Jun 152022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Plane flying

Most people live on autopilot. They routinely think and behave in the same way day after day. If a situation comes up, they unconsciously act as they’ve done in the past. They go through their lives without taking the time to consider what they’re doing. And because they simply react to circumstances, the overall condition of their life rarely changes.

When you react, you’re reinforcing Einstein’s definition of insanity, “Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.” For your life to improve, you have to change your thoughts and beliefs first. Even if you try to change your situation, it will return to what you’ve experienced in the past unless you shift your attitude.

How to Stay in a Self-Sabotaging Rut

For instance, Sara was a graphic artist. In a proposal early in her career, her estimate to complete a project that was too long for the client, so they went elsewhere. Because of her inexperience, she didn’t realize that their requirement was entirely unreasonable. But from that time on, she was afraid that if she didn’t offer to do the work in a ridiculously short amount of time, she’d lose the job and have very little business.

So she gave completion estimates that she’d barely be able to meet, even if they were her only client. Since she regularly missed her deadlines, she got a reputation of being late with her work. Of course, she lost business because of this, yet she never changed her protocol. Her fear of losing work became a self-fulfilling prophecy. She continued to react to a previous situation, never changed her policy and continued to lose business.

By reacting, you behave the same way you have in the past, which keeps you right where you are, just like what happened to Sara. And you’re acting out of the same mindset, generally one of fear, anger, or sadness. This negative space isn’t a good place to act or make decisions from. As one of my mentor’s said, “Fear isn’t a guidance system.” It won’t bring you the results you want.

How to Change Your Results

Only by intentionally choosing your thoughts and actions will you be able to change your results. It’s not an easy path, but it’s more rewarding and will create better outcomes. To do so, you have to stay aware of what’s transpiring, and not give into impulse.

If Sara had been more aware of her actions and their consequences, she would have chosen more realistic time estimates for projects. It would have been scary at first. She would have had to face down her fears. But she would have gotten more confident as customers approved her proposals and were happy with the end product being delivered on time.

When you live with intention, it means that you’re choosing to respond to situations rather than react to them. You’re being more deliberate and aware with your thoughts and actions. When a situation arises, you’re proactive, thinking your words and actions through. This puts you in the captain’s seat of your life.

How to Become Mindful

The first step is to become mindful of what thoughts you focus on, because they develop into your beliefs. Your beliefs shape how you feel and how you act. For instance, depending on whether you feel comfortable with accepting a compliment or not, you’ll either be delighted or deflect it.

Your second step is to become aware of how you habitually react to specific situations. Does it get you the results you want? If you feel defensive and attack whenever anyone questions you on your work, does this help your career to progress? Or would being open to constructive suggestions help more? Assess whether your reactions are helpful or sabotaging you.

The third step is to consciously choose and implement your new response. When a coworker asks you to lunch, instead of isolating yourself at your desk, go with them. This step gets tougher when crises come up and you don’t take the moment or two to remember your intention. But with practice, this will become easier.

Living with Intention

This is living with intention. You’re being responsive, aware of your choices and purposely choosing your actions. Jack Kornfield, author and Buddhism teacher, said, “Intention leads to behaviors which lead to habits, which lead to personality development which leads to destiny.”

Be deliberate about your thoughts, words, and deeds. You’ll get better results. Instead of riding helplessly in a rudderless boat, at the whim of the wind and water, take the helm. By living with intention, you take control of your destiny.

Affirmation:

I become aware of how I react to situations, and assess whether it’s helpful or hindering me. It’s safe for me to make a different decision than I normally would. I have the knowledge and the resources to deal with the challenges of my life in a new and better way. By choosing to live with intention, I take control of my 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. 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.
May 312022
 
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

May 182022
 
Sparks of Insight

Your subconscious mind acts on the overall direction of your thinking. If you’re 51% positive during the day, then that tendency overrides the 49% of the negative thoughts you’ve had. The converse is also true. The good news is that you only have to be a little more positive than negative to experience the benefits and have the negative of that day be erased. So every time you catch yourself having a negative thought, deliberately find something to be grateful for or insert an upbeat thought. It takes discipline and awareness, but it’s worth it.  

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

May 132022
 

For many people, criticism brings up bad memories of having someone harass them, call them a name or put them down. Now, when someone critiques them, they react in a way that isn’t helpful. Instead, there’s a way to change your reaction so that you’re more empowered in the situation. Discover a 5 step process to retrain yourself to deal with criticism in a much more positive way.

Transcript:

For many people, criticism brings up bad memories of having someone harass them, call them a name or put them down. Has this happened to you? If so, when someone critiques you in the present, you probably get defensive or go into fight or flight mode. When you’re in that condition, you can’t be objective or even think clearly, right? All you can do is react to the situation as you might have in the past.

I’d like to share what you can do in that situation to change your reaction into one that might be able to help you grow. I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, vision empowerment strategist and I’ve had to deal with my fair share of criticism.

Criticism isn’t always intended to find fault with you. Some criticism is constructive to help you get better at something. This kind of criticism offers a solution or is feedback that you can learn from. But when you’re reacting, it’s hard to determine if there’s anything of use for you in the comment. Like I said, you can’t think clearly when you think you’re attacked.

Here are some steps to take to respond more positively to criticism so you can take back your power.

First and foremost, don’t react. If it’s from someone who wants to manipulate you, you take back control when you don’t react to them. Also, when you stop reacting to a bully’s harassment, they lose interest.

Next, take some deep breaths. Calm yourself so you can think more clearly. Give yourself that time.

Then, consider the source. Is it a bully who loves to humiliate others or is it someone who has your best interests at heart.

Either way, assess to see if there’s any merit to the comment. Is there anything valid in what they said or is it simply their opinion? What, if anything, can you learn from the comment?

Once you’ve learned what you can, decide what to do about it. If there is some improvement you can make, figure out how you want to go about doing that. And then dismiss the comment. It’s served its purpose.  If it’s from a bully, and there’s nothing of value for you, dismiss it. Yeah, I know, easier said than done. But it can be done with practice.

When you start responding to criticism from a more empowered place, your confidence and self-esteem increase. Criticism no longer impacts you as deeply as it did. It takes practice to retrain yourself to take these steps, but it’s well worth the effort.

To be notified of future mindset videos, please like my YouTube channel.

Thank you for watching. Stay Focused.

Read the accompanying article, Is the Fear of Criticism Holding You Back?

May 052022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Breaking chain

Fear of criticism is a frequent stumbling block when you want to change or achieve a goal. When you want to break a habit or grow as a person, others may object and find fault with your behavior. This is to manipulate you to remain the same so they won’t become uncomfortable with the changes you’re making.

Artists and creative people of all types often don’t express the fullness of their talent for fear of jealousy and being belittled. It’s not unusual to try to hide, conform or underachieve to avoid being singled out.

If the fear of criticism is affecting you, it probably stems from being unmercifully criticized as a child. You could have had adults, or other children, censure you for being too different.

Maybe bullies humiliated you, a teacher demeaned you, or you had a disapproving parent. These wounds can impact the way you view yourself and other people. It can also block your connection to the Universe, as you’re concerned that It doesn’t approve of you. But the Universe accepts you fully, as you are.  

There’s a difference between criticism, constructive criticism and feedback. The first is focusing strictly on a perceived problem. The other two identify an issue in order to seek a solution.

What You Do Doesn’t Matter

Unfortunately, a person who criticizes you is going to do so no matter what you do. This is a conclusion I came to after many years of trying to appease people around me. Criticism is what they do to make themselves feel superior and in control, and has nothing to do with you.

Remember, the best defense is a good offense. They’re attacking you, not because there’s something wrong with you, but because they feel insecure. And, take it from one who tried for years, there’s nothing you can do to reassure them. 

They’re going to condemn you, not for what you’re doing or not doing, but because of what they aren’t doing and who they are. Sadly, you can’t gain their approval. This is hard to accept, but the only thing you can do is move forward and do what you feel is right for you. The Universe completely supports you in choosing what is best for you.

Transform Your Beliefs about It

First, consider the kind of person who would be this way. It’s likely to be someone who feels vulnerable, envious or fearful and is lashing out at you. They’re trying to build themselves up by tearing you down. It doesn’t absolve them of responsibility, but when you realize it isn’t about you, it’s easier to let it go.

Second, keep reminding yourself that anyone who criticizes you is simply coming from their own point of view, opinion and issues. What they might find fault with in you is something that they might be uncomfortable with, or don’t like within themselves. They probably aren’t even seeing you clearly, but filtering their view of you through their own perceptions and misconceptions.

Third, remind yourself that you’re an adult now, and can handle the kind of criticism that might arise. You’re no longer a helpless child, and you don’t need to depend on anyone’s approval anymore. You know that everyone has as much access to achieving their dreams as you do. If they don’t, it’s not your fault or responsibility. They are every bit as much a part of the Universe as you are. They have It’s love and support, just as you do.  

Wayne Dyer said that when you achieve more, you can EXPECT to be criticized. It’s true. When you begin to achieve your dreams, then those who haven’t achieved theirs will may be bitter and want to hold you back, as well. That’s their issue, not yours. It’s okay for you to be visible now and to shine. The Universe wants that for you.

Affirmation:

I bless and release those who are not in harmony with me or my plans. The Universe accepts and approves of me fully, just as I am. I have a right to my choices and goals, and to live my life my way. The Universe guides and directs my decisions to be for my highest and best good. It completely supports me in my endeavors, providing me with all that I need.

Watch the accompanying video, How to Respond to Criticism.

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.

Sparks of Insight

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Apr 252022
 
Sparks of Insight

“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” – Albert Einstein

This is a choice you make, based on your early training, as well as your experiences. Even if your experiences have shown you difficulty, you can still make a different choice. Optimism can be learned, and is a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you change your belief that your Universe supports you, and that Life cares for you, then you open up the floodgates for more good to come your way.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

4 Ways You Sabotage Yourself (and how to deal with them)

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Apr 082022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Do you want to lose weight, change a habit, learn a skill, or build a business? When you have a goal, and you’re not making any headway towards accomplishing it, you could be unconsciously sabotaging yourself. This is frustrating and discouraging, especially if you don’t know what’s preventing your progress.

If this is true for you, you’re probably making decisions that worked for you in the past, but haven’t been updated. Those old ideas aren’t helping you to grow, expand or to achieve your vision. Instead of acting unconsciously, the solution is to be more deliberate about your choices.

Overcome Self-Sabotage

Here are some common ways you sabotage yourself and how to overcome them.

1. You crave freedom. You don’t want to be limited by routine or structure and you seek to be spontaneous. Although spontaneity is important to enrich your personal life, it can undermine your professional goals. Impulsiveness causes you to follow whatever idea is uppermost in your mind at the time. This brings chaos and confuses the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction acts on what you focus on. When you’re not focused, the Law won’t know what to bring you. Unfortunately, spontaneity is the opposite of consistency, which is necessary for success.

Instead of winging it, create a structure and plan for yourself. Routine serves the purpose of freeing your mind to be more spontaneous in other areas of your life. Create a plan of what you’re going to do the next day. This gives the Law of Attraction the instruction of what you want. Allow time and space for the unexpected to take place.

2. You react to situations. When you react to a situation, you act in the same way you’ve done in the past. This doesn’t serve you when you want to change your future. You can’t do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. The only way to receive a different outcome is to change the way you think about the situation and act towards it. When you change the way you think, the Law of Attraction can change your experience.

Instead of reacting, consciously choose how to respond. If the situation happens often, you’ll want to plan your action ahead of time. Then, when it happens the next time, take a few deep breaths before you respond. When you think through an action, either before or at the time, you’re coming from place of power. When you feel empowered, you have more of a connection to the Universe.

3. You give up after a setback. If you fall off your diet, you might be discouraged and abandon your diet altogether. When you hit a block while learning to play the piano, you quit. Setbacks are going to happen. They’re a gift from the Universe. Two steps forward and one back allow you to solidify progress. Setbacks are also the way you discover what doesn’t work and help you to figure out what will succeed.

Setbacks don’t obstruct you unless you let them. Instead, they can be stepping stones. Since they are going to arise, plan for what you’ll do when they do. What would be the common setbacks you will experience? Decide on specific actions to take, or statements you’ll repeat to yourself to keep you on course. Your determination and commitment energizes the Law of Attraction, making it easier for it to perform for you.

4. You procrastinate. Procrastination is generally triggered by fear. You don’t know how to do a task, you dread the tedium, you’re concerned that it won’t be good enough and so you resist beginning it. Because of that, you wait until the last minute to attend to the project. This is stressful, and because you delayed, you rarely can give it your best effort. Also, stress blocks access to your intuition and guidance from the Universe.

You may have to force yourself, but do one tiny chore concerning the project. Just start with a single action. Decide to spend five minutes on it each day. Taking small steps will build up momentum, and you’ll whittle away at the task. Very quickly, it won’t seem so difficult, and you’ll find it easier to complete it. Now that you’re not resisting, you’re more in the flow of inspiration from the Universe.

By deliberately changing your responses, you take charge of your life. This empowers you with greater freedom, creativity, success and peace of mind.

Affirmation:

The Universe wants the best for me. I let go of old ideas and reactions, as they no longer serve me. I open my mind and heart to the Universe to guide and direct my every thought and action. As I stay mindful of my responses, I stay in the flow of Universal Good. Changing my thoughts, changes my actions, and thus changes my life.

Watch the accompanying article, How to Stick to Your Goals.

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.

Sparks of Insight

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Apr 052022
 
Sparks of Insight

Have you heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as a mistake?” It’s true. A mistake is simply a mis-take, like a second take of a movie. You may have not done things perfectly the first time, but you have another chance to make them better. This is the way you learn. As a child, you figured out how to balance one block on top of another by trial and error. And that’s all a mistake is. Trying something, and it not turning out as you’d hoped. But as when you were a child, you learned something and get to try again.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Mar 162022
 
Sparks of Insight

“Opportunities pour into my life, allowing me to experience a greater satisfaction and abundance. I am guided as to which opportunities to follow through on and accept.”

Opportunities are always coming your way. Whether you notice them or not depends on the mental filters you have. If you tend to dismiss compliments and potentials, then your subconscious will make sure you don’t notice opportunities. As you change your filter, your subconscious will not only discover more of them around you, but also attract more of them to you. 

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

5 Tips to Maintain Your Motivation

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Mar 082022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” Zig Ziglar

There’s a saying that you can only motivate yourself. You have to supply the desire for an improvement to make the effort to accomplish your goal. But sometimes, your determination flags and you need a boost. The good news is that you don’t always have to go it alone.

For instance, when I was facilitating smoking cessation classes for the county health department, I had a reputation for being very motivating. Once someone had convinced themselves to commit to the classes, I found ways to encourage them to follow through.

They wanted to accomplish the difficult goal of quitting smoking and wanted group support to achieve it. The group dynamic kept them focused on their goal and gave them inspiration to keep going. But, first, they had to want to quit smoking. No one else could make them want that goal.

Motivation for a Goal

To achieve any goal, you have to be motivated and willing to make changes, put forth energy, and take action of some sort. Your motivation is the driving force and the reason you want a better outcome. No one else can provide this reason for you.

Necessity can provoke you to move forward. For instance, you have to find a job or else you won’t be able to pay your bills, and will end up indigent. Or you discover that your health is in danger unless you make some lifestyle changes. But even then, the possibility of severe difficulties in life doesn’t always motivate people to change. For many people, the danger has to be immediate. They have to feel the pain.  

So how do you develop and maintain your motivation, whether it’s something you want or need?

Ways to Stay Motivated

Have you ever gone to motivational program and been inspired? The program aroused your intrinsic desire for something better for yourself and caused you to take action. But not long after the event was over, the excitement probably wore off and your enthusiasm flagged.

Every day, you need some stimulation that will keep you motivated and on course. Here are 5 tips to fuel your drive and keep you stimulated.

1.  What’s your “why?” Uncover your big why, which is your reason and purpose for wanting your goal. What is your goal going to get or give you? How will it improve your circumstances? Get detailed. It has to be an aspiration that connects with you. Once you’ve discovered your why, keep referring back to it.

2.  Fill your mind with motivation. Read inspirational books, listen to motivational podcasts, and be around uplifting people. Study people who have accomplished what you want to achieve or who overcame obstacles similar to yours. This will add motivation to your efforts.  

3.  Get creative. When you get bored, discouraged or want to take a break, find a new way to approach the steps to your goal. For instance, change your routine. If you’re always working in your home office, go to a park. Find alternative ways to stay interested in the actions you need to take.  

4.  Acknowledge your progress. Don’t just check a task off your to do list. That feels good, of course, but to make a bigger impact, congratulate yourself on completing that step. Reward yourself. This is a powerful technique to encourage yourself to keep going.

5.  Accept support. Find an accountability or empowerment partner, and ask them to help keep you focused. This is one of the roles of a coach. People who tell a partner what they intend to do, and then report their progress, achieve their goal 76% of the time. 

The smoking cessation classes I facilitated used every one of these steps and had a great success rate. The participants needed different ways of keeping themselves motivated, just as everyone with a bold goal does. These tips will motivate, support and inspire you, too, to stay on course to your vision.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Stay Motivated to Achieve a Goal

Affirmation:

The Universe completely supports my goals and aspirations. It wants the best for me and knows why my goal is important. The Universe supplies me with all the inspiration and motivation I need to take action. I am Divinely guided and directed in Right Action for my goal and aspiration. My next step is made clear to me.

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.