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.

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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.

Eliminate Self-Sabotage

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Feb 142017
 

Self-sabotage is designed to keep you in your comfort zone. It ensures that you unconsciously undermine yourself to maintain the status quo. But you don’t have to be held hostage to it. You have the ability to overcome it. Learn what it takes to eliminate self-sabotage.



~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Avoid These 7 Traps That Sabotage Your Dreams

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Feb 142017
 

Sunset Crater, Flagstaff AZDo you have a dream or a vision that you’re not actively pursuing? Maybe you’re not taking action on it or you’re chronically preparing to start. If so, you’re not alone. Self-sabotage is an insidious, subversive and subtle act. It gets hidden amongst the busyness of your life. And it may even seem completely reasonable that you haven’t been able to make any progress toward your dream. But there are unseen forces at work within you that are holding you back.

Here are 7 ways that you undermine yourself and steps you can take to overcome these obstacles.

1. Lack of clarity. You only have a fuzzy idea of what you want. This isn’t very motivating and it won’t impel you to take action. When you don’t have a precise idea of your direction, you won’t take any steps. Specific ideas about your goals allow you to take specific steps towards achieving them, which leads to better results. It also gives the Law of Attraction an explicit pattern to follow.

2. No plan. You may want to go with the flow and resist the structure of a plan. But when you choose to let things unfold in this way, you’re going to be blown around by every circumstance that presents itself. There’s a saying, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” In your busy life, if something doesn’t get prioritized, it doesn’t get done. Create an outline of a plan that serves you, so that the Law of Attraction can draw to you what you need. Your plan should include room for the unexpected.

3. Not working your plan. You’ve created a plan, put it in a drawer and gotten involved in your busy life. The immediate and the urgent have taken precedence. Or you may be dealing with the “shiny object syndrome.” Other enticing options have taken you off track and gotten you nowhere. This just creates confusion for the Universe, as it doesn’t know what you want. It’s ok to make course corrections periodically, but not every day. Assess your plan and get back to working it.

4. Not making your dream a priority. You have a plan, but you let other things get in the way. This may be day-to-day chores or plain old inertia. It’s simply easier to fall back into old habits than it is to clear space to work for your dream. Unless you decide that your dream is important, you’ll never achieve it. And the Universe won’t make it a priority, either. Focus on what you want, schedule taking action and following through.

5. Seeking approval. You’re trying to live up to other peoples’ expectations of you. And you put others’ agendas ahead of your own wants, needs and desires. For the most part, you don’t need their approval nor to meet their expectations. What you want is as important as what they do. Learn to say, “No,” when their expectations conflict with what you want. The Universe approves of you when you do.

6. Perfectionism. You won’t move forward until everything is perfect. This is an unrealistic and unreachable goal. Perfectionism comes from fear that you’ll make a mistake. Of course, you’re going to make mistakes. That’s how you learn and make course corrections. The Universe doesn’t expect your efforts to be flawless. Repeat to yourself, “Progress, not perfection.” As long as you have a vision and the beginnings of a plan, you can make some headway. You can build the rest as you go along.

7. Procrastination.
This behavior is the worst of the offenders. It probably sinks more dreams than anything else. Either you put off starting or you put off uncomfortable or unfamiliar tasks that are necessary to your vision. Out of fear or rebellion, you chronically avoid making a decision or taking an action until the last minute. The Law of Attraction follows your lead and delays any good coming your way. Take some action, no matter how small and build momentum. One small step at a time is all you need to do to make progress.

Self-sabotage is an attempt to keep you safely confined in your comfort zone, so you don’t have to stretch or be anxious. Your subconscious is trying to protect you from the disappointment or rejection that you experienced when you were younger. Unfortunately, this strategy doesn’t support your dream or who you are now.

When you recognize that you’re sabotaging yourself, and that it’s a function of some outdated attempt at self-preservation, you can make changes. It will be uncomfortable at first, as all change is. And you’ll be tempted to step back into old patterns. But you have the power, wisdom and understanding to take charge and shift your world. Open the door to your dreams and step through.

Affirmation:
I realize the self-sabotage is an outdated attempt to keep me safe in a world that no longer exists. I now recognize any ways in which I undermine myself. It’s powerful to bring them out into the light so that I can see they are no longer needed. I now let go of what no longer serves me, and now establish new thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that support my dreams.

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.