Hope is a word that is thrown around often, although many people do not have a good idea of what it is and how to attain it. People often use the word hope in contexts such as “I hope it doesn’t rain” and “I hope there isn’t traffic on the way home.”
What they mean by statements like this is that they do not want rain, or that they want traffic to be clear. While these statements are not incorrect, they do misuse the meaning of the word hope in a way. Hope means that you believe something you want will happen. In this way, a belief is different than just wanting.
To believe in something is to have faith, confidence, or trust in whatever you put your belief in. Therefore, hope is more than just the desire for something, and attaining hope is more complicated. Hope is something that you have to work for. At times, it can be very challenging. However, once you find hope it can be a fire that keeps you going through almost anything.
Why Hope Is Important
As a human being, it is easy to say that you have desires. You may have goals that you would like to accomplish, places you would like to go to, and people you would like to be respected by. That being said, desires can change by the day. As you learn more about life and yourself, some desires fall away and others stick around. These desires that stick are the most important ones.
Some examples of important goals are becoming sober, getting married, finding a career, and chasing your dreams. Goals like these can give you beautiful thoughts about the future, but pursuing them may be challenging. Finding motivation on desire alone can be near impossible. This is where hope comes in.
You might want something more than anything else in the world, but if you do not believe you can attain it, you never will. Having hope that something is attainable is a powerful force. When pursuing our goals, there will always be challenges along the road that make things hard.
During setbacks, you may experience negative thoughts about giving up and no longer trying. Hope allows you to see setbacks as bumps in the road rather than a mountain you cannot climb. This is because you have faith, trust, and confidence that you can do it even when it is challenging. If you are fueled by desire alone, your desires may shift to something else because you lose belief in achieving your mission.
Strategies to Build and Maintain Hope
With hope being such a powerful force, it takes time and care to develop. The source of hope in our minds comes from within. Belief in yourself is key in this process and self-belief is something that can be trained. There are numerous ways to build self-confidence. Here are some ways that are known to be useful:
#1. Practice Rewarding Activities: Hobbies, sports, and other activities can have a significant positive impact on our self-confidence. Examples of this are yoga, martial arts, music, painting, and basketball. All of these activities require practice, skill, and devotion.
As you spend time developing your chosen activity, you can build confidence by seeing yourself grow. This growth changes your self-image and can lead to believing in yourself more. Sometimes falling in love with a hobby, art form, or sport can become a positive foundation that supports someone through life’s many challenges.
#2. Learn the Stories of Others: Empathy is one of humanity’s most powerful emotions. Sometimes it can be painful while at other times it inspires us. If you are going through a hardship of any kind it may be valuable to look up stories on the troubling topic. These stories can be conveyed through books, youtube videos, or movies.
Depending on the topic, there can be thousands of options. By seeing someone overcome something you are facing, it may help you realize that you have that same potential inside of you. Meditating on your potential and how it could uplift those around you can also build hope.
#3. Rest and Therapy: Hope is not something we can force upon ourselves. Imagine it as a tree with its own life that needs nurturing. One day it may be big, strong, and lively. However, in the beginning, it is a small sapling that needs your help. When feeling overwhelmed by progress or life’s challenges, allow yourself to take a step back and rest.
Burning yourself out can be an easy way to lose motivation. If you feel like finding rest is difficult even when taking time off, therapy is a great option. Therapy allows you to vent your negative emotions while also receiving advice and positive motivation. Getting the judgment-free help of a mental health professional can be life-changing. Therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy are known to help break down negative thought patterns and help us build positive ones. Restful time or activities allow us to recharge our batteries and maintain hope along with physical and mental health.
Although these are some common ways people find hope, everyone’s path is different and there are thousands of ways to find it. What matters the most is that when hope is present in your life, try to pay attention to what causes it. These feelings can act as a light to guide you in the darkness and can help you find the bright days to come.
Hope is one of the greatest tools humanity has to combat the many challenges that we face in life. This is why it is so important to learn to cultivate it. By training to believe in ourselves, we strengthen our minds and bodies. One of the many challenges that require hope is overcoming substance use disorder (SUD). SUD can be near impossible to overcome alone. Thankfully, there are people who make it their mission to help those on their path to recovery. Everlast Recovery Centers is staffed with caring people passionate about that very mission. Our founder and CEO Danny Dorsey knows firsthand the difficulties that SUD can cause and he now wants to offer the same hope and assistance he experienced to others. At our welcoming southern California facilities, we offer nationally ranked treatment and therapy options to give you the best chance of success possible. To learn about how we can help, call (866) 338-6925 today.