Break Free from the Prison of Conformity

 Article  Comments Off on Break Free from the Prison of Conformity
Mar 072018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sparks of Insight

 Sparks of Insight  Comments Off on Sparks of Insight
Feb 232018
 

Sparks of InsightDo you remember your mom telling you that “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything?” There’s a valid reason behind that sage bit of advice. If you criticize, find fault, or complain, then that’s where your attention is going. Just where you don’t want it to. So you get more to complain about. When you want to say something, bless a difficult situation or person, use an affirmation, or say nothing. This will begin to turn your attention to the more positive aspects of life, which brings more good to you.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

 Trending Articles  Comments Off on Trending Articles of the Week
Feb 092018
 

Sunset Crater plant Knowing Yourself: How to Improve Your Understanding of Others
Getting to know yourself isn’t being self-involved. It’s to understand the different parts of yourself and how they could be activated in your life. It gives you more control over your reactions. When you understand yourself better, it allows you to be more empathetic and compassionate towards others.

How to Deal with a Passive Aggressive Person
We’ve all had to deal with someone who is antagonistic, but acts it out covertly. They may play mind games with you, try to undermine you or put you down. It’s hard to deal with them, because they’re so underhanded in their actions. This article details some of their behaviors so you can recognize them. It also gives some great tips on how to handle them so you can take control of the situation.

How to (Try to) Not Take Things Personally
Are you hypersensitive? Do you take things personally? If so, it’s hard when someone takes aim at you. You don’t just roll with it, and can be hurt and become defensive. This isn’t in your best interest or help the situation. This article gives 6 great tips to take a step back and help you be less sensitive to inevitable criticism.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Can I use affirmations for more than 1 issue at a time?

 Sparks of Insight  Comments Off on Can I use affirmations for more than 1 issue at a time?
Jan 292018
 

Question about affirmationsQuestion: Must I repeat one affirmation, say for ten minutes morning and night till I receive a manifestation – say for 3 months – or can I use various affirmations during the day?

Answer:
Great question. It’s better to focus on one area at a time when you’re using affirmations. If you are working on significantly improving your health, prosperity, relationships, etc., it overloads the subconscious mind. Imagine you’re given a list of major things to accomplish in a short amount of time. If you’re like most people, you probably would like to throw up your hands and walk away. That’s what the subconscious does if it has too many things to change.

However, you can focus on one area, then during the day, use an affirmation that deals with generalized improvement – in all areas. Something as simple as Emile Coue’s (a pioneer in hypnosis) “Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better,” or even a statement that’s more complex. In that case, it will actually help the subconscious by having you uplifting your overall consciousness of good.

The subconscious acts on the tendency of your thinking. So, if during the day, you’re “tending” to think of improvement in all areas, thinking positively, then that will give the subconscious more “juice.”

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Meditation to Find Your Intention for the Year

 Video  Comments Off on Meditation to Find Your Intention for the Year
Jan 162018
 

Do you set New Year’s Resolutions or goals at the beginning of the year? What if you set and intention for the year instead? A goal is more specific and concrete. An intention is more of a trend or tendency you want to cultivate in your life. Goals can be a part of it, but the intention is more general. This meditation can help you discover what your intention might be and help you be more successful with it.



Transcript:
Do you set New Year’s Resolutions? Goals to achieve that will improve your life? What if you do something different this year. You could do it in addition to your resolutions, and it may be more rewarding. What about setting an intention for the year? In years past, I’ve set intentions such as being more grateful, opening to experience more good, looking for the positive in every situation, being more compassionate and so forth. Whenever I’ve found myself to fall back into the old pattern, I remind myself of the quality I want to cultivate and grow in my life. Is there some quality, value, attitude or action that you want to focus on in this coming year? I’d like to lead you in a meditation to help you discover what that might be, and to be more successful with it.

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist. For almost 30 years, I’ve been a hypnotherapist. Clients came to see me to create change in their lives. Over time, I discovered that they had to also have a vision of where they wanted to end up with that change to be truly successful. Now, as a vision strategist, I help women entrepreneurs get clear, focused and get back in control so they’re able to accelerate to the next level of their business. Essentially, I help bring their vision into reality.

You can do this with an intention. An intention isn’t a specific goal. It’s more of a trend or tendency you want to develop. Goals can feed into it, but the intention is more general.

This short meditation will allow you to stir up some ideas for your intention. Even if one doesn’t surface for you during it, this meditation will plant the seed and one will probably appear to you within a short time. Idea/concept – get your attention. Trend you notice focusing on in your life.

So, if you’re so inclined, close your eyes, and take a deep breath… Let it out. Let your mind wander to what brings you joy in your life. What are you passionate about? What do you want more of in your life? What kind of change do you want in your life? It could be a value (compassion/kinder), quality (focused/goal oriented), attitude (self-confidence/serenity) or condition (more active/health) that you want to cultivate and grow in your life.

Even if no word, concept or idea surfaces right now, just allow your thoughts to wander through the corridors of your mind. There is something that you’ve been wanting to expand on, to experience more of, to pay attention more to. At some level, you know what it is. You may have a multitude of ideas. Let the most important one or two to become brighter and stronger. And even if you’re not sure, the idea will quickly become more apparent and clearer. Allow it to be short, one or two words, or a short sentence. Something you can easily focus on.

Once you have settled on your intention, how will you express it in your life? How will you apply it? What actions or attitudes will you take to be true to it? How will you support it in your life? And how will your life be different in a year by living this intention? How will you feel?

Your intention becomes your compass, helping you to travel in the direction you’ve chosen. It guides your thoughts and actions, and it brightens your life. Open your eyes.

Did you discover one? Is it the right one for you, or do you need to consider it more? Once you’ve decided on your intention, keep it in front of you so you don’t forget it. You could also find an object, picture or a reminder on your phone to remember to stay true to it. I’ve used stones or shells as reminders. Whatever it is, make sure you look at it frequently so you keep your compass pointed to it.

If you’d like more tips on how to make your day flow more smoothly, download my free guide, Take Control of Your Day.

Thank you for watching. I hope you’ve gotten an intention that resonates with you and brings you joy. This year, mine is to be in the flow. What’s yours?

Read the accompanying article, Set Your New Year’s Intention.

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

Set Your New Year’s Intention

 Article  Comments Off on Set Your New Year’s Intention
Jan 112018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trending Articles of the Week

 Trending Articles  Comments Off on Trending Articles of the Week
Dec 222017
 

Rainbow at SnowbowlThree Steps to Overcoming Overwhelm
Being overwhelmed is stressful and can cause you to become paralyzed, not knowing what to do. So you only do what is immediate and easy. But there are ways to combat it, and emerge stronger and better. This article gives some specific directions on how to address this feeling and shift your perception of what’s causing this distressing problem.

How To Make Great Decisions Under Stress
Unfortunately, when you’re under stress, your brain can’t evaluate date well and decide on a beneficial course of action. Research shows you simply can’t make good choices under these conditions. So if you can’t eliminate stress from your life, how can you make good decisions? Here are 3 rules to follow so that you can make effective decisions.

A new study shows that students learn way more effectively from print textbooks than screens
Although today’s students grew up with technology and it’s second nature to them, they don’t learn well when using digital screens. Research is showing that digital technology isn’t helping people learn and process information better. The opposite is true. This article helps to put print into perspective, understanding when it’s better than digital, and when it’s not.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

 Sparks of Insight  Comments Off on Sparks of Insight
Nov 172017
 

Sparks of InsightYour subconscious mind is the creative part of you. It’s the problem solver, not your conscious, rational mind. Your analytical mind recognizes a challenge, gathers information about it, then passes that information onto your creative mind to start finding a solution. The rational mind must let go of the problem and go onto other things for the subconscious to work. Sometime later, you’ll have an insight, an idea, a potential resolution pop into your consciousness. Test it out, see if it’ll work. If it doesn’t, let go it go, again, to let your creative mind continue processing. Eventually, it’ll come up with a solution that will work for you. This is the process of creation.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Make Yourself a Priority to Reduce Overwhelm

 Video  Comments Off on Make Yourself a Priority to Reduce Overwhelm
Nov 152017
 

How many roles do you fill? Do you ever feel like they’re pulling you in a hundred different directions all at once? This contributes to a feeling of overwhelm, because you can’t do it all. Learn a couple of techniques of how you can prioritize yourself in a way that supports your mental and physical health.



Transcript:

How many roles do you have? Mother, father, wife, husband, sister/brother, business owner, worker, manager, daughter, son, and on and on? Do you ever feel like they’re pulling you in a hundred different directions all at once? Like you have too many people who want you to help them, or want something from you, and they all want it now? This contributes to a feeling of stress and overwhelm, because you can’t do it all. And trying to can impact your personal and professional life. I’d like to give a couple of suggestions of how you can prioritize yourself in a way that supports your mental and physical health.

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist. For almost 30 years, I’ve been a hypnotherapist. Clients came to see me to create change in their lives. Over time, I discovered that they had to also have a vision of where they wanted to end up with that change to be truly successful. Now, as a vision strategist, I help women entrepreneurs get clear, focused and get back in control so they’re able to accelerate to the next level of their business.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always fighting against being a people pleaser. In the past, my needs took second place to what others wanted. If a group I was volunteered for asked me to be part of committee, I’d generally say “yes,” even when the time involved impacted my work or well being. The wake-up call came when I got so over involved with different organizations that my health was affected. That’s when I developed the ability to say “no.” I realized I couldn’t be all things to all people, and still be there for myself. I couldn’t please everyone. Can you?

For instance, you know you can’t satisfy all of your potential customers. Some will just be more trouble than they’re worth. You’ll have to choose your values and peace of mind over what they want from you. Setting boundaries on your time may be your first step. For instance, you don’t answer the phone outside of office hours. Or, if you need to be on call, you establish some rules for customers who abuse the privilege.

In my first years as a hypnotherapist and coach, I learned not to give my home number to clients (this was in the years before cell phones). Too many called in the evening, just to talk. So what kind of boundaries can you set? It’s just another way of saying “no.”

If people in your personal life demand what you struggle to give, it’s important to use both of those strategies. Learn to say “no” to requests that you know will mean you have to sacrifice something important to you. And establish boundaries for when you will and won’t be available, what you’re willing to do and not do. Especially if they’re things that the person asking can do for themselves. You can’t please everyone, and you need to take care of your well being or you won’t be able to be there for others.

Years ago, I had to end my association with some of the organizations I’d been involved with. They couldn’t accept that I wasn’t at their beck and call anymore. It was hard, and I probably wouldn’t have done it if my health hadn’t been involved. But learning to say “no” was a valuable lesson. It’s one that has served me well in my personal and professional life since.

What can you say “no” to? How can you set boundaries in your life? These are very important abilities to develop. They allow you to prioritize what’s important for you. And when you do that, you’ll reduce your stress and have more peace of mind.

If you’d like more tips on how to make your day flow more smoothly, download my free guide, Take Control of Your Day.

Thank you for watching. I really encourage you to practice these techniques. I know they’ll make a difference in your life.

Read the accompanying article, Conquer the Distress of Overwhelm.

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

Sparks of Insight

 Sparks of Insight  Comments Off on Sparks of Insight
Nov 032017
 

Sparks of InsightWhen you have something challenging happen in your life, bless the situation. It may not be the way you’d want it to appear, but if you curse it or resist it, you’ll just give it more energy to get worse. Instead, if you affirm that somehow, someway, something wonderful will come out of the situation for you, you’re directing your subconscious mind to put its juices to work to create something even better than you could have imagined.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart