Apr 202022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Where are you putting your attention? Is it on your intention, vision or what you want to create in your life? There’s an expression, “Energy flows where attention goes.” Whatever you’re focusing on will be the direction your energy will go, whether it’s towards your dream or away from it. This is true whether you want to start a new habit of meditating every day, write more, or follow up on leads for your business. Is your attention on what you want or do you get sidetracked?

To achieve your goal, you need to have a plan and benchmarks to follow. But you may get distracted or scattered as you try to act on them. It’s inevitable that crises will happen and unexpected tasks get shoved into your schedule. This only becomes a problem if these issues become chronic. Your subconscious may have been trained to keep you off track by creating problems. The solution is to refocus on what’s really important first and deal with the unexpected later in the day.

Establish Your Priorities

A plan is necessary and you have to work your plan to achieve success. Establishing your priorities is an integral part of fulfilling your intention. You have to make your next step or goal your primary mission each day. If you don’t, you’ll allow life’s diversions to pull you off course. It all depends on where you put your focus. Because wherever you put your attention makes that task or situation your priority.

For instance, let’s say you want to finish a project. But when the phone rings, you answer it, interrupting your work. By answering, you’ve allowed your phone to take precedence over your task. And you give your subconscious the message that the call is more important than your project. That means your subconscious will create more interruptions because it follows your lead.

On a personal level, you may want to lose weight. But you’re tempted by indulging in a bowl of ice cream. If you decide to eat the ice cream, your attention has shifted from weight loss to treating yourself. You’ve made pampering yourself your priority and have undermined your intention of losing weight. Do this more than a couple of times in a short time frame and you’ll create a habit that will destroy your original goal.

Your Intentions Are Important

In a professional capacity, many people will set their interests aside to help a coworker work on a report. The coworker is capable of doing it by themself, but they want help. Instead of taking the responsibility of handling it, the coworker finds someone to assist or support them.

Unfortunately, the person who has agreed to help ignores their own priorities to fulfill the other person’s goal. In helping, they’re acting on someone else’s agenda and not attending to their own. This occurs when you don’t let the phone go to voicemail, frequently check your email or don’t put a sign on your door saying, “Do Not Disturb,” when you need to complete a project. When you don’t focus on and stand up for your intention, then you allow another person’s goal to take precedence over yours.

Focus on Your Priorities

In general, women especially tend to put other people’s wants ahead of their well-being. Their focus is to try to make sure everyone else is happy and satisfied before they address their own intentions.  They forget that others are just as capable of fulfilling their own desires.

How often do you give an employee a task or train a coworker and say to yourself, “It would be easier and faster to do it myself?” When you fall into this trap of doing the work yourself, you’re telling them that you don’t believe they can do their job. You’re also instructing your subconscious to keep you overwhelmed. Again, you’re setting aside your priorities to handle someone else’s.

When you give your employee a task and allow them to complete it, you’re helping to build their confidence. Once trained, a coworker will be able to take some responsibility off your shoulders. This will give you more time to focus on your priorities.

How to Be Intentional

Every day, you have hundreds of decisions to make. Many of those have to do with your intention, vision or dream. To stay focused on it, you have to stay conscious and mindful, and not fall into the trap of just reacting to whatever shows up. Whenever you have something unexpected occur, ask yourself, “Is this someone else’s agenda?” and “Will this interfere with my intention?”

If the answer to these questions is, “Yes,” then you have to choose what’s more important, your intention or theirs. But remember, the only way you’ll be able to fulfill your dream is to keep your attention on your intention.

Affirmation:

The Universe supports me in all my endeavors.  I keep my intention in mind at all times. Whenever anything unexpected takes place, I stay conscious and mindful and make decisions that support my intention. I realize that everyone has the ability to take care of their own challenges. By attending to my agenda, I’m empowered and empower others to handle their own.

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.

