Nov 092017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

“Watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Over 90% of your thoughts, beliefs and actions are ruled by habits. Those habits were formed from what you focused on, and the actions you took over and over again. They dug a groove in your psyche, and when triggered, you react automatically.

Thoughts-Destiny-sm

Some of those habits are beneficial, such as brushing your teeth or sending a thank you card for a referral. But many of them don’t support where you want to go in life. They actually undermine it. Your negative habits developed at a time when they were helpful, but they’ve outlived their usefulness. They’re so automatic that you may not even realize that they’re no longer suitable.

They may be habits that you’ve just fallen into because of laziness or not being aware of the effects they would have on your future. Habits have cumulative effects, either beneficial or detrimental, that don’t show up until later in life. And they will shape your future.

For instance, do you exercise? Over the years, not exercising negatively impacts the quality and quantity of your health. You’ll get weaker as you age, have problems with balance, and not be able to walk very far. But I know people in their 80’s who still hike several miles every week because they’ve stayed in shape. Exercise keeps your heart healthy and reduces the incidence of many diseases. Cultivate this habit for a better, healthier life.

The habitual tendency of pessimism or optimism builds up over time. Either way, it affects the quality of your relationships, as well as your success in life. In my youth, I knew a young man who enjoyed putting others down. He considered it a game. Years later, as a mature adult, he verbally attacked others in cruel and malicious ways. That habit escalated over the years to its present level. It’s cost him jobs, friends and loved ones, but this habit is so ingrained in him that he sees no reason to change.

Do you procrastinate? That habit probably formed early in life. Although it might have been helpful then, it’s not now. For instance, chronically putting off paying your credit card won’t help your pocket book because of late charges. Needing to have the latest phone or gadget won’t benefit your bottom line either. You could have had a nice nest egg if you’d invested that wasted money.

For example, in the stop smoking classes I facilitated, participants were encouraged to save the money they used to spend on cigarettes. They put it into a jar to save for a specific goal. Within 18 months of starting that habit, one couple was able to take the cruise they’d always dreamed of. That money accumulated quickly to bring their dream to reality.

Do you want less stress and anxiety? Become aware of habits that promote those feelings. Small issues can be the worst contributors. For instance, where do you put your keys when you come in the door? Do you put them in one specific place, like on a hook or in a bowl, or do you drop them in random places? How much time do you waste looking for them when you need to leave? Are you ever late for work or an appointment as a result? What kind of impression does your tardiness make on others? That one small habit could mean a lost opportunity or promotion.

It all comes down to your habits. Are your habits supporting your path or sabotaging it? Your habits create your destiny by the thoughts you think and the choices you make on a day to day basis. If you want a different outcome, you’ll have to start making different choices.

Your first step would be to decide on the result you want. Do you want less stress, more joy, to be healthier, or more successful? It must be something you really want and are willing to work towards. Your subconscious doesn’t like change. Your motivation must be stronger than the natural inclination to fall back into the old groove.

Your second step is to decide what habits have to be in place to support your dream. For better health, you’d need to make better food choices and exercise more. To be more productive at work, determine what tasks you need to focus on to reach your goals.

Your third step would be to become aware of the habits that are interfering with your chosen result. They may be small, insignificant ones. Such as always checking your email as soon as you get to work and letting them sidetrack you from your priorities. Or chronically waiting until the last minute to get gas and either running out or running late.

The fourth step is to commit to substituting the new habit for the old one, each and every time. Habits aren’t easy to break. You have to stay aware of what you’re doing whenever you’re in that situation, and make a different choice. It isn’t easy, but it can be done.

When you create habits that support what you want, you’re changing the course of your life. It will take persistence and determination to do so, but your future is worth it. Your habits determine your destiny. Make it a good one.

Affirmation:
I now decide what it is I want in my life. I realize that I deserve to have a better future. The Universe always wants for me what I want for myself. Everything I need to support my choice now appears. As I make the choice to change, all levels of my mind align to strengthen my resolve.

