It can be absolutely amazing to work with people with the intent of helping to improve their quality of life through the manner in which they think. It can also be absolutely exhausting – lol. I’ve spent nearly two decades helping people take a look at their situation and try to help them view it in a different light. I’ve tried to really encourage people and show people that what they see in front of them right now does not have to be what they see in front of them six months from now. What I have found is that sometimes people are not ready for change for whatever reason – it could be because they are comfortable in their discomfort, they don’t know a different way or, most often, they don’t believe their situation can change. They have this deep rooted sense of hopelessness.
Last week I had an opportunity to speak at an event about hope in the face of hopelessness. I provided the individuals in my breakout session with three key ways to grow their hope muscle. However, before I share that with you, I want you to know that in my experience there is only one main difference between a person with hope and a person who is feeling hopeless. Let me explain in the form of the three F’s.
Both the person with hope and the person who feels hopeless feel FEAR. In other words, there is not a person on the planet that does not experience that feeling of fear at some point in their lives. It could be fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of change – no matter what the cause of the fear we all experience it. BUT the person with hope has a belief that the situation will change and will feel the fear and will press forward. The person who feels hopeless, may also feel the situation can change but they’ve allowed the fear to paralyze them and feel as though they can’t move forward.
Both the person with hope and the person who feels hopeless feels FRUSTRATION. We tend to feel frustrated when things do not go our way. We feel especially frustrated when we take chances or risks and they do not succeed or turn out the way we imagined. We tend to feel frustrated when people disappoint us and do not follow through with what they say they’re going to do. We tend to feel frustrated when we find ourselves in the same situation over and over again and know in our hearts that things need to change but we don’t know how to change them. In other words, we all feel frustration sometimes. BUT the person with hope has a belief that the situation will change and eventually something will have to give and the frustration will subside. They will look for opportunities to help create the change. The person who feels hopeless may also feel the situation can change but they are so entrenched in the feelings of frustration, it has stopped them from believing anything else is possible.
Both the person with hope and the person who feels hopeless experiences FAILURE. A common definition of failure is that we do not get the expected result we want. That is a simple definition. Did you know that sometimes that can be a blessing though? Did you know that sometimes when things don’t pan out the way we expect them to there is a lesson to be learned to help propel us even further? At some point, we all have experienced some level of failure in our lives. BUT the person with hope has the belief that they can learn from the situation and try again. The person who feels hopeless sees failure as yet another acknowledgement that they are not good enough, or confirmation that they are not able to succeed.
So what is the common denominator here? Both the person with hope and the person who feels hopeless experience, fear, frustration and failure. Both have a belief that things could possibly change. The main difference is that the person with hope puts action behind the belief/hope. A person who is feeling hopeless does not or feels they cannot make changes to their situation. I must remind you, the law of physics says that change is inevitable – nothing can remain the same. The only constant in life is change. If you can start with that belief, that can be your first step to building the hope muscle.
Please do not think that I am shaming anyone or blaming anyone for their situation. That is not my intent. My intent here is to show you that the one of the main differences between a person with hope and the person who feels hopeless is that belief/hope in action. There are MANY reasons as to why a person may be feeling hopeless and feels they are not able to get out of their situation. I’m not minimizing that many people who are feeling hopeless have a number of other things going on in their lives that feed into the hopelessness like mental health concerns for example. However, I am saying that with the right supports and by implementing F.A.D. you can strengthen that hope muscle.
What is F.A.D.?
Focus on the positive
Adopt an attitude of gratitude
Before this blog post turns into a book I’m going to stop here. HOWEVER, if you come back next week, I will expand on F.A.D. and show you exactly what you need to do in order to grow the hope muscle and turn from someone who feels hopeless to a person with hope. BUT if you really need expansion on this RIGHT NOW contact me and I will elaborate. Y’all know I love you! You got this!
Believing in you,
I know that our mood plays a huge role in our feelings of hope and hopelessness so please check out this video on ten ways to help enhance your mood.
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P.P.S. I wrote a book called Finesse Your Life – Mind, Body and Spirit! Check it out on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca! Paperback and Kindle versions available. For an autographed copy please go to the website under the “shop” tab.
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