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 152022
 
Sparks of Insight

Peace and relaxation is your natural state of being. When you are at rest, your muscles are at ease and energy flows through you. This allows your body and mind to recharge and heal. If you become anxious or upset, this ties up the energy in tense muscles. It doesn’t mean that relaxation isn’t there, it’s just blocked. When you’re able to let go, do or think of something more enjoyable or positive, then relaxation surfaces again. Practice taking a relaxation break every hour for just one minute and notice the difference in how your day goes.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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 162022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Merry go round

Cookie was a fantastic artist, and art was her passion. She had all the tools of the trade, brushes, paint, easel, palette, canvas, etc. But she didn’t paint much. Being a wife and mother took up most of her attention. But she did make time to read artist’s magazines, go to art shows and talk with people about art.

She kept her skills sharp with her imagination. Neither the mind or body can tell the difference between the imagination and reality. When she saw something she’d like to paint, she’d describe how she’d get it onto canvas to her daughter. This satisfied her creative urge. She had hundreds of unpainted pictures in her head. The problem was that they didn’t make it to canvas so other people could appreciate them.

Doing the training and foundational work to support your goal or passion is important. You also need to have focus and know where you’re going. Without knowing how to draw, mix colors or compose the picture, an aspiring artist could start throwing paint onto a canvas and have it look nothing like they wanted. Working towards a goal, you could splash around great energy and enthusiasm, but create nothing worthwhile.

The Difference Between Motion and Action

Don’t confuse motion with action. Motion is when you do busy work that causes you to procrastinate taking action. You could spend your life in motion, like walking on a treadmill trying to get to China, but never get anywhere. It will build muscle and endurance but won’t get you where you want to go. Motion activities can be helpful, like when Cookie read her artist’s magazines. It creates a structure, supports your goal and can motivate you. But motion won’t translate into momentum.

When you have a goal, don’t get stuck in thinking, planning, organizing, and strategy. They’re motion related and all vital and necessary. But if they become all that you do, you’ll get stuck on the treadmill and never achieve your goal. They create the form for the Universe to flow into, once you act on them, by themselves, they accomplish nothing.

Visualizing your goal, and how you’d feel when you achieve it, is important. But it can also distract and derail you, as it did Cookie. It could fulfill your desire to accomplish it without actually making any headway. To remedy this, make sure you stay motivated. If you have a hard time converting from the planning stage to the action phase, remember your why you’re doing this. Why do you want this goal? What will it do for you? What will change in your life? These answers can inspire you forward.

When to Take Action

When you’ve done all you can with your planning, take some action. You may not know yet what to do, but getting moving in a direction will ground your decision. This isn’t just motion, throwing paint on the canvas. You’ve set the groundwork. Now it’s time to build some momentum. It communicates to your inner mind that you’re ready to move forward. Action also makes your goal more real and believable to you.

Maxwell Maltz, author of “Psychocybernetics,” said “Your automatic guidance system cannot guide you when you’re standing still.” You’ll be guided when you have your goal, steps and planning in place, motivation, and take action. Even if nothing happens immediately, because  you’ve dedicated yourself to your goal, you’ll be Divinely guided to contacts, opportunities or information that you need. Action also intensifies the energy of the Law of Attraction.

All of Cookie’s motion activities finally resulted in her getting into action after her daughter grew up. Eventually, she joined a group of producing artists. In that supportive environment, she began painting again. She created dozens of beautiful paintings that will be loved for years to come.

Motion activities, such as training, strategizing and planning, build the foundation and framework for you. You can use them to inspire motivation to get you into action towards your goal. And once you’re in action, you’ll gather steam and momentum. Are you ready to move towards your dreams? Then take that first step now.

Affirmation:

I accept that my talents and abilities are gifts I need to develop. They are innate and need to be shaped and molded so that they can create a beautiful life vision. Once I’ve done my foundational work, I start taking action. My efforts are Divinely guided, and everything I need for success is now provided.

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 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.