Hope is an interesting feeling. It can be someone’s lifeline to move forward, but it can also be exactly what is holding them back. In this article, I’m going to show you how to distinguish between upward hope and downward hope. I’ll also share what you can do when you find yourself on a downward hope.
When you are hoping that you are hoping for something, notice whether your body is sinking down or up. Do you feel worse when you think about being hopeful or are you optimistic?
For example, when people often say, “I hope I find a romantic partner,” it often comes from a defeated, hopeless place. To show you the opposite, someone who says, “I look forward to meeting the right partner,” is more optimistic and uplifting. Each statement leads to a different perspective or action.
Another example of downward hope is “I hope I find a job” versus “I look forward to finding the right position”. The first holds many doubts and the second more certainty. The energy of each of these statements influences your actions. Because of this, your focus should be on the upward hope rather than the downward hope.
A customer recently said to me, “I have more hope than ever in my life.” This is an example of upward hope because it fills her with optimism and confidence. Notice whether the language you are using fills you in or pulls you down.
The differences may not be immediately obvious to you. Allow it to be a discovery process, not something you need to “fix”. That is the key indicator that you are dealing with with hope.
If you find yourself focusing on hope on the downside, here are some ideas that can help you move up on hope.
Remember the moments in your life when something unexpected and magical happened. Maybe you didn’t know how to cover the rent that month and somehow a rebate refund check came in the mail just 2 days before the rent was due. Or maybe you were so close to missing your flight but the flight crew was also delayed so you had plenty of time to make it. It is these moments that make us feel like there could be a bigger plan. Remember those moments that you had in the past.
How can you trust a bigger plan?
It is so easy to focus on what is missing in our life even though we are blessed with so much. When the going gets tough, it’s hard to focus on the good. But for a moment just look around and find something that you wanted before and now you have it. Perhaps it is a special friendship that you have longed for now. Maybe it’s a job you wanted that you have now. Maybe it’s the ability to go outside and walk into the store because you have two working legs. It can really be anything. Concentrate on one thing every day and think: “I am grateful for …”
What are you so grateful for now?
We’re so focused on building our lives that we forget to have fun. Fun can be such a gift for those hopeless moments. It takes us out of our misery for a moment and lets us enjoy this present moment. Go on an adventure. Just go to your favorite restaurant like that. Take a nature hike on a new trail near your home. Blow music at full volume and throw a dance party with ridiculous moves and funny grimaces. It may feel silly at first, but the fun you are about to have and the change in your body are worth it.
How can you have fun now
Think about how you deal with hope in your life. Does it drive you or does it make you feel defeated? Use these tips to convert downward hope into something that will actually add positively to your life. Step up into hope and enjoy every moment along the way. Thank you very much.