Focus, the Power Behind Success

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Nov 082021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

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

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

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

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

Benefits of Focus

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

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

How to Create the Habit of Focus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Podcast Interview – Courage Rises

 A Personal Note, News Item, Video  Comments Off on Podcast Interview – Courage Rises
Apr 192021
 

Susan Jeffreys is a life coach I met through a networking group we both belong to. Oddly enough, we met because most outside contact has gone virtual in this past year because of COVID-19. If not for that, we probably would not have met, because she belongs to one chapter and I belong to another. But we were able to virtually visit each other’s group.

Susan’s coaching specialty is helping people recognize and nurture  their courage so they can take their next step in their business or life. One day, as we were talking one-on-one about how change requires courage, Suki invited me onto her podcast, Courage Rises.

She’d been interviewing people about their personal stories of courage, but wanted to do something different. We decided to discuss how change takes courage, and some of the obstacles and stages that a person goes through as they’re changing. It’s a subject dear to my heart, as change is what I’ve helped people with for over thirty years.

We had a lively and interesting conversation about how courage affects the choices and changes we make in our lives. She commented later that, “You have a way of describing feelings and resultant actions that I really like.”

We chatted how change is a process, with several different components that people may not be prepared for. She had some great insights about the points we covered and talked about her experience letting go of a long-standing habit.

We discussed what happens when someone starts utilizing their courage and start changing. And I gave some suggestions on how a person can exercise their courage so they can stretch that ability. We ended with my personal story about courage, and how, as a young child, I had to cultivate that quality.

She is passionate about helping others understand that courage is within everyone. Her caring and compassion shines through her, and wraps people in warmth. I consider this a silver lining to the COVID-19 isolating, in that it gave me a chance to meet and get to know this awesome lady.

I hope you enjoy this interview on how change takes courage and find new ways to cultivate courage in your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Overcome the Obstacles to Your Goal

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Mar 152021
 

The path to achieving a goal is rarely smooth. There are generally obstacles that you have to overcome. Many of those barriers are self-inflicted and some aren’t. Instead of letting those blocks trip you up, use this tip to overcome them and accomplish your goal much more easily.

Transcript:

Thank you for joining me. When you set a goal, there are always going to be obstacles to it, right? I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist coach. I’d like to share a tip on how to overcome obstacles when you’re working towards a goal or vision. 

There are obstacles that come from within you, like procrastination or getting distracted easily. Some obstacles come from outside, like a coworker interrupting you or the cake at the party tempting you to ditch your diet.

And there are some obstacles that are a combination of inner and outer, like answering your phone even if it rings in the middle of an important meeting.

You can identify many of these obstacles ahead of time, can’t you? You’ve been in the situation before, so know your habits and tendencies. Since you’re aware of what barriers could trip you up, you can figure out how to handle them before they happen. You can plan for how you’re going to avoid them or react to them when they occur.

Here’s your tip. Make a list of those challenges, the conditions that slow you down or drag you off course. Then strategize how you could handle them in that moment. For instance, for procrastination, you could decide to take one small step, to break your immobility and get you moving. Or before a meeting, you could decide to put your phone on mute.

When you plan for how you’re going to respond to a particular situation, ahead of time, you’re being proactive. That way, you’re not having to figure out what to do in the moment, when you’re pressured. The decision has been made before hand, and you’re just executing the strategy you’ve already chosen.

To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, watch my FREE training video, Set Your Course to Success. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com

Thank you for watching. What obstacles are you going to overcome today?

Read the accompanying article, Don’t Slow Before the Finish Line.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart 

Trending Articles of the Week

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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

Trending Articles of the Week

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Oct 022020
 

How the ‘Gratitude Effect’ Can Reshape Your Life and Its Direction

Expressing gratitude isn’t just a new age fad. There are multiple studies that show that it increases optimism, changes the brain, improves a sense of connection with others and much more. Learn just how important it is and how a small change in your focus can bring you massive rewards.   

Ancient wisdom reveals 4 rituals that will make you happy

To be happier, you have to practice behaviors that lead to happiness. The teachings of the Stoics can help you become more mindful, objective and peaceful. They established some trainings that give you tactics to deal with challenges so you retain your mental and emotional balance.

