Hope in the Face of Hopelessness Part II
Last week I wrote about the similarities and differences between a person with hope and a person who felt hopeless. Quick recap. Both the person with hope and the person who feels hopeless experience the three F’s – Fear, frustration and failure. The main difference between the two is that the person with hope puts action behind theirbelief/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 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
Focus on the Positive. When I say focus on the positive, what goes through your mind? Most people say it means focusing on the good and not thinking about the not so good. However, one thing that is important to note, is that acknowledging the negative is not a “bad thing”. Actually, no value judgement needs to be placed on it. When something bad or negative happens to us, in order to effectively move past the incident/issue we have to feel the emotions as they are, acknowledge the feeling and then move on. We don’t stay there. Focusing on the positive means focusing on what you have understanding and accepting where you are and developing a plan to move forward.
The other day I woke up thinking “Oh, man I have so much I have to do today” and I quickly corrected myself and said “Oh man, I get to do so much today”. Perspective is everything! I get that there are situations that happen in life that seem unfair like the death of a loved one for example. How do you find the positive in that? Especially if the loved one is a child or someone who has passed suddenly and tragically? How do we reframe that? My suggestion is to feel the sadness, acknowledge that it’s not fair but don’t stay in the trenches. What did you learn from having that relationship? What did you love about knowing the person? What can you do to honor that relationship? This is how you focus on the positive. Focus on what you have and not on what you don’t have.
Adopt an attitude of gratitude. An exercise that goes hand in hand with focusing on the positive is adopting an attitude of gratitude. I would encourage that every day before you start your day, you look in the mirror and tell yourself three things that you are grateful for. Ensure to do the same thing in the evening before bed. When we focus on what we have as opposed to what we don’t have, something happens in our brains and we subconsciously work to maintain or get more of that which makes us happy. Essentially, when you exercise gratitude the universe works to bring you more. The result is abundance. Again, unfortunate events in life can and do happen, but if we can be grateful in the face of those times, we are setting ourselves up for more positive things to happen in our lives.
Daily Affirmations. Some people actually laugh at the idea of saying daily affirmations because they may think it’s silly or feels weird to affirm daily what you want. I say – do it anyway. It can’t hurt! Research has shown that when we say daily affirmations, it enhances our mood which helps us to accomplish more and helps to increase our confidence levels. There is also research that shows that people who use positive words and surround themselves with positive messages increase their muscle mass while those who speak negatively of themselves show a decrease in their muscle mass and are more fatigued. Interesting right? However, positive affirmations by themselves, in isolation, is not recommended. Putting action behind the words is important. Putting yourself on a plan to make the affirmations your genetic truth is vital. If I say “I am a great motivational speaker” but I do not practice speaking, I read pure negativity and essentially do nothing to make myself great I am setting myself up for disappointment. If you say “I’m healthy and strong” but you do not do any exercise, eat only fast food, and surround yourself with negativity – that affirmation is likely not going to work because you are not putting positive and purposeful action behind it. Please, do not misunderstand me – I’m not trying to condemn anyone – but I am trying to set you up to win. Put positive and purposeful action behind your affirmation and watch it happen.
So how do you find hope when you feel hopeless? You recognize that one of the main differences between a person with hope and a person who feels hopeless is that the person with hope is putting purposeful action behind their belief in self and ability. A person with hope will also implement F.A.D. – Focus on the positive; Adopt an attitude of gratitude; and say Daily affirmations. Putting F.A.D. into action will help build your hope muscle. Try it. Let me know how it goes.
In addition, if we make an effort to remember those top great moments in our lives then that will help foster putting a smile on your face. Here are my top ten. I hope they put a smile on your face.
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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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