What is one of the strongest motivators for change? I would argue that it is hope. Hope motivates us to keep going even when things are difficult. There have been times in my life when I felt no hope in certain aspects of my life. Those are the times I’ve struggled the most. There have also been times in my life when I could see hope on the horizon and it kept me going. So, how can we use hope as a power in our lives? Here are some suggestions for you:
Hope in relationships:
- In a moment when you are feeling disappointed in your relationship or feel rejected by your partner, remember a time when you felt loved by him or her. Bringing this time to memory, will help you remember that there is room for hope that the feeling of love will return.
- Remember the influence of one. Even though it takes two to make a relationship work, we often don’t give ourselves enough credit for the amount of influence we can have an individuals. Decide to do something nice for your partner, hold your tongue when you would normally say something critical, give a compliment. Doing something positive for your relationship can give you hope in the influence you have to make your relationship strong.
- If you still haven’t found “the one,” have hope by being the partner you would want to have in a relationship. Work on becoming a more healthy, loving, compassionate person. The more positive traits you have, the more likely you are to attract someone of the same caliber.
Hope in mental illness:
- In the moments when you feel you are in a dark hole, remember that this will pass. Have hope that things can get better. Increase the potential for that by reaching out to others. Talk about your struggles with someone you trust and seek professional help if needed.
- Recognize that you are not alone. Talking to others about our struggles with mental illness can help decrease the stigma and will help you recognize that you are not alone. When I have the courage to talk about my struggles with anxiety, I notice that others are more comfortable talking about their struggles as well. Knowing that we are in this together gives us hope that we can lift each other up and keep moving forward.
Hope in challenges:
- We all experience challenges in life. When we can find meaning, that is, recognize what we are learning through the process or find ways to help others as a result of our experiences, we may feel hope.
- Reach out for help. Whether it is help through counseling, a support group, talking to friends or family, reach out and connect with someone who can help you.
- Have a “big picture” perspective. Sometimes we use a magnifying glass when looking at the “picture” of our life and we forget that our challenges are part of a bigger picture that includes good times and bad.
From an inspiring person who overcame many struggles in his life:
“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.”