How to Have Hope When You Feel Hopeless
This post is about how to have hope when you feel hopeless.
There are 5 things you must remember to restore your hope especially when you lack motivation or feel down.
What is hope?
“a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.”
And what is hopeless?
“feeling or causing despair.”
It is amazing how one-word aka “hope” can be so easily changed to have the complete opposite definition and meaning.
I want to assure you if you are reading this right now, that the feeling of hopelessness is a common one, and ALL of us experience it from time to time.
You could be hopeless about:
Your lack of relationships
Your loved one’s health
These really are the tip of the iceberg, and I do sympathize with how you are feeling right now, aka on the verge of rock bottom or beyond that.
But why do we fall? – So, we can learn to pick ourselves up again.
The following people have turned their lives around despite feeling hopeless:
Robert Downey Jnr was an alcoholic, got arrested yet turned his life around and is one of the biggest movie stars on the planet.
Russell Brand was a drug and sex addict yet has gone on to become completely clean and sober and is now happily married with a beautiful child.
Donald Trump was bankrupt twice yet turned it around and even became president of the united states!
We have all felt hopeless, and we have all come close to giving up.
However, you don’t need to, and the feeling of hopelessness is only temporary, and I promise you it WILL pass.
Remember you are so close to success and happiness, and it is about just sticking with it to turn your life around for the better.
Here are 5 ways to have hope when you feel hopeless:
#1 – Stop Being Harsh on Yourself
The worst critic of them all is not your family, spouse, friends, or boss, but you and you alone.
If people wrote down or repeated out loud the self-criticism, they say to themselves, it would be enough to make anybody break down and cry.
When I used to make mistakes when I was younger, I used to tell myself the following:
“You idiot, how did you mess that up? You are such a screw up!”
But as an older and far more wise and mature man, I look back at that and think that I was just being way too harsh on myself.
Regardless of your situation at this very moment ask yourself that very question:
Am I being a bit too harsh on myself?
I know every scenario is so different to another, and I understand that it may be a personal hell you currently find yourself in.
But you are only human.
You are meant to make mistakes.
You are truly not owed anything.
It does not matter how badly you think you are due something or owed something.
And life is suffering, it is hard, it is disappointing, it is cruel and dreadfully unfair.
So be a better person, get yourself together, become tougher, take the losses on the chin.
Be the person who is relied upon in a crisis, not the person who crumbles and falls at the first sight of adversity.
One thing about hugely successful people in life and throughout history (especially those who are self-made) is that they learnt to keep going when all hope is lost, but they would never be harsh on themselves – they realize life is a marathon and not a sprint.
So, they would not be upset or derailed by the odd disappointment, setback, or failure they would encounter.
They are AWFULLY familiar with the trials and tribulations of life because they have done so much and experienced so much of it. They are used to it, and they realize that negative self-talk is only going to hold them back even further to their pursuit of greatness.
Therefore, the next time you are being harsh on yourself, stop and realize that you are doing your very best in a difficult time.
“Turn down the volume of your negative inner voice and create a nurturing inner voice to take it’s place. When you make a mistake, forgive yourself, learn from it, and move on instead of obsessing about it. Equally important, don’t allow anyone else to dwell on your mistakes or shortcomings or to expect perfection from you.”
#2 – Tough Times Do Not Last
Whilst this may come across very cliché and a bit cheesy, the following quote really does ring true and can be applied to your life:
“Tough times do not last, but tough people do.”
Remember this quote too:
“So far you have survived 100% of the worst days of your life, great job!”
Sadly, I went through an incredibly bleak and dark period of my life not so long ago of writing this very post.
In fact, when I rest my head on the pillow at night and collect my thoughts, I often look back in sheer horror of what I experienced.
I swear to you I could not see a light at the end of the tunnel, every day was just the same, and it was dark, bleak, and miserable.
I had hardly any hope, and I indeed felt hopeless.
But I remember talking to a very dear friend who said to me:
“better days will come SCG, tough times do not last!”
This was what kept me going, that regardless of where I was at that moment, or how bleak and hopeless I felt that I would come out of the other side.
And the answer was I eventually did.
Now there was a hell of a lot of pain and heartache alone the way, however my friend was right, better days will come.
I now as I am writing this smile with a tear in my eye because they were right.
Regardless of your situation better days will come.
The sun will shine again.
You will laugh again.
You will smile again.
You will feel love again.
You will feel triumphant again.
You will be healthier.
You will be happier.
Try to see the tough times or difficult periods as just seasons of your life.
Winter never lasts all year round, but sadly neither does summer.
But seasons come and go.
As do tough and difficult times.
Increase your patience and resilience and firmly get it into your mind that your scenario is only temporary, and you WILL get through this.
#3 – Review Your Goals
If you are currently feeling hopeless about your career, your business, or a diet plan for example, it is time to sit down and review your goals.
Often when we begin pursuing a goal after a period it can get usually quite difficult to remember why you started in the first place.
What are your goals?
To start a business?
Become financially independent?
Review all your goals especially when you feel hopeless and regardless of what has happened to you.
Then once you review them, I want you to remind yourself what the reason or motivation was behind those goals:
Was it to make more money to pay off debt?
Was it to buy a bigger house?
Was it to feel better about your body?
By doing this you will remember and remind yourself why you got started in the first place and allow yourself to make the necessary changes to improve on your situation.
For example, why did I start SCG Show?
To provide value and to make a business out of coaching, a YouTube channel etc.
But when I was hardly growing getting any traffic and thinks looked bleak, I reviewed the goals and my original motivation.
The goal was to set up an online business, and my motivation was that I enjoyed writing and helping people around the globe.
So, when I was getting no viewers, subscribers or clients that is what truly kept me going.
Luckily, it only cost me my time, energy, and nothing more.
I used to smile in those hopeless times realizing that I am on the right path.
And if it didn’t work out god forbid, I would try something similar but a little different.
Losing hope is easy, but losing your goal is detrimental.
If you want to have a business but your current one fails, it does NOT mean you have to give up that dream.
It just means THAT business did not work out for you, but perhaps another one will!
Review your goals and remind yourself why you started them in the first place!
#4 – Remember Your Victories
There are often moments when we forget what we have accomplished in our lives, and can therefore make us feel completely hopeless:
When we are dumped
When we are rejected
When we are fired
When our business closes
When we lose
But regardless of all the above, why do we dwell on the misery and defeat and never stop to pat ourselves on the back for the victories? E.g:
For the courage you took to give things a go.
For the ability to take the risk when others couldn’t.
For the strength to keep going when most people give up.
This is what I am trying to emphasize to you, you need to start taking pride in who you are as a person and write down all your victories big or small.
Here is a list of things I have done that people told me I couldn’t do:
Start a business
Have a relationship
Date attractive women
Have successful friends
Own a sports car
Write a book
Start a blog
Start a YouTube Channel
Please do not interpret this incorrectly, I am not writing these to brag, but instead to tell you to write down your victories and be proud of what you have done!
Be proud of no matter how big or small your achievements are!
Especially when you are feeling utterly hopeless.
This will inspire you and remind you of how utterly amazing you are, and what you are capable of too!
#5 – Hope for the Best & Prepare for the Worst
Some of the greatest tacticians in sports such as soccer are the ones who have alternate plans regardless of their opposition.
For example, amazing coaches in soccer make several plans for almost every single scenario they come up against, such as changing formations, players and individual tactics etc.
Why do people not do this for their lives too?
For example, what is your plan for the following:
If you get fired
If your business goes under
If you lose all your money
If your investments go sour
If you must move
If your partner leaves you
I am not trying to put a negative spin on your life, but I am encouraging you to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
The people who often sink instead of swim when they feel hopeless are those who naively claim “never saw it coming.”
Please do not be one of those people!
Make a Plan B, C and even a D.
If your business for example fails, have multiple business plans as your backups!
And the same for your finances and your home etc.
Do this even for your personal life.
Divorce is not uncommon these days, but what will happen if your spouse suddenly wants out?
Same with your relationships too!
Be prepared for whatever curve balls life throws at you.
When my business went under, I had no idea how to overcome the disappointment because I was naïve and foolish to think it would never fail.
But it did, and it cost me almost two years of hard work and dedication to turn things around.
Do not make my mistake and please start preparing yourself and making the necessary plans you need to prepare for the worst.
There is nothing negative about this at all, this is in fact what will set your aside from all the losers and the people who dwell in their misery and failures.
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.