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Hopelessness Is The Worst Human Condition – Here Is How To Build Hope

Psychological Capital, hope assessment, hope test, hope scale, herth hope index, hope adult scale, hopelessness, hope agency, planning, pathways, will power, perseverance, definition of hope

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal what hope is and is not, and how to build hope and share two hope tests.

First a quick update:

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You Can Do It! You Have The Psychological Capital Within You!
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Now, let’s talk about what hope is and is not, and how to build hope and share two hope tests.

Did you know that hopelessness is the worst human condition?

Imagine desiring something valuable but knowing or believing that you cannot have it. Imagine believing that things cannot change for the better and that you have no control over your own life or outcomes.

That is hopelessness!

After all, what type of life would you lead if you exist but do not believe things can get any better or you can get what you want or that you have the power to change things?

Hopelessness does not sustain life!

So, what is hope to you?

Is it a desire; wishful thinking; probability, possibility or just an emotion of expecting something good or better?

Of course, we are all hoping (wishing, desiring, and expecting) that 2021 will bring better things than 2020.

However, the turning of time will not change anything – on its own.

Change only occurs with you. The desire on its own does nothing.

Hope is a positive motivational state that consists of 3 key components:

1. Establishing goals – The desire. What do you want?
2. Strategy – The way. How will you achieve those goals; which pathways will you use?
3. Motivation & perseverance – The willpower. Push – can you get started and keep going to achieve your goals, in spite of setbacks and disappointments? Do you have willpower and a plan for the obstacles?

In other words, hope is more than a state of being, it involves doing!

Hope is more than just expecting, desiring or wishing for something good that might be possible or might be probable: Hope involves knowing what you want, how you are going to achieve it and knowing how to persist and persevere to achieve what you desire even when faced with obstacles. Hope with action gives you the strength to persevere in the face of adversity.

It is true that there are people who have a natural disposition of high hope. What about you?

Is hope part of your character traits, part of your disposition? Review these statements below (Snyder et al, 1991); how true is each one for you?

1. I can think of many ways to get out of a jam.
2. I energetically pursue my goals.
3. I feel tired most of the time.
4. There are lots of ways around any problem.
5. I am easily downed in an argument.
6. I can think of many ways to get the things in life that are most important to me.
7. I worry about my health.
8. Even when others get discouraged, I know I can find a way to solve the problem.
9. My past experiences have prepared me well for my future.
10. I’ve been pretty successful in life.
11. I usually find myself worrying about something.
12. I meet the goals that I set for myself.

People with high hope view obstacles and barriers as a challenge and they look for alternative ways to overcome barriers, and thus achieve those goals. The primary difference between high and low hope individuals is the mindset. If you choose to have a growth mindset, then you know you can learn and grow, you view problems as challenges, and you do not define yourself based on mistakes or failures; this gives you added motivation to keep going.

The key to overcoming hopelessness and instead developing hope is to get clear about what you want, set achievable goals, plan strategies and pathways to achieving those goals and identify the obstacles that you will need to overcome.

The one missing key which will enhance motivation and ensure that you can persevere when faced with setbacks is interconnectedness – do you have social support?

Review these statements below from the Herth Hope Scale. You need to have an orientation towards the future, you need to have positive readiness and expectancy, and you need to connection. Pay particular attention to statements 3, 5, 8 and 9. These statements depend upon social connection and feeling connected to people and the world around you. You cannot possess hope or take empowering action if you feel all alone (unsupported) and if you are shut down with walls around you built out of fear (unable to “give and receive caring/love.”)

1. I have a positive outlook toward life.
2. I have short and/or long range goals.
3. I feel all alone.
4. I can see possibilities in the midst of difficulties.
5. I have a faith that gives me comfort.
6. I feel scared about my future.
7. I can recall happy/joyful times.
8. I have deep inner strength.
9. I am able to give and receive caring/love.
10. I have a sense of direction.
11. I believe that each day has potential.
12. I feel my life has value and worth.
© 1989 Kaye Herth 1999 items 2 & 4 reworded

Review the above statements and determine to what extent are they true or false for you. Now, you can identify the blocks as well as the action you need to take to build and develop deep, life sustaining hope!

If you would like help to get overcome those blocks, to let go of the past or any of the painful emotions or behaviors, or to improve your relationships, book a one-on-one session with me.

You can add to the conversation below.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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