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.
Jun 092022
 

The Shiny Object Syndrome, which is when you chase after new ideas and opportunities, and never finish anything, can ruin your chances of success.You get distracted, which means you don’t achieve your goals. Learn how to respond more effectively and gain clarity when you’re tempted to detour from your plans.

Transcript:

The Shiny Object Syndrome, which is when you chase after new ideas and opportunities, and never finish anything, can ruin your chances of success. People who experience the Shiny Object Syndrome are training themselves to be distracted. And when you’re distracted, you don’t follow through to achieve your goals, right?

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, vision empowerment strategist. I’ve helped many, many people stay focused to achieve their goals.

Sometimes, incorporating a new idea can be beneficial. But your detour needs to be strategic and timed in such a way that it doesn’t sabotage your goal. After working with one idea or opportunity for awhile, and discovering it doesn’t work, it’s wise to try something new.

But it doesn’t help if you start one thing, and abandon it before you even get it finished, to jump to something fresh. When this happens, you’re doing things in a haphazard way. And haphazard actions bring haphazard results.

In this case, you’re simply reacting to an immediate temptation or situation. You’ve seen something more interesting and jumped at it without considering the consequences. Re-acting means that you’re acting the same way you’ve done in the past. And it probably won’t bring  you the outcome you wanted.

However, when you respond to a situation, it means that you’ve thought it through. You’re being mindful. You’ve weighed the pros and cons, risks and benefits. It takes more energy to do this, and it’s not as exciting, but it’s worth it. Your actions become intentional and you become more effective. You get better results.  

When you’re tempted to drop what you’re doing, to detour from your plan, stop. Slow down your thinking, and consider. Is this shiny object going to support you in achieving your goal? Or is it going to be vortex that sucks your time and energy?

Then, ask yourself, “What is the next action I can take that will take me a step closer to my goal?” Your answers will bring you the clarity you need to make a wise decision.

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. Stay focused.

Read the accompanying article, Do You Suffer from the Shiny Object Syndrome?

Jun 062022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Shiny Pennies

The Shiny Object Syndrome has many names: bright and shiny syndrome, bright penny syndrome, squirrel, or just plain scattered. Mainly, it’s a condition in which you’re distracted from working towards an objective by something new and different. This means that you don’t complete what you were working on because you’ve abandoned it for something more attractive.

The Shiny Object Syndrome has also been called by its initials, “S.O.S.” This term originally meant, “Save Our Ship,” indicating a ship was in distress and urgently needed help. The same is true of the Shiny Object Syndrome. It’s a signal to you that there’s something amiss with your vision or plan, and you’re going off course personally or professionally.

What Can Detour You

There are so many opportunities, ideas and temptations to divert you from your goal. Many times you get lured from a goal with a shiny object because you’ve gotten bored, stuck, dissatisfied or hit a snag. Rather than working through the issue, and sticking to your plan or practice, you jumped to something different that caught your attention and seemed to be more interesting.

For instance, you’re cleaning out your garage, and get distracted by a lawn chair you want to fix. After pulling together all the materials for the repair, you find some old magazines you want to go through. You get sidetracked by each item you find, and don’t finish the garage cleaning.

Or, in your business, you find yourself going through a dry period. Instead of doing what you know will bring you clients, you’re introduced to a new marketing technique. While learning about and executing that new tactic, you decide to also add another service or product. All the time spent with the latest idea is time away from the tried and true, which means the original problem gets worse.

Why You Get Distracted

Your brain loves the excitement and stimulation of something new. That’s why, when you’re bored, you seek out a more exciting activity. Anything novel triggers the reward centers of your brain and makes you feel good. It could be something as simple as checking your email or getting a text on your phone. But it’s a false sense of accomplishment and won’t help you in the long term.

The problem is that when you chase the new and different, it creates confusion and stress. Rather than deliberately following through on your plan so you can learn and grow, you react to whatever shows up in your immediate vicinity. Your chaotic thinking keeps you from being deliberate in your decisions. Instead, you react based on old programming and information, and stay stuck in the same old rut.

How to Overcome S.O.S.

There are some definite steps you can take once you’ve noticed that you’re spinning your wheels and getting nowhere. Here are some questions and steps to take.

Clarity. Figure out how you got off course. What’s at the core of the issue? Are you avoiding something? If so, what and why? Once you’ve determined the issue, get clear on what it is you want.

Vision and plan. Your vision evolves from what you want. It’s your destination in a year to three years. From that, you determine your plan of how to get there. Without a vision and plan, you’ll continue to chase shiny objects.

Focus on priorities. What you focus on at any moment becomes your priority. Is your priority going to chase something new that triggers your reward circuit in the short term? Or are you going to work on more practical tasks that will allow you to get to the next step of your plan?

Dealing with the Shiny Object Syndrome isn’t hopeless. With understanding of the cause, and some direction of how to tame it, you can overcome S.O.S. Recognizing the syndrome when it happens, and taking immediate action, will allow you to take charge and fulfill your goals and vision.

Affirmation:

When I’m scattered and distracted, I become aware of it. I recognize it simply as a signal that something is amiss. The signal allows me to take stock of what I’m doing and what I want to achieve. The Universe guides and directs my thoughts and actions. As I focus on my desires, the Law of Attraction provides me with all I need to be successful.

Watch the accompanying video, Defuse the Shiny Object Syndrome.

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
 

How To Meditate: A Guide To Self-Discovery
by Lawrence LeShan

The author is a psychotherapist and approaches meditation from both an eastern and western direction. Although the title of this book indicates that it’s a “How To,” it goes way beyond that. It delves into the different ways to meditate, their philosophies and gives directions for each of them.

Many people who begin to meditate get frustrated when they can’t immediately quiet their mind. And when they can’t, they get frustrated and give up.This book is a practical, deep examination of meditation, why they’re helpful, and how they work on deep inner levels of being. It goes into some of the temptations a practitioner can be drawn into and how to avoid them.

By blending the understanding of what meditation does and why it works from both the mystical and psychological angles, this book can give the reader a deep foundation in pursuing the type of meditation that fits them. I’ve cited this book over and over again in my articles and recommend it highly to any person new to meditation or experienced in its practice.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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.

Is Your Attention on Your Intention?

 Article  Comments Off on Is Your Attention on Your Intention?
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.

How to Stick to Your Goals

 Video  Comments Off on How to Stick to Your Goals
Apr 142022
 

Do you sometimes have trouble sticking to your plan, or get distracted from your goal? There’s a time-tested tactic that can increase your likelihood of success many times over. The technique makes it much easier to stay on course, whether you want to change a habit or stop procrastinating. Learn how to use this tactic to more effectively achieve your goals and vision.

Transcript:

Do you sometimes have trouble sticking to your plan for a goal? Do you fall off your diet or get distracted from your vision? If so, you’re not alone.

There’s a tactic that can increase your likelihood of success many times over. Researchers refer to this tactic as an “implementation intention.” Try saying that fast. In other words, you create an intention of what to do when a specific situation arises. More informally, they’re called, “If/Then” plans. That term is more understandable, isn’t it?

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision empowerment strategist, and I’ve been a hypnotherapist for over 30 years. I’ve taught this tactic to my hypnotherapy and coaching clients, to help them stay on course to their goals and vision.

The way this kind of plan is used is you identify traps or pitfalls or issues that can sabotage your goals. And you know what those are, right? And then you proactively decide how you’re going to respond to the situation.

The plan goes like this:

If (or when) [a specific situation arises], then I will do or perform [a specific behaviour or response].

Got it? In other words “If ‘abc’ happens, then I will ‘xyz.'”

As in: “If someone asks me to volunteer my time, then I will tell them I have to think about it first.”

The sentence becomes a trigger for you. You know ahead of time what action to take, instead of being confused in the moment. When the situation comes up, the decision is already made as to what behavior you’ll do. It’s like you’re programming your response. Execution becomes automatic.

It works for new habits. For instance, if you’re on a diet, you might say, “If I eat cookies today, then I’ll forgive myself and get right back on my diet.” This keeps you from getting discouraged and giving up.

Lets’ say you have a coworker who always interrupts your work, your cue could be, “If Jody wants to talk when I’m busy, then I’ll tell her I can’t talk right now, and will call her when I’m done.”

Or you can set an intention for something you might otherwise procrastinate, such as, “When I get to my desk in the morning, then I will start making follow up phone calls.”

This tactic takes the guess work out of what you’ll do and motivates you to follow through on your goals. It works for whenever you experience setbacks, distractions or get tempted to take a detour from your goals and vision. Simply identify the pitfall and decide how to address it ahead of time.

When you use this tactic, you’ll achieve your goals much more easily.

For ways to achieve your goals with greater 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. How can you use the If/Then tactic today? Stay focused.

Read the accompanying article, 4 Ways You Sabotage Yourself (and how to deal with them).

~ Linda-Ann Stewart