Mindfulness Made Simple

Mindfulness can not only cause you to feel calmer, more optimistic and kinder, it can also help you professionally. The more you choose to practice this technique the more benefits you receive. This article breaks mindfulness down into three steps: Stop. Breathe. Think about your thinking.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Meditation to Learn from Your Resistance to Change

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Jul 132020
 

Resistance to moving forward is part of the human condition. Any goal worth having is going to stir up a reluctance to change. But resistance can teach you a lot, about why you’re reluctant and what you need to do to take action. Use the questions in this meditation to uncover what’s behind your resistance and what you can do to overcome it.

Transcript:

Thank you for joining me. Are you resisting taking an action or decision that you know would allow you to reach your goal? If so, welcome to the human race. Whenever you want to make a significant change in your life, you’re going to meet with some inner resistance to moving forward, right? Sometimes, there’s a good reason for the resistance, like you don’t have everything you need yet. Other times, it’s just a fear of change or fear of failure.

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist, and I’ve worked with hundreds of clients over the years to overcome their resistance to achieving their goals. Resistance has a lot to teach you, but you have to be willing to listen to what it’s trying to tell you. Asking the right questions is a way to discover what’s holding you back and how you can move forward.

So I’d like to lead you through a very short meditation to help you ask some of those questions and gain answers to help you.

If you’re okay doing so, close your eyes. If not, just get comfortable.

Imagine some area where you’re resisting change. It could be personal, like changing a habit or dealing with an ongoing issue, or it could be professional, like opening up to a new opportunity. Just choose one place where you’re resisting. Examine the issue and how you feel about it.

Now, we’re going to ask some questions. Don’t worry if you don’t get any immediate answers. Those answers may come in a few minutes or hours, when you’re doing something else entirely. Right now, it’s just important to ask the questions, and listen.

What exactly are you resisting?

Why are you resisting moving forward? Is it fear, or some other emotion? Do you need some other piece to be in place? Why are you resisting moving forward?

What would happen if you didn’t resist? If you just let go and moved forward? How would that affect your life?

What are you trying to preserve/hang onto by resisting? Is it worth it?

What are you giving up by deciding to move forward? Is it something you still want, or have you outgrown it?

What might you receive from moving forward? Is it better than what you have now?

How can you make this change less threatening? How can you let go of your resistance and make it easier to move forward?

The answers to these questions may not come right away. The answers may surface over the hours to come. Just keep your mind open to recognize the answers, and know that you can choose to act on them or not. Open your eyes.

Like I said, it doesn’t matter if you got any answers right away. The important thing is to ask and be open to the information. Your subconscious will deliver what you can accept and work with, maybe today, tonight, or tomorrow. You can take what your subconscious tells you and make decisions that are best for you.

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

Thank you for watching. I hope that the answers you get are valuable and help you resolve any resistance you might be encountering with your goal. Take care.

Read the accompanying article, Lessons from Resisting Change.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Jun 012020
 
Sparks of Insight

“Re-examine all that you have been told… dismiss that which insults your soul.” – Walt Whitman

Many of the standards, values and beliefs you have in your life are ones that were programmed into you by family and authorities when you were young. They may not be valid or useful to you. You have the power and authority to assess them and decide whether you want to keep them or not. Discard anything that doesn’t support you in being the best person you can be.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Assumptions Don’t Serve You

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Nov 072019
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Ass_u_me

People make assumptions all the time. There’s even a cliché for it. “When you assume, you make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me.'” Not very classy, but it makes the point. It means that you suppose that you know all the facts when you form an opinion, when you don’t. And you aren’t questioning that maybe you you’re missing evidence on which to formulate your conclusions. You’re building a house on quicksand and don’t know it.

For instance, I’ve had a lot of people comment on my name, Linda-Ann. Many of them assume that I’m called by my first and middle name because I grew up in the south. They’re basing their assumption on some facts. Fact: I grew up in the south. Fact: Many men and women in the south are called by their first and middle names. Conclusion: That’s why I hyphenated my name to Linda-Ann.

