Hope is that beautiful knowing that good things are on the way, that your future holds wonderful possibilities, that the best days of your life are ahead.
But what do you do when you do not feel that hope? When it is no longer there for you? When you’re somewhere bad and you just feel panic, overwhelm or desperation?
Hope is a beautiful thing. If you have it, everything is better: you are excited for the future, you are more relaxed because you know good things are coming, and you feel a sense that what you do and who you are in your daily life is meaningful and fulfilling a deeper purpose.
But we all have times where we just do not feel that way at all. Although we know the sun is there, there have been too many clouds, for too long, that black out its warmth and so we begin to doubt. I have been there, many times and here are 7 ways that you can build, cultivate and encourage hope back into your life.

This was a sunset on a trip to Egypt. After an initial planned trip to Australia fell through, this ended up being the best trip I’ve ever been on

7 ways to build your hope this week

1. Identify that one thing

Not everything can or should be priority. We only have so much energy, so much enthusiasm throughout the day, and when you do not have hope, it can be very easy to busy yourself in small unimportant tasks, or equally to lie in bed and try and just forget it all. Neither is particularly helpful, so try this.
Identify one very important thing that you can focus on achieving in the day. And organise your day around it to make sure you do it as well as you can. You could do it first thing, or at the time of the day that suits you best. But make it your main priority for the day, and once you have successfully done this, anything else is just a bonus.
Here are some ideas:
Planning content for your business
Nourishing relationships through contact with clients
A workout hour
Cooking a healthy home made meal from scratch
Attending a networking meeting- in person or online
Planning time
Time with family and friends
Depending on your situation, you will know what is most important for you, but just make it one main thing. Then by the end of the week you will have done 5, and that’s 20 main important things done in a month.

One of this week’s one things for me was creating brand new video content for you!

2. Train your brain with growth mindset phrases

This poster has been an absolute lifesaver for several of our clients
It’s very easy to get caught up in negative thought patterns, and when you do not have hope, it’s very difficult to fight these, or to know how to change them. But you absolutely can, and your brain consistently creates fresh new neurons, energy opportunities in your mind, that you can use to do so daily. Have a look on the left of the poster at the hopeless, defeatist, fatalistic, fixed mindset phrases. When you notice yourself thinking one of these, use the poster to think the corresponding positive, hopeful, growth mindset phrases instead.
The great thing about these phrases is how specific they are towards building positive future actions- they engage your brain instead into problem solving mode. Listen to the specificity of these phrases, and consider how just thinking them several times could help you to start to build some hope for yourself:
“What am I missing?”
“I am going to train my brain”
“I’ll use a different strategy”
Keep this poster or a photo of it where you can see it and use it every day, it will be time very well spent.

3. Create a routine with some flexibility in it

It’s very important to keep to a strong routine when you’re feeling hopeless, as your motivation will be low. But also, be kind and considerate to yourself; now is not the time to be very strict and unnecessarily critical towards yourself, as this will dissipate your energies.
Here are some suggestions below of what to include in a good routine that also allows you some flexibility. Use as many of them as you like, you could do them each day, or try to include them all throughout a week.
  • Get up at a regular time- you may need a bit more sleep than normal
  • Have some quiet time at the start and end of the day- get up ten minutes earlier to make time for this
  • Include some exercise daily- from a simple walk all the way up to high intensity workouts-try and get variety in during the week
  • Do something creative- draw, learn a new skill, try something- it really doesn’t matter what it is
  • Have an hour a week to self reflect- how are things going? What is brillant? What could be better?
  • Do something for someone else- no matter how small, they all count.

In February I challenged myself to learn how to do origami

4. Explore, experiment, try something new

This is a very important one. When we do not feel hope we feel bored, frustrated, depressed, unmotivated. One of the best ways to gently challenge this is with variety. Doing something brand new engages your brain, because you have never done it before, you will have to really concentrate and stay focused in the moment. It’s also a fantastic way to challenge self limiting beliefs you may have about yourself and explore what could be possible for you in the future. Use youtube and google, the resources are all there for you, you just need to pick something that interests you.
Here’s some ideas of what you could try:
  • Drawing
  • Origami
  • Make some music
  • Learn basic phrases in a different language
  • Learn how to tie knots
  • Learn some dance moves
  • Coding
  • Photography
  • Cooking
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Fitness challenges
This year I’ve been learning one new skill a month, it’s a very simple way of structuring it, so that it doesn’t become a hassle. Just pick one and focus on it for a month solid, and see how you get on.

5. Reflect on your past

So often we are so hard on ourselves, and when hopeless we only look into the past for problems that could negatively impact our future. So try this, write a list of all the difficult things that you have been through and overcome and what you are proud of yourself for. Then consider that if you can endure and overcome all these things, you have a real strength of character and will be able to handle anything that comes your way next.
And an even more positive way to see it is that your past has built you, challenged you and trained you for all that your life is now. And so you are more than equipped to handle it. What an exciting thought!
Here’s some ideas of what you could put on your list:
  • Survived childhood!
  • Overcame deaths in the family
  • All the illnesses I have successfully recovered from
  • My professional achievements
  • My academic achievements
  • My happy times with family
  • The hard times where I was there for my family
  • My heartbreaks that I got over
  • The horrible times I survived through
  • The ways in which I am a better me now than I used to be in the past

Look at how small our Kataholos mascot Cotchi was last September!

New life is here with spring- the daffodil heralds hope and optimism after winter

6. Consider Nature

Nature has evolved to create spring after ever winter. It doesn’t need to be motivated or even particularly hopeful. It trusts and waits and when the time is right it changes and adapts. I look at nature and am so inspired by its grit and determination and also its abundant beauty and endlessly giving ways. And I know that we can be like this. The daffodils of spring are stronger than any winter, and every tree contains within the hope of spring and of the next season to come.
The next time you feel hopeless, just look at a tree and consider these things and wonder at its magnificence.

7. Be The Hope for Others

No matter how you think or feel on a given day, through your actions you can be a source of hope for others. One of the best ways to help yourself is to help others, and when you can put on a smile, say a kind word of perform an action, when you are really struggling yourself, then you are operating from the deepest strength of your character. You can gain so much hope and joy and encouragement from helping others- just look into their eyes and see the positivity that you have placed there. It sparkles and lights up their whole face.

If you want to create wellsprings of hope, spend time with young people- they are amazing

Final thoughts….

The ability to keep going, especially when you can’t see a way forward, when you don’t feel like it and want to stop, is so difficult. But it is not impossible. And once you begin to cultivate that deep place within yourself, you will be living on a whole other level. Motivation and good feelings would be nice, but you won’t need them, because you have hope.
And best of all, you will have built it yourself.
Life is constantly looking out for you, opening doors for you, giving you chances to succeed
Everything is temporary, nothing lasts forever.
Do not give up.
Love and best wishes to you,

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