Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 4, 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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

The Ultimate Coffee Guide For Energy Boost A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success What Are The Top 7 Priorities To Have In Life? Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes And How to Tackle Them Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Overcome It)

Trending in Positive Thinking

1 10 Negative Thoughts We All Have and What to Think Instead 2 20 Small Habits That Will Help You Become Mentally Strong 3 How to Think Positive Thoughts When Feeling Negative 4 10 Things To Remember When Everything Goes Wrong 5 7 Things To Remember When You Feel Broken Inside

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 2, 2021

10 Negative Thoughts We All Have and What to Think Instead

10 Negative Thoughts We All Have and What to Think Instead

I’ll never forget the first time I heard that the way I was talking to myself, realizing how it directly influenced every aspect of my life. We can be our own worst enemy at times and our internal conversation and negative thoughts can be extremely limiting. Like most people, I was blind to this somewhat obvious piece of information.

Eventually, I realized that the negative thoughts I had weren’t facts at all, but instead self imposed limitations that I was putting on myself, which I also had the power to remove. Over the last decade, it has become very clear to me that most of us actually have very similar negative thoughts. Here are some of the most common negative thoughts we all have and what we should think instead.

1. I Am Not Good Enough

Have you ever thought that you weren’t good enough? When we feel that we aren’t good enough, we tend to drown in this emotion of self-doubt and pity. It can be a symptom of low self-esteem, but the truth is that every one is good enough.

You might not have the skills or tools to achieve what you want now, but you are certainly good enough and worthy of receiving what you want in life. If you have a $10 bill, and it falls on the ground into a puddle of mud, does that $10 lose its value? Of course not! So why do you feel that you lose value based on what you have done in life?

What to Think Instead

Instead of saying, “I am not good enough,” tell yourself that you are worthy of all you desire in this life, just like everyone else[1]. Focus on the things you like about yourself in this moment. You can even make a written list and post it nearby if it helps you to see it each day[2]

Practice Loving Yourself to Overcome Negative Thoughts

    2. I Can’t Do It

    “Can’t” is one of the most limiting words that you can tell yourself. Henry Ford once said,

    “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.”

    Advertising

    If you tell yourself that you can’t, you are sending messages to your mind and brain that you can’t, and so that will be your experience. Your mind won’t try if you have already told it that something is impossible. 

    What to Think Instead

    Instead of focusing your negative thoughts on what you think you can’t do, tell yourself, “I can do whatever I put my mind to.” While we all do have limitations, believing in your abilities in the first step to achieving your short and long term goals in life. 

    And sometimes, you may just need a little motivation boost. Get the Instant Motivation Boost Worksheet, it’s a free worksheet that will guide you to do the little things for an instant boost of motivation. Grab the free worksheet here.

    3. I’m Not as Lucky as Other People

    This thought normally comes from holding an illusion that other people’s lives are better and they are luckier, and that is what separates you from them. “Perfect” doesn’t exist, and there is often a lot of effort that goes behind that perceived “luck.”

    It is very disempowering to think that life will never offer you good things; the truth is that if you tap into some gratitude, you’ll see that you already have good things all around you. 

    What to Think Instead

    Instead of focusing on all the luck others seem to have, tell yourself, “Good things can and will happen to me.” Use a sense of gratitude to begin to notice all of the good things you would normally never notice. For example, when was the last time you felt grateful for the roof over your head, the food in your fridge, or your comfy bed?

    4. I Don’t Think I’ll Ever…

    Whatever you believe will become your reality, this is true. You shape your future every day by the choices you make and your habits. You can sabotage your opportunities by limiting yourself with negative thoughts.

    What would it be like if you believed that you could do what you really desired and have the experiences you wished instead? It is not about getting it right the first time, but trying. Don’t stop yourself before you have even given yourself a chance.

    Advertising

    What to Think Instead

    Don’t limit yourself with negative thought patterns that tell you you’ll never do something. Instead, tell yourself, “I am confident I will…” Even if you don’t feel confident in this moment, feeding your brain positive thoughts will slowly build confidence over time. 

    5. I Should Be Better Than I Am

    Using the word “should” in this context makes this a truly negative thought and makes one feel less than they are. How often do you find yourself saying “I should be more clever, more disciplined, more productive, etc. than I am”? Remember how you feel immediately afterwards?

    What to Think Instead

    Tell yourself, “I am making an effort to change what I don’t like.” Everyone has parts of themselves that they hope to improve, and this is certainly possible, but it requires approaching these things with a sense of self-love and patience. 

    Set yourself goals for the things you are not happy with instead of telling yourself what you “should” be like or be doing. Take action the things you wish to change and remove limiting modals from your vocabulary.

    Here are some ways you can start to improve yourself.

    6. I Am Not Strong Enough

    It’s normal to feel that you are not strong enough at times[3]. We are all human, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel weak at times. What is important though, is the conversation you have with yourself afterwards. If you keep reinforcing the fact that you don’t feel strong with negative thoughts, how can you expect to feel?

    What to Think Instead

    Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, tell yourself that you are strong enough to deal with the challenges in front of you, and support yourself in finding the strength you need in that moment.

    7. Nobody Cares

    It might feel that you are alone at times and that nobody cares, but I am convinced that there are people thinking about you that you don’t even know of. People do care; not everyone expresses their emotions in the same way. It isn’t nice feeling that nobody cares, so stop focusing on that and assuming what other people feel when you don’t actually know. Change your focus to something that makes you feel better instead.

    Advertising

    What to Think Instead

    Instead of assuming that no one cares about you, remind yourself that there are people in your life who do, in fact, care very much. Do your best to cultivate those relationships and accept the love others are willing to give in order to combat your negative thoughts. 

    8. I Am Not Smart Enough

    This is a very general statement, yet many people tend to say it often and then feel bad about themselves afterwards. What are you not smart at specifically? I bet that if I asked you to identify some areas that you are smart in, you could if you really tried.

    Not everybody is clever and perfect in every area, and this is what makes us all unique. If you feel that you are lacking in a certain area of knowledge, instead of producing negative thoughts, make time to study and learn whatever it is that you want so that you don’t feel this way any more.

    What to Think Instead

    Instead of believing that you’re not intelligent, remind yourself that you are smart in a unique way and that you are capable of improving your knowledge in any area you choose. Lifelong learning can be a goal you constantly work toward.

    9. If I Don’t Do Well, I’m a Failure

    Holding high expectations for yourself and having conditions attached to your self worth on your performance isn’t fair. You need to take chances in life if you want to get different results. Don’t be scared of failing; the real failure lies in never having tried.

    What to Think Instead

    When facing a challenging situation or possible risk, tell yourself, “I am going to try; I am not scared of failing; that is not what is important.” Even if you “fail,” you will learn something about the world and yourself, and as long as that’s the case, nothing is ever a true failure. 

    10. Bad Things Will Happen

    Thinking negatively in general is thinking that whatever happens, it is most likely going to be the worst case scenario. What would it be like if you imagined the best case scenario instead? Our positive and negative thoughts are very powerful, and it’s common to use visualization as a technique to imagine the best case scenario.

    Whether you imagine the worst or the best case scenario, you are influencing your results. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen and rather on what you want to happen.

    Advertising

    What to Think Instead

    Instead of thinking that bad things will happen when you try something, try thinking that the best will happen. This way, you’ll aim high, and even if you fall a little short, you’ll still get farther than you were before. 

    Final Thoughts

    We all have negative thoughts from time to time. However, when the majority of your thoughts are negative, you are undermining your happiness at the end of the day. Our thoughts directly affect how we feel and, therefore, what we do in life.

    If you’re feeling sad and are overwhelmed with negative thoughts, you can consider contacting a mental health professional to give your mental health a boost and get you back on track toward positivity.

    Don’t limit yourself or what is possible for you. Master your thoughts and change your results. 

    More on How to Stop Negative Thoughts

     

    Featured photo credit: arash payam via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next