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May 312018
 

Grand Canyon Train TracksAre Your Excuses Really Lies That Sabotage Your Life?
An excuse can be worse than a lie, because you use it to hide your motives from yourself. Most people know when they’re lying to themselves, by a sense of discomfort, even if they dismiss it. But an excuse can seem reasonable, even rational, so it’s more insidious. Learn a way you can determine if your excuse is a lie you’re trying to pass off as plausible.

5 Proven Ways to Set Goals and Achieve Them
Goal setting is important because you’re either working your plan or letting someone else impose their plan on you. When you set a goal, you’re taking charge of the direction of your life rather than letting the wind send you wherever it blows. Studies show that those who set goals are happier and more successful. This article also includes a goal setting worksheet.

How to Say No When You Feel You Can Only Say Yes
Some people are people pleasers and have a hard time saying “No,” even when it costs them. Meeting others expectations is more important than meeting their own. This can lead to stress, overwhelm and a feeling you’re not living to your potential. But when you start saying “No” to what others want from you, you start making your life and goals important. Here are 7 tips to help you start saying “No” so you can be more successful.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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May 112018
 

Sunset Crater, Flagstaff AZ7 Quick Ways to Calm Down When You Are Overwhelmed
Do you sometimes feel like you’re always running behind? And that you have so many things to do, you’ll never get them all done? Unfortunately, that feeling of stress just slows you down and keeps you from performing at your best. This article suggests some commonsense ways to reduce your stress so you can be more effective.

Study suggests meditating can prevent age-related mental decline
Less than 10% of the U.S. population meditates. And that’s unfortunate, because study after study show that it can help with mental, emotional and physical problems. This particular study shows how it can prevent age-related mental decline and difficulty focusing.

How to Stop Making Excuses
Unfortunately, we don’t always realize when we’re making excuses, but they sabotage our ability to achieve our goals. There is a difference between an explanation and an excuse, and this article dives into this difference. When you’re able to tell them apart, you’ll stop undermining yourself and be more successful.

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Apr 192018
 

Sunset at Hopi Point at Grand CanyonHow to Stop Procrastinating
Procrastination is something up to 95% of us do at some time or other. In this article and video, explore why it happens and strategies for managing and prioritizing your workload more effectively. Learn 4 tips on how to overcome the habit of delaying important tasks.

5 Toxic Personalities Successful People Avoid
Some people are dream killers or stop us from taking a risk, and we don’t always realize what they’re doing. It’s important to be aware of who we’re spending time with. We need to distinguish between those who support us. and those who don’t. Learn the five types of people to avoid when chasing goals.

The Extraordinary Power of Visualizing Success
When you think of obstacles, you allow them to stop you from achieving your goals. Top performers, in sports and business, know the importance of picturing themselves succeeding in their minds before they actually do in reality. Learn some tips on how to use visualization to accomplish your dreams.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Is Your Stress a Habit?

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Apr 182018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

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Our lives today are filled with things that keep us busy and distracted. We obsess over our cell phones: talking, texting, tweeting, checking Facebook and surfing the internet. We’re working longer hours and have less time off. When we do take vacations, it’s generally rushing to a location so we can participate in activities that keep us busy.

Our frantic lives have become a habit. We have a need to fill every waking moment with activity. When we don’t have anything to do, we feel anxious, panicked and seek to do anything that will relieve the discomfort. This craving to be productive has spun out of control.

We can actually become addicted to the adrenaline rush that stress provides. Many people become adrenaline junkies, seeking thrills in ever dangerous sports so that they get their hit of this chemical. Once we’ve reached this high level of stress, our ability to think things through, reason, be creative and learn decreases.

We can become addicted to the habit of stress. A habit is formed by doing the same thing over and over until it becomes automatic. Not only do we get a physical jolt of adrenaline from it, but we also receive emotional rewards. And a habit tied to an emotional benefit can become hard to change.

Some of the benefits to chronic stress include:

  • Stress can distract a person from what isn’t working in their life.
  • It gives people the excuse not to deal with a bad relationship, unhealthy eating habits, or family issues because they’re just so busy.
  • People have used it as justification to indulge in destructive lifestyle habits, such as drugs or excessive drinking.
  • Many people think that when they’re frazzled, they look more important or committed.
  • Looking busy and stressed can also keep people from dumping more responsibility on them.
  • People feel sorry for the person who’s stressed, and do what they can to keep from upsetting them.

Chronic stress will eventually lead to a physical, mental and emotional collapse, because sooner or later the adrenaline runs out. This amount of stress also reduces the effectiveness of our immune systems and makes us more susceptible to illness and disease.

Stress caused by our own busyness is a choice. We make decisions every hour of the day that contribute to the pressure we feel. Some of it is caused by trying to control every aspect of our lives. Trying to be perfect also pushes us to feel overwhelmed. Neither of these is realistic or constructive.

Like any habit, it’s uncomfortable when we begin to break it. Some people get panicky when they first start to relax. It feels unfamiliar, unnerving and unsafe.

It takes a change of perspective before the habit can be altered. We have to realize that our mindset and decisions have helped create the stress that we’ve been exhibiting. Then we have to be willing to handle the things we’ve been avoiding.

Here are five steps to break the habit of chronic stress:

1. Become aware of what you’re doing that’s causing you to be so busy and pressured.
2. Learn what the benefit of it is for you, and decide if it’s worth the eventual burnout and exhaustion.
3. Address whatever emotional reason has pushed you to be so busy.
4. Let go of some of the control that you’ve been exerting in your life. Delegate to others and let them run with the project. Accept that everything isn’t going to be perfect. Don’t look at your cell phone more than once an hour. When you’re with someone at a restaurant, if your phone rings, let it go to voicemail.
5. Take time outs. Do deep breathing, learn mindfulness meditation, practice yoga, do relaxation exercises, exercise. These all work by switching on another physical system that naturally reduces stress.

When you begin to practice these steps, you may feel strange and uneasy. That’s normal. But the physical, mental and emotional benefits are well worth the effort. You’ll be able to think clearer and have more resources to deal with the challenges of your life. Feeling centered will become more natural.

Breaking a habit is rarely easy. You have to perform new actions consistently over and over until you’ve created a new behavior. However, once you have them instilled in your life, you’ll find that your life is much happier and healthier.

Affirmation:
I deserve to have time to enjoy my life. Whatever has been promoting stress in my life is out of balance with the Universe. I now make new choices to restore balance and harmony in my life. Divine Order is now taking place in every area of my life, allowing me to be calm and centered. The Universe supports me in my endeavor to establish peace and serenity.

~ 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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

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Apr 122018
 

Grand Canyon Train TracksHow to Use Positive Reframe Strategies for Stress Relief
Reframing means that you look at a situation from a different perspective. When you shift the way you think about a situation, it changes your emotions and attitude about it, bringing a sense of relief and lightness. This article includes 4 ways shift your outlook and ease your stress.

What to Do When You Just Can’t Make the Decision
Do you sometimes find it hard to make a decision? It’s tough when there are so many choices and you get confused by them. Learn 5 ways to improve your decision making skills that will help make it easier to make a choice that is best for you.

The Successful Optimist
The language you use makes a difference because when you explain things in a positive way, you’re more likely to get what you wanted. But optimists aren’t born. They develop that way over years and you can learn how to be an optimist. Discover how just making a couple of tweaks to your words and attitude can start changing you from a pessimist to an optimist.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Apr 052018
 

Flagstaff Aspen Rainbow6 Exercises for Positive Emotions: Start Your Upward Spiral Today
Over the past few years, many researchers have found new and scientifically proven ways to increase positive emotions and well-being. The techniques described in this article have all been shown to boost positive emotions. They take some commitment, but they’re well worth the effort. Choose one, practice, and enjoy the changes.

7 Myths About Meditation Preventing You From Grasping The Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness
Meditation is becoming commonplace. But there are lots of misconceptions about it. People think mistake the goals and how to practice it. Meditation improves your concentration, self-awareness, and productivity, and your ability to show up in the world.When you’re able to better connect with yourself, you improve your relationship to yourself and others.

How to Make the Best Decision When You Have Too Many Options
Research has shown that when people are faced with too many choices, it can produce anxiety that actually makes us less likely to choose. As a result, we’re less likely to succeed. A study has the best strategy to use confronted with a large number of choices. When you’re having trouble choosing from too many options, use this technique to reduce your stress.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Break Your Trance

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Mar 142018
 

Most people have misconceptions about what hypnosis is and isn’t. What they don’t realize is that they’re using this process in their lives every day, for their benefit or detriment. This is a brief explanation of hypnosis, by a hypnotherapist of 30 years. Join me to learn what it is, how you’ve been using it, and how you can use it to now benefit yourself.





Transcript:

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart. Ok, so I’ve been a hypnotherapist for almost 30 years. But most people have all sorts of misconceptions about hypnosis. They think that someone takes control of their mind and makes them do things they don’t want to do. Not. They don’t realize that it’s a normal, natural process that they access several times every day. And they walk around in a trance that’s impacting their ability to either achieve or sabotage their goals and their vision.

So today, I’d like to give you a very brief explanation of the natural process of hypnosis. I hope that you’ll walk away understanding how you hypnotize yourself every day. And how you can use this natural ability to benefit yourself.

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist. Like I said, I’ve been a hypnotherapist for almost 30 years. Clients came to see me to create change in their lives. Over time, I discovered that they had to also have a vision of where they wanted to end up with that change to be truly successful. Now, as a vision strategist, I help women entrepreneurs get a clear vision, get focused on its strategies and get back in control so they’re able to accelerate to the next level of their business.

When people hear that I’m a hypnotherapist, they have various reactions to it, based on their beliefs about hypnosis. Swinging watch. “Look into my eyes, and sleep.” It’s not true. And I can’t tell you how many clients have asked me, “Am I going to walk out of here barking like a dog?” My reply, “Not unless you want to.”

Not their fault. Their beliefs are based on what they’ve seen on TV and in movies. They don’t believe that an ordinary man can really “leap tall buildings in a single bound,” but they believe how writers sensationalize hypnosis because there are already so many misconceptions about it.

What TV and movies depict isn’t hypnosis, it’s Hollywood.

Did you realize you’re in a mild state of self-hypnosis several times every day? When you’re daydreaming, watching a movie, get so involved with a project that the distractions of the world go away, you’re in a light state of self-hypnosis. You’re driving down the road, daydreaming, and miss your turn. Have you ever done that? Should ask, “How many times a day.” We all do. Light state of self-hypnosis.

You walk around in a trance much of the time, not fully aware of what you’re saying (“Hi, how are you”), thinking (“I’m never going to get it all done”), doing (eat that donut without being aware of it, and wonder where the powdered sugar on your fingers came from).

That trance is self-hypnosis, and you’re hypnotizing yourself every day. It isn’t magic, a strange, mystical or other state of mind. Nor is it the “deep sleep” that people normally associate with hypnosis. It’s a natural state that most people drift into and out of many times during the day. Hypnosis is when the rational, analytical part of your mind isn’t as present. Hypnosis is simply a more focused state.

The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis defines hypnosis as a state of inner absorption, concentration and focused attention.

Secret – hypnosis also occurs whenever you’re upset, stressed or worried. Just for a moment, think about what you think about when you’re upset or stressed. Those thoughts become auto-suggestions. Scary, huh?

What most people don’t realize is that the things you say to yourself over and over that you’re only half aware of, are actually being said when you’re in a light state of hypnosis. Things like, “I know this won’t work,” “I don’t have enough time,” or “It can’t fail.” Do any of these sound familiar?

You then act on them as if they were true, whether they were or not. How that works is, suppose you’re afraid that your phone call to a potential customer won’t be welcomed. If you call at all, you’ll be nervous, not make a good impression, and end the call quickly. Your belief would have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. All from what you were telling yourself. Has that ever happened to you?

Remember, hypnosis is just focusing the attention. So it all depends on the direction and the beliefs that you’re focusing your attention on. And your attention determines your actions. “Energy flows where attention goes.” Heard of that before? Not airy-fairy. Psych truth.

It’s like driving a car. You’re aware of the traffic, the landscape, your dashboard. But the majority of your attention is on the direction you want to go to your destination. If you’re driving, and you stare off to the side, what’s your automatic response?…. To drift in the direction of you’re looking, isn’t it? The same principle applies to your daily life. Your attention drive your actions. So keep your vision directed towards where you want to be headed and not rear view mirror.

So how can you use this natural process for yourself – other than just focusing on your direction? When you have a goal or a vision, become aware of what you’re telling yourself about it. They’re auto-suggestions. Do you doubt you can make it? Are you afraid of any step along the process? If so, these are the hidden hypnotic suggestions you’ve been giving yourself. Break your trance. Change them with auto-suggestions. You can do this. Even if you don’t believe it right away, repeating new ideas with consistency and persistence will start changing the old ones. The old beliefs were simply ideas that you accepted some time in the past.

When you change your beliefs, your emotions and responses change. You’ve already been using the process of hypnosis every day, by what you’ve been focusing on. I hope you start using the natural process of hypnosis to create what it is that you want.

If you want tips to you increase your productivity and accelerate your success, download my free guide Take Control of Your Day. It will also give you information on a process I used with my clients that helped them achieve their goals and vision.

Thank you for watching. I hope you’ve learned how to use this process for your benefit and use it to improve your 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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

Break Free of Perfectionism

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Mar 132018
 

Perfectionism prevents you from moving forward in your life. It’s an enemy of innovation and creativity, because they start off being disorganized. Progress is messy. And when you try to be perfect, you block your ability to complete anything. Learn how to overcome this undermining tendency so that you can achieve your vision.



Transcript:

Are you a perfectionist? Trying to get everything perfect before you move on? Is it successful? I’ll bet probably not. That’s because perfectionism is an unreachable goal. It doesn’t serve you or allow you to thrive. It holds you prisoner to its demands. And it lies when it lures you with the idea that it helps you to excel. It doesn’t. It can actually derail your ability to excel Perfectionism and excelling are two different things. Perfection is a dead end. Excellence can always be improved.

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist. For almost 30 years, I’ve been a hypnotherapist. Clients came to see me to create change in their lives. Early on, I discovered that they had to also have a vision of where they wanted to end up with that change to be truly successful. Now, as a vision strategist, I help women entrepreneurs get a clear vision, get focused on its strategies and get back in control so they’re able to accelerate to the next level of their business.

Voltaire said,”Perfection is the enemy of the good.” It’s also the enemy of innovation and creativity. Because those are messy and disorganized. They’re designed to create order out of chaos, but first chaos has to reign. I understand if you’re just shuddering as I mention that. I’ll bet it goes counter to everything you’ve believed.

As an example, an artist friend of mine was blocked. She specialized in oils, and wanted her paintings to be perfect. So she’d work and rework parts of her paintings and had gotten to a point where she wouldn’t complete one. To break through this block, and loosen up, she decided to take a watercolor class from a friend.

She was shocked to her bones when the teacher started the class by saying, “Give yourself permission to paint the worst picture you ever have.” My friend was almost immobilized by this instruction. “I can’t do that,” she said. “I have to try my best.” After a lot of encouragement, she was finally able to let go and experiment and play. And it made her realize that her attachment to perfection was what was blocking her. And she began completing paintings again.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well?” Many people read that to mean “perfectly.” I prefer the quote by G. K. Chesterton, “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” If you’re a perfectionist, I’ll bet you just winced. It’s completely opposite of everything you were taught or have done. But I promise, the sky won’t fall if you do something badly. The earth will continue to spin. No one will think less of you. You’re the one who puts that pressure on yourself. No one else cares that much. You’re the one blocking your progress and your vision, like my artist friend was.

When you first start working on something or starting a new enterprise, don’t expect yourself to be perfect. You’re going to do poorly at first. A child doesn’t walk the first time they try, do they? You’re not going to be an expert when you first start something new. Yes, I know that rocks you down to your feet. But you have to practice before you can reasonably expect to master your project. You’ll just have to keep working at it. The idea is progress, not perfection.

But sometimes perfectionists procrastinate or rework what they’ve already done just to avoid completing a project. It keeps them from facing judgement, rejection or criticism. But most of that negativity comes from themselves. Like I said, most of the people who know you aren’t going to care.

Perfection is the enemy of good, progress and achieving your vision. Your path to your vision or completion isn’t going to go in a straight line. It’s going to be messy. Accept it. I know that’s hard. There are going to be setbacks and leaps forward. You’re going to learn along the way and make different decisions. That’s the way progress works. It’s messy.

You can still have high standards. Just have reasonable ones. Don’t sacrifice progress or completion to impossible ideals. If you start procrastinating, then you know that standard is too demanding. Scale back and just start. Take a step. Then another. Keep taking steps until it’s done. Just get it done. Even if it’s badly. You’ll eventually get used to it. And you’ll be more likely to excel, be happier and more successful.

If you’d like tips on how to make your day flow more smoothly, download my free guide, Take Control of Your Day.

Thank you for watching. I know this was hard for you, but I hope you’ve gotten some encouragement to loosen some of your perfectionistic tendencies. Take care.

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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

Break Free from the Prison of Conformity

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Mar 072018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

prison-539636-smWhen Miriam was growing up into a teenager, she craved to fit in. She submitted to peer pressure to conform to the norms of the group. Just to have a date, she would go out with guys she didn’t like. Although she loved art, she took home economics in high school because it was expected. When she tried to stand out and show her creativity, she was accused of showing off and faced criticism and derision from her family.

Maturing into adulthood, Miriam brought those painful lessons into her personal and professional life and she complied what others wanted. But her desire for approval, and submitting to be average, didn’t give her the opportunity to thrive or explore her talents. She became more and more unhappy.

It can be less stressful to conform, because you don’t have to make decisions for yourself. You follow along with the herd. When you yield to others ideas, you allow them to set your agenda. You’re accepting their goals and vision as your own and abdicating your potential so that you avoid attention. For many people, this is fine. They’re content to set themselves on autopilot and sleepwalk through life. It frees them to spend their energy on family, hobbies and activities that they enjoy.

But if you’re pursuing a dream, or want to fulfill your potential, conformity breeds mediocrity. You do just enough to get by, and fall back onto what’s worked before, even if the situation is different. Although it’s important to utilize proven methods to make things easier, blindly relying on old ideas stifles innovation and progress.

And conforming to others ideas signals the Law of Attraction that you’re willing to settle for less than the best. So when you want to manifest something better, you already have a stronger instruction that undermines that desire. It will draw to you only what fits into your limited vision of what is acceptable.

Eventually, the discomfort of conforming became too strong for Miriam. She decided to be authentic, follow her own path and take art classes. It wasn’t easy. Although some of her friends encouraged her, loved ones tried to convince her to retreat back into what they wanted her to be. They were uncomfortable with this new person who didn’t accept their authority over her.

It takes courage to break free of conformity. You may face opposition from the environment, colleagues, friends or loved ones, as Miriam did. They know how to relate to the old you. The new person doesn’t fit their ideas of who you are or who they want you to be. They may object and try to pressure or manipulate you to return to what they expect you to be.

As you reject conformity, you may feel the Universe is against you, because difficulties may rise up. But the Universe is on your side and supports you. The problems are caused by your subconscious being concerned for your wellbeing. Old habits and ideas are working their way to the surface to be acknowledged and released. Persist, and the challenges will begin to melt away.

As you leave conformity behind, you reclaim your authenticity. You start to make your own decisions, are accountable for them and follow your own agenda. It’s more important for you to be true to yourself than to accommodate others and make them comfortable. This also means you establish and live by standards that are right for you. For instance, if you resent your brother using your garage for his storage, you give him a time limit to find another facility.

As a result of Miriam turning her back on conforming to what others expected of her, she became a successful artist. Not only did she work in watercolor, but the lessons she’d learned in home economics allowed her to become a fabric artist. In her new life, she was finally able to thrive.

Conforming doesn’t allow you to evolve into the person you want to be or are destined to be. It constricts and restricts you to the prison of other’s expectations. To fully thrive and pursue your dreams, you have to risk becoming more authentic. It means a big shift for you, but you are rewarded by becoming fully and completely your own person.

Affirmation:
I know the Universe wants the best for me. I now expand my ideas to accept the best that Life has to offer. I let go of any need to conform to anyone else’s ideas about me. The Universe has a perfect idea of who I am, and I begin to accept and expand into that greater idea. I allow myself to become the person the Universe destined me to be.

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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

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Mar 012018
 

Flagstaff Aspen RainbowPower Causes Brain Damage
You know the old saying, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”? This is a fascinating article about how leaders lose mental capacities, most notably for reading other people, that were essential to their rise. As they become powerful, those abilities are no longer necessary. This isn’t just theory, it’s been observed and measured.

Creative Mess, Creative Clutter
Many years ago, I read that clutter gives rise to creativity, because creativity is actually creating something out of chaos. Now there’s some evidence to back that up. This article cites a study that ideas that emerge in a cluttered room are more innovative than those in a tidy one.

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think
This article cites various studies that are showing that silence may actually grow our brains by adding new cells. Quiet also allows you to process information more fully. Silence reduces stress and improves cognition, among other things.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart