I know the difficulty of finding hope in tough 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 to having these problems at some point 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 for facing any type of uncertainty, from layoffs, to promotions, to moving, etc.
Society has taught us that life is difficult and 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 are sometimes 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 tap into my inner strength and power by taking action on what I can control. By that I mean, I seek 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’m not alone eases my emotional and physical burden. There are different organizations that offer free or fee-based help for any situation that you can think of.
- I remember the times I faced other setbacks and obstacles and what I specifically did about it. This gives me the confidence, resilience, and ideas to keep moving forward.
- I keep an optimistic attitude by facing these difficulties head-on and not feeling victimized when something challenging happens. I realize 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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