Oct 052017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

“Action without planning is the cause of every failure.” Alec Mackenzie, time management expert

Quote-Mackenzie-Action

Last year, my husband and I hiked a mile-and-a-half down the South Kaibab trail in the Grand Canyon. We planned and trained for almost a year. When the day arrived, we had the right boots and equipment, and enough food and water to sustain us. Unfortunately, many people on the trail hadn’t had the same foresight.

There are warnings all over the park and at the trailhead about how much water a hiker needs. But sadly, many hikers we saw took only a fraction of the water they needed. We witnessed several people in distress due to dehydration: weak, tired or dizzy. A family fought over their child’s small bottle of water, because they’d already drunk their allotment. Two women hiked the dirt and rock trail, that was hundreds of feet above the canyon floor, in high heels. One turned ankle in the wrong place could have been disastrous.

These visitors let their enthusiasm overrun their common sense. Instead of thinking ahead, they impetuously jumped into an experience and suffered for it. Fortunately, most Grand Canyon visitors survive with just blisters, sore muscles and a headache from dehydration. But they could have avoided those consequences if they’d just heeded the warnings and considered what they’d need for a safe hike.

Unfortunately, many people act in a similar way when they get an idea. They leap into action before they even know what to do. In our Western culture, action is idolized. Supposedly, if you just take action, any action, you’ll be successful. Action is considered a panacea and always brings you results, so the thought goes. But how many people do you know who are so busy that they barely have a personal life, but they’re not achieving their goals?

Some people want to let the Universe guide their way. They don’t have any direction, and just react to whatever shows up in their path. In this case, the Universe is simply acting on their strongest desires. And those desires change from day to day. Even when you let the Universe guide you, have a vision of where you want to end up. You can always intend, “This or something better.” Then the Law of Attraction can draw what you need to manifest your greater good.

Have you ever seen a skyrocket firecracker flying through the air? It spirals all over the place because it has thrust, but no guidance system. Most of the time, it goes up to explode in a beautiful display, but there are occasions when it swirls down to the ground and sets something on fire. This is what it’s like when you jump into action before developing a plan. You’re probably going to go up, but you don’t have any control over your direction. And you also have a good chance of crashing and burning.

The same is true if you have a plan, but you don’t know where you want to end up. If you have no vision, it’s like throwing darts at a target while blindfolded. You don’t know where your target is, so you waste your energy and ammunition. This happens if you have a marketing plan, before you settle on a niche. You spray the consumers with information, but because it’s not aimed properly, it’s ineffective. Instead, you need to find the right people for your product or service then spend your energy on connecting with them.

There are times when jumping into action, without a plan, can be helpful. But it has to be strategic. You want to build up some momentum, stir up some information, gain clarity or some other specific reason. Doing that is a plan in itself. You know the results you want from your actions.

Conversely, you need to keep from getting stuck in the planning process. Your plan isn’t going to ever be perfect. You’ll tweak it along the way. And there will be times when it will change completely, as you get feedback or knowledge. Making progress is better than perfecting your plan.

When you’ve decided to create something new in your life, be intentional about it. Don’t “Put the cart before the horse.” Keep your priorities straight and make sure you have some sort of plan. Life can be treacherous and catch you off guard. If you’re going for a trek in unfamiliar territory, isn’t it a good idea to heed the warnings, make sure you have the right equipment and plenty of resources to sustain you? This isn’t just good advice for the Grand Canyon, but also for every area of your life. Make sure your horse draws your cart, and you’ll make faster progress.

Affirmation:

I decide what direction I want to go in, and the Universe then lights my path. It ensures that I receive whatever I need for the fulfillment of my desire. I stay on track and take the steps I need towards my vision. Each step illumines the next one. And the Universe provides me with whatever is for my Highest Good.

Watch the complementary video Think Before You Leap.

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.
Oct 032017
 

Healing the Shame that Binds You (Recovery Classics)
by John Bradshaw

Many people grow up in dysfunctional families that have caused them to feel ashamed of natural needs, desires, and sometimes of just being. This results in their not feeling worthy, effective, or mattering. Healing The Shame That Binds You not only addresses the core issues behind the toxic shame that people feel, explains how it formed and where it comes from, it also gives valuable direction on how to heal it.

Most of us have been exposed to some sort of toxic shame, and carry it with us. This shame prevents us from living up to our potential, accepting ourselves, and accepting all the good Life has to offer us. The author examines these issues, to give the reader a deep understanding on how shame formed, different ways it manifests (such as panic attacks, addictions, and compulsions), and steps to take to resolve the problem.

This book isn’t just one of theory and information. It includes meditations, exercises, new behaviors to practice, and affirmations. Different methods of healing are explained and demonstrated. Anyone who grew up in a dysfunctional home, or who absorbed a sense of shame would benefit from reading this valuable source.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sep 212017
 

Grand Canyon Train TracksAre Our Workplaces Getting Ruder?
Rudeness, disrespect or insensitive behavior at work affects job performance in a major way, and its incidence is increasing. It harms your relationships and your mental and physical health. But incivility doesn’t just impact us at work. We experience it in our private lives, too. This article gives 4 suggestions on how to deal with the issue at work. But these approaches can also be used in other areas of our lives.

5 Practical Steps to Stop Procrastination for Good
If you’re a procrastinator, you tend to delay acting until a deadline is looming. Unfortunately, that generally means you do sub-par work and never live up to your potential. This article, paraphrasing a TED Talk on the subject, gives a clever metaphor for what happens in a procrastinators brain. It also gives 5 steps to derail procrastination and a link to the TED Talk the author mentions.

Three Ways to Put A Positive Spin on (Almost) Anything
We know that research has shown that being positive is good for the mind and body. But there are just times when stuff happens, and it becomes incredibly difficult. The author of this article experienced such a period. She got through it by using 3 strategies. They’re ones that I’ve used for many decades and teach my clients. They work and are proven to improve your mood and attitude in a short time.

Sep 152017
 

Sparks of InsightWhere are you giving away your power? Where is your power going? Are you letting others manipulate you through guilt, anger? Are you letting some unhealthy substance control your actions, or not acting in healthy ways? Are you feeling helpless or hopeless? All of these are symptoms of your handing your power over to someone or something else. You have separated yourself from your Higher Self. You have a right to reclaim yourself and your power. Think about where you’ve given your power away and say, “I reclaim my power!”

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sep 082017
 

RainbowyClouds-yikrp55aT-smMake Someone Else’s Day, and 3 Other Ways to De-Stress
Unfortunately, we live in a highly stressed world and many are just trying to survive. Although it’s important to be effective at your job, it doesn’t have to impair your mental, emotional and physical well being. This article suggests 4 ways to reduce your stress and improve your happiness.

Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know
People with low self-esteem tend to be over-critical of themselves. And many people have this problem and don’t know it. This article gives some symptoms, so you can assess if you suffer from it. Only by becoming aware of the issue can you start to remedy it.

5 Ways To Stop Doubting Yourself
Self-doubt destroys reaching for your dream. It holds you back and can undermine you in ways you’re not aware of. You make excuses or avoid challenges. The opposite of self-doubt is self-confidence. This articles gives ways to eliminate self-doubt and regain your confidence so you can attain your dreams.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sep 012017
 

Sparks of InsightTry changing the pronoun of your affirmation from “I” to “You” or “Your Name.” You respond differently when someone else encourages you. You feel believed in, validated, appreciated. In doing so, you actually become your own coach. The third person, “Your Name,” helps by being from some neutral party. It’s more objective and detached, therefore connects with the mind on a different level.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Aug 252017
 

Sparks of Insight“Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.” – William James

Resisting, denying or ignoring a reality just gives it more energy. Before anything can change, you have to know what needs to change. Accepting that it is so doesn’t mean that you’re giving in to it. All you’re doing is stating, “This is where I am now, and now I can change it.” The energy you were using to repress the situation can now be used to recreate the outcome.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Are Your Motives Clear?

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Aug 102017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

For awhile on my Facebook Business page, someone I knew made belittling and insulting comments. From his remarks, it was obvious he had read only the title of my post, didn’t have any knowledge of the topic nor had read the content. Over time, instead of consistently sharing an idea or article to serve my audience, I posted less and less. My unconscious motivation was to avoid his harassment and not subject my other readers to his attacks. This action was not in my best interest and sabotaged my efforts to share subjects of interest with my followers.

MotivationAre your actions matching up with what you want? Mine weren’t. If not, it’s time to look at what’s motivating you and compare it to the outcomes you desire. That’s what I had to do, once I became aware of what I was doing. To eliminate the aggravation, I banned him from the page. Since it’s public, he can read the page but he can’t interact on it.

Napoleon Hill said, “Your every act is the result of a given cause—your motives.” Your motivation may come from earlier in your life, and you haven’t updated it to support you in the present day. Mine came from childhood when I didn’t want to offend anyone. This time, I decided it was better to risk upsetting this one person than it was to stop reaching out to my followers.

The motivation you had when you were younger may have been beneficial, but the way you execute it now isn’t working for you. For instance, being a class clown brought Joe good attention in high school, but interferes with his job as an adult. Instead of entertaining his boss, he gets written up for distracting his coworkers and not meeting his deadlines. His motivation is to get acknowledgement, but the behavior isn’t fulfilling its purpose anymore.

Or consider when the football star was a bully in high school, it brought him admiration. But in his life now, it doesn’t get him respect, which is what he craves. Instead, he alienates the very people he wants to impress.

Conversely, good intentions can lead to bad results. The grade A student in school, who kept her head down and studied hard, got good grades in school. Teachers praised her for being so quiet and unassuming. But as an adult, it keeps her from taking credit for her work or putting herself forward for advancement.

And then there’s the big sister who was commended for taking care of her younger siblings. But now, when she takes care of everyone, they deplete her energy and bank account. Both of these women had positive motivations and behaviors that were appropriate when they were young. But when they got older, the same type of actions no longer benefited them.

Most motivations operate unconsciously. You’re not aware of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Your motivation may be valid, but the way you fulfill it may be an outdated remnant of the past. It’s important to get clear on the reason that’s driving your actions so you can obtain the outcomes you want.

To recognize where you may be sabotaging yourself, and how to get your motives and actions aligned, explore these suggestions.

1. Are you disappointed, puzzled or confused about why you’re not getting the outcomes you expect? This is a signal that something is amiss. Awareness is the first step, because before you can resolve a situation, you have to acknowledge there’s a problem.

2. Examine your actions. What results have they brought you in the past, and are they bringing similar ones now? If not, then there’s a mismatch between your behavior and your desired outcome. It’s tempting to just change your actions without going deeper. But at the first sign of stress, it’s normal to return to the behavior that’s familiar. Discover what your incentive is so you can stay on track.

3. Assess the purpose behind your action. What is it trying to do for you? It may be trying to protect you or bring you recognition. You may be trying to avoid something uncomfortable, through procrastination or a search for perfection. Or you could be seeking to attract something better into your life, such as acknowledgement or friends. That reason steers your impulses.

4. Now that you know your motivation, how can you modify your beliefs and actions to receive your desired outcome? Once you’ve understood what you need to change, you have a better chance of success. Whenever you get stressed, remind yourself of why you’re changing your habits and stick to it.

Unconscious ideas and urges create situations that you don’t expect. When you get clear on your motives, you can then intentionally change the way you’re fulfilling them. It’s never easy to break with the past, but you have a greater chance of success when you clarify your reasons.

Affirmation:
I now get clear on the motives for my actions. If the way I fulfill that purpose no longer serves me, I set my intention to change it. The Universe completely supports me in my efforts to improve my life.

Watch the accompanying Coaching Tip video Are You in Alignment with Your Motivation?

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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Jul 282017
 

Woman with outstretched arms 9 Things That Make You Unlikable
Being likeable is something that you can cultivate within yourself, and can improve your performance. Being unlikable can create problems with your relationships and the way people perceive you. But some characteristics can sneak up on you. Learn what they are and how you can change them.

Meditation For Beginners: 11 Easy Tips
Numerous studies show amazing benefits for your mind, body and spirit. It reduces stress and makes you more productive. But many people don’t know how to begin this valuable practice. Here are some great tips to use to begin meditating.

Can Optimism Boost Women’s Lives?
A recent study of 70,000 women found that optimism reduces their risk of dying of all sorts of diseases by 30%. This article explores the ways these women express their optimism and how it affects their decisions. Optimism can be learned, and this article points to some ways that it can improve your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Brian Tracy — How to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection

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Jul 252017
 

More than 99 percent of adults experience the fears of failure and rejection. They are often times caught in the trap of feeling, “I can’t, but I have to.” It affects everything from your professional to your personal life. In this video, sales trainer shares his proven 4 step formula for overcoming these fears and changing your attitude from negative to positive.

To discover your current level of self-confidence and how to take action toward building greater confidence in yourself, take Brian Tracy’s Self-Confidence Assessment.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart