May 072021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Mindfully smelling a flower

Several years ago, I’d arranged to meet a friend for lunch. She visited our area infrequently on business, and when she did, we tried to get together to catch up. The week she was in the area, I had a full schedule of clients. But I’d set aside over an hour to spend with her and looked forward to our conversation.

Shortly after she arrived, she got a call on her cell phone from another friend. Instead of telling the person she’d call them back, she chatted with them for most of the hour. She ended the call shortly before I had to get back to my office. Once she realized that she’d wasted our time together, she was contrite. Disappointed that I had to leave, she tried to convince me to stay. I couldn’t reschedule my clients on such short notice, and had to leave.

Instead of being in the present, she’d automatically answered the phone, and remained on the call without considering the consequences. Have you ever done that, or had it done to you? How often are you absent in the moment, simply reacting or taking an action without thinking it through?

Mindfulness vs. Habits

It’s been estimated that 95% of the time we act out of habit, like my friend did. Her phone rang; she answered it on autopilot, and stayed on the call. Instead of being mindful, she was mindless in that moment. Habits are useful. They can help our minds problem solve and assess information. But they’re not helpful when they take over your decision making process.

Situations like this crop up all the time. Instead of working on your project, you answer each call, text or email as it comes in. The notification triggers you to deal with the immediate distraction, rather than staying focused on your task, which is more important. Or you accept that piece of cake you’re offered without considering your diet. Paying attention to what you’re doing, and want to be doing, helps you accomplish more of your priorities.

Benefits of Mindfulness

You can’t be mindful all the time. Letting your mind wander occasionally opens you to creativity and innovation. But to fulfill your potential, there needs to be a balance between dreaming and being consciously aware of what you’re doing and thinking.

Choosing to be more mentally present in your life has numerous benefits. Your relationships improve, you make fewer mistakes, are less stressed, make better decisions, have more constructive habits, improved communication, reach goals more quickly, and are more efficient, effective and productive.

Practice Being Present

To use mindfulness to improve your life, practice the following steps:

  1. Be in the present. Let go of the past, and ignore the future for a while. You can address the future a bit later. For the moment, pay attention to what’s going on right now. Who are you with, and what are they saying? What do you need to be doing? This will allow you to be more effective in your life.
  2. Accept what is. We all have expectations of how we want life to be. But that attitude is counter-productive. Instead of resisting reality, wanting a situation to be different and resenting that it’s not that way, accept the facts. Only then can you begin to rationally deal with the situation and find a better outcome.
  3. Respond intentionally. It’s natural to want to react when you’re stressed and lash out when you’re upset. But it will only cause more harm. Don’t let stress trigger you into going on autopilot or let anger control you. When you’re distressed, be aware of your thoughts and feelings about what’s going on. Whether you’re stressed or angry, when you have to choose a course of action, consider your options and and decide the best way to respond.
  4. Focus on your steps. It’s important to plan for the future, but also important to focus on the current steps you need to take to get there. Keep in mind why your goal is important to you. But instead of being overwhelmed by how far you have to go to achieve your goal, just work on the next step.

You can only impact this moment. The past is over, and the future is yet to be. When you are mindful about the present, then you’re making wise decisions and taking actions that will bring you a much better today and tomorrow.

Affirmation:

I practice being present in my life. The Universe guides and directs my attention and actions. When I accept the reality of the moment, I can decide how to handle it for my Highest Good. I choose my responses wisely, by consciously considering my options and taking action on the one that is best for the situation. Each moment builds on the one before, and by being mindful, I create a wonderful future.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Don’t Slow Before the Finish Line

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Mar 082021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

I don’t watch much sports, but my husband and I do enjoy the summer and winter Olympics. Over the years, I’ve noticed something interesting about many athletes who are in speed contests. Whether they’re runners, ice skaters or cyclists, when they’re in a race, they often ease up as they approach the finish line. Sometimes the front runner, who has slowed down, is passed by another athlete who has kept up their pace until after they’ve crossed the finish line.

This isn’t just true about athletes. It’s also true in any kind of goal achievement. The same problem affects changing a habit or achieving a sales target. Do you have the finish line in sight and slow down or stop your efforts? Often, when someone is about to accomplish a goal, whether personal or professional, they sabotage their attempt. They’ll stop putting energy towards the goal, try to coast across the line, stop just short of it, or abandon it completely just before they’ve reached their objective. If you do this, you restrict the amount of abundance from the Universe.

Some Reasons You Hold Yourself Back (and what to do about them)

There are a variety of reasons for this kind of self-sabotage. Here are a three of them, and suggestions to maintain your progress until you’ve accomplished your goal.

Fear of success. You hold yourself back because you’re afraid of what success would bring, such as extra responsibility, criticism or envy of others. As long as you fall short of your aim, you avoid the potential consequences. For instance, you work on a project, but as you approach completion, you get distracted. Or you procrastinate finishing, because it’s not perfect. If you turn in a less than stellar result, you can use it as an excuse for not getting that promotion.

If you’re concerned about extra responsibility, take some extra training so you can deal with the additional authority. And you aren’t responsible for how someone else reacts to your success. Don’t take it personally. You are simply their latest scapegoat for their own insecurities. Just focus on doing your work to the best of your ability and take pride in that. The Universe supports you and will provide whatever help you need to deal with your concerns.

You overreach. You set a goal that is more than what you actually want. For instance, you state you want to lose twenty pounds, when your actual intention is to lose fifteen. The issue is that your subconscious knows your actual goal. You can’t fool it. Your subconscious will support you to your true target, but not any farther. That means that as you approach your desired weight, you start eating foods that aren’t on your diet. You indulge in some snack chips, then a cupcake, and your weight reduction grinds to a halt near your internal desire.

To remedy this, remember that your goal is an artificial ideal. Instead of focusing on the number on the scale, shift your attention to the process that’s getting you there. In this case, your attention would be on eating healthier foods, in smaller amounts, and getting more exercise. Small servings of desserts would only be for special occasions. Your reduced weight is then the outcome of your lifestyle shift.

This can be true of sales goals, as well. Spend more time concentrating on your daily task of creating and contacting leads instead of your eventual sales. Your process will result in with more sales than aiming at a target, though the target is helpful to keep you going in the right direction. Your goal tells the Universe what you want. Your job is to follow through with your process and the Universe will provide the result.

Stay in your comfort zone. You’ve set a goal that you’re comfortable achieving. You have confidence that you can reach your aspiration without much difficulty. It doesn’t stretch you and you just go through the motions to accomplish it. Once you do, you feel so good that you repeat the process so you can feel uplifted again. But you stay in the same place and don’t improve.

Stop limiting yourself. Open your mind to the abundance of the Universe. It is safe to accept more good. If you’re not expanding out of your comfort zone, that zone will shrink and it will be harder to maintain your current level of performance. Motivational gurus and coaches encourage people to choose a goal that scares them. This allows you to grow, learn and gain more confidence as you progress. What objective would make you feel a little intimidated and uncomfortable? Start taking steps, baby ones if need be, and accept the fear.

Focus on Your Steps

If you undermine your progress when approaching your goal, stop thinking about the end result. Instead, focus on the steps of your plan and your procedure for moving forward. When you accomplish one step, tackle the next one. That way, you won’t be as intimidated or concerned about where you are in relation to the finish line. And who knows, you might exceed your goal and reach the stars.  

Affirmation:

The Universe wants the best for you and supports you in all your endeavors. Whatever you need to achieve your goal is provided. You’re Divinely Guided in your direction and activities. As you take the steps necessary, the Universe takes care of the result.

Watch the accompanying video, Overcome the Obstacles to Your Goal.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

How to Demonstrate Self-Love

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Feb 042021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

I have always loved the 1927 poem by Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, and have done my best to live by its wisdom. I especially love the paragraph, “Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” To me, this means treating myself kindly, loving myself and taking care of my needs, because I have worth by just being here.

Whenever I am tempted into some decision or behavior that isn’t for my well being, I pause. I ask myself questions like the following:

  • Is it going to contribute to my self-respect or erode it?
  • Do I need it or want it?
  • Does the behavior or decision support my goals?
  • Will the temptation be worth it, or will I regret it later on?

It’s not easy, but most of the time, I choose to avoid the lure of temptation and support my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs. (Full disclosure: I sometimes stay up too late at night watching a television program and regret it in the morning.)

Needs vs. Wants

Are you treating yourself well and addressing what you need for health and well being? Many people confuse taking care of their needs with indulging in what they want. Your wants may be old habits or ways of reacting. For instance, there’s a part of you that wants to eat that entire bag of chocolate candy, even though it’s bad for your health. The chocolate isn’t something you  need, it’s something you want. Giving into a chocolate binge is a short term tactic to satisfy a craving. The gratification lasts for only for a few minutes, and isn’t worth the risk of weight gain, cavities or self-reproach afterwards.

Instead, healthy eating habits are long term strategies to treat yourself kindly. You show yourself love by eating fruits, vegetables, protein and getting enough exercise. These are behaviors that are necessary for a healthy and happy life. They build self-respect and self-esteem. With self-love, you take actions that may make you uncomfortable, but you know will eventually bring you what you ultimately need and desire.

Your Relationships Improve

When you show up for your well being, you demonstrate that you value yourself. Your relationship with yourself improves because you think better of who you are. This attitude translates to your relationships with other people. Because you have self-love, you love others more deeply and have more to give to them.

As you treat yourself with care, you attract others who also treat you that way. If they don’t respect you, your sense of self-worth causes you to recognize they don’t belong in your orbit. This realization includes friends, clients and customers. Set boundaries and take actions to appropriately protect yourself against those who can’t appreciate you the way you deserve.

Forgiving Yourself

Treating yourself kindly also means to forgive yourself for any mistakes you might have made. They were simply learning exercises. Mistakes are how we learn and grow. But all too often, we chastise ourselves for infractions for far longer than we should. This can create a cycle of self-abuse that drags you down and keeps you stuck in the past. Systemic self-criticism also leads to other negative decisions that shred your love of yourself.  

Instead, once you learn the message a mistake has for you, any guilt from it has no further purpose. You don’t have to castigate yourself after you’ve made amends and set an intention not to repeat the error. Be gentle with yourself. Accept that you’re human and grow from the experience.

Demonstrate Your Love of Yourself

Self-love isn’t just a warm feeling about yourself. It also includes “a wholesome discipline,” as the poem says. When you demonstrate caring for yourself with actions, you prove how much you appreciate yourself. Treating yourself in a kind, gentle and loving way, and one that supports your worth, allows you to thrive and to fulfill your potential.

Affirmation:

The Universe recognizes my worth, because It put me here. I now accept my value and treat myself with respect. If I’ve made a mistake, I learn from it, forgive myself and move on. I attend to my needs, and support my health and well being. When I love myself, it translates into better decisions and actions.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Encourage Positive Actions.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

How to Become More Positive When Things Go Wrong

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Jan 072021
 

By Linda-Ann Stewart

Haven’t you had days when everything seemed to go wrong? You spilled your coffee on your proposal, the copier jammed, and you had a flat tire. Or maybe you’ve had times when the future looked dark and it was hard to see any light. When you’re down, it’s hard to see that there’s a way up. It becomes difficult to remember a time when things went well.

In these times, it’s challenging to stay positive, even when you know that being optimistic brings better results. You know shifting into a more upbeat frame of mind can turn things around and open doors for you. But when you’re down, it’s hard to focus on being positive. And this shuts down your ability to innovate.

What if you had a journal of evidence to remind you of times when things worked out? When you read about instances when you had good things happen, your mood lifts. Shifting your attention to something better changes your perspective and life flows more smoothly. You open to a broader range of possibilities and engage your creative mind to find solutions.

When you keep a journal of times when you were happy or when a situation worked out, it keeps you focused on the positive. And a journal gives you something to refer to when you need a mental boost. The more often you add to this journal, the more you train your mind to look for joy in everyday occurrences. You create an upward spiral of positivity that buoys you up when things go wrong.

There are several types of journals you can keep, and none of them take much time to update each day. Consider creating one of the following:

Gratitude. Evidence shows that writing three to ten gratitudes each day can improve your attitude within three weeks. People who keep a gratitude journal feel better about their lives as a whole and make more progress on their personal goals. Also, they better at bouncing back after adversity.

Falling Star. This is when you have something amazing drop into your lap. For example, you talk to someone in line at the store and gain a new customer. Or you mention that you need a plumber, and your neighbor gives you a great reference for one. By remembering that good things come when you least expect it, you prime your mind to seek opportunities for you.

Bright Side. This is when a situation looks grim, but suddenly turns around. For instance, I had to find a new home insurance policy after my old one had increased substantially. My new agent found one, with the same coverage, for almost half the price. This one could also be called “Dawn,” as in, “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

Awe. What inspires awe for you? A beautiful sunset, a hummingbird hovering, or crashing waves? Awe can be found in the smallest of moments and can bring a sense of happiness and joy. When you take note of them, you remember how you felt at that time. Referring to a moment of awe can reduce stress and improve your well being.

Manifestation or the Law of Attraction. When have you successfully attracted or manifested something you were focusing on? Describe it in this journal so you can recall it in the future. Include your attitude and belief about the situation. Your item could be as simple as finding a great parking place or as complex as being offered the perfect job. This journal can encourage and support your spirituality.

Daily practice with any of these types of journals conditions your mind to seek out the positive, which keeps you more optimistic. And being able to refer to them when you’re down reminds you that things can, and will, get better. It brings you back into a sense of balance. It takes a bit of effort and dedication, but the rewards will be long lasting.

Affirmation:

The Universe supports all of my endeavors. When I keep my thoughts positive, I provide a clear channel through which the Universe can work. I stay positive by remembering times when events have gone well for me. In so doing, it creates an upbeat attitude and allows me to be more effective.

Watch the accompanying video, Use Journaling for Mindfulness and Success.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

The Kindness Paradox: Give Kindness and Receive Joy

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Dec 032020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

How do you feel when someone is kind to you? For instance, when a friend sends you a card, gives you a compliment or your spouse does the dishes for you. Don’t you feel uplifted? And how do you feel when you do something nice for someone else? Maybe you do an errand for a friend, call to see how they’re doing, or help a neighbor carry in her groceries. Don’t you feel a sense of satisfaction? And what if you see someone be generous to a stranger? Doesn’t that give you a warm glow and motivate you to do something considerate, too?

When you see, do, or are the recipient of kindness, it releases hormones that cause you to feel good, inspired and happy. It stimulates the reward centers of the brain. Within a few minutes the hormones have stopped flowing, but by remembering the action, you can recreate the joy. Kindness is like a pebble thrown into a pond, with the ripples extending outward and touching places unseen.

The Benefits of Kindness

The paradox of kindness and compassion is the benefits it brings to the one who acts, as well as the recipient. Not only do you impact the person you’re giving to, you’re receiving good feelings in return. Remember what your mother used to say, “It’s better to give than receive”? In this case, you receive far more than you give.

Showing kindness and compassion to others bestows the following on you:

  • You’re more attractive to others, personally and professionally.
  • People like and trust you more.
  • You’re more creative.
  • Your self-esteem and self-worth increases.
  • Your optimism and positive thinking grows.
  • You feel calmer and happier.
  • Your stress, pain, anxiety, depression and blood pressure reduces.

Kindness Can Be Challenging

Sometimes being kind can be challenging. There are people who irritate you and you may want to lash out at them. But you don’t know what has happened in their life that has caused them to be annoying. These are times when being altruistic and compassionate can have the best results. You may just change someone’s life, in addition to your own.  

For instance, consider being kind in the following conditions:

  • Smile and compliment the grouchy clerk. They might have had a bad day full of grumpy customers and it’s rubbed off on them.
  • Let the aggressive driver into the lane in front of you. They may be running late to an important appointment that could be vital to their well being.
  • Don’t complain when the elderly gentleman cuts ahead of you in line at the grocery store.  He may have mild dementia and not have even noticed you were there.

In difficult situations, consider what the other person might be dealing with that’s caused them to be rude. You’re not kind just for them. You do it for you, because it’s better for your health, mentally, physically and emotionally.

Focus on Kindness

The more you focus on being kind, the more you want to be kind. And the kinder you are, the more you’ll grow that area of your brain. Pure altruism brings you all the rewards mentioned and more. As you’re being kind to others, don’t forget to be kind and compassionate towards yourself. You deserve to be treated well, too, by yourself and others.

In the Christmas season, we focus on peace and goodwill towards others. Why can’t we have this spirit all year long? Think of the life we’d all have. It begins with each one of us being kind, on a daily basis. It’s a very simple mindset that takes on a joyful life of its own.

AFFIRMATION:

Whenever I have a choice of how to respond to a situation, I choose kindness. Kindness allows the spirit of the Universe to flow through me, blessing my life and the life I impact. I cultivate a generous spirit and compassionate attitude towards myself and others. I generate peace and goodwill towards all people, every day of the year.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation for Kindness.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Be Mindful of Your Vision

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Nov 062020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Being mindful and having a vision may seem contradictory. Your vision is all about the future, where you’re going and your destination. Mindfulness teaches you to stay in the present moment, without concern about the past or future. It sounds like vision and mindfulness are in opposition, doesn’t it? But they actually have a lot in common to help you be successful and achieve your goals in life.

For instance, your vision, although you keep it in view, necessitates you to have a plan and take steps to reach your destination. With your vision, the Law of Attraction knows what to draw to you. Mindfulness involves being intentional, focusing on one task at a time. Once you’ve completed that item, you focus on the next goal. In this way, you stay on course to your objective. Being mindful also opens a clearer channel to the Universe.

Vision and Mindfulness Are Complementary

That’s where vision and mindfulness intersect. When you’re mindful about your vision, you focus on one step at a time, accomplishing it, then moving onto the next one. Each action builds on the one before and puts you in flow with the Universe. You know where you’re going (your vision), but your attention is on your current activity (mindfulness). By mindfully working through your plan, you’ll reach your vision with the Universe supporting your endeavors.

Being mindful of your vision can be challenging, as life is full of pitfalls and distractions. Only by navigating through challenges, and staying intentional and focused, can you be successful. Here are some suggestions to help you stay mindful and focused on your path, so you don’t get lost in the weeds. This makes it easier for the Law of Attraction to know what it is you want.

Execute your plan. You can’t just develop a plan and then ignore it. To stay on course, create mini-steps so you take one each day. With a plan, the Law of Attraction knows what to provide you to fulfill your goals. The habit of taking action will propel you along so that you then take bigger and bigger steps.

Be present. It’s easy to get lost in the future of what could be, or the past of what could have been. Instead of trying to leap forward, or berating yourself for what you didn’t do, ask yourself, “What can I do right now?” Pay attention to what you can control now. Those actions add up.

Don’t multitask. This is the very opposite of being mindful. You’re trying to do several things at one time, and this results in not doing any of them well. It gives you a false sense of accomplishment, but when you look back, you realize you haven’t really made any progress. Multitasking dilutes your energy and confuses the Law of Attraction. Take one task, complete it, and only then move on to the next.

Take a mental step back. When faced with the temptation to detour, stop and think about it. Be present with what’s going on. Why are you being distracted? Are you bored or uncertain about your next step? Mentally think it through and decide if that distraction or procrastination is worth taking the detour.

Talk yourself through temptation. If you aren’t paying attention to what you want in the moment, your environment is going to grab your attention. This is when distractions and interruptions pull you off course. After you’ve decided you don’t want to take that detour, keep yourself on course by being your own cheerleader. Tell yourself something like, “Stay the course,” “One thing at a time,” “I’ll take care of that detail later.”

Shift your attention to the positive. Sometimes your mental meandering will take you into the undesirable realm of negative thoughts. You doubt yourself, get upset at something not going your way, or become frustrated at not making progress as fast as you’d like. This blocks the flow of Universal energy. Again, take a step back and ask yourself, “Is it worth it to dwell on these ideas?” “Will this move me forward?” or “How much will this matter in a month?” Then shift your attention to something beneficial and productive. Acknowledge something that you’ve accomplished to change your energy.

In the best of times, mindfulness and vision complement each other. They make each other stronger and improve your success in every area of your life. Mindfulness connects you with the Universal flow and your vision gives the Law of Attraction instruction. As you keep your vision in view, and practice being mindful in your daily life, you’ll make the progress you seek.

Affirmation

The Universe wants the best for me. I develop a vision of what I want, and Universal energy and the Law of Attraction help me to fulfill it. As I am mindful about my steps, I remain on course, and stay in the flow of the Universe.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Live in Expectancy of the Best

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Oct 012020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Elation

Whether positive or negative, your attitude impacts your outcome. Your mindset affects how you filter the world around you, and as a result, determines how you respond to situations. When you expect the worst, your behavior makes that belief a self-fulfilling prophecy. Expecting the best can do the same. And isn’t that a better way to live?

If you expect the worst, you’re braced against that possibility. Your mind rehearses how to deal with a crisis, what you’re going to do in the worst case scenario, and how you might avoid it. This means that all your mental resources are tied up with dealing with difficult situations that might never happen. You aren’t left with many mental resources for moving forward. Because you’re focused on the negative, you’re instructing the Law of Attraction to bring it to you.

The Universe wants the best for you. Therefore / However, if you expect the best, then your subconscious mind searches for opportunities to fulfill that belief. Your subconscious mind is a problem solver. When you set your intention to derive the best from a situation, then your subconscious mind seeks opportunities to create that reality for you. You’re creating the mold for your subconscious mind and the Law of Attraction to fill.

How to Create the Best Result

Life brings all sorts of experiences your way, positive and negative. You can always improve your outcomes through altering your perspective. There will be times when you’re working on a goal, or “shift happens” and your results don’t live up to your hopes. When that’s the case, use these tactics to extract the best possible outcome. Your attitude communicates your intention to the Universe, your subconscious mind, and the Law of Attraction, which responds accordingly.

Be aware of the negative, but don’t focus on it. This doesn’t mean that you ignore or deny the possibility for difficulties. You just don’t focus on them, or rehearse them. In “Psycho-Cybernetics,” author Maxwell Maltz uses the analogy of golf to be aware of negatives. A golfer needs to recognize where the sand and water traps are, but not dwell on them. Instead, the golfer puts their attention on where they want the ball to land. Notice the negatives, and make preparations to avoid them. Have a “Plan B,” if necessary. Then shift your attention to what you want to create and put your energy there. This puts you in the flow of the Universe.

Flip your attitude. If something untoward does happen, instead of giving up or getting discouraged, flip it to be more positive. This way you take charge of your response and it gives you more power to deal with the situation. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” or, “How can I make something beneficial out of this?” This instructs your subconscious mind to find a way to extract something good from a disappointing circumstance. You open the way for the Universe to develop a new direction for you.  

Don’t take it personally. When someone hurts or offends you, instead of taking it personally, realize it’s probably not about you. They have their own issues that they’re taking out on you. It’s likely they’re defending themselves against a perceived threat, which is probably from their past. It doesn’t mean you excuse their behavior, but you can seek to understand their motives. Ask yourself, “What’s their agenda?” or “What are they trying to achieve?” That can give you valuable information on how to positively respond to the situation.

Achieving a goal. When you’re working on a goal, don’t just focus on the end result. This gives your subconscious mind a direction to follow, which helps you take steps towards it. For an even greater outcome, open your mind to the possibility of something even better happening than what you can currently conceive of. The Universe has greater plans for you than you know. Not only does this give your subconscious mind permission to find other paths to accomplish your goal, but it instructs your inner mind to “achieve this or something better.”

Living in the Possibilities

When you live in the possibility of your best case scenario occurring, you instruct your subconscious mind to put its resources to work to that end. You may not have the information to imagine what the best outcome could be. You can only provide your subconscious mind the image of what you can consciously conceive of at the present time.

There may be a greater outcome than you can imagine. Opening your mind to the possibility of something better means that your subconscious can override outdated, limiting beliefs. And when you choose to live in an attitude of expecting the best from every situation, you create a life of joy, abundance and success.

AFFIRMATION:

The Universe wants the best for me. Therefore, I choose to expect the best out of every situation. If there are challenges, I shift my attention to what benefit can come to me as a result. When I decide on a goal or outcome, I set the intention of, “This or something better.” Only good comes to me from every circumstance.

Watch the accompanying video, How to Achieve Your Goal More Easily.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

For Success, Seek Well-being First

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Sep 042020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Many people chase after the elusive dream of success, thinking it will bring them happiness. They work harder and harder, but continue to feel unsatisfied. They achieve periodic goals or milestones, and get transitory elation from them, but that jubilation doesn’t last. What if they have it backwards? What if a sense of well-being leads to success, rather than the other way around?

We all know successful people who are driven and unhappy. So, it’s true that some people are successful even though they’re miserable. However, they’re using work as a drug to avoid their distress. They’re trying to fill a deep well of insecurity and inadequacy with power and control. But they’ll never have enough success to feel happy or complete.

Why Well-being Matters

Studies show that people who have a sense of well-being and optimism have a likelier chance of achieving the success they seek. They also have a greater sense of satisfaction in their lives, both personally and professionally. They’re more productive, creative and resilient in life. Since that’s the case, wouldn’t it be a better idea to seek well-being before success?

Your brain and subconscious can be altered by your focus. When you take positive actions, you rewire the brain and build more resources for the subconscious mind to use to help you. You can improve your happiness and well-being with some simple exercises to change the way you think.

How to Cultivate a Sense of Well-being

You can train your mind with the habit of being more positive and peaceful. Here are four ways to cultivate a sense of well-being and create more satisfaction in your life.  

Be kind to others. Volunteering and helping others engenders well-being and improves productivity.  Even just smiling at others increases your happiness. Recently, a couple of my friends have been sending cards to their acquaintances and they feel uplifted by doing so. I’ve been one of their recipients and it’s uplifted me as well. For this kind of boost, you can also send an email that acknowledges or compliments a friend or coworker.

Be mindful. For only a couple of minutes a day, just be present with yourself. Notice how you feel, mentally and physically. Become aware of your thoughts and feelings. Scan your body to notice where it might be tense, and then relax that area. Because I spend so much time on the computer, I will periodically close my eyes and relax various areas of my body. What impacts the mind, impacts the body and vice versa. When your mind is tense, so is your body. And when your body is relaxed, your mind is at peace.

Do deep breathing. A couple of minutes every day do some deep breathing. Breathe in for a count of four, breath out for a count of eight. This signals your nervous system to calm down. After stressful experiences, practicing this activity has quickly lowered my blood pressure to almost normal. This is a good exercise when you feel pressured with a deadline or decision. You’ll be more effective coming from a peaceful frame of mind.

Keep a gratitude journal. Every day, write down three things you’re grateful for. This exercise makes you notice positive things around you. One day last month, a heavy rainstorm came and passed while I was in the grocery store. It seems like a small thing, but I was grateful that my timing was such that I didn’t get wet. Studies show that within three weeks of daily gratitude practice, you’ll be more optimistic.

You only need to do one of these each day to notice an improved mood and mindset within a few weeks. When you have a sense of well-being and a more positive mindset, your actions have a better outcome. Instead of waiting to be successful to be happy, why not feel better while you’re working towards success?

Affirmation:

The Universe created me to be successful and supports me in my endeavors. There is a Divine plan for my success in life. Everything I need for success is provided. To align myself with the Universe’s plan for me, I cultivate my sense of well-being, happiness and positive attitude.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

4 Ways to Manage Your Stress

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Aug 072020
 
Woman surrounded by stressful thoughts

by Linda-Ann Stewart

When a stressful situation arises, your brain perceives it to be a threat. As a result, your mind instructs your body to react to the circumstance and keep you safe. Any change to your routine or situation is also considered stressful, even if it’s beneficial, like a promotion. And it doesn’t matter if the danger is mental or physical, real or imagined. Your mind can’t distinguish between them, and signals your body to prepare for a fight or flight.

This survival mode closes down the pathway to your Higher Self. You operate instinctively, to protect yourself, and can’t access your intuition, which is a higher level insight.

For instance, your boss might call you into his office, and you’re dreading a confrontation. You feel tense and worry about what it could be about. Instead of being angry, he wants to praise your work on a report. Your stress was caused by your imagination. If the cause of stress isn’t addressed and relieved, that pressure can escalate to a feeling of free floating anxiety and depression.

How You Deal with Stress

When you’re stressed, all of your mental resources focus on handling the crisis. You feel like you have no control. To cope, your attention narrows to what’s right in front of you and you can’t think straight or be creative. Instead, you act reflexively, as you have in the past, whether it was helpful or not. And you remain in this habitual state until the stressful situation passes.

Although you may not be able to control outer circumstances, you can control your reactions. By changing the way you respond to stress, your results change. When you feel in control, you make better decisions and can innovate to solve problems. Taking charge of your actions is vital to your health and well-being.  

Many spiritual people object to the idea of being in control. They want to be “in the flow.” Being “in the flow” is different from drifting at the mercy of outside forces. Spiritual people also associate being in control with “control freaks,” who run on fear and lack of trust. Being in control means making conscious choices and being intentional about your actions.

How You Can Gain Control

Here are some ways you can manage stress, rather than letting it manage you.

1. Delay your reaction. Remember, as a child, you were told to count to 10 when you were angry? There is a valid reason for this. When you pause for 10 seconds, it gives your conscious mind time to assert itself. That allows it to move to a more rational position and lets you recognize the consequences of losing your temper. You also have more access to other solutions. To give yourself time, take a walk, go into another room, or do something to take your mind off of it temporarily.

2. Be mindful. Instead of getting swept along by your anxiety, focus on the present. Ask yourself, “What can I control in this moment?” You may not be able to control the environment, the situation, or other people, but you have authority over other things in your life. For example, you can do something nice for yourself or others, remember all the things you’re grateful for, or read something inspirational.

3. Take small steps. Instead of getting overwhelmed, do one tiny thing, like wash the dishes. Then do another. Take one tiny aspect of what’s stressing you, and deal with it. For instance, if you’re concerned about finances, balance your checkbook. When you take action on a single thing at a time, you’re able to calm down your nervous system.

4. Use self-talk. Talk yourself through the problem. When you have an internal (or out loud) conversation with yourself, it allows you to be clearer about the issue. You’re able to organize your thoughts and evaluate what your options might be. Also, you’ve shifted your attention from feeling powerless to seeking a way through the stress. This engages your problem solving partner, your subconscious mind.

Feeling in control is your first step to reducing stress and moving towards a beneficial outcome. As you take charge, you have more power to change your habits and behaviors so you create the life you want. And you’re able to access your Higher Self and your intuition, so you can mine the treasure they bring to create your ideal situation.  

Affirmation:

The Universe is always available to help me deal with stress, but first I need to help myself. I have control over my reactions to situations that cause me stress. Once I acknowledge that truth, I can start taking action to reduce the pressure I feel. The more in control I feel, the more energy I have to create the ideal life I desire.

Watch the accompanying video, Reduce the Overwhelm of Stress.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Lessons from Resisting Change

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Jul 222020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Resistance to change is a normal part of being human. It’s natural, even if what you’re resisting is the very thing you need to do for your progress, health and happiness. Most people don’t like their status quo disrupted or to be forced out of their comfort zone. But change is the order of the universe, and resisting it just brings frustration and suffering. The Universe is trying to move you forward, while you’re holding yourself back.

There’s a saying that, “What you resist, persists.” This means that the energy that you’re putting into resisting makes the undesired change become stronger. It’s like a tug-o-war. You’re putting all your attention into not being pulled from your spot, which means you aren’t thinking of alternatives. What if you let go of the rope, and started considering how to turn the situation to your advantage? This allows you to get into the flow of the Universe, rather than trying to block it.

Learn from Your Resistance

You resist whenever you procrastinate, use busy work to avoid doing something else, are confused, or refuse to commit to a decision. Generally, resistance is fear based. You’re afraid of the loss, unknown, discomfort, or difficulty that you think change will bring. But when you resist moving forward, you close down opportunities and possibilities. Also, the Law of Attraction can’t be creative and bring you your desires.

There are lessons to be learned from resistance. The way you resist shows how you sabotage yourself and hold yourself back. If you recognize how you do that, you can then address those issues. This allows you to make the transition easier from where you are to where you want to be. It opens the channels for Universal good to flow to you.

Ways You Resist

1. You’re rebelling. When you’re forced to do something you don’t really want to, even if it’s in your best interests, resistance becomes rebellion. You think that rebelling puts you in control, but the opposite is true. If you’re rebelling, you’re handing over control to the opposition.

For instance, many smokers use cigarettes as a way to rebel, and resist quitting for that reason. This is true even when they know smoking is hurting them. One way to turn that attitude around is to rebel against cigarettes, which will turn the negative habit of smoking into a healthy behavior. Using that idea, how could you use your rebellion for your benefit?

2. Most people dislike being told what they “should” do. Or they feel guilty when they don’t live according to what they think they “ought to” do. Generally, instead of being compliant, they avoid those injunctions, even if it’s what they want for themselves.

For instance, you know you “should” exercise for your health. You whip yourself for not doing so, but it’s easier to just sit on the couch. Or you know eating less sugar is better for you, but it’s much more satisfying to indulge. You may feel guilty about your behavior, but you still repeat the negative activity. Instead of “shoulding” on yourself, focus on the benefits you’d receive by taking the action you’ve been ignoring.

3. Denial can be a coping strategy when there’s been a significant loss. It gives you time to absorb and process what’s happened, prior to adjusting to the change. But if you use this strategy in your everyday life, it will sabotage you at every level. You resent what’s necessary, and pretend that it doesn’t matter. But when you ignore a necessary step or action, it blocks what you’re trying to accomplish.

For instance, if you want to lose weight, but reject that you need to eat less. No matter what you do, you’ll not be able to achieve your ideal weight. A business person who thinks they can keep all the details of dozens of orders their orders in their head will have a hard time meeting deadlines and being successful. Before you can move forward, you have to accept reality and what is necessary. Instead of being dismissive, shift your attitude to it being your choice to take your next steps. 

How do you normally resist moving forward? Learn this and it will give you important information so you know when life is pushing you to change and when you’re combating change. When you encounter resistance, dig into your motivation and focus on what you really want. When you shift your attention from resisting change to embracing the benefits it will bring, you’ll be able to adjust your course and make progress.

Affirmation:

The Universe wants the best for me. I’m willing to make whatever changes are necessary to open up to greater joy, health and abundance. I recognize when I’m resisting my good, and choose a better course. I’m Divinely guided to make the wisest decisions for my highest good.

Watch the complementary video, Meditation to Learn from Your Resistance to Change.

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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.