The facts are true, but the conclusion is false. It’s missing another fact. I go by that name because, when I was young, my two best friends on my street were also named Linda. Everyone was confused when we played together. We never knew which of us was being referred to when someone called, “Linda!” said, “Linda did that” or, “Linda, stop that!” To tell us apart, our folks and friends started using both our first and middle names.

Facts Are Important

People draw the wrong conclusion because they don’t have all the facts. None of us know everything about another person or a situation. We can’t read someone’s mind. That’s why it’s dangerous to assume you know why someone did or said something to you. You draw a conclusion based on faulty or incomplete information. It doesn’t serve either you or the person you’re evaluating, because you’ve probably made an incorrect assessment. And you make flawed decisions and take actions accordingly.

For instance, you could think that you lost a sale because you didn’t deal with the prospect’s questions well enough. Instead, it could be that it just wasn’t the right product or service for them. Or you could assume that a friend is angry at you over something you said. But it could be that what you said triggered an unhappy memory and they’re just trying to process the emotions that have surfaced.

Unfortunately, assumptions lead to creating whole stories around the supposition. And those stories become real to you. They can keep you stuck, affect relationships, further miscommunication, and block opportunities and progress.

Reasons We Assume

There are a lot of reasons why we leap to an incorrect conclusion. Here are just a few.

It’s easier. Not taking the time to discover the truth means you don’t have to make any changes. For instance, you could decide that getting in shape is simply too hard, when you really don’t want to make the effort.

It’s expedient. It’s a shortcut to a decision about a situation or person. You want a quick answer and don’t want to take the trouble gathering information. If you act on your choice, it could lead you in the wrong direction, damaging relationships and your future.

It feels powerful. When someone jumps to a conclusion, it makes them feel like they have some control over the situation. Feelings of control reduce stress, so this is a way for them to ease inner anxiety.

It’s out of fear. You could be afraid of what you might find out, so drawing a conclusion feels safer. Unfortunately, it’s the more dangerous road to travel because it closes doors.

Gain Clarity for a Better Life

A way to gain clarity about your assumptions is to question them. What facts or evidence do you have that support them? Or that refute them? Do you have all the facts or evidence? What can you do to gain more? You can ask for more information and reevaluate your conclusion for accuracy. It feels risky, but people are usually delighted that you care enough to make a decision based on all of the facts.

Assumptions aren’t helping you. Instead, they’re hindering you. When you realize that, you open doors to much greater possibilities for a better life. Letting go of your suppositions, and checking the evidence, improves your mood, relationships and actions. Take back your power and find clarity, which will lead you to wiser decisions.

Affirmation:

I let go of my assumptions about myself, situations and other people. Instead, I take the time to seek out the facts and become clearer on what’s truly going on. The Universe guides and directs my inquiries; bringing me information I need on which to form a clear opinion. As I do, doors to a greater life full of harmony and joy open for me.

Watch the accompanying video, Are You Seeing Clearly?

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.

Trending Articles of the Week

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Oct 182019
 

Rainbow

It Takes 23 Minutes to Recover From a Distraction at Work. Here’s How to Minimize Calls, Emails, and Alerts
We know that multitasking decreases performance and efficiency. But so do interruptions, and they add up. Focus is the way you get things done. To maximize your effectiveness, preserve and protect your focused time and attention with these 4 tried-and-true tips.

7 Natural Ways To Relieve Stress When You’re Juggling A Jam-Packed Life
Stress can prevent you from doing your best and making wise decisions. If you’re having a stress-filled day or week, there are techniques you can used to give you more resources to deal with it. These are simple tips and suggestions to help you ease up and take care of your well being.

Be More Successful: New Harvard Research Reveals A Fun Way To Do It
Believe it or not, being happy brings more success into your life and there’s research to back it up. Watch this funny TED talk by Shawn Achor discussing that topic. And then check out the … ways to bring more happiness into your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart