Having Hope When Things Look Hopeless
There are times when things look utterly hopeless. You are exhausted and feel like there is no way out of a situation you are in. In those times we need to remember there is always hope. There are always choices and alternatives to consider. There are more options and you have more control than you think you do. When I start to feel hopeless in a situation, I remind myself it is an emotional response and I try to focus harder on non-emotional aspects. What are the facts of this situation? How can I logically think through the options?
We are blessed with having both a heart and a head. We need to recognize when one is doing more work than the other and things are out of balance. A few ways I have learned for myself that help me:
- Make a list of all of the options/choices available. No matter how extreme or off the wall they are. An option always available, no matter the situation, is to sell everything and move to an island in the Caribbean. That option has never been selected, but just having it and realizing there are options that seem absolutely crazy allows you to free your mind and think of even more possibilities.
- Connect with others. This isn't sending an email or a text message, this is actually having a dialog with someone. Have lunch with a friend. Talk through things and get their perspective. A fresh set of eyes can help you to think of things differently, giving a perspective of someone not emotionally invested in the situation.
- Find an escape. Read a book, watch a movie, go for a run, build something, create something. Just find an activity completely unrelated to your hopeless situation. Focusing your mind on something else and allowing your subconscious to work on solving the problem does wonders. Think of all the times an idea has come to you when you weren't thinking about it. Your mind is an incredible thing. It has the ability to think about stuff even when you aren't actively thinking about it. By stepping away you are actually allowing other parts of your brain to work on the problem.
Most importantly, whenever you feel hopeless, remember that there is always hope. I promise you that there is a solution, you just haven't found it yet. It still exists even though you don't see it. It is just a matter of getting out of your own way some times for it to become clear.