Mar 082017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Self-esteem is a basic necessity for all success in personal and professional life. When you like and respect yourself, then you’re likely to make the choices that lead to creating the outcomes that you want. Your self-worth is created by your attitudes about yourself based on what ideas you accepted as a child and the things you tell yourself as an adult.

Your self-image plays a large part in the development of your self-esteem. Your self-image is formulated from your experiences, judgments, labels you’ve accepted, and your talents or your liabilities. These have helped to shape your beliefs about yourself that feed into your self-worth.
Woman with outstretched arms

You always act like the person you believe yourself to be. How do you see yourself? Do you perceive yourself as a competent and dynamic individual? Or do you doubt yourself and your abilities? Do you focus on what you’ve done wrong, or what didn’t turn out the way you wanted? This will erode your self-image and contribute to a low self-esteem.

If you have a strong, healthy self-image, then you make healthy decisions that support your vision, dreams and goals. You’ll exercise to stay fit, eat healthy, and avoid substances that would impair your health. These choices may be difficult or inconvenient, such as quitting smoking, ending a one-sided relationship, or finding another job that gives you a better chance to advance in your career. But you protect your health and well-being because you view yourself as someone who is proactive.

Your self-image forms the filter through which you view yourself and how you respond to situations around you. It demands that you remain consistent with your concept of yourself. Suppose you perceive yourself as a supportive person, who likes to make everyone happy. If so, to be congruent, you won’t stand up for yourself when you’re taken advantage of, even at the cost of your welfare.

For instance, Clarisse owned a service-based business. Initially, her attitude was that she offered a service that happened to be a business. With that approach, she was supportive, sympathetic and enabling of everyone who came to her. But her customers took advantage of her after she’d done work for them. After promising to pay, they reneged, saying they couldn’t afford it. Her business began to flounder.

To be successful, she had to shift her view of herself as a businessperson. She realized she wouldn’t be able to help anyone if she wasn’t in business. She changed her inner position to one of being a businessperson who provides a service. With this outlook, she made decisions based on what was good for the business.

To fulfill her desire to be of service to those who needed it, she selectively provided her service pro-bono to a client every once in a while. But they no longer were the majority of her clientele. Her business began to thrive.

Your self-image is malleable. You can impact it, making it stronger and more effective. But to do so, you’ll have to let go of some imbedded, old ideas. They may even be ones that you value, but they’re not helping you or your self-esteem.

Clarisse had to let go of her self-concept of being of service to everyone who needed her. That way was destroying her business. One major change she made was insisting on payment up front. She also set and kept boundaries, in the form of policies. If someone violated a policy, she refused to work with them. And she refused to take responsibility for others’ decisions that prevented them from living up to their agreements with her.

If you want to have more impact, be more effective and more successful, the first place to start is with improving your self-image. Here are a few suggestions of what to do.

1. Let go of the judgments and labels from your childhood. They belong in the past and don’t reflect who you are now. Besides, they were simply someone’s, usually mistaken, opinion and don’t define you in the present.

2. Stop of focusing on what’s wrong with you.
You’ll always be able to find something to criticize in yourself or what you do. Break that habit as it’s not helpful. Instead, focus on what’s right about you.

3. Make a list compliments that you’ve received.
Don’t dismiss them as untrue or someone just being nice. Accept that they’re true of you.

No matter what your dreams, you’ll always make decisions, and act, in alignment with your self-image. To become the person you want to be, and achieve your dreams, you’ll need to change it so it supports what you want in your life. You can do it. Just consider the life that awaits you and stay focused on your dreams.

Affirmation:
The Universe loves and approves of me as I am. I accept my true worth. It’s safe to let go of old concepts that aren’t true of who I am. I now acknowledge the things that I do that are good and right. People like me, and I accept that I am likeable. I now shift my self-image to reflect the person I want to be.

Watch the Monthly Mindset Coaching Tip Video, Meditation to Improve Your Self-Image, that was inspired by this article.

As a speaker, hypnotherapist, and vision coach, Linda-Ann Stewart helps business and professional women who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to create their vision, prioritize, and focus so they increase their productivity, prosperity and peace of mind. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

Book Review-Recreating Your Self

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Jan 262017
 

Recreating Your Self: Building Self-Esteem Through Imaging and Self-Hypnosis
by Nancy J. Napier

Most of my clients struggle with self-esteem issues. They have feelings of shame, worthlessness, and due to old programming, don’t take the steps necessary to support their own health and well-being. This book is a great resource to anyone who has experienced these challenges.

The author addresses the subjects of healing the inner child, reviewing past abuses in the light of our current understanding, connecting with our healed, future self and much more. Especially helpful to me was the chapter on the protective parts. These parts were created to help us in a time of stress. Based on the old information, they continue to  control us, and many times this actually hurts our desire to heal. However, we can update their protection and turn them into resources that support us in the present day.

Instructions, exercises and scripts for self-hypnosis accompany each of her chapters to do the inner work and heal. This book is a wonderful addition to anyone who has read John Bradshaw’s books on healing the inner child, or who has had a dysfunctional childhood and wishes to resolve the old wounds to become a happier person.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Dec 222016
 

Sun RaysThese 10 Questions Can Foretell If You’ll Be Successful In Life
Success isn’t limited to just what you’ve achieved in your professional life, but also having a work-life balance and how authentic you are. However, there are scientifically proven signs that will indicate whether or not you will truly be successful in however you define that in your life. As you work on these areas, you’ll be rewarded with a greater sense of well-being.

50 Ways to Open Your World to New Possibilities
If you feel stuck or wonder if this is all there is, you may have closed your eyes to the possibilities all around you. As long as you stay in your comfort zone, you’ll never experience anything but what you already have. You don’t need to decide to leave it all behind to have a more rewarding life. Small decisions can create large opportunities for joy.

Neuroscience Says Listening to This Song Reduces Anxiety by Up to 65 Percent
There are innumerable ways to reduce your stress, based on scientific research. This one adds to the rest, and can soothe your soul while it calms your nervous system. A neuroscientist has found 10 songs that measurably reduces stress and anxiety. This article not only lists them, but created a public list of them you can download.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Book Review-The Power of Positive Thinking

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Dec 212016
 

The Power of Positive Thinking
by Norman Vincent Peale

This is one of the true classics in mind power literature. I resisted reading this book for many years, and when I finally did, was blown away by the wisdom in it. The author gives succinct, practical advice on how to deal with many of our daily problems, from self-worth to releasing worry.

Well versed in the concept of the subconscious mind, Dr. Peale explains how to use prayer, affirmations and visualization for best effect. Drawing on the Bible for much of his teaching, he uses Bible verses for affirmations and constructive thinking.

Although this book was written by a Christian minister, it is useful to all philosophies because its principles go beyond religious barriers. Filled with stories and examples, this book is enjoyable to read and will fill the reader with inspiration, confidence and faith.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Dec 082016
 

Rainbow at SnowbowlThese 2 Hidden Habits Will Hinder Your Success!
The extent of success is the ratio of good and bad habits you have in life. Your habits create your destiny. Some habits will undermine your success, confidence and happiness, and be so insidious that you don’t even recognize them. This article tackles 2 basic ones that are major offenders and what to do about them.

5 Things Psychopaths Say To Make You Feel Crazy
Most psychopaths are nonviolent and fit into the normal population. They just have no conscience and will prey on people to get what they want, using charm and manipulation. And one of their tools is to make you doubt yourself so they can control you. Here are some of the ways they attack and destabilize you.

A neuroscience researcher reveals 4 rituals that will make you happier
Are you depressed, stressed or upset? There are specific, proven solutions that can help you that are based on neuroscience. Believe it or not, feeling guilty or worried actually can make you feel better, even though it’s not helpful. This article suggests more constructive things to do that will be much better for you.

Sparks of Insight

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Dec 022016
 

Sparks of Insight“If you don’t run your own life….someone else will.” – John Atkinson

When you give up what’s important to you because someone else wants you to, then you’re allowing them power over your life. You could have planned a quiet evening at home, but a friend wants you to go to a movie you have no desire to see. If you let yourself be talked into it, you have abandoned yourself. You have a right to live your life your way.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Dec 012016
 

Grand Canyon Colorado River5 Struggles Overly-Nice People Would Understand So Well
Many people admire nice people, but unfortunately, others take advantage of them. Nice people expect others to be like them, so they give them the benefit of the doubt, when they may not deserve it. Not only does this article describe some of the struggles nice folks have, but it gives some suggestions on how to deal with them.

Why Your Attitude Is Everything
One of the most important steps you can take toward achieving your greatest potential in life is to monitor your attitude. Most people don’t have an awareness of what their attitudes are. But your attitude governs the way you perceive the world and the way the world perceives you. Here are 10 ways to improve your attitude.

Power of Consistency: 5 Rules
Consistency is the difference between failure and success. This article describes why it’s important to success in business. But the same could be said about your personal life. Learn about the rules and start applying them in your personal and professional lives.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Nov 182016
 

Sparks of Insight“Everyone has the same connection to Universal power that I do. I trust that they can take care of their own needs and wants. I let them go and give myself permission to attend to mine.”

When you give up your own needs to attend to someone else’s wants, you’re giving them the message that you don’t believe they can do it for themselves. You encourage them to be helpless and not grow. And when you put your desires aside, you give the message to yourself that you’re not important. It’s hard, but step back from helping others who can help themselves. It’s more beneficial for them and for you.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Book Review – Forgiving the Unforgivable

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Oct 042016
 

Forgiving the Unforgivable: Overcoming the Bitter Legacy of Intimate Wounds by Beverly Flanigan, M.S.S.W.

If you’ve ever been hurt by someone close to you, past or present, and need some help in dealing with it and getting to forgiveness, this book is for you. Not only does the author walk you through the journey of recognizing and acknowledging the injury, assigning responsibility, and describing the steps a person goes through along the way, but she also includes many exercises and tools to handle all of these phases.

When we’re wounded by someone close to us in a way that betrays the foundation of the relationship, then we feel like our world has been turned upside down. It forces us to re-evaluate our beliefs, and who we are. Our sense of stability and safety has been violated. To be able to heal from this, we have to examine the injury and its consequences.

As spiritual people, many of us believe that we have to take responsibility for everything that happens to us. That’s true to a certain extent. But we can’t control another person’s feelings and actions. So we need to assign responsibility to who actually, consciously and with intent, harmed us. Forgiveness doesn’t mean pardoning the other person. It’s letting go of the anger, empowering ourselves to move on, and recognizing that the wound has changed who we are. We set them free and ourselves free.

Forgiveness is a process of healing, not an eraser of hurt. This comprehensive book explains how to move through that process successfully and grow from it.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Sep 092016
 

Sparks of Insight“I honor myself. I recognize when someone tries to manipulate me, and take appropriate actions to take care of my well being. My welfare is as important as anyone else’s.”

You were made by the same Creator as everyone else, therefore you are as important as anyone else on the earth. Your needs, opinions, and desires are also as important. If others try to influence you by demeaning you, they aren’t interested in whether it harms your well being. They’re interested in their own agenda. You have the right to say, “No,” and to refuse to comply. By taking care of yourself, you signal to yourself and others that you are worthy of the best Life can offer.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

As a speaker, hypnotherapist, and vision coach, Linda-Ann Stewart helps business and professional women who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to create their vision, prioritize, and focus so they increase their productivity, prosperity and peace of mind. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.