because of the short essays, this is the perfect book to read in the morning to get the day started right, just before going to sleep, or at any other time when you only have a few minutes to spare.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart