Sparks of Insight

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May 312022
 
Sparks of Insight

“I am calm, poised and confident at all times, in all circumstances. At the center of my being is a core of security and assurance that all is well. I respond appropriately to stress, pressure, remaining centered and serene.”

Serenity and peace are your true nature and the core of who you are. When you tap into that center, you’re able to stay balanced no matter what happens. Instead of reacting to a situation from a state of fear, you can use all your resources to deal with it in a calmer way. This will give you a much better outcome, and increase your self-confidence.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

How to Respond to Criticism

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May 132022
 

For many people, criticism brings up bad memories of having someone harass them, call them a name or put them down. Now, when someone critiques them, they react in a way that isn’t helpful. Instead, there’s a way to change your reaction so that you’re more empowered in the situation. Discover a 5 step process to retrain yourself to deal with criticism in a much more positive way.

Transcript:

For many people, criticism brings up bad memories of having someone harass them, call them a name or put them down. Has this happened to you? If so, when someone critiques you in the present, you probably get defensive or go into fight or flight mode. When you’re in that condition, you can’t be objective or even think clearly, right? All you can do is react to the situation as you might have in the past.

I’d like to share what you can do in that situation to change your reaction into one that might be able to help you grow. I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, vision empowerment strategist and I’ve had to deal with my fair share of criticism.

Criticism isn’t always intended to find fault with you. Some criticism is constructive to help you get better at something. This kind of criticism offers a solution or is feedback that you can learn from. But when you’re reacting, it’s hard to determine if there’s anything of use for you in the comment. Like I said, you can’t think clearly when you think you’re attacked.

Here are some steps to take to respond more positively to criticism so you can take back your power.

First and foremost, don’t react. If it’s from someone who wants to manipulate you, you take back control when you don’t react to them. Also, when you stop reacting to a bully’s harassment, they lose interest.

Next, take some deep breaths. Calm yourself so you can think more clearly. Give yourself that time.

Then, consider the source. Is it a bully who loves to humiliate others or is it someone who has your best interests at heart.

Either way, assess to see if there’s any merit to the comment. Is there anything valid in what they said or is it simply their opinion? What, if anything, can you learn from the comment?

Once you’ve learned what you can, decide what to do about it. If there is some improvement you can make, figure out how you want to go about doing that. And then dismiss the comment. It’s served its purpose.  If it’s from a bully, and there’s nothing of value for you, dismiss it. Yeah, I know, easier said than done. But it can be done with practice.

When you start responding to criticism from a more empowered place, your confidence and self-esteem increase. Criticism no longer impacts you as deeply as it did. It takes practice to retrain yourself to take these steps, but it’s well worth the effort.

To be notified of future mindset videos, please like my YouTube channel.

Thank you for watching. Stay Focused.

Read the accompanying article, Is the Fear of Criticism Holding You Back?

The Importance of Self-Acceptance

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Feb 042022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

When I was fourteen, I was fitted with braces. At that age, shiny metal covering your teeth  severely impacts your self-image. Friends who’d already been fitted with braces did their best to hide them. They refused to smile and kept their mouths closed so no one would see the silver glint.

However, their attempts to hide the braces brought more attention to the fact that they were cursed with this awful dental appliance. Their self-consciousness opened the door for bullies to call them, “metal mouth.” I decided not to try to cover up the fact that I was wearing braces. After they were attached, I smiled and laughed as I normally did. Because I wasn’t embarrassed about them, bullies didn’t get any reaction teasing me, so they left me alone.

But the best response came in my typing class. Cindy sat in front of me, and at the beginning of each class, she’d turn around to chat for a few moments. Six months after I’d begun wearing the braces, as usual, she turned to say hi. She looked startled, and asked,

“When did you get braces?”

“Six months ago,” I replied.

“No, that’s impossible,” she said. “I talk to you every day, and I would have noticed.”

Except that she hadn’t noticed, because I’d accepted them as normal.

People Take Your Lead

If you don’t pay attention to your imperfections, no one else will. They’ll take your lead concerning your assessment of yourself. When you accept yourself as you are, you’re not concerned about how others perceive you. You’re not afraid of their judgements and are able to be more authentic. Because you don’t pay attention to your limitations, they’re not so apparent to other people.

Self-acceptance doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement. I couldn’t wait to get the braces removed and looked forward to that day. Accepting yourself means that you’re not resisting, criticizing or hating a part of yourself, all of which creates a block to improvement. Self-acceptance simply recognizes and acknowledges the reality of what is. From that perspective, you can plan how to make changes, if that’s what’s necessary.

The Opposite of Self-Acceptance

Self-rejection, which is the opposite of self-acceptance, makes you defensive. You’re sensitive about the part of you that you feel is lacking, and concerned that others will attack you over it. Because you expect to be confronted, often that’s what happens, as it did with the bullies and my friends. You might even overcompensate for what you think is a fault, by bringing it to others attention deliberately or accidentally, when it wasn’t necessary.

For instance, you’re interviewing for a job that you have the experience for, but don’t have a degree in the area. You feel insecure about the shortcoming, and your nervousness makes a bad impression on your interviewer. However, if you considered that your experience made up for no degree, your confidence would have influenced the interviewer more positively.

Benefits to Accepting Yourself

There are a lot of personal and subjective benefits for accepting yourself. These would include raising your self-esteem and self-confidence, allowing you to be more authentic in your life, enabling you to feel comfortable with yourself and more.

There are also objective benefits to self-acceptance. All of these benefits are helpful in both your personal and professional life.

You’re more open with others, so you don’t push people away. People are attracted to you and want to get to know you. Your relationships are better and deeper.

You’re able to be more present with other people. Because you’re not concerned about your imperfections, you can listen to the other person and understand what they’re saying. As a result, you have better communication and connection with them.

If others do notice your shortcomings, it doesn’t bother you. Often, they’re just curious and want some background information. And if they’re rude, it’s easier to realize that the issue is with them, not you, so you don’t take it personally.

Practice Self-Acceptance

Everyone has imperfections. Accepting them means you approach situations feeling empowered and have more resources to deal with challenges. Practice self-acceptance and notice how much freer and happier you feel.

I was thrilled to get my braces removed two months earlier than expected. But my main reason to be happy wasn’t because I was rid of the metal. I was ecstatic because I could once again have popcorn, taffy and bubble gum. And you know what? No one mentioned that the braces were gone.

Affirmation:

The Universe accepts me as I am. I now accept myself, with all my imperfections. I feel more comfortable with myself and this communicates to the world around me. With this attitude, I can now change and improve myself. More good flows to me and through me as I open the door to a greater sense of well being.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation for Self-Acceptance.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Walk to Improve Your Wellbeing

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Jan 032022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Walking down a path

Many years ago, I was devastated when a relationship ended. All I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and escape. I knew that taking a walk would improve my mood, but it was an act of will to get myself prepared. As one sock went on, I thought, “Maybe I’ll just go lie down.” Forcing myself to pull the other sock on, I thought, “Maybe I’ll just go watch TV.” Lacing each shoe brought up other excuses not to go. But I persevered, took a deep breath and pushed myself out the door.

Research on depression has shown that exercise and walking is almost as effective as anti-depressants. Brain chemicals called endorphins release during exercise, and they naturally elevate mood. Studies have also shown that people who exercise have higher self-esteem, a greater sense of competence and internal control over events, and sleep better. It’s been said that if there’s a fountain of youth, it’s exercise.

Half an hour later, I was returning home with a quarter mile to go and decided to check my inner self to determine how I was feeling. Although I was still sad, I was amazed to find that I could now plan ahead. I actually looked forward to getting involved with a project waiting for me at home. My mental outlook had improved by over 80 percent. To me, at the time, that was a miracle.

Even if I feel exhausted after work, walking rejuvenates me. That’s because the tiredness is more mental than physical. Whenever I need to ground myself, clear my head, break through a writer’s block, or ruminate on a problem, I know that taking a walk will help all of those things. I sometimes say affirmations as I stroll. It’s as if the exercise starts stagnated energy moving again. Walking jumpstarts my well being on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. So, anytime you’re feeling sad, angry, blocked, or stuck, try taking a walk. I’ll bet you’ll find that it helps you clear the way for the changes you desire.

Affirmation:

My well being is important to me, and I make attending to it a priority. I know that exercise is beneficial on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. Knowing that, I find the time to exercise in the best way for my body. As I walk, deeper levels of my mind are at work finding solutions to whatever challenge I’m facing. If I’m reluctant to take a walk, I remind myself of all the benefits, take control of my own well being, and get my feet moving.

Develop Your Potential to Reach Your Dream

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Nov 302021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Woman with outstretched arms and sun

Success means different things to different people. But success can also mean different outcomes depending on the person’s dream. A business person measures their dream of success by income and number of customers. When a beginner marathon runner finally stumbles across the finish line, whether he’s first or last, that’s a win to him. To the person afraid to speak in public, victory is being able to effectively lead a meeting. To others, it’s wealth and acclaim.

In every case, the person had the potential to succeed at their dream. But they had to cultivate and develop the qualities that would lead them to the result they wanted. It didn’t happen by chance. They had to become a person who could reach their vision. That meant they had to let go of some characteristics, habits and ideas, and acquire others.

So where in your life do you need to change? Who do you need to become to be successful and accomplish your dream? Here are five areas to address.

1. What characteristics do you need to develop within yourself?

The characteristics you need to develop are going to be individualized for you and customized for your dream. You won’t want ones that help you climb the Matterhorn if marketing your business is your goal. So consider your dream. Then take stock and assess what qualities you need to develop.

Once you decide which traits are essential for you to have, establish a way to learn and practice them. Choose one from your list to cultivate and start small, with baby steps. But be consistent. Exercise the attribute as much as you can. In doing so, you make it a habit. Then you can start working on the next one.

2. What do you need to identify with?

Your identity affects what you believe and how you act. If you identify with being a business person, you’re going to act differently than someone who feels they’re a teacher. It molds the way you perceive yourself and what you believe about yourself. In some ways, it forms your self-image.

Your identity isn’t concrete. It’s shifting all the time, depending on your roles and responsibilities. And you can influence it by what you choose to believe about yourself. Someone who wants to learn to draw will begin to connect with the idea of being an artist. They then start acting in a way that supports their new sense of identity by associating with artists, going to art shows and being more creative.

3. What do you need to believe to achieve your dream?

If you believe life is out to get you and that you’re a loser, you’re not going to be able to make your dream a reality. Your attitude of failure will sabotage your efforts and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. What you believe inspires and affects your actions, and a belief is simply an opinion. So you can choose to change your belief.

Discover what ideas will support your dream. Imagine that you’ve already reached it. As you explore how it feels to live your dream, what beliefs did you have to have to get there? You’ll identify beliefs about life, yourself and your capabilities that you can begin to change. One way to shift them is through positive self-talk.

4. What skills, knowledge or habits do you need to acquire?

When I wanted to use a computer and get onto the World Wide Web, I had to learn how to navigate the machine’s commands and surf the internet. They were new skills, but essential for me to reach my goal.

Once you recognize the necessary extra information or behaviors you need, figure out how to acquire them. You may need to read specific books, take courses, change your choices or your routine. As you take these steps, others may become apparent to you. Follow them through. Just don’t get stuck in the preparation stage. At some point, you need to actually take the leap into action.

5. What are you willing to do to achieve your dream?

This is probably the most important question. How strongly do you want your dream? Just day dreaming about it won’t bring it into reality. Only by committing to it will you be able to make it yours. For instance, if you want a higher paying job, are you willing to move to a new location, work a different shift or take on more responsibility? If there’s any part of you holding back, it will undermine you.

As you determine what your dream requires of you, do an internal inventory to make sure you’re ready. To accept something new in your life, you’ll have to sacrifice something old. Your life will be different. Are you prepared for it? You’ll also have to put physical, emotional and mental energy forth to bring your dream into reality. If your dream isn’t important enough to you to put in the needed effort, it’s better to know now. Take stock and decide what you’re willing to do.

As Henry Ford said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” If what you’re doing now isn’t bringing you the result you want, you need to change.  Only by doing something different will you get results that are closer to what you want. And you can’t just change your actions. You also need to be someone different. Inner change is necessary for you to become the person who can achieve and live your dream.

Affirmation:

If I can conceive of my dream, then I can achieve it. I have all the support of the Universe in my endeavor. I am willing to do whatever I need to so that I create a new life. It’s safe for me to reach for my dream, and to make the changes necessary to accomplish it. As I put forth the inner and outer effort, I am Divinely guided in my quest.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Book Review: Bex Beltran’s Journals

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Aug 042021
 

Bex Beltran’s Journals

I love journals that you write in. Research has shown that writing by hand is more effective than typewriting or using a keyboard. Using a pen or pencil engages the mind more, allows more inner communication, processes information better and remembers the material better.

Bex Beltran has created a line of journals to cover all sorts of issues, from intuition to lists, manifestation to a crystal journal. Some are for business and business development, like the networking followup, client record, or social media content creator. And others are for personal use, like one for goal setting, reviewing accomplishments, or self-care for a highly sensitive person.

I especially love that some have questions to inspire you, for insight or help you overcome blocks. In a way, some could also be called workbooks. At this writing, there are almost ninety of them, and she continues to add more. I’m sure there’s one that you’ll find valuable. I’ve linked to the page that lists them, so you can browse through these amazing, inexpensive journals.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Act on Your Values to Improve Your Well Being

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Jul 122021
 

Your values are ideas that are important to you and that you choose to live your life by. When you act on them, your well being, self-respect and self-esteem rises. Here are a couple of ways you can use them in your life to feel more fulfilled and satisfied.

Transcript:

Values are principles that are important to you. They’re ideas that determine your priorities and that you choose to live your life by. When you violate them, your self-respect plummets. However, when you do live by them, your self-esteem and self-worth soar.

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist, and I’d like to share how you can use your values to enhance your life and your well being.

What are your values? With a little refection you can discover what they are. Once you know your values you can use them intentionally in your life.

For instance, if kindness is a core value for you, you can use it in being nice to grocery clerks, even when they’re being surly. And that sometimes happens, doesn’t it? If you’re dissatisfied at work, figure out how you can utilize your values there. It will make your work much more fulfilling for you.

It’s not always easy or convenient to live according to your values. There are going to be situations in which it would be easier to take the low road, such as responding in kind to difficult people. And we all bump into people like that in our lives, right? But when you take the high road, and act according to your values, you will be rewarded by a sense of good will and well being.

Thank you for watching. If you’d like to achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, watch my FREE training video, Set Your Course to Success. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com.

Take some time to uncover your values, and then consider how you can act on them in your day- to-day life. You’ll be glad you did.

Read the accompanying article, What Do You Stand For?

What Do You Stand For?

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Jul 082021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Confident Woman with Values

People are attracted to you, personally and professionally, based on your behavior and what you stand for. In business, many times, this is called your brand. But in your personal life, people also decide whether you’re trustworthy, someone they want to spend time with or be around, based on this same standard. And all of this is grounded in your values, the beliefs that promote your actions and attitudes.

Positive and Negative Values

Some values are positive, such as integrity, determination, and compassion. But not all values are constructive. I’ve known people who were proud of personal values such as, manipulation, deception, and carrying a grudge. Negative values like these are based on fear and insecurity. They’re defensive and developed to react to external circumstances. Positive values are internally motivated and proactive. They allow you to be intentional and choose your actions deliberately.

You can reframe a negative value to be more beneficial. For instance, a negative value, like being crafty or cunning, often means you’re scheming or dishonest. This value was probably created to deal with situations where you were concerned someone would take advantage of you. However, reframing that value to one of being clever or innovative allows you to approach situations from a stronger and more resourceful position.

Why Knowing Your Values Is Important

When you know what your values are, you’re able to make decisions based on them that support those principles. Living according to your values increases your self-esteem, self-respect, and sense of authenticity. Your image and perception of yourself will improve, as will your self-confidence. You’ll be known by what you stand for, and people who appreciate what you value will be attracted to you. What values are most important to you? Those are the ones that show the world who you are.

Affirmation:

My values are important to me and I choose to live by my values. They are beliefs and ideas that put me in alignment with my deepest self and the Universe. I feel at peace with myself when I stand by them, even when it’s inconvenient. I support and empower myself when I act on them, and the Universe approves of me, as well.

Watch the accompanying video, Act on Your Values to Improve Your Well Being.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Trending Articles of the Week

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Dec 042020
 

How to Cultivate More Self-Compassion

Self-compassion has to do with being kind to yourself, rather than being critical and judgmental. There’s a difference between making a mistake and being a bad person. Research is showing that showing yourself compassion leads to less anxiety and depression, and more self-worth and happiness. Try these 5 ways to practice self-compassion and discover how much better your life can be.

10 Unmistakable Habits of Utterly Authentic People

To live authentically, you must own your actions and ensure that they align with your beliefs and needs. People who don’t feel uncomfortable and besmirched. Learn to become authentic through these specific habits you can develop.

You Need to Practice Being Your Future Self

Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place. To be productive and move forward, ask, and answer, some of the simple questions in this article.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Book Review-Activate Your Brain

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Jul 142020
 

Activate Your Brain by Scott G. Halford

You already have the best tool within you to achieve your goals. It’s your brain. It’s wired to help you succeed, but you have to know how to use it. When you learn how to activate it properly, not only will you be more successful, but you’ll feel less stressed and more in control.

By understanding the neurochemistry of your brain, you’ll discover how to motivate yourself and stay focused. This book is fill with exercises to lead you step-by-step to get started on a new pathway to getting the life you want. In addition, you’ll learn how to adjust your moods and become more positive.

This book is a delightful, easy to read manual to help you take small, steady steps to change your behavior and improve your results. The author’s mantra throughout the book is “start small, start now.” All those tiny steps will propel you to wonderful shifts in your life. Although the book is directed towards businesspeople, it can help anyone who wants to maximize their potential.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart