Jun 112018
 

Sparks of InsightDon’t park discernment at the door of your consciousness. Just because you’re working at being non-judgmental, more tolerant and compassionate doesn’t mean that you should avoid being discerning. If someone is being rude, discourteous, inconsiderate, you don’t have to label them as “bad.” But it also doesn’t mean that you have to put up with their attitude or actions. If you’re being used or abused in some way, recognize it and deal with the situation appropriately. Discerning whether someone or something is good for you is a god-given attribute.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Jun 082018
 

Rainbow at Snowbowl5 Ways You Can Use Mindfulness to Fix Your Brain, Decrease Stress and Improve Performance
Mindfulness meditation has multiple studies showing how it changes your brain. Research has found it impacts eight areas of the brain. Two of those regions increased brain activity and the density of brain tissue. You can reap the multiple benefits of mindfulness in just a few minutes a day.

10 Scientifically Proven Tips for Beating Procrastination
Procrastination is one of the biggest blocks to success. It affects productivity, effectiveness and confidence. The suggestions in this article will get you off the starting block and taking small steps. And generally, just getting moving is all it takes to break through that block.

6 Ways That Night-time Phone Use Destroys Your Sleep
Using your phone at night makes you sleep-deprived and exhausted. This article is based on a study by Harvard researchers that found why you need to shut it off an hour before bed. And it’s not just your phone. Your computer, tablet, e-reader and television can affect your sleep, as well.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Jun 052018
 

Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way
by Rick Carson

This is a clever little book to help reduce the power your inner critic/judge has over you. The author explores the various strategies of what he calls your “gremlin.” Its purpose is to convince you to feel bad and suppress the real you. For instance, the gremlin lies to you about your nature and the nature of the world, with myths such as “You’re unlovable,” and “Worry is good.”

The book includes exercises to help identify the way your gremlin affects you, and ways to deal with it. Although the author states that the gremlin isn’t the inner critic of some psychology theories, I couldn’t tell the difference. The ways the gremlin and inner judge try to control us, and ways to deal with them are similar.

Humorously written, imaginatively presented, this book will give you the tools you need to identify and tame this self-sabotaging part of your personality. By doing so, you’ll be able to experience more of the fullness of life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

May 112018
 

Sunset Crater, Flagstaff AZ7 Quick Ways to Calm Down When You Are Overwhelmed
Do you sometimes feel like you’re always running behind? And that you have so many things to do, you’ll never get them all done? Unfortunately, that feeling of stress just slows you down and keeps you from performing at your best. This article suggests some commonsense ways to reduce your stress so you can be more effective.

Study suggests meditating can prevent age-related mental decline
Less than 10% of the U.S. population meditates. And that’s unfortunate, because study after study show that it can help with mental, emotional and physical problems. This particular study shows how it can prevent age-related mental decline and difficulty focusing.

How to Stop Making Excuses
Unfortunately, we don’t always realize when we’re making excuses, but they sabotage our ability to achieve our goals. There is a difference between an explanation and an excuse, and this article dives into this difference. When you’re able to tell them apart, you’ll stop undermining yourself and be more successful.

What Are Your Excuses Telling You?

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Apr 052018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Message_Bubbles-2103156Caroline was a massage therapist who worked in a spa. The spa did all the marketing and scheduled her clients for her, and paid her per client. But Caroline thought she could have more freedom and get more clients on her own. She left the spa, and opened her own office.

But she discovered that she hated the administrative chores the spa had done for her, such as scheduling, paying utilities, and marketing. This caused her to be chronically forgetful. She’d forget to take business cards when networking, pay her bills, or write down appointments, which caused her to miss them. Although her clients knew and liked her, they learned not to trust her and they went elsewhere. Because of her refusal to work on the details of her business, she made less than she had at the spa.

Finally, one of her friends confronted her and said that Caroline’s excuses were clues she was leaving herself. Caroline realized that she really just wanted to give massages. She gave up her business and returned to the spa, where she could let others handle the tasks she despised. She needed the structure the spa gave her. Even though she was giving up control, she was gaining the freedom she’d craved.

