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.

Deal with thoughts during meditation?

 Ask The Expert  Comments Off on Deal with thoughts during meditation?
Mar 032021
 
Question about affirmations

Question: How do I deal with overwhelming thoughts when I’m trying to meditate?

Answer: It’s normal to have problems with thoughts distracting you during meditation. It happens to those first starting meditation as well as seasoned meditators. It’s one reason why there are so many meditation techniques that use some sort of focus, like a mantra or staring at a candle.

When I use self-hypnosis at the beginning of a meditation, I go deeper than with any other technique. And because you’re focusing on relaxing your body, counting down and then imagining a special place, it helps to calm down the errant thoughts. However, it is a constant practice to keep them calm and not let them distract you.

Whenever you have a thought try to get your attention, bring your focus back to your special place, affirmation or any visualization you’re using. You’re in the process of training your mind. Letting it know that you’re going to take charge. Once you’ve practiced enough to get the thoughts quieter, the next step is to be able to simply observe them and let them go.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

 Sparks of Insight  Comments Off on Sparks of Insight
Feb 222021
 
Sparks of Insight

The subconscious always is working. You may not be getting the outcome that you want, but that’s not the fault of the subconscious. It’s only doing and giving you what you’ve programmed into it in the past or present. The subconscious has rules, principles, and ways that it functions. And just as with federal law, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” Just because you don’t know what those rules are or choose not to follow them doesn’t mean you’re excluded from their effect. To get positive results, focus exclusively on what you want for a couple of minutes, twice a day. Imagine that it’s happening, feel its reality, and take action towards it.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

 Trending Articles  Comments Off on Trending Articles of the Week
Feb 162021
 

How Mindfulness Improves Strategic Thinking

It’s well documented that meditation reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, accept and handle difficult emotions. Now mindfulness meditation is being used to bring focus and intention into business decisions and leadership. Leaders, entrepreneurs and organizations can use three ways to help identify important ideas.

Why You Never Seem to Have Enough Time

Feeling pressed for time is more due to our own psychology of what we value and mindsets about time. When you can reframe your attitudes, you can lessen the pressure you put on yourself. Here are three scientific insights that can help create an inner shift that then eases your time crunch.

Warren Buffett Says This 1 Simple Habit Separates Successful People From Everyone Else

To be successful, Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs realized that they needed to focus on what was important. And that one mindset was vital for them to accomplish what they wanted. Learn what that lesson is, as well as 7 ways to put it to use in your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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.

Set Your Course to a Better 2021

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Jan 042021
 

Achieve the success you want with this free masterclass

With the free masterclass, “3 Keys to Set Your Course to Success: Achieve the Success You Crave in Difficult Times,” you’ll learn what you need to propel your business and personal life forward in the upcoming year. The masterclass will be held Thursday, January 14th at 2 p.m. MST on Zoom. If you can’t attend in person, you can view the replay for a short time. Learn more and register now at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/3keys.html

In this masterclass, you’ll Identify and overcome the biggest blocks to your success. You’ll also learn what powerful elements bring you the most success and maximize your efforts. In addition, you’ll discover how to take charge of your business to break the feast or famine cycle.

“In my hypnotherapy and coaching business, I found that there were three elements that were necessary for my client to be successful,” Linda-Ann Stewart said. “They had to have an empowered mindset, a strategic vision, and a consistent focus on what was important for their success. If any of these three were missing, they wouldn’t achieve their goal.”

Although this masterclass is designed for business owners and solopreneurs, its principles apply to personal and other professional goals as well. If you’re ready to propel yourself into the New Year, register for this complimentary masterclass.

Register now and make 2021 a better year!

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Dec 142020
 

How to Change Your Perspective on Negative Situations

Your perspective is your mindset or attitude towards life. Your perspective either helps or hinders your success. Fortunately, you can build one that enables your to build a positive one, that allows you to succeed in life. Use these 6 tips on how to change your perspective so you can create your dream life.

Meditation Has the Power to Influence Your Genes

A study has showed that mindfulness meditation can alter genes linked to inflammation, stress, and pain relief. The benefits were found in experienced and newly trained meditators alike. And just over an hour of training can reduce pain by 15-30% more than morphine. Learn more about how mindfulness can change your genes and bring you long-ranging benefits.

Ancient Wisdom Reveals 6 Rituals That Will Make You Happy

The Stoics were a school of Hellenistic philosophers who inspired much of modern psychology. Their ancient wisdom gives us inspiration to take control of our attitudes and beliefs so that we can be happier in our lives. These 6 attitude shifters have questions to ask yourself so you can create better peace of mind.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

 Trending Articles  Comments Off on Trending Articles of the Week
Dec 042020
 

How to Cultivate More Self-Compassion

Self-compassion has to do with being kind to yourself, rather than being critical and judgmental. There’s a difference between making a mistake and being a bad person. Research is showing that showing yourself compassion leads to less anxiety and depression, and more self-worth and happiness. Try these 5 ways to practice self-compassion and discover how much better your life can be.

10 Unmistakable Habits of Utterly Authentic People

To live authentically, you must own your actions and ensure that they align with your beliefs and needs. People who don’t feel uncomfortable and besmirched. Learn to become authentic through these specific habits you can develop.

You Need to Practice Being Your Future Self

Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place. To be productive and move forward, ask, and answer, some of the simple questions in this article.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

How to Stay Mindfully Focused

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Nov 172020
 

It’s hard to stay focused and not get distracted in our frantic, fast-paced lives. But focus is the best way to achieve your goals and be productive. Focus is one of the most important skills a person can develop. Learn a simple technique to learn how to be more focused and get more done, more easily.

Transcript:

Thank you for joining me. In our frantic day-to-day lives, it’s hard to stay focused, isn’t it? We’re pulled in so many different directions. But being able to focus on a task or project is the way to get it done and done well. I’d like to share a simple technique for you to be able to hone your attention, to be more single-minded, and get more done, more easily. Wouldn’t that be great?

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist. The technique I’m going to share with you combines a couple of tactics. One is deep breathing, and the other is self-talk. Either of which is good to help calm you down and get focused. But together, they are an unbeatable combination.

Using this technique allows you to pay attention to what you want to pay attention to, to what’s important and not what’s trying to distract you. When you take care of what’s important first, you can deal with other things later.

When you want to focus on a task, first take three long, slow, deep breaths. This calms your brain and nervous system so you can focus. It also allows you to take a mental step back to make a decision on what to do next. Rather than being pushed by events, you can make a choice of what to do next. It’s the difference between reacting and responding. When you respond, you’re reclaiming your power over your actions. 

Next, engage in talking to yourself to keep yourself focused. Just saying things like, “Focus” or “concentrate” or “stick with it,” will rein in your thoughts to stay on task. You could also talk to yourself as if you’re a third person, like, “Linda-Ann, continue working on this for the next half-hour.” When you say your name, it catches your attention, doesn’t it? And you’re more likely to follow your own directions.

When you stay mindfully focused you’ll find yourself being more productive and efficient, while increasing your peace of mind. As a side benefit, you’ll also be training yourself to be more focused, so the more you practice, the better at it you’ll become. You’ll be developing a vital skill that you can use for the rest of your life, in all areas of your life.

If you’d to achieve a 90-day goal more easily, download my free comprehensive Strategic Vision guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com. You’ll receive the guide, as well as a training video that walks you through it with tips and directions to support you in you in accomplishing your goal.

Thank you for watching. How can you use this technique of deep breathing and self-talk today? Take care.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart