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Published on June 19, 2020

What to Do With Your Life When All Hope Is Lost

What to Do With Your Life When All Hope Is Lost

Are you in a situation in your life right now where you feel the odds are against you and all hope is lost?

You are not alone.

Things can happen in life where you’ll suddenly find yourself at the downside of hope. It could be the loss of someone or something dear to you, a circumstance that is too much to bear, some things that are not working out, a phase where you’ve got stuck and can’t see any path forward, a feeling that you are all by yourself, or a total loss of interest in living.

No matter what you’ve gone through or are going through, you can get over your current circumstances and beam with the ray of hope again. You will find in this article some useful suggestions to help you rekindle your hope and triumph over your current situation.

What Is Hope?

Hope is an expression of confidence in life, a basis for more practical dispositions such as patience, determination, and courage. Hope provides aims and the motivation to attain those aims.[1]

Why Hope Is Important in Life

Hope is a great necessity for producing and sustaining the enthusiasm required to live a purposeful and fulfilling life. If you want to live a full and meaningful life, hope is one companion you can’t afford to lose.

It is said that:[2]

“Man can live 40 days without food, three days without water, eight minutes without air, but only one second without hope.”

Below are some ways hope is essential in life:

1. Hope Produces the Courage Required to Face Life Challenges

Many situations in life come without a warning, and people often find themselves unprepared to handle the difficulties that may arise as a result of the situation.

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For example, the COVID-19 pandemic that struck the entire world didn’t give any notice, yet it has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, millions of jobs, and businesses have lost billions of dollars.

There are other challenges that may not come in the same magnitude as COVID-19 but can have debilitating effects on an individual’s health, finance, family, or business. But when you can find an anchor of hope in the midst of your challenges, hope will arise from the inside of you and you will suddenly gain the courage to face the challenge.

It sometimes works like magic when you suddenly find strength in your weakness, hope in your hopelessness, and opportunities in the midst of scarcity.

2. Hope Is Optimistic That Things Will Work Out

Hope does not give up too soon, and it doesn’t accept defeat.

When you have hope, you can get almost anything done because you believe that your efforts will eventually payout. Hope helps you believe that despite the unpalatable experiences you are having, you will eventually overcome them.

3. Hope Helps Initiate New Strategies

Hope gives you the initiative to come up with new strategies in finding a solution instead of giving up. When you have hope, you’ll become creative and innovative to find alternative ways to come out of your current situation.

Hope looks for new ways to achieve its dreams instead of succumbing to the weight of impossibilities.

4. Hope Helps You Stay in the Game Until a Solution is Found

There are times when you can’t even see a way forward in a situation. It’s just like having to swim to the shore when you find yourself in a capsized boat.

You don’t even know how far or close you are to the shore, and you have only two choices: to drawn and die or continue to swim for as long as you can until when probably a miracle happens.

Sustaining your hope can help you keep on until a solution is found. Most people have found near-miraculous solutions as a result of persevering and staying in the game.

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How to Recover and Rekindle Hope

When in a situation where you are thrown off balance and found yourself on the lowest end of hope, here are some suggestions on what you can do to recover, rekindle, and rejuvenate your hope.

1. Express Your Feelings

Get it out of your head.

Sometimes in order to find a solution to a problem, you have to start by unloading your mind from it. There is a kind of relief that you get when you express your feeling by speaking out either to yourself or to a listener.

You can write out your situation in your personal journal and depending on the sensitivity of the issue, you can write on a personal blog or make a video post to narrate your experience on a platform like Instagram.

Speaking out, your mind will be free from bearing the burden alone and you can get helpful counsel that can spring up hope in you again.

2. Find a Community

Apart from expressing your feelings through various means, you can also find hope in communities. You will find communities of people facing similar challenges as yours. In such communities, you will discover coping mechanisms or hear success stories of how people are overcoming the common challenge.

You can find such communities by attending a networking event or searching for interest groups on social media. As you get to hear other people’s stories and how they’ve been able to overcome similar challenges, you will find hope to overcome yours as well.

3. Connect to a Bigger Picture and a Larger Purpose of Yours

When you focus on your immediate challenges and how badly things have turned out, it might be difficult to find hope. But when you focus on a bigger picture and larger purpose of your life, you will find inspiration to believe again.

You’ll also know that this phase will pass and there will be the dawn of a new morning, a morning that will lead you to your bigger dream.

4. Relive Your Memorable Moments

Sometimes, some problems can look like much of a big deal until you recall some of your live events. You might find out that you have been through worse things and came out strong. You will also find several moments that you had initially lost hope on certain issues but put up a good fight and became victorious.

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Even if those issues were of smaller magnitudes compared to the ones you are currently facing, you can still use a similar approach at a higher scale to bring the desired solution.

5. Do Something Different

Another way to find hope is to try something different. You can change your routines or change your environment by going on a vacation where you’ll see beautiful places and scenes and meet new people.

You can also spend some time with nature to revive hope. It’s been found that spending time with nature has both physical and psychological effects. It reduces stress and also relieves depression and anxiety.[3]

6. Read Biographies and Autobiographies

There is a common saying that there is no new thing under heaven.

People have come and gone in this world and have encountered all kinds of difficult situations. So many stories of travails and triumph have been told or written, and reading such information can help you gain motivation in your hopelessness and you can also find practical ways to deal with your peculiar situation.

7. Watch Heroic Movies

Whether they are based on true-life stories or are just pure fiction, you can find inspiration by watching heroic movies.

Movies have a way of appealing to our sensitives. They can also spark the drive you need to forge ahead. When you watch how ordinary people turn situations around and become great in spite of all odds, something inside of you will assure you that you can also overcome your current situations and triumph.

8. Rewatch a Historic Sports Event

Sport is full of stories of surprises and magical comebacks, especially at the “injury time” when all hope is lost. Watching such games can help you gain excitement and rekindle your hope.

There are also specific stories of coaches, teams, and athletes that have staged a surprise comeback when people have given up on them.

Worthy of particular mention is the Tiger Woods’ story, which has been tagged as one of the finest comeback stories in sporting history.[4] Woods won the Masters again after going through a career slump due to personal challenges and ill-health.

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Such an inspirational story can help you realize that you can still find hope even in the most hopeless situation.

9 Seek for Help

You can talk to your partner, friend, counselor, or anyone willing to listen to your story.

Apart from speaking to people, you might also need to take proactive steps. You can ask for specific help such as creating a crowdfunding campaign if you need financial help, talk to an advocacy group if you are being cheated or abused, or ask for help from other experts that can handle your specific situation.

10. Seek Divine Help

As humans, many things are beyond us and this is why we should not hesitate to seek divine intervention whenever we fall flat on our face. Several people have found hope, joy, and restoration by seeking help from ‘above’.

By praying and unloading your burdens to God, you acknowledge that you are only human and require the help that is greater than what any other human can provide.

Final Thoughts

There is always a source of strength and hope available for every situation.

Talk to someone, do something different, look within yourself, read biographies, relive old memories, or seek divine help. When you do, your mind will be refreshed, your problems will appear lighter, and you will find hope to navigate through until you come out of the situation.

More Tips for Getting Through the Tough Times

Featured photo credit: Jeremy Bishop via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Psychology Today: Is Hope Good or Bad?
[2] Cam Taylor: What You Can’t Live Without
[3] The Shores of Lake Phalen: Benefits of Being In Nature
[4] The Guardian: Tiger Woods’ Masters win is a great sporting comeback story

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Reinvent Yourself and Change Your Life

How to Reinvent Yourself and Change Your Life

There will always be times in your life when you may need to learn how to reinvent yourself. This could come when you experience a big change, such as leaving your job, moving on from a relationship, transferring to a new home, or losing a loved one. If you are going through a major shift in your life, you may have to find new ways of thinking or doing things, or risk failing to reach your full potential.

“When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”

Many people who dared to leave their old unhappy lives enabled themselves to pursue their passions and find a renewed zest for living. You can also achieve the same if you take a leap of faith and make things happen for yourself.

To help you always be at your best wherever you may be in your life, here are some practical tips on how to reinvent yourself.

The Reinvention Checklist

Before embarking on a journey of self-reinvention, you need to make sure that you have everything that you need to make the trip bump-proof. These things include:

Resilience

Problems and obstacles are guaranteed to happen. Some of them will be difficult and may knock you off course; the important thing, however, is that you learn from these difficulties, never lose focus, and always get back up. This requires building resilience to get through the tough times.

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Support

Humans are social beings. Although it is important that you learn to rely on yourself when facing any challenge, it is also important to have a support team that you can lean on to give you a boost when things get too tough and to correct you when you’re making mistakes.

The key is to find the right balance between independence and dependence. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and share the difficulties you’re facing. When you open up, you’ll find the people who are really going to be there for you.

Self-Care

During the process of learning how to reinvent yourself, you will have to pull yourself away from your old comfort zones, habits, roles, and self-perceptions. This can be difficult and cause you to question your self-worth, so it’s important to engage in self-care to maintain a positive outlook and keep your mind and body healthy as you face the challenges that await you. Self-care can include:

  • Participating in a hobby you enjoy
  • Spending time with your support system
  • Taking some time to walk in nature
  • Practicing loving-kindness meditation

Find what works for you and what helps you feel like your true self as you seek a reinvented version of you.

How to Reinvent Yourself

Once you’re sure that you’re equipped with all the tools in the self-reinvention checklist, you can begin your journey of learning how to reinvent yourself.

1. Discover Your Strengths

This step provides valuable information on how you deal with certain situations. If you have this information, you will be able to manage difficulties more efficiently.

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To find out what your strengths are, you can ask your friends and colleagues for feedback, engage in self-reflection, or try these 10 Ways to Find Your Own Personal Strengths.

2. Plan

This step calls for a thorough assessment of your current emotional, psychological, and financial status so that you can develop plans that are realistic and practical.

It’s okay to have ambitious dreams, but your plans have to be realistic. Making use of SMART goals can help you plan your life better.

You can also consult your mentor or life coach for practical tips and advice.

Ultimately, you’ll want to create specific long-term and short-term goals that you can create milestones for. By doing this, you’ll lay out a specific roadmap to your reinvented self.

3. Try Things Out

Sometimes, we don’t know if solutions actually work until we try them out. This is why it is important to experiment whenever possible, especially if you’re dealing with a career change. You may need to simply experiment in order to find the things you like. This can be the same with hobbies. If you’re not sure what you would like doing, accept invitations from friends to join them in their favorite sport or take a class, like pottery or photography.

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By seeing what’s out there in any area of your life, you’ll have a better chance of finding the things you enjoy and the goals you want to create.

4. Manage Your Finances Well

Changes may require a bit of money. If you’re shifting to a new career, you may have to pay for training. If you’re going through a tough divorce or having a hard time dealing with the death of a loved one, you may have to pay for therapy. If you’re moving to a new home, you’ll definitely have to pay a whole lot of expenses.

All of these things are possible, but it will require a bit of money savviness as you learn how to reinvent yourself. If you have that cushion, you’ll feel more comfortable straying from your current path to try new things.

5. Muster Your Courage

Fears and self-doubt may arise when you encounter difficulties and setbacks. Sometimes, they may also come when you’re taking risks. You have to manage these negative emotions well and not allow them to discourage you. Tap into your courage and try doing at least one new thing each week to develop it.

Learn how to deal with your self-doubts to move forward in this article: How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It)

6. Use Your Support Group

As stated above, you need to build a strong support group before you even start the process of reinventing yourself. Your group will keep you from taking wrong turns and encourage you when you get too weighed down by problems. Don’t be afraid to call them, or even ask them out for coffee if you need to vent about the current difficulties you’re facing.

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7. Remind Yourself Every Day of Your Commitment

Write your goals on different-sized cards and scatter them at home and at work in places where you can easily see them. This way, you will constantly be reminded of where you want to be. Remember, writing down your goals helps them stick[1].

8. Accept Failure, Learn, and Resume Your Journey

Failing is normal, especially when we’re trying out something new. When you fail, simply recognize it, learn from it, and move on. Failure, in the end, is the best way to learn what does and doesn’t work, and you simply won’t be able to learn how to reinvent yourself if you don’t accept the inevitable failures that await you.

Final Thoughts

If you truly want to learn how to reinvent yourself and live the life you desire, take the advice above and start taking action. It will take time, patience, and plenty of effort to make the change you want happen, but it will be all worth it.

More Tips on How to Reinvent Yourself

Featured photo credit: Ashley Rich via unsplash.com

Reference

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