Sparks of Insight

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Aug 282018
 

Sparks of Insight“What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens.” – Thaddeus Golas

When something challenging happens to you, do you get upset or frustrated? If so, you’re human. But you always have a choice about how to respond to an event. You can automatically allow your emotions to take over and make you miserable, or you can choose a different response that empowers you and might allow you to create a better outcome. The event itself has no power other than what you give it. Will you give it the power to make you unhappy, or will you choose to respond in a conscious way?

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Don’t Let Distractions Crush Your Dreams

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Aug 102018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Affirmation:

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

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

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

Sparks of Insight

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Jul 162018
 

Sparks of Insight“The optimist sees opportunity in every danger; the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity.” – Winston Churchill

This is another way of putting the old idea of, “Do you see the glass as half full or half empty?” Studies have shown that the way you approach life, with optimism or pessimism, can predict how successful you’ll be. When you see opportunity in every situation, whether it appears to be beneficial or detrimental, then you’ll likely reap the reality of your attitude.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Jun 142018
 

Sun RaysWhy Attitude Is More Important Than Intelligence
Most people think that intelligence will lead to success. But research has disputed that concept. Apparently, success is more dependent on whether you think you can grow and improve. They outperform people with high intelligence, but who believe that they cannot change. Fortunately, you can change that fixed attitude and be more able to solve problems and overcome challenges. This article gives 7 tips on how to develop the type of attitude that will bring you success.

Who Do You Think You Are? Why You Could Be Wrong
We tend to label ourselves, and act within the framework of that identity. These roles were developed when we were children, when we adapted to the clues from our parents and other adults around us. When we grow up, we rarely reassess them to determine if those ideas are true. Many times, they aren’t.

4 Actionable Steps to Build a Positive Money Mindset
Many entrepreneurs are realizing that they have limiting beliefs and attitudes about money. Those ideas keep them from taking positive action that yield success. Believe it or not, you have a relationship with money, either positive or negative. To be a successful business person, you need to heal that relationship and release the negative associations you have with it. Follow these tips to begin appreciating this resource.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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May 282018
 

Sparks of InsightIn Your Thoughts Can Change Your Life: The Twelve Essential Attitudes for Health, Harmony and Happiness, author Donald Curtis states that Jesus gave us a 3 action steps:
1. “Ask and it shall be given you.”
2. “Seek and ye shall find”
3. “Knock and it shall be opened unto you.”

Ask, believing that you can receive, in meditation and affirmation for what it is that you want. Then go out into the world, asking for guidance every step of the way. No matter what path you take, if you’re open and seeking, you’ll be directed. And persist, not giving up. This convinces the subconscious, which is the part of you that needs convincing, that you really do want it.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Mar 292018
 

Sparks of Insight“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

A person can work like crazy to get ahead, have great ideas, great connections, and great opportunities, but still fail. Usually, it’s due to a negative, self-defeating attitude. Through either early training or hard knocks, they believe that nothing they do is going to succeed. Therefore, it doesn’t. They can’t contradict their expectations. Studies have shown that a person with a positive outlook will go farther and achieve more. An optimistic person seems to not only attract more opportunities, but they seem to know better how to make them pay off. And the good news is that optimists aren’t born, they’re created. With some work, you can have a better mental attitude and become an optimist.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Break Free of Perfectionism

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Mar 132018
 

Perfectionism prevents you from moving forward in your life. It’s an enemy of innovation and creativity, because they start off being disorganized. Progress is messy. And when you try to be perfect, you block your ability to complete anything. Learn how to overcome this undermining tendency so that you can achieve your vision.



Transcript:

Are you a perfectionist? Trying to get everything perfect before you move on? Is it successful? I’ll bet probably not. That’s because perfectionism is an unreachable goal. It doesn’t serve you or allow you to thrive. It holds you prisoner to its demands. And it lies when it lures you with the idea that it helps you to excel. It doesn’t. It can actually derail your ability to excel Perfectionism and excelling are two different things. Perfection is a dead end. Excellence can always be improved.

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. Early on, 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 a clear vision, get focused on its strategies and get back in control so they’re able to accelerate to the next level of their business.

Voltaire said,”Perfection is the enemy of the good.” It’s also the enemy of innovation and creativity. Because those are messy and disorganized. They’re designed to create order out of chaos, but first chaos has to reign. I understand if you’re just shuddering as I mention that. I’ll bet it goes counter to everything you’ve believed.

As an example, an artist friend of mine was blocked. She specialized in oils, and wanted her paintings to be perfect. So she’d work and rework parts of her paintings and had gotten to a point where she wouldn’t complete one. To break through this block, and loosen up, she decided to take a watercolor class from a friend.

She was shocked to her bones when the teacher started the class by saying, “Give yourself permission to paint the worst picture you ever have.” My friend was almost immobilized by this instruction. “I can’t do that,” she said. “I have to try my best.” After a lot of encouragement, she was finally able to let go and experiment and play. And it made her realize that her attachment to perfection was what was blocking her. And she began completing paintings again.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well?” Many people read that to mean “perfectly.” I prefer the quote by G. K. Chesterton, “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” If you’re a perfectionist, I’ll bet you just winced. It’s completely opposite of everything you were taught or have done. But I promise, the sky won’t fall if you do something badly. The earth will continue to spin. No one will think less of you. You’re the one who puts that pressure on yourself. No one else cares that much. You’re the one blocking your progress and your vision, like my artist friend was.

When you first start working on something or starting a new enterprise, don’t expect yourself to be perfect. You’re going to do poorly at first. A child doesn’t walk the first time they try, do they? You’re not going to be an expert when you first start something new. Yes, I know that rocks you down to your feet. But you have to practice before you can reasonably expect to master your project. You’ll just have to keep working at it. The idea is progress, not perfection.

But sometimes perfectionists procrastinate or rework what they’ve already done just to avoid completing a project. It keeps them from facing judgement, rejection or criticism. But most of that negativity comes from themselves. Like I said, most of the people who know you aren’t going to care.

Perfection is the enemy of good, progress and achieving your vision. Your path to your vision or completion isn’t going to go in a straight line. It’s going to be messy. Accept it. I know that’s hard. There are going to be setbacks and leaps forward. You’re going to learn along the way and make different decisions. That’s the way progress works. It’s messy.

You can still have high standards. Just have reasonable ones. Don’t sacrifice progress or completion to impossible ideals. If you start procrastinating, then you know that standard is too demanding. Scale back and just start. Take a step. Then another. Keep taking steps until it’s done. Just get it done. Even if it’s badly. You’ll eventually get used to it. And you’ll be more likely to excel, be happier and more successful.

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

Thank you for watching. I know this was hard for you, but I hope you’ve gotten some encouragement to loosen some of your perfectionistic tendencies. Take care.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

Break Free from the Prison of Conformity

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Mar 072018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

How Your Beliefs About Stress Affect It

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Feb 012018
 

stress-desserts-yckrqARKi-smWhen I was in school, I had a debilitating fear of tests. Even though I’d studied and knew the material, the stress would cause me to freeze up. It sent me straight into fight-or-flight mode. I viewed the test as a threat and couldn’t remember the answers. Sometimes, if I had time to go over the questions a second time, I would be more relaxed and more answers would surface. Despite this, my grades were decent. But I know they could have been better without the paralyzing fear and stress.

This is one of the things stress does when we feel threatened. Our bodies were developed to deal with physical dangers by having extra energy to fight a danger or flee from it. But in our modern society, having a tense relationship with the boss, a deadline for a project or taking a dreaded test can trigger the exact same response. The mind doesn’t distinguish between a physical danger and a mental threat.

But stress does have a good side. When stress is controlled, then it helps us to learn and grow. To build a muscle, we stress it by lifting weights or going a bit beyond what’s comfortable. When we feel excited, creative, stimulated or challenged, we’re triggering the same pathways as when we have excessive stress, just not to the same degree.

The downside of stress is that it can also make us feel anxious, tense, hypervigilant, drained, depressed and hopeless. We feel like we have no control. There will always be some stress we can’t control. The best we can do is minimize its effects on us. For instance, when we have too many things to do, a toxic boss, or a loved one who is ill, we need to take steps to take care of ourselves.

But there’s research that shows that if you don’t believe that stress is harming you, it doesn’t. Your belief and perception that stress is a challenge reduces the dangers of the same amount of stress that harms other people. I once had a friend who refused to use the word “stress.” He didn’t like the connotation, so he used the word “pressure” instead. Research is showing he had it right.

In an eight year study, researchers found that people under high levels of stress had a 43% increased risk of dying. That’s not unexpected. We all know the dangers of stress and how it can affect our health. Those who had a negative view of stress were most likely to die.

But the study also found that those under high stress, who didn’t believe that stress harmed them, and instead perceived it to be a benefit, were less likely to die. They also had the least negative effects from stress, almost equivalent to people who reported low stress. Their bodies secreted a hormone that counteracted the cortisol that stress creates.

Those who worried about stress and believed it was harming them suffered more consequences. Their belief became a self-fulfilling prophecy for them. In the same way, those who perceived the stress as energy, preparing them for a challenge or excitement minimized the unhealthy effects. Changing your mind about stress changes your body’s response to it.

Belief is powerful. Not everything you believe is factual or real. But you make it so by your attitude towards stress. Henry Ford said, “Whether you believe you can, or you believe you can’t—you’re right.” You are instructing your subconscious mind and the Universe how you expect stress to affect you. And it complies with your expectation. So how can you shift your attitude and make stress work for you? Reframe your perception of it.

For instance, when I got into college, I decided to change my attitude towards tests from one of fear to thinking of them as a challenge. It allowed me to more easily retrieve the answers from my memory and my grades reflected my improved mindset.

When you reframe your attitude towards stress, you shift your relationship with it. No longer are you helpless in the face of stress. You’re taking control, which is one of the ways you reduce stress.

To downgrade your emotional charge around the idea of stress, use the word “pressure,” like my friend did. Or use some other word to describe it, such as “hassle.” Words matter. When you use a different word, it immediately changes the way you feel about the subject. And the way you feel affects your body, your thoughts, and your responses to the situation.

Like my shift in perception about tests, look at the situation or condition as exciting or a challenge. Instead of resisting the stress, which increases its power, change your attitude so it becomes natural and something that you can handle. By viewing it more positively, it also allows you to think more clearly about what you want to do. You open a clearer channel for your intuition and Divine guidance.

Your beliefs can put you in control of how stress affects you. When you change your beliefs, you you change your life conditions. Once again, the idea that Norman Vincent Peale stated, “Change your thoughts and you change your world,” is confirmed.

Affirmation:

Stress is a normal part of life and I have control over how I believe it affects me. I now choose to change my beliefs about the stress that I experience. It simply primes me for action and keeps me on alert for anything unexpected. By shifting my attitude, I’m able to think more clearly and be more open to my intuition and Divine guidance.

Watch the accompanying video, 6 Simple Ways to Take Control of Stress.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

Trending Articles of the Week

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Jan 262018
 

Step Through WoodsFrom Zilla to Chill-a: What To Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed (…By The Good Things)
We’re used to dealing with life when we have a myriad of difficulties. But when we have a plethora of good happening, we tend to get overwhelmed. It stirs up feelings of unworthiness and guilt, and we start to sabotage ourselves. Here’s some good advice from someone who found her way through. But her suggestions can also be used for when you’re just plain overwhelmed.

5 Suggestions for Setting Realistic Expectations for Yourself
Many people have unrealistic expectations for themselves and their lives. They expect idealistic outcomes in a specific way every time. And if they don’t get their perfect result, they feel like they’ve failed. Talk about pressure. Instead of undermining yourself at the start, use these ideas to establish reasonable expectations for yourself so you can be more flexible and happier.

Personal Boundaries 101 – Part 1
We all need personal boundaries so that people know what their limits are with us. Boundaries keep us safe and teach people how to treat us. Our well being is our responsibility and boundaries are a way to take care of it. This article has 3 great questions to help us define and describe what our boundaries are. When implemented, you’ll feel more comfortable and freer.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart