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Podcast Interview – Mindset, Vision, Focus

Podcast Interview – Mindset, Vision, Focus

Janice Porter and I met in a networking group and shortly thereafter had a Zoom call to get to know each other better. She’s a Relationship Marketing Specialist and an amazing LinkedIn trainer, who gave me some tips on my LinkedIn profile, which I followed. She’s all about relationship building, online and offline, to grow your business and turn your connections into clients and referral partners. Relationships are so important to her that she has a podcast called Relationships Rule.

We hit it off in our call and, as a result, she asked me to be a guest on her podcast, to talk about focus and how it’s so easy to get scattered. It was a delightful conversation, wandering from how she struggles with being scattered to tips on how to stay focused to mindset to how success begins within. We even discussed whether I believe curiosity is innate or not.

We both are very curious people and it can take us both down rabbit holes. I can spend hours exploring an idea. She has a similar challenge. These tangents don’t help us when we’re trying to accomplish something. I gave her a suggestion, which I use, which can make sure our curiosity doesn’t undermine our goals.

We had a meandering conversation, but kept coming back to focus. We explored tactics to keep yourself focused. She also brought up that she didn’t really like to establish vision and goals. I explained why they’re beneficial and how you can create them in a way that will work with the subconscious mind.

As we discussed mindset, we explored how it’s more than positive thinking. It’s much more global than just optimism. We both weren’t so positive when we were younger and now choose to be positive. It is a choice about how to perceive a situation.

I mentioned how television news engages our emotions, which means it sends us into a light state of hypnosis. This can mean you accept what’s being said without analyzing it. I suggested to read news items, as you can be more objective.

We touched on the subject of believing in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, it’s a good bet you’ll sabotage your goals and dreams. She asked what I noticed when someone started to believe in themselves. They immediately change their actions, and start getting better results.

At her request, I gave my last piece of advice.  Focus is a skill you can develop. You can learn how to practice focusing and how to do train yourself to do so. We knew we could have continued our conversation, but unfortunately, our time was limited and we had to end it there.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Update Your Internal GPS to Reach Your Vision

Update Your Internal GPS to Reach Your Vision

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Compass

You’ve probably used a GPS (Global Positioning System) in your car to find your way to a destination. You input your current location, then input your destination, and let the GPS decide the best way to get you there. The GPS tells you the best route to your location.

But the GPS isn’t always accurate. For instance, when repair people use their external GPS to find our house, they usually end up on the other side of town and have to call us for directions. A vehicle’s GPS often is wrong, based on old or incomplete information, and eventually will have to recalculate when new data becomes available.

How Your Internal GPS Functions

Some people say that we have an internal GPS that guides us to reach a goal, and that all we have to do is follow its directions. It’s true we have an internal guidance system, but it isn’t always accurate, any more than an external GPS is always accurate. This inner GPS motivates your decisions and actions. And you may have incorrect or outdated information in your subconscious mind that influences your internal GPS.

Your subconscious mind is the interface between the Universe and your conscious mind. Even though you’re always getting accurate guidance from the Universe, your subconscious filters it through its programming. The message you receive from the Universe may be garbled due to old programming and you don’t understand it clearly.

You can’t follow a GPS’ (internal or external) directions blindly. Without monitoring, old data may detour you, take you down a dead end, or guide you off a cliff. Literally. For example, my husband used to work in a mountain town nearby. Many times, a customer would come into his place of business and would tell him that their GPS had directed them incorrectly. The GPS had said to go left, which would have driven them off a cliff, instead of right, up the road to his business.

Using Your Internal GPS

Instead of mindlessly following directions, with either an internal or external GPS, stay present as to where you’re going and what you’re doing. Be mindful of what turns or steps you’re being guided to take. Engage your rational mind to check and confirm you’re still going in the right direction. There’s an old saying, “Trust, but verify.” You have chosen a destination, and you also have the responsibility to check if the next step is moving you in the right direction. .

If your inner GPS is prompting you to avoid a path, like taking a long detour, this may be old programming based on fear. That’s not intuition or guidance from your internal GPS. Avoidance can be an old idea that is trying to keep you safe in a situation that you’ve outgrown. Only you can determine if it’s warning you of a current danger or if it’s from the past.

Maybe you’re attracted by something new that may sidetrack or delay you from your vision. This could be for your wellbeing or your subconscious is using the detour to sabotage you. You may need more resources or knowledge before you can reach your vision. Or it could be that your subconscious considers your route threatening. Again, it’s up to you to figure out whether the delay helps or hinders you.

Updating Your GPS

It’s always important to assess your mindset about your goal or vision. Your mindset isn’t just about positive thinking, but about how you feel about yourself, your life, and your vision. Do you believe your vision is possible? Are you procrastinating taking action? If so, why? Do you have any resistance to achieving your goal? Are there any old beliefs that are holding you back? Updating your mindset so that it aligns with your vision will ensure your GPS can calculate the best route for you.

As you address each of these areas, your GPS may gain new information and need to course correct to get you to your vision. Keep your thoughts positive, take action and stay focused on your vision and you’ll stay on course. Your internal GPS will recalculate as needed to update its directions to find you the clearest path to your destination.

Affirmation:

I am being guided at all times by the still, small voice of Infinite Mind. I open my mind and heart to clearly hear that guidance. The Universe supports me to accomplish my goal or vision. Any old idea that restricts my path is outdated and now dissolves in the light of day. I keep my mind inspired and uplifted, make wise decisions and take effective action to achieve my dream.

As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women entrepreneurs and small business owners to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, wellbeing and prosperity.To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, register for her FREE training video and accompanying action planning guide at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

“Everything can be taken from a man but … the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl

You always have the power over your own beliefs and attitudes. Even when you act on ones inherited from your childhood, you have the ability to change them. Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist who was a prisoner in the concentration camps of World War II. He discovered that, no matter what atrocities were visited upon the prisoners, they always had the power over their attitudes. They could give up and hate their captors, or stay upbeat and remain neutral about the men in uniform. Though the prisoners’ bodies were shackled, their minds had free choice, just as yours does.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

4 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

4 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Procrastination Clock

It’s the night before a project is due, and you haven’t even started on it. Now, you’re going to have to stay up most of the night to get it done. You make the excuse that you always do your best work under pressure. But really, is that true? Wouldn’t you have done a better job if you’d put the project together earlier, when you were well rested and then fleshed it out? And now, you’ll have a sleepless night and be tired when you turn in the project.

Procrastination is a major cause of stress and anxiety, and lowers the standard of your work. You may miss deadlines and, as a result, undermine others’ respect of you. In addition, this habit reduces your productivity, effectiveness and can cost you money. The chore you’re trying to ignore is always in the back of your mind, taking up emotional and spiritual energy. If you’re like most people, you probably feel guilty and beat yourself up when you avoid a task.

Reasons Why You Procrastinate

Most of us procrastinate to some degree or other, but there are some to whom this is a destructive and chronic habit. To address the issue, you must become aware that it exists, and why it’s a problem for you. The following are some reasons you may be procrastinating.

Resistance. It’s not a task you want to do, so you put it off until the last minute. Because the chore is boring or time consuming, you resent that you must complete it.

Perfectionism. You wait to gather as much information as you can, and hope to find the inspiration to put it all together. But because you never get everything you hope for, you delay starting the task until the deadline looms. 

Fear. You’re not sure how to proceed or to get it done. You don’t believe you have the knowledge or skills to do it effectively.

Overwhelm. It’s a huge task, and you don’t know how to get started, or the scope of the issue is overwhelming you.

Disorganized. You don’t have all your notes or details together. Or maybe, you’re often interrupted so you don’t have time to pull everything together.

Uncertain. You don’t know what to do, so you put off making any decisions or taking any action until you have no other choice.

Ways to Overcome Procrastination

Procrastination is a choice. You decide to put something off, something that’s unpleasant, so you focus on something less important, and easier. Once you recognize your issue, you can find solutions.

Break the chore into smaller pieces. Outline what you must do to get the project done. Make sure each item on the list is bite-sized and easy to manage. Being able to handle small pieces will lower your stress and anxiety.

Schedule the chores. Put each small task on your calendar and make sure to keep your appointment with yourself. Each time you can mark one task done, you’ll get a surge of good feelings because the reward center of your brain is triggered. This gives you motivation to keep your next appointment.

Prioritize your lists. If you have a to-do list (as most of us do), prioritize the items and schedule them in accordance with their importance. Again, as you accomplish them, your brain receives a reward and you have a stronger incentive to repeat your action.

Dedicate 5-minutes. If you really feel overwhelmed or resistant, set aside just five minutes to work on your chore. It’s easier to dip your toe into the pool than to dive in head first. This will allow you to chip away at the tasks, and feel productive. If five minutes becomes easy, extend it to ten or fifteen.

Procrastination is a habit that developed in your life over time. The habit won’t be overcome in a day or a week. It took time to create it, and it will take time to break it. Breaking it takes time, dedication, consistency and focus. When you realize that you have the choice to procrastinate or take action, then you’re empowered to choose what’s in your best interest.

Affirmation:

At every moment, I’m Divinely guided with every step I take. As I take a step, the Universe ensures the next one appears. The Universe provides me with everything I need to complete my tasks. I am confident, inspired, uplifted and empowered to take action and fulfill my goals.  

Watch the accompanying video, 3 Tips to Overcome Procrastination.

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Take Charge of Your Life by Living with Intention

Take Charge of Your Life by Living with Intention

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Plane flying

Most people live on autopilot. They routinely think and behave in the same way day after day. If a situation comes up, they unconsciously act as they’ve done in the past. They go through their lives without taking the time to consider what they’re doing. And because they simply react to circumstances, the overall condition of their life rarely changes.

When you react, you’re reinforcing Einstein’s definition of insanity, “Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.” For your life to improve, you have to change your thoughts and beliefs first. Even if you try to change your situation, it will return to what you’ve experienced in the past unless you shift your attitude.

How to Stay in a Self-Sabotaging Rut

For instance, Sara was a graphic artist. In a proposal early in her career, her estimate to complete a project that was too long for the client, so they went elsewhere. Because of her inexperience, she didn’t realize that their requirement was entirely unreasonable. But from that time on, she was afraid that if she didn’t offer to do the work in a ridiculously short amount of time, she’d lose the job and have very little business.

So she gave completion estimates that she’d barely be able to meet, even if they were her only client. Since she regularly missed her deadlines, she got a reputation of being late with her work. Of course, she lost business because of this, yet she never changed her protocol. Her fear of losing work became a self-fulfilling prophecy. She continued to react to a previous situation, never changed her policy and continued to lose business.

By reacting, you behave the same way you have in the past, which keeps you right where you are, just like what happened to Sara. And you’re acting out of the same mindset, generally one of fear, anger, or sadness. This negative space isn’t a good place to act or make decisions from. As one of my mentor’s said, “Fear isn’t a guidance system.” It won’t bring you the results you want.

How to Change Your Results

Only by intentionally choosing your thoughts and actions will you be able to change your results. It’s not an easy path, but it’s more rewarding and will create better outcomes. To do so, you have to stay aware of what’s transpiring, and not give into impulse.

If Sara had been more aware of her actions and their consequences, she would have chosen more realistic time estimates for projects. It would have been scary at first. She would have had to face down her fears. But she would have gotten more confident as customers approved her proposals and were happy with the end product being delivered on time.

When you live with intention, it means that you’re choosing to respond to situations rather than react to them. You’re being more deliberate and aware with your thoughts and actions. When a situation arises, you’re proactive, thinking your words and actions through. This puts you in the captain’s seat of your life.

How to Become Mindful

The first step is to become mindful of what thoughts you focus on, because they develop into your beliefs. Your beliefs shape how you feel and how you act. For instance, depending on whether you feel comfortable with accepting a compliment or not, you’ll either be delighted or deflect it.

Your second step is to become aware of how you habitually react to specific situations. Does it get you the results you want? If you feel defensive and attack whenever anyone questions you on your work, does this help your career to progress? Or would being open to constructive suggestions help more? Assess whether your reactions are helpful or sabotaging you.

The third step is to consciously choose and implement your new response. When a coworker asks you to lunch, instead of isolating yourself at your desk, go with them. This step gets tougher when crises come up and you don’t take the moment or two to remember your intention. But with practice, this will become easier.

Living with Intention

This is living with intention. You’re being responsive, aware of your choices and purposely choosing your actions. Jack Kornfield, author and Buddhism teacher, said, “Intention leads to behaviors which lead to habits, which lead to personality development which leads to destiny.”

Be deliberate about your thoughts, words, and deeds. You’ll get better results. Instead of riding helplessly in a rudderless boat, at the whim of the wind and water, take the helm. By living with intention, you take control of your destiny.

Affirmation:

I become aware of how I react to situations, and assess whether it’s helpful or hindering me. It’s safe for me to make a different decision than I normally would. I have the knowledge and the resources to deal with the challenges of my life in a new and better way. By choosing to live with intention, I take control of my life.

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Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

“Opportunities pour into my life, allowing me to experience a greater satisfaction and abundance. I am guided as to which opportunities to follow through on and accept.”

Opportunities are always coming your way. Whether you notice them or not depends on the mental filters you have. If you tend to dismiss compliments and potentials, then your subconscious will make sure you don’t notice opportunities. As you change your filter, your subconscious will not only discover more of them around you, but also attract more of them to you. 

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

How Simple Actions Improve Your Attitude

How Simple Actions Improve Your Attitude

Exuberant woman on beach

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Have you ever had a lousy morning, felt frustrated, upset or discouraged, and had the day go downhill from there? It can be hard to turn things around when your attitude is in the dumps. You don’t have much motivation, focus or creativity. Nothing goes right. And it doesn’t seem that you have any control over your mood. You think you just have to ride it out until it runs its course.

But what about the opposite, when you started out in a foul mood, then felt better after you encountered someone who was upbeat? It could have been a smiling server, a congenial person in line, or someone who opened the door for you. Didn’t their cheery attitude brighten your day a bit?

You Can Change Your Mood

You aren’t doomed to wait until chance improves your mood. Your attitude is influenced by your actions and by the actions of others. For instance, when my mother was young, she used to break her boredom on the bus by yawning, and seeing how many people yawned in response. Her deliberate act of yawning was contagious, just as someone else’s pleasant disposition is infectious.

Just as a stranger can impact your mood in a short time, you have the ability to shift your attitude, too. You don’t have to wait and hope it will change. You can become more positive by taking the following small, deliberate actions.

Take a walk. Many years ago, I was deeply depressed from a relationship breakup. Knowing a walk would make me feel better, I dragged myself out of the house. A half-hour later, as I was returning home, my mood had improved by about 80%. Studies find that walking is as effective as antidepressants to improve mental attitude. Walking is also good for creativity.

Write down gratitudes. At the beginning of each day, write down three things you’re grateful for. That way, you start your day on a high note. When something goes wrong during your day, remember the gratitudes you wrote down that day, or find something new to be thankful for. 

Take small actions on a goal. Your mind loves to achieve things. When you accomplish something, no matter how small, you trigger the pleasure center of your brain. This gives you a flush of happiness and increases your motivation to continue.

Smile. Whether you feel like it or not, make yourself smile for at least a minute. Smiling tricks your brain into feeling better. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll spread good cheer to others. When you smile at others, you’re giving yourself and them a gift.

Watch a funny video. Find something that will make you laugh to bring you out of the dumps. Laughter reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and eases pain. Just a minute of it will brighten your outlook. Laughter is uplifting, and is also contagious, making other people respond in the same way.  

If you’re in a bad mood, use one of these tips to turn it around. When you’re feeling more positive, you’re more likely to take productive action. Your whole day flows more smoothly, harmoniously and you’re more effective. It takes a willingness to empower yourself and be proactive, but it’s well worth the effort. And as you become happier, notice how you’re able to spread your good mood and inspire others.

Affirmation:

I have the power and ability to keep a positive attitude, no matter what’s going on in my world. When I’m in a pleasant mood, my channel to the Universal Good is wide open. I listen to the still, small voice within that tells me that all is well. I am grateful for all that I have. The Divine Pattern for good flows through my mind, body and spirit.

Please watch the accompanying video, How One Small Technique Can Improve Your Attitude.

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Book Review-Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

Book Review-Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
by David Burns, MD

Here’s a book that gives specific instructions on how to change the way you think about your life. It was created to help people erase depression, anxiety, procrastination, guilt, pessimism, as well as perfectionism, anger, stress and low self-esteem. And it works. In a study of people with clinical depression, 70-75% of them were “cured” three months after reading this book and following the exercises.

By becoming aware of what you think, and then either addressing it or disputing the reasons, you begin to change the mental processes that have sabotaged you. Many people resist writing down their thoughts, for various reasons, but doing so allows you to view them more dispassionately. No longer are you controlled by your moods or negative thinking, you are empowered to confront it and change it.

Awareness and claiming your authority are key. When you take the time and effort to pay attention to what you’re thinking and write it down, you’re taking control. Then, by responding to it rationally, more positively, you’re accepting your authority over your own thoughts. This will begin to change your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

If you criticize others for some reason, it says more about you than it does about them. Your criticism shows your mental filters, and what causes you discomfort or irritation. It also indicates what you criticize yourself about, because what people object to in others, they tend to object to in themselves. So when you feel tempted to criticize someone, stop and consider what the condemnation says about you.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Guided Meditation to Focus and Accomplish More

Guided Meditation to Focus and Accomplish More

Cultivating focus is difficult in today’s world because of all the distractions. Fortunately, focus is a skill that you can develop with practice. When you visualize yourself focusing on a task, it makes that task easier to accomplish. You’re utilizing your natural ability to focus and rehearse your activity. Discover how this guided meditation can improve not only your ability to focus, but your success with any task.

Transcript:

Wouldn’t you like to learn one of the most important skills for success? That skill is focus and it’s hard to cultivate because our lives are filled with distractions from people, situations, and technology.

Fortunately, focus is an ability you have that you simply need to practice. I’d like to share a short, guided meditation that will make it easier for you to pay attention to an immediate goal or action. And it will improve your success with it. You can use this meditation at the beginning of each day or task.

First, what is your goal, desired action, task or project? Imagine that it’s something you want to work on and accomplish, just one item. Imagining doing it will make it easier to follow through on it. Visualizing also starts the subconscious mind to solve problems you might encounter.

Second, define what your motivation is to fulfill that goal, activity, or project. Why is it important to you? Dig down to the real reason, one that moves you. We’ll use that in our visualization.

Now, here we go. Close your eyes, if you’re so inclined. Take a long, slow, deep breath.

Think about what you want to accomplish, one task, today. Think of it in detail. Why is it important to you to take action on this? How will it benefit you? Consider that, and allow that motivation to grow and fill you.

Now, imagine yourself start working on your goal or task. Imagine it in detail. What does the room look like? How do you feel? What do you hear? Think, feel and imagine that it’s easy to focus on your task and bring all your resources and innovation to it.

Imagine that each step you take goes smoothly. Each step makes you  more enthusiastic to take the next one, to go further. Imagine that each action you take is easy and successful. You feel calm, relaxed, creative and engaged.

You easily find solutions for any challenges you encounter. Everything else fades away until you’re done. Imagine you stay with your task until your time is up or the work is done, whatever is right for you.

Think, feel and imagine that you’re delighted and amazed at how successful you were, how much you got done. Imagine how that success feeds into your next task or project, and propels you further.

Open your eyes. Something as simple as this visualization primes your subconscious mind to support your endeavors and create more successful outcomes. Your thoughts about a situation greatly influence its results.

You’re utilizing a natural function of your subconscious mind to program your activity, your thoughts about it, and your success. Practicing this kind of visualization, before any task, will make it flow more smoothly and easily, and you’ll accomplish more. And it will develop the habit of focus for you.

For more tips and articles on mindset, motivation and empowerment, please visit my blog, EmpoweringYourMind.com. Thank you for watching. I hope you practice this type of visualization each day, and achieve all the success you deserve. Take care. 

Read the accompanying article, Focus, the Power Behind Success.