Watch the accompanying video, Better Habits Make for a Better Life.

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 262017
 

GC-RimTrail-sm-09237 Incredible Techniques to Easily Solve the Root of Any Problem
Everyone has bad habits, and makes the same mistakes over and over. Generally, we treat the symptoms and play whack-a-mole with them. To solve your problems, you need to find out what’s causing them and be proactive. Here are several time tested solutions to get to the why.

Five Habits Of Controlling People
Controlling people are those who need others to behave and respond in the ways they want them to. As a matter of fact, they insist on it. Learning how to determine when someone is trying to control you is important for your well being. Here are some of the ways they try to control you so you can recognize what’s happening.

10 Questions to Help You Cultivate Authentic Grit
Grit enables you to pursue goals, even when the going gets tough. Authentic grit, according to the author, also inspires and motivates others. This quality can be cultivated if you want something badly enough. The questions he offers help you to determine what’s important enough to you to persist.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Book Review-Healing the Shame that Binds You

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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

Trending Articles of the Week

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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.

Achieve Success through Self-Trust

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Sep 072017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Emerson-Self-trustQuote“Self-trust is the first secret of success.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you know what you want? Many people don’t know what they want because they don’t trust themselves to achieve it. They’d rather not want anything than be disappointed. They distrust the validity of their own desires and doubt their judgment because of past failures.

Before you take steps towards accomplishing a dream, you have to believe in yourself and your abilities. You need to know that you can access the knowledge, develop the habits, and find the opportunities to create your goal.

What exactly is self-trust? It’s a belief in yourself, trusting that you’ll be there for yourself, that you can handle what life throws at you. It means that you’re accountable and responsible for yourself. When you’re able to depend on yourself, you have confidence that you’ll be on your side. Self-trust ensures that you’re interested in and supportive of your wellbeing.

Being able to trust yourself is the first ingredient you need to be successful in all areas of your life. Not trusting yourself means you don’t believe you’ll finish what you intend to do. Distrusting yourself undermines your relationship with yourself and everyone else, including the Universe.

In business, it’s said that “People do business with those they know, like and trust.” The same is true of your personal life. You’re attracted to those you like and trust and vice versa. Are you trustworthy enough for you to be friends or do business with? If not, how can you reach that place of inner assurance?

Self-trust doesn’t just happen. It has to be built, the same as in any relationship. When you first meet someone, you rarely trust them immediately. Over time and through experience, they have to show that they’re truthful and reliable. You develop a relationship with yourself the same way. Here are four ways in which you can start to cultivate a sense of self-trust.

1. Honor your values. Your values are principles you choose to live by. They’re standards of behavior or ideals that you uphold, like integrity, service, or family. There will be times when it’s hard to stay true to them. But if you don’t, you’ll feel inauthentic and like you’ve abandoned yourself. And you’ll sense a separation from the Universe. When you live according to your values, it builds your self-worth and self-esteem.

2. Honor yourself. Pay attention to your health and wellbeing. When you need to take care of yourself, refuse extra demands on your time. You’re as important as anyone else, and if you don’t treat yourself well, no one else will do so either. If someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do or can’t fulfill, be kind to them (and yourself) and say no. As you support your worth, you’ll develop a positive self-regard.

3. Honor your agreements and commitments. If you do consent to perform some action, follow through and fulfill it. Not doing so breaks a promise to yourself and others. And those who break promises can’t be trusted. The same is true when you agree to a condition, like not to track mud onto the carpet. Keeping appointments you make also falls under this heading. Be on time or as close to it as possible. By doing so, you’re fostering self-respect and earning the respect of others.

4. Honor your decisions. After you make a decision, stick to it, unless you get new information that affects your choice. Stop seeking others’ approval for your choices. Take responsibility for your decisions and for their consequences. Some people won’t like that you’re being autonomous, but that’s their problem. It’s your life and you make the choices based on your experiences and what’s important to you. Rely on your own authority.

Trust grows more trust, in yourself and others. When you believe in yourself, it allows for innovation, creativity, and the flexibility to change directions when needed. The more you trust yourself, the more you trust the Universe and the Law of Attraction. You’re able to let go of fear and doubt, and have faith that you live in a beneficial universe.

Affirmation:
The Universe perceives me as a worthwhile human being. It has given me everything I need to succeed, personally and professionally. It’s my responsibility to exercise the qualities It has bestowed upon me. As I advocate for myself, I feel more whole and authentic.

Watch the accompanying video Stop Fighting Yourself.

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.

Are You in Alignment with Your Motivation?

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Aug 152017
 

Your motivation causes you to take action every day. Sometimes, you want something that doesn’t fit with who you are. In that case, you either achieve your goals or avoid them. Learn 3 tips to align your motivation with what will work for you.



Transcript:
When I talk about motivation in this context, I’m not talking about it as emotional inspiration to get you to make changes. I’m talking about basic motivation, the kind that causes you to take action in everyday situations. Do your inherent motives motivate you to achieve the goals you think you want?

For instance, I had a friend who wanted to be a runner. He’d always pictured himself as a runner, had bought the shoes, read books on it. But actually getting himself out the door to do it… wasn’t happening. It wasn’t right for him. Instead, he found that he preferred the comfort and community of an indoor gym. He had to align his personality and motives with what worked for him.

All you have to do to notice your motives is to look at your life. Are you doing what it is you want to get you where you want to go? If not, check what your motivation might be. You may be wanting something that doesn’t fit with your personality. And since it’s so out of your comfort zone, and out of character, you won’t fulfill it.

However, consider what you can do to satisfy that desire. Scale it back or shift it somehow. When you do follow-up after a networking meeting, if making phone calls makes you cringe, send cards instead. If you want to be an oil painter, but the smell of the paint makes you nauseous, switch to acrylic’s or watercolor. There’s more than one way to climb a mountain.

My coaching tip for you is to:
1st – assess what you truly want.
2nd – become aware of your actions towards it.
3rd – pick a way to achieve it that works for you.
When you align your motives to actions that are natural for you, you’ll be much happier and more successful.

Read the accompanying article Are Your Motives Clear?

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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.

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.

Sparks of Insight

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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

Book Review-What You Think Of Me Is None Of My Business

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May 292017
 

What You Think of Me is None of My Business
by Terri Cole-Whittaker

This title would be a fantastic mantra for most of us. We spend too much time trying to please other people. In doing so, we twist ourselves out of shape, compromise our deepest beliefs, abandon and stifle our uniqueness.

This book is all about our relationship to ourselves and others and how to be true to our real selves. Ms. Cole-Whittaker systematically goes through the different areas that we restrict ourselves to gain approval, such as abundance, guilt, health, relationships, competition and dismantles our excuses for doing so.

In her chapter on “Everyone Can Win,” she addresses the dissatisfaction of employees, and gives guidance to them and their bosses about how to improve their fulfillment.

Each chapter ends with some self-awareness questions and strategies, and includes three affirmations to implement the changes. This book will change the way you think about every area of your life. And as we know, when you change the way you think, your life changes in response.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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May 192017
 

Sunset Crater, Flagstaff AZHow to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions
Unfortunately, when we’re feeling down, it colors our opinions about ourselves and our lives. And then those thoughts inspire our decisions and actions, which generally are detrimental to our lives. Learning our negative triggers, and having strategies in place, can stop that downward spiral. This article gives some tips and techniques to use to break that negative cycle.

Complaining Is Bad For Your Health, According To Science
Not only is it unpleasant to be around a complainer, it can become a habit with negative consequences. Constant negativity can take a toll on your physical health as well as your mental health. Here are some reasons that will make you think twice about going down that path.

Your Brain Actually Shrinks While You Sleep To Help You Learn
While you sleep, your brain rests and prepare for the next day. You aren’t preoccupied with external stimuli, and your brain can normalize itself so you can learn new things. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, this article could easily give you some motivation to do so.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart