Jun 232017
 

Sparks of InsightNegative thinking is defensive or reactive. When you’re reacting from past experiences, you’re expecting the same as you got before. If you’re defensive, you’re using that as a way to protect yourself from disappointment or hurt. If you can’t be positive, at least find a way to turn the thoughts around to at least be neutral. Open up to different possibilities.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

May 272017
 

Grand Canyon Rim TrailHow to Turn Off Negative Thoughts in Your Mind
The things you say to yourself affect your view of yourself and your world. Negative beliefs condition you to feel like you’re not enough or capable. When you become aware of those feelings, you can trace them to thoughts that are probably not true. This article gives some tips on how to switch off negative thoughts.

Why Women Need To Grow Their Self-Worth
Both men and women experience the “Imposter Syndrome.” But because of their early experiences and societal pressures, women deal with it more often. This article examines the issue behind women’s self-doubt and gives some suggestions on how to overcome them.

How to Focus & Prioritize Your Life by Copying the Mindset of Elite Entrepreneurs
The secret behind success and productivity isn’t magical, it’s focus. When you focus on one task at a time, you get a lot more done than trying to juggle several. This article gives some valuable tips and suggestions to keep you on track.

May 162017
 

Have you been pursuing a dream, vision or goal, and suddenly hit a brick wall? All of a sudden, your progress has stopped or plateaued. Has that ever happened to you? I think it would be unusual if it hadn’t. Progress rarely is constant or happens in a straight line. Read the accompanying article, 2 Steps Forward, 1 Back… Master the Dance of Change.



Transcript:

Have you been pursuing a dream, vision or goal, and suddenly hit a brick wall? All of a sudden, your progress has stopped or plateaued. Has that ever happened to you? I think it would be unusual if it hadn’t.

Progress rarely in a straight line. It’s like a child learning how to play with building blocks. They put one on top of the other, and but they rarely line up perfectly on top of each other. Instead, they set a few up, and then one or two fall down. It gives you an opportunity to find a better alignment and stability for the ones farther up. Sometimes, every time you set those same blocks, they fall down. It means that there needs to be some adjustment made to progress.

Have you ever been on a diet? If so, you’ll notice this when you’re on a diet, and you plateau on your weight. It’s frustrating, but this is just your body get adjusted to your new normal. Be patient and persistent. Soon, the scale will show lower numbers again.

Progress is like a steep set of stairs. When you climb a few, you have to stop to catch your breath, rest, and let your legs recover. You haven’t reached the top, but having to rest is no excuse to give up and descend back to the bottom. Instead, after you rest, you climb a few more.

They’re an old saying, “Practice makes perfect.” I think it’s incorrect. I think it’s more, “Practice makes progress, not perfection.” When your progress has plateaued, persist in your practice. Catch your breath, then keep going. You’re getting stronger, adjusting to your new normal, and getting prepared for your next leap forward.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

May 122017
 

Sparks of InsightWhen you’re using an affirmation of “I am now…” if your conscious mind objects to it with “This isn’t true,” or “Who do you think you are,” change the affirmation to one of “I’m choosing.” By doing this, you’re taking it from having the object in the present to having the freedom to choose something different. The conscious mind generally won’t complain about that, and it’s much more empowering.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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
 

Grand Canyon Colorado River13 Ways Successful People Deal With Toxic Persons
Friends, family, and co-workers can have demeaning and contemptuous attitudes. And they have no compunction about sharing them with you, with the intent to hurt humiliate you. But there are some ways you can respond that will allow you to thrive.

9 Bad Habits You Must Break To Be More Productive
More than anything else, bad habits slow you down and undermine your success. Some are insidious, some are false ideas, and some are leftovers from earlier times. But addressing and changing them will not only increase your effectiveness, it will improve your self-concept. This article focuses on 9 of the most common and how to break them.

Scientists have found an exciting new clue about how ‘super-agers’ stay sharp as they age
Researchers are looking at the how our brains age, and what we can do to stay sharp. They’re finding that some people can actually slow the deterioration of their brain and their cognition. There are things we all can do to slow this progression and stay alert.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Apr 212017
 

10 Hard Things You Need To Do For Success (While Many People Are Unaware)
Becoming a success means that you have a steep learning curve. Most people have to fail and learn from their mistakes before they are able to make progress. This article gives some insights and life skills that will help you get there quicker.

Flagstaff Aspen Rainbow10 Nasty Habits You Must Eliminate From Your Daily Routine
Bad habits keep you from being more productive, achieving your goals or reaching your potential. They can be everything from complaining to multitasking. This article addresses 10 of the worst, and then suggests ways to remedy them.

Hack your brain to remember almost anything
A recent study states that anyone can train their brain using the same tricks as the world’s top Memory Champions. This also reshapes the brain’s networks in the process. Learn the training technique to improve your memory quickly.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Mar 102017
 

Sparks of Insight“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” – Winston Churchill

If you constantly are diverted by each little distraction that arises, you’ll never achieve anything. You’ll be taking your attention off your dream to deal with issues that don’t matter. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be aware of pitfalls, just that unless they’re actually delaying you, move around or through them. Keep on your path, recognize the dogs are around you, but unless one is actually threatening you, just keep going.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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.

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Mar 022017
 

GC-RimTr-sm-0921If You’re Busy But Still Find Your Hard Work Doesn’t Pay Off, You Probably Lack This Important Skill
Most people get lost in the confusion of their daily tasks. They deal with what’s right in front of them instead of prioritizing what’s important. This article shares a tool to help decipher what tasks need to be addressed more immediately than others.

Going On Vacation Can Actually Change Your Gene Activity
Do you take time off? If you do, you reduce your stress (no surprise) and increase your immune function. Researcher have found that those who went to a meditation retreat, and continued meditating, continued the beneficial effects on their cells for months. Learn some of the other benefits this type of vacation could bring.

Interpersonal Skills: Interpersonal Definition, Communication Skills and Examples
This is an in-depth article concerning leadership and skills you need for success. Some of these skills have gotten lost in our technological revolution. This article will give you some direction on how to cultivate some of those communication abilities so that you connect better with the people around you.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart