I know the difficulty in finding hope in difficult times. I’ve experienced many trying times throughout my life. Whether it be facing illness, family and relationship problems, business setbacks, or having self-doubt about myself and others. No one is immune from these problems at sometime in their lives.
The strategies that most of us rely on to contend with such uncertainty tend to be self-defeating. When we face an uncertain future we often resort to feeling anxious, worrying, complaining, or being negative about events that may never occur. Can any of you relate to this?
But some people rise to meet uncertain times with hope and resilience. We need to develop such attitudes if we want to be successful in the face of life’s ups and downs.
What does having hope mean? Think of how you handle difficult situations. Do you offer platitudes like, “I hope everything will work out”? Unfortunately, this is just a way of disengaging or checking out of a difficult situation. True hope comes from a source of strength, resilience, and optimism. Hope is an essential component of facing any type of uncertainty, from layoffs, to promotions, to moving, etc.
Society has taught us that life is difficult, that struggling is the norm. Society wants us to believe that the safest place for us is behind a wall. In this environment, optimism seems foolish and unrealistic. Yet, when we meet people who are truly optimistic, we sometimes are jealous of their cheerfulness. Optimism in the face of despair is a sign of strength that I constantly strive for.
Here are some suggestions that have helped me cope with difficult times:
- I tapped into my inner strength and power by taking action on what I could control. By that I mean, I sought out help from others. I’ve learned that I don’t have to know all the answers to my problems. Getting a different perspective and knowing that I wasn’t alone eased my emotional and physical burden. There are different organizations that offer free or for a fee help for any situation that you can think of.
- I remembered the times when I faced other setbacks and obstacles and what I specifically did about it. This gave me the confidence, resilience, and ideas to keep moving forward.
- I kept an optimistic attitude by facing these difficulties head on and not feeling victimized when something challenging happened. I realized that difficult times don’t last, but my attitude can be improved by continually learning more about myself and turning catastrophe into an opportunity to grow.
How do you find hope in difficult times? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.
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