Do you chronically defend yourself, to yourself or others about why you didn’t do what you had agreed to do? At your core, you just didn’t want to do whatever it was. Something within you was preventing it. You’re giving yourself a message that you haven’t listened to yet.

When you use excuses, you’re giving the Law of Attraction conflicting information. On one side, you’ve agreed to something, and on the other, you are reluctant to follow through. By not being clear, the Law of Attraction won’t know what you really want. You’ll just idle in neutral until you decide which way you really want to go.

There are times when excuses are valid. For example, if you had a flat tire on the way to work. Or an important phone call delayed your leaving for an appointment. Events that are unexpected and unavoidable are legitimate reasons why you weren’t able to fulfill a promise. But the question to ask yourself is, are your explanations reasonable or are they just trying to get you out of trouble?

The stories you tell yourself are hints as to how motivated you are to achieve your goals, dreams and vision. They may be telling you how you feel about your commitment or your direction. Here are some of the possible messages your excuses are communicating:

Fear. You’re afraid of the next step or where it may take you. Or you’re not confident that you know how to accomplish your task, goal or agreement. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Generally, when you bring the fear into your awareness, you realize it has little validity. Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to gain that confidence?” It could be something as simple as learning a new skill.

Not the right goal/dream/vision.
You could be going in the wrong direction. Or your task, vision or your motivation to achieve it isn’t strong enough. When you find yourself not taking the actions you need to, ask yourself if you’re ambivalent over your goal. If there’s a part of you holding back, you need to address its concerns. Are you really committed to your dream or vision? If not, choose another one or scale back on your current one.

It’s a “should.” You think you “should” want a particular goal. Others have told you that it’s the right one for you. But it doesn’t really resonate with you, or you felt pressured into doing it. This one is especially true when you’ve agreed to do something you really didn’t want to do, such as participate in a charity event. Is it really your priority, or someone else’s? To simplify your life, decline someone else’s objective for you and focus on what you really want

These are just a few of the excuses we make. The only way you’re going to fulfill your goals is if you transcend your excuses. Listen to the message they’re telling you. When you hear it, and change your responses, you’ll be happier and on track to your dream.

Affirmation:
I now become aware of the excuses I make. I realize that they’re giving me powerful messages about what’s holding me back. Since the Universe only wants the best for me, it must be my beliefs and attitudes that are sabotaging me. By understanding the messages I’m giving myself, I’m able to change my beliefs and thus change my responses to support my dreams.

Watch the accompanying video, Stop Believing Your Excuses.

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.

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

Sparks of Insight

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Feb 232018
 

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

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Feb 222018
 

Sunset Crater plant How We Can Help People By Saying ‘No’
When someone asks you for help, as an entrepreneur, “No” can be a gift for them and for you. For one thing, you’re too busy to help everyone who asks for it. Letting them know why you’re declining to help can be more valuable than if you’d spoon-fed them information.

A neuroscientist who studies decision-making reveals the most important choice you can make
Apparently, the surest way to maximize happiness has nothing to do with experiences, material goods, or personal philosophy. Instead, it comes more from the company you keep for some surprising reasons.

3 Toxic Thinking Habits That Feed Your Insecurity
What makes you feel insecure about yourself, your relationship, or your life? Surprise! The culprit is your very own mind. This article reveals three toxic thinking habits that keep you feeling insecure, plus offers three ways to feel more confident.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Feb 092018
 

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

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

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

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Jan 262018
 

Sparks of InsightPeople tend to think that all stress is bad. But what is bad is chronic stress or situations that overwhelm your inner resources. Some stress is beneficial, because it helps push you to discover new abilities and solutions. Just as you exercise to build muscle, some stress stretches you to reach farther. The secret is to know when you’re being stretched too thin or pushed beyond your limits. It’s at those times when you need to take steps to retreat and retrench. Meditate, relax, take a walk, reduce some of the pressure you put on yourself. Because too much stress distresses you.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart