How to Keep Hope Alive
When you see a glass filled to the midway point with water do you automatically wonder why there is no ice? It’s not unusual to be a cynic; in fact, a little bit of the glass half empty attitude can be a healthy way to keep emotions and expectations in check. Hope gives us sustenance – even the slightest bit of light will keep us going in moments of unbearable darkness. But without it, faith dwindles and so do our spirits.
Staying positive as far as finances, career, love and relationships are concerned is a skill even for the eternal optimist. But it is something you can learn to incorporate into your life by practicing these tips:
1. Romanticize the Future: The job you used to have, the salary you once earned or the love you let go long ago look a lot rosier in retrospect. But relishing in the past, as so many of us often do, is a horrible habit that has a sneaky way of sabotaging the present. A surefire way to stay motivated and inspired is to try conjuring positive images and thoughts of the future. Rather than focusing on the ex that got away or the amazing job you quit, try visualizing what the future will look like when the present – hard work, persistence and patience – pays off.
2. Avoid Fixating on External Influencers: Our moods, in good times and bad, are often contingent on our interactions with other people. As a result of perceived slights and offenses, we start to engage in repetitive negative self-talk with all the worst case scenarios. Yet studies have shown that many of these concerns, forty percent or more, never happen and an additional twelve percent are needless worries, such as what someone else thinks about us. So how does one avoid the unnecessary angst? Start by monitoring your thoughts and replace worries with positive thoughts whenever they pop into your head. In these circumstances it also pays to be realistic – what other people think and how they behave towards you has more to do with their own issues, than with you. Being brushed off after an interview, for example, may trigger doubt or insecurity when in reality if may be the result of a last minute business trip or staffing change.
3. Turn Inward for Validation: Real hope is a passionate feeling that comes from within. When your hopes start to dwindle you can restore feelings of optimism by going straight to the source: Yourself. As kitschy as this may sound, do as Oprah, and make a list each morning of all the good things you have going on in your life. And yes, there will be days when the positives may seem insignificant or silly but the smallest pleasure and joys in life add up and have a way of making us feel better.
4. Change the Way You See Things: Remember the famous quote attributed to Albert Einstein “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?” Well, the next time those feelings of despair set in, try pinpointing what you are doing that may be the root cause. Stepping away from what is bringing you down, even if temporarily, by finding new outlets to channel your energy or happy distractions will help ease the tension.
5. Get Inspired By Real Life Success Stories: Ever wonder why Weight Watchers is the most successful diet plan? It’s because they are constantly showcasing weight loss success stories. True stories of people who lost the weight, built a business, found a mate despite the challenges are an excellent source of inspiration. Whenever you are faced with doubt or adversity, treat yourself to a dose of other peoples’ victories. You can find plenty of inspiring tales easily by sifting through diet, dating, career and other internet sites.
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