We are all experiencing challenging times and are desperately looking for hope. When we think of needing hope we often do so from a position of weakness. For example we indulge in hope when we run out of ideas or alternatives to improve our situation. Hope therefore becomes a means to an end that just might help us get what we want.
For lots of people, hope is about digging deep with the intention of pulling off a miracle. For these people, hope is a fleeting thought that allows them to temporarily feel better about themselves when everything is falling apart. But there is so much more to living a hopeful life than this.
Hope should transcend into every aspect of our life. In fact, hope is very much a lifestyle that is reflected in everything we do and in everything we are. It needs to be a way of living our life that seeps into every part of our being. We need to use hope as a platform to help improve our lives.
Nurturing hope helps to alleviate self-doubt, anxiety, fear and stress. It does this because it reduces the uncertainty that we would typically feel while experiencing these emotions. Consequently we have a higher level of self-confidence and self-belief that things will work out positively. We develop a level of comfort and a greater sense of contentment, happiness and control despite the adversity and turmoil we face. All this naturally encourages us to think in a more positive way, which of course typically leads to proactivity, helping us work through our problem more effectively.
Hope is not something we are born with. It is instead something that we learn to cultivate over a lifetime of experience and hardship. It is something that we grow into as we make our way through life. There are no guarantees. One person grows hopeful when facing massive adversity, while another feels hopeless and helpless. Over time these feelings become habitual emotions that are difficult to shake and thereby lock each person into a predictable cycle of behaviour that seals their fate.
However, there are certain things we can do that will naturally allow us to nurture more hope in our life. They apply just as much to children as they do adults. So long as we commit ourselves to making changes, positive things will begin to unfold in our life. As a result, we will find the strength to overcome our biggest fears and toughest challenges.
Have Trust in Yourself
Hope requires trust in ourselves. It requires that we completely trust our ability to get through any and every situation we face. Things will not always go to plan and setbacks will often derail our efforts. A hopeful person always trusts that everything is working out for the best no matter how awful their situation. As such, they continue moving forwards, knowing that eventually they will come across something that will help them work through their problem in an effective way.
Make a Positive Contribution
It is difficult to feel hopeful by just sitting and thinking about it. Instead, hope is nurtured through action that gets us thinking and moving forwards in a positive direction.
In times when we feel completely hopeless, it is critical that we turn our attention away from our needs and instead focus on contribution. There are many people around us who are experiencing hopeless situations. Taking time to be with these people and to provide them with a new and unique perspective on the situation will inspire them to take positive action towards their desired goals. As we bring hope into other people’s lives, we will find that this also inspires hope within us. We will begin to feel more hopeful about our situation and we will also, potentially, recruit somebody who can help direct and inspire us along our own personal journey.
Avoid Focusing on What’s Not Working
There is no reason to spend our time mulling over what is not working in our life. What we cannot control is simply out of our hands. Instead we should choose to make the most of what we can control and then progressively move forward one small step at a time from there. So long as we are moving forwards there will always be hope for a better future.
“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’” – Alfred Lord Tennyson