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The Power of Perspective

The Power of Perspective

by Linda-Ann

My mother was an incredible life and spiritual coach. Whenever I’d get upset, she’d ask, “Will this matter in five years? If not, let it go.” She always advised me to take a long term perspective on life.

If I had an argument with a boyfriend, and it wasn’t a fundamental problem in the relationship, she urged me to move on. When I was unhappy over giving a less than stellar presentation, she recommended that I learn from it and focus on the next one. If the issue would be insignificant in five years, she figured that it wasn’t worth getting stressed over it in the present.

Sage Advice

Her advice can be used for most disappointments you deal with. Put the situation into perspective by determining how big an impact it’s going to have in your life in a few years. If you’ll barely remember it, then learn what you can from it and put it behind you. Focus on what’s next for you and allow that vision to pull you forward.

You Have the Power of Perspective

Even if you have a major problem in your life, your perspective can make it better or worse.  Robert Schuller said, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” You have control over how you respond to any situation. If you continue to ruminate over something that happened, or hold onto resentment over it, then you’ll have a hard time recovering.

You can become bitter if you get stuck in suffering. Focusing on a negative event can create a habit of focusing on what you don’t have. This can lead to making decisions that aren’t in your best interests in an attempt to avoid pain.

However, when you choose to find a way to overcome a circumstance, you can improve the quality of your life. A crisis can lead to opportunities you never would have noticed, thought of seeking out or taken advantage of.

Divorce, a lost job, a house burning down all can lead to something better if you keep your options open. First, acknowledge the loss and allow yourself to grieve. Then, switch your attention to what resources you have to create a new experience. Set your subconscious and the Law of Attraction to scan your life for opportunities. In a few months or a year, you could be in a much better position than you are today.

Consider the Outcome

Consider how different your life could be in five years.

  • Will the current setback still be a major stumbling block?
  • If so, how can you turn it into a launching pad?
  • How much will the situation matter in five years?
  • What can you do to improve the situation?

Your attitude and authority over the situation will determine how it will affect your life, for better or worse. When you take a longer term view of circumstances, you’ll have the strength and ability to triumph. And you’ll have less wear and tear on your psyche.

Affirmation:

The Universe wants the best for me. When an unpleasant or upsetting situation arises, I determine to put it into perspective. The Universe provides me with everything I need to triumph over the issue. I keep my mind and heart open for Divine Guidance. I declare that only good comes to me as a result of what’s happened.

Watch the accompanying video, A Tip on How to Endure a Rough Day.

As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women entrepreneurs and small business owners to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, wellbeing and prosperity. To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, register for her FREE training video and accompanying action planning guide at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Podcast Interview – StoryVan.tv

Podcast Interview – StoryVan.tv

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Bonnie McDonald Dixon on her StoryVan.tv show. She and her husband, Greg, live in their RV and travel around Canada and the U.S., and get to know all sorts of people. She and Greg interview some of those people on their video podcast.

She and I met through a networking meeting, and hit it off. Years ago, I traveled from Arizona to Texas in an RV a couple of times, and once from Arizona to the East Coast and up to Maine. I enjoyed RVing, and could resonate with Bonnie and Greg’s fascination with it.

Bonnie is a health advocate with decades of experience in the natural health business. She’s warm, humorous, and has a passion to help people. One of the ways she does this is a website for those who live on the road or overseas. She and Greg  have a website with tips and ideas for people who want to live the nomad lifestyle like they do. Their HealthyWealthyCamper.com website includes health and income creation ideas for those who travel.

In our discussion on the show, Bonnie was interested in my hypnotherapy background and how it informed my coaching women who suffer from the shiny object syndrome. We all suffer a bit from the shiny object syndrome. Getting distracted while you’re going through life is natural. The problem comes when you get stuck in that cycle.

On the show, she and I talked about some of the causes of the shiny object syndrome, reasons why it can occur, as well as some of the consequences of it. Stress is one of the problems it creates, and stress shuts down creative thinking. During our conversation, I mentioned a couple of secrets about the subconscious mind and stress that can help people to know.

Bonnie was curious if the shiny object syndrome might impact your self-esteem. I responded that your self-esteem and self-respect can take a dive if you succumb to the shiny object syndrome because you’re not keeping promises to yourself.

I enjoyed our talk and was disappointed when the show ended. Even then, we chatted a bit. She’s truly an amazing person and one I am honored to have met and spent some time with.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

4 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

4 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Procrastination Clock

It’s the night before a project is due, and you haven’t even started on it. Now, you’re going to have to stay up most of the night to get it done. You make the excuse that you always do your best work under pressure. But really, is that true? Wouldn’t you have done a better job if you’d put the project together earlier, when you were well rested and then fleshed it out? And now, you’ll have a sleepless night and be tired when you turn in the project.

Procrastination is a major cause of stress and anxiety, and lowers the standard of your work. You may miss deadlines and, as a result, undermine others’ respect of you. In addition, this habit reduces your productivity, effectiveness and can cost you money. The chore you’re trying to ignore is always in the back of your mind, taking up emotional and spiritual energy. If you’re like most people, you probably feel guilty and beat yourself up when you avoid a task.

Reasons Why You Procrastinate

Most of us procrastinate to some degree or other, but there are some to whom this is a destructive and chronic habit. To address the issue, you must become aware that it exists, and why it’s a problem for you. The following are some reasons you may be procrastinating.

Resistance. It’s not a task you want to do, so you put it off until the last minute. Because the chore is boring or time consuming, you resent that you must complete it.

Perfectionism. You wait to gather as much information as you can, and hope to find the inspiration to put it all together. But because you never get everything you hope for, you delay starting the task until the deadline looms. 

Fear. You’re not sure how to proceed or to get it done. You don’t believe you have the knowledge or skills to do it effectively.

Overwhelm. It’s a huge task, and you don’t know how to get started, or the scope of the issue is overwhelming you.

Disorganized. You don’t have all your notes or details together. Or maybe, you’re often interrupted so you don’t have time to pull everything together.

Uncertain. You don’t know what to do, so you put off making any decisions or taking any action until you have no other choice.

Ways to Overcome Procrastination

Procrastination is a choice. You decide to put something off, something that’s unpleasant, so you focus on something less important, and easier. Once you recognize your issue, you can find solutions.

Break the chore into smaller pieces. Outline what you must do to get the project done. Make sure each item on the list is bite-sized and easy to manage. Being able to handle small pieces will lower your stress and anxiety.

Schedule the chores. Put each small task on your calendar and make sure to keep your appointment with yourself. Each time you can mark one task done, you’ll get a surge of good feelings because the reward center of your brain is triggered. This gives you motivation to keep your next appointment.

Prioritize your lists. If you have a to-do list (as most of us do), prioritize the items and schedule them in accordance with their importance. Again, as you accomplish them, your brain receives a reward and you have a stronger incentive to repeat your action.

Dedicate 5-minutes. If you really feel overwhelmed or resistant, set aside just five minutes to work on your chore. It’s easier to dip your toe into the pool than to dive in head first. This will allow you to chip away at the tasks, and feel productive. If five minutes becomes easy, extend it to ten or fifteen.

Procrastination is a habit that developed in your life over time. The habit won’t be overcome in a day or a week. It took time to create it, and it will take time to break it. Breaking it takes time, dedication, consistency and focus. When you realize that you have the choice to procrastinate or take action, then you’re empowered to choose what’s in your best interest.

Affirmation:

At every moment, I’m Divinely guided with every step I take. As I take a step, the Universe ensures the next one appears. The Universe provides me with everything I need to complete my tasks. I am confident, inspired, uplifted and empowered to take action and fulfill my goals.  

Watch the accompanying video, 3 Tips to Overcome Procrastination.

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Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

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

Special or Safe Place Imagery

Special or Safe Place Imagery

Sparks of Insight

Question: Does the “special, safe or happy place” in self-hypnosis or guided imagery have to be from a childhood place?

Answer: The peaceful, special, safe or happy place doesn’t have to be from childhood. When I’m leading a client into it, I tell them to imagine a vacation spot or someplace completely imaginary, where no one can bother them and they feel completely safe. It could be on a cloud, above the cares of the world, or on a deserted beach.

Only a few people have had a hard time with that, and usually it’s because they can’t remember ever feeling safe. In that case, I recommend that they think of a time when they felt a little safe, maybe with a trusted friend. I then tell them to continue practicing with it, because each time they’ll get a little closer to the feeling of safety.

Not only is a feeling of safety important for stress reduction, but also for any improvements in your life. If you don’t feel safe, the subconscious won’t to create anything new. It will still be in “survival mode” and consider that any change is threatening to your current tenuous sense of security.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

How Simple Actions Improve Your Attitude

How Simple Actions Improve Your Attitude

Exuberant woman on beach

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Have you ever had a lousy morning, felt frustrated, upset or discouraged, and had the day go downhill from there? It can be hard to turn things around when your attitude is in the dumps. You don’t have much motivation, focus or creativity. Nothing goes right. And it doesn’t seem that you have any control over your mood. You think you just have to ride it out until it runs its course.

But what about the opposite, when you started out in a foul mood, then felt better after you encountered someone who was upbeat? It could have been a smiling server, a congenial person in line, or someone who opened the door for you. Didn’t their cheery attitude brighten your day a bit?

You Can Change Your Mood

You aren’t doomed to wait until chance improves your mood. Your attitude is influenced by your actions and by the actions of others. For instance, when my mother was young, she used to break her boredom on the bus by yawning, and seeing how many people yawned in response. Her deliberate act of yawning was contagious, just as someone else’s pleasant disposition is infectious.

Just as a stranger can impact your mood in a short time, you have the ability to shift your attitude, too. You don’t have to wait and hope it will change. You can become more positive by taking the following small, deliberate actions.

Take a walk. Many years ago, I was deeply depressed from a relationship breakup. Knowing a walk would make me feel better, I dragged myself out of the house. A half-hour later, as I was returning home, my mood had improved by about 80%. Studies find that walking is as effective as antidepressants to improve mental attitude. Walking is also good for creativity.

Write down gratitudes. At the beginning of each day, write down three things you’re grateful for. That way, you start your day on a high note. When something goes wrong during your day, remember the gratitudes you wrote down that day, or find something new to be thankful for. 

Take small actions on a goal. Your mind loves to achieve things. When you accomplish something, no matter how small, you trigger the pleasure center of your brain. This gives you a flush of happiness and increases your motivation to continue.

Smile. Whether you feel like it or not, make yourself smile for at least a minute. Smiling tricks your brain into feeling better. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll spread good cheer to others. When you smile at others, you’re giving yourself and them a gift.

Watch a funny video. Find something that will make you laugh to bring you out of the dumps. Laughter reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and eases pain. Just a minute of it will brighten your outlook. Laughter is uplifting, and is also contagious, making other people respond in the same way.  

If you’re in a bad mood, use one of these tips to turn it around. When you’re feeling more positive, you’re more likely to take productive action. Your whole day flows more smoothly, harmoniously and you’re more effective. It takes a willingness to empower yourself and be proactive, but it’s well worth the effort. And as you become happier, notice how you’re able to spread your good mood and inspire others.

Affirmation:

I have the power and ability to keep a positive attitude, no matter what’s going on in my world. When I’m in a pleasant mood, my channel to the Universal Good is wide open. I listen to the still, small voice within that tells me that all is well. I am grateful for all that I have. The Divine Pattern for good flows through my mind, body and spirit.

Please watch the accompanying video, How One Small Technique Can Improve Your Attitude.

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Book Review-Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

Book Review-Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
by David Burns, MD

Here’s a book that gives specific instructions on how to change the way you think about your life. It was created to help people erase depression, anxiety, procrastination, guilt, pessimism, as well as perfectionism, anger, stress and low self-esteem. And it works. In a study of people with clinical depression, 70-75% of them were “cured” three months after reading this book and following the exercises.

By becoming aware of what you think, and then either addressing it or disputing the reasons, you begin to change the mental processes that have sabotaged you. Many people resist writing down their thoughts, for various reasons, but doing so allows you to view them more dispassionately. No longer are you controlled by your moods or negative thinking, you are empowered to confront it and change it.

Awareness and claiming your authority are key. When you take the time and effort to pay attention to what you’re thinking and write it down, you’re taking control. Then, by responding to it rationally, more positively, you’re accepting your authority over your own thoughts. This will begin to change your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Focus, the Power Behind Success

Focus, the Power Behind Success

by Linda-Ann Stewart

"Your ability to focus is the most important success skill you can ever develop." Brian Tracy

“Your ability to focus is the most important success skill you can ever develop.” Brian Tracy

In today’s world, it’s hard to stay focused. It seems that every minute, there’s something to divert your attention. You probably check your email several times a day. Every time there’s a notification from your phone, you have to see what it is. That’s in addition to interruptions from co-workers, family and friends. After a distraction, studies show it takes at least fifteen to twenty minutes to get focused again.

Also, your mind can focus on only one thing at a time. Each time you shift your attention from one thing to another, you’re “task switching” and it burns up extra mental energy. When the entire day is filled with these intrusions, you end the day feeling drained and exhausted, with very little to show for it.

Benefits of Focus

However, when you’re more focused, you feel more in charge of your world, get in the flow and get more done. You also have less stress and overwhelm, because your mind has one thing to do at a time. In addition, you have more clarity, so you make better decisions, as well as being more efficient, effective, and productive.  

Therefore, to achieve your goals and dreams, your ability to focus is vital. Fortunately, it’s a skill that you can cultivate and develop. The more you focus, the more you’re able to focus. It’s just like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

How to Create the Habit of Focus

You can’t be focused all the time, because the unexpected does happen on occasion. But you can set aside time each day to pay attention to your most important tasks. Schedule time into your day to focus on important projects. Here are some ways you can get started and cultivate your ability to focus.

Motivate yourself to focus. Decide how having increased focus benefits you, and remind yourself of that incentive when you set aside time for it. As you build your motivation, and act on it, focusing becomes a habit. Jim Rohn said, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Once you establish the habit of focusing, your mind will automatically know what to do when you want to do it.

Use visualization. Choose one task that will move you towards your vision or goal. What is it you want to focus on and achieve in this period? Before you get to work on it, take a couple of minutes to visualize yourself performing your task and accomplishing what you want. This increases your motivation, and primes your subconscious to start solving any issues you might encounter. You’re rehearsing your actions, which then makes them easier to execute.

Eliminate distractions. Find a way to minimize the effects of whatever can intrude on your focus time. For instance, research shows that if your phone is in the same room as you’re in, your mind is always tuned to it. Even turning your phone off doesn’t work. Therefore, put your phone in another room, where you can’t see it or hear it. Turn off your email. Close your door.

Minimize multi-tasking. Constant multi-tasking trains your mind to hinder your focus. However, you don’t have to completely avoid multi-tasking. When you’re performing automatic behaviors, such as doing dishes, watching television doesn’t drain you. Or you can pay bills and listen to a podcast. But when you do activities that need you to think, multi-tasking uses up mental bandwidth and exhausts your energy. Your mind is always seeking something new, and when you multi-task, you jump from one attention getting novelty to another. Multi-tasking triggers the reward centers of the brain, therefore gives you an incentive to repeat the process, which makes multi-tasking addictive.

Strengthen your focus muscle. Set aside time to focus on one task without distractions. Start off with as much time as you can before you need a break. You may need to begin with only ten or fifteen minutes. Each week, increase the time. Aim to have a sixty to ninety-minute stretch of focusing on one topic or chore before you take a break. When you take your break, do something that rests your mind for several minutes, such as going for a walk, getting a drink, or something to eat. This gives your mind time to replenish its energy and get ready for your next work period.

Being able to focus is an inherent talent that we all have. But it’s not an skill that is exercised much, so most people have gotten out of practice with it. With the above tactics, you can cultivate your natural ability, strengthen it, and develop it into a habit that will support your success.

Affirmation:
I have a natural ability to focus and pay attention to what’s important to me. It’s a skill that I can develop and grow through practice. The Universe flows Its energy through my focus, supporting my endeavors and smoothing my path to maximize success.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Focus and Accomplish More.

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Trending Articles of the Week

Trending Articles of the Week

Reduce Stress and Improve Your Life With Positive Self Talk

Self-talk is the way your inner voice makes sense of the world around you and the way you communicate with your inner self. Self-talk influences your experience of stress, positively or negatively. You can stop yourself from using negative self-talk and use your mind to boost your productivity and self-esteem and relieve stress. Use these 7 ways to take charge and change your negative self-talk to something more constructive.

Most Productive People: 6 Things They Do Every Day

This article is based on six tips from Tim Ferriss, author of the international bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek. It describes the science behind why the tips work, and insight from the most productive people around. And much of it has to do with being calmer, more focused and happier.

17 Ways You Can Develop New Habits and Improve Your Life

Trying new things makes you healthier, happier, and more creative. It also builds new neural pathways in your brain. It’s possible to adapt to new ideas and habits if you’re open to the possibilities and willing to try new activities.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

Sparks of Insight

Whenever you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, practice being in the now. Don’t worry about the future, just deal with the one thing you have to do in this minute. Studies show that people who practice mindfulness have more mental, physical and emotional resources. When your mind is constantly darting around, trying to solve problems while you’re working on a project, it’s exhausting and counter-productive. Being in the moment can give your busy mind a rest and allow you to focus all your energies on what you have to do right now. When you’re done with that, you can go on to the next thing. Studies show that this can also improve your mood, memory and well-being.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart