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

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, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.
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.

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, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

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

Give Yourself Permission to Dream

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Dec 192017
 

Do you not allow yourself to conceive of a dream you want to accomplish? Many people will deny their dreams and won’t try to strive to fulfill their potential. When you give yourself permission to contemplate your dream, amazing things happen.


Transcript:

Do you know what your dream is? Do you think it’s out of your grasp so you deny a dream exists for you? This could mean that you don’t even allow yourself to know what you want. Maybe you don’t want to be disappointed again, or you believe you can’t achieve it. So you decide not to want anything. It’s safer that way. If you don’t expect anything, you can’t be disappointed.

Whenever a dream begins to rise to the surface, you turn away from it. But your dream is there, ready to be discovered. It’s a longing that you haven’t given voice to. Today, I’d like to talk a little bit about how you can give yourself permission to contemplate your dream. And what can amazing thing that can happen when you do.

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 with their change. 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’ve helped scores of people uncover their dream and achieve the goals to get them there.

If you could have anything you wanted, if everything fell into place for you, if success was assured, what would that dream be? I’m not talking about winning the lottery. I’m talking about your being able to accomplish something for you. Make more money, lose weight, write a book, create a nonprofit. It could be something others consider small, but that would be huge for you. Just consider for a minute what that might be for you. Will you give yourself permission to contemplate what that might be?

It may be hard to envision it. You’ve spent so much time denying it Maybe others told you you couldn’t or shouldn’t have it. If that’s the case, is that true? Probably not. Or you’re afraid of what others will think. But they’re not living your life, are they? You aren’t here to fulfill anyone else’s expectations of you. You’re here to fulfill your potential.

Acknowledge and accept that your dream is yours and you have a right to have it. How does that feel when you accept that idea? You know that the only way you’re going to reach more of your potential is to reach higher. You know the old saying, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’re always going to get what you’ve always got.” So your first step to having something more is to allow yourself to conceive of it.

So give yourself permission to dream. Permission to conceive of something greater. Even if it’s something massive that it seems out of your reach. When you start considering it, and wondering how you could achieve it, your subconscious starts looking for ways to help you. It begins to seek out information and opportunities in your world to support your quest.

One time, I was wondering how I could better promote a workshop I was giving. At the grocery store, I bumped into someone I knew who had an interview show on a local radio station. When I told her what I was doing, not thinking about her show, she offered to interview me. It was my very first radio interview. Has something like this ever happened to you? Syncronicities happen when you give yourself permission to step out of your box and dream bigger.

As Napoleon Hill said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” But first you have to give yourself permission to conceive of it. Everything else hinges on that. How can you give yourself permission to dream?

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 this has encouraged you to open up to your dreams. And I would love to know your progress with them. I believe you can achieve them.

Read the accompanying article, 7 Ways You Unconsciously Limit Your Vision.

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

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Dec 152017
 

Sparks of InsightWhatever you truly believe, or feel, at the depths of your being, is what you’re going to attract. If you use affirmations for something beneficial, but still feel the opposite, then what you feel is going to what you experience. The subconscious manifests your feelings. For instance, if you’re affirming prosperity or that you’re worthy, but you’re afraid you can’t pay the bills or that you’re still undeserving, your subconscious will follow your feelings. You use affirmations to change those underlying feelings, by repeating the affirmation over and over, with feeling.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Nov 272017
 

Sparks of Insight“People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.” ~ Epictetus

People tend to filter the things that happen to them through their past experiences. The subconscious colors the current event through the lens of the past. It may be a completely different place and person, but the subconscious doesn’t know that. Therefore, it’ll judge the situation according to outdated information. Just because a poodle nipped your ankle when you were nine doesn’t mean your friend’s dog will do it now. It’s not the present animal that is affecting your emotions, but your perception of the canine that’s disturbing you.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Nov 102017
 

Sparks of Insight“I focus on the good in my life. What I give my attention to expands. Therefore, I experience greater good manifesting.”

When you give your attention and power to fearing some conclusion, then you’re attracting that into your life. The same is true when you direct your energy to what it is that you desire to manifest. Your focus simply gives your subconscious mind the direction, “This is what I want more of,” even if it’s what you don’t want. The subconscious cannot make that distinction. It’s just giving you what it thinks you desire.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Figuring Out Plan B

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Aug 252017
 

phone-569669This month, our phone service went down before noon the day before I held my teleclass, Vision Secrets to Accelerate Your Success on August 10th. Both landline and cell services were unavailable throughout the region.

Workers on a local road construction had cut a major fiber optic cable. Fortunately, I still had internet service, since it didn’t run on that cable. For that I was very grateful, because many in the area weren’t as fortunate.

This is not the best thing that could happen the day before holding a teleclass. I choose to use a teleconference line for my classes, rather than a webinar service, because our internet service in rural Arizona can be unreliable. It was ironic that the generally reliable service I’d chosen to use was down for the count.

After a few moments of panic, I remembered that I had a ‘Plan B.’ My teleconference service has a webcall, or VoIP, option. So if the phone company didn’t get the cable fixed, I could use that. Not a great solution, but at least I could hold the call.

Fortunately, they were able to fix the cable about 12 hours after it was cut. So I was able to hold the call as I’d first planned. The teleclass went smoothly and harmoniously, and I breathed a big sigh of relief.

Life doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes there are bumps, and you don’t know why. When this happens, you can get upset, get angry, and waste your energy. Or you can work to figure out what your options are and how you can continue to move forward. How can you make that shift quicker in your life?

~ Linda-Ann Stewart