Every situation has a silver lining – discover a mindset that heals and enlightens.
September 15, 2021 · 7 min read
The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. – Barbara Kingsolver
We’ve all been at some point in our lives feeling hopeless. I’ve also experienced this feeling myself and it’s just not the best emotional state to be in.
However, even if it seems that your life crumbles apart, it’s usually not. Even if it does, you should always look for opportunities to come back stronger than ever.
Luckily, there’s always a solution to every problem in this world and hopelessness has an explanation also. Even if you feel incredibly bad right now, there are some things you can do to make the situation better.
You must cope with your current situation first. You have to deal with and prioritize your current feelings. Feeling hopeless is like a brick of wall that gets in your way to move further in life. Surely, you could try to neglect this feeling, but having aside hopelessness with you, you’ll burn out a lot quicker and give up on things and goals before they even start accelerating.
Time can’t heal wounds all the time. This is a very, very important thing to understand. Letting time heal your wounds might work sometimes. However, if the wound is too big, time might ameliorate the situation a little bit. Nevertheless, it won’t heal it 100%. The way to cope with your hopelessness is to address it directly. You have to ask questions, as “Why it happened? What could’ve been done instead? What can be done to prevent that in the future?” and so on.
Focus on your long-term future well-being. One thing that Covid-19 pandemic taught a lot of people is that you can’t rely on one source of income. People lost jobs, businesses, went bankrupt and became homeless.
Similarly, you can’t and you shouldn’t live only in the present. You have to look at least 1 step ahead and be prepared what’s about to come. Yes, it’s definitely great to live at the present sometimes and forget about everything.
However, it’s even greater to live at the present and knowing that you’ll be protected even if something goes wrong. Just like there are fire alarm systems, lighting rods to protect houses, you should be protected too. Everyone should take care of their well-being to avoid the damage as much as possible.
Negativities are surrounding us. That’s the bitter reality. However, it’s totally okay and you can improve the situation substantially.
If you’re feeling hopeless, consider detaching from TV, news websites, social media and toxic relationships. One of the studies has illustrated that the social media can have a negative impact on your mental health.
I’ve noticed myself that when I use social media less, I become happier. I can be with myself and my thoughts. I can spend more time with my hobbies, going to the nature, listening to the birds and my mind becomes sharper. I also stop wasting time mindlessly.
The problem with social media and other digital platforms is that they distort the reality. The people on social media are too exaggeratedly happy and beautiful, the news is promoting on their first page negative information (frauds, robberies, political conflicts, etc.) and similar.
What is shown on those platforms is only one side of the coin. There is also another side which shows happiness, success and self-improvement stories and all other positive things in life with a sense of reality.
Therefore, you should ignore the Internet and spend time with yourself. The next time you hop into the social media and other platforms, consider limiting time you spend there. You can use apps and extensions for that.
This step of forgiving yourself is especially important. If you can’t live with yourself, you’ll always live with a burden that you’ll keep in your heart.
I’ve just recently listened to one of the BiggerPockets podcast episodes, where a guest James Wedmore, a highly successful business leader, explained the importance of forgiving yourself in order to grow.
One of his acquaintances was constantly blaming herself and kept repeating to start going to the gym for the last 3 months every day. The grief, guiltiness within herself couldn’t let her to catch a breath. This thought was following her everywhere and only did more harm than the good.
A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. - Elbert Hubbard
After finally forgiving herself, she started going successfully to the gym 3 times a week. When she stopped feeling hopeless, she built up enough motivation and began doing what she wanted for months.
Similarly, you have to forgive yourself. Start from the present. Forgive yourself for feeling the way you feel in your current situation. Forgive yourself for not spending enough time with friends, family, missing opportunities, your sensitive soul, or whatever else.
Open a new, blank chapter of your life and begin from the beginning with more experience and mindfulness than before. We all make mistakes and it’s an unavoidable part of our lives.
Your feeling of hopelessness might be the source of not finishing your goals. You might get excited to do a lot of different new things. However, after spending some time with a certain goal, you’ll drop it and move to another activity.
This phenomenon of building bridges and not finishing them can hurt your self-esteem and can spark a feeling of hopelessness.
Are you constantly trying different strategies to find a better source of income? If so, you have to stick to one strategy and become an expert in it. You’ll find ways to become wealthier.
Are you constantly grasping all kinds of different opportunities that you feel overwhelmed? If so, stick to maximum of a few and work on them. Don’t just simply start, but also seek to finish them and prove yourself that you can achieve your life-fulfilling goals.
The most common problem is that people get bored of an activity because they can’t see the results as fast as they would like to. Usually, it requires a lot of hours spent on it to feel tangible results. Especially if it’s skill-related activity, such as playing a guitar, becoming a great technician and similar.
Therefore, have a good think if you fall into this category of people that keep jumping from one goal to another without finishing it.
“What’s the point to live, anyways?”
“My impact in this life is insignificant”
“I’m too exhausted of this hamster-wheel life that leads nowhere”
Our minds tend to play tricks on us. The more time we spend thinking about negativities, the stronger those thoughts get. Eventually, the reality becomes distorted and it can become a fiction. Our minds overexaggerate and make things look worse than they do.
You matter. You are important and you definitely have a lot of things to do under the Sun. Heck, you don’t even need to be rich to enjoy the life if that’s what you want to do. If you want to travel, there are plenty of opportunities, like couchsurfing that might cost nothing.
You can make a lot of friends in online forums, travelling, playing video games, going to your local meetups, jumping on online talking platforms and much more.
You can attend non-profit organizations and offer to be a volunteer. You can help a helpless animal from a shelter and become its sunshine and the best friend in their lives.
You have to look for answers from a different perspective. If you think that’s impossible – think twice or thrice. Look for answers on the Internet or seek for professional help. Getting your mind out of the comfort zone can help you.
You might be stuck in a perpetual cycle of unhealthy habits that you are unaware of.
Do you rely on relieving the stress with alcohol’s help? Do you eat a lot of sugary, processed foods? Do you stay indoors all the time?
In a lot of cases switching unhealthy habits to healthy ones can make a tremendous positive impact on your life. You will start valuing your health and taking care of yourself more.
You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore. - William Faulkner
The most important step is just to start. You don’t have to begin very big. Do small increments every week and track the results. Cut out all sugary drinks at first. Then, eat less take-aways and processed foods. Go out for a walk. Eventually, go to the gym or start jogging. Have at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep.
Look what lifestyle works best for you. You will become more self-aware of yourself and the impact that the environment has on you.
Therefore, quitting unhealthy habits can boost your mood, help you feel better physically and mentally.
Anthony Robbins, one of the most influential psychologists of our century, practices the emotional vocabulary. Emotional vocabulary has the power to change your current emotional state.
Identify your feelings and associate your current state with them. Even if you feel angry, you should try and replace it with “irritated”. Angry is somewhat a stronger feeling, that’s associated with nearly unpredictable actions. However, if you feel irritated, you possess just a tiny fraction of angriness.
Therefore, try to identify your emotion and to apply a milder version. It will help you to feel way better.
If you feel burnout from your work, relationships, goals, you might need to spend time with yourself in relaxation. You can’t neglect the feeling of being burn out, because it’s a serious condition that doesn’t let you to enjoy life.
I’ve been burnout myself too. Having no vacation for a few years, working from 7AM till 9PM really drove me nuts. I couldn’t focus properly, I felt deprived of sleep and my mind wandered everywhere.
You should consider getting yourself a few weeks off and using this time for yourself if you feel similarly.
Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them. - Vaibhav Shah
You could book a few SPAS or massage sessions, go out in the nature, walk around in town and anything else that relaxes you and lets you find your peace.
Remember that your well-being is above everything else. You must enjoy life and yourself.
You are the only such unique person in this world. If you feel hopeless because of feeling insignificant and that others are superior to you, then you must learn to accept yourself.
There’s always someone better than you in a field, but they also lack some skills in other fields that you are superior to them. The grass is greener in neighbors’ property. But once you realize that it’s just an illusion, your perception of other people crumbles.
You should never try to copy someone else. In fact, that’s something that Bill Gates has told to relatively new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, that he shouldn’t copy anyone else and be himself.
Everyone brings value on the table. Therefore, you must accept yourself and don’t be a fraud of someone else.
In addition, never ending improvement is also very important part of your life. If you feel hopeless and think that this statement is pointless, then you are simply burnt out. You must spend time with yourself and take some rest.
Having said that, stagnation is never good for ambitious people. You are ambitious too and want to enjoy life. Therefore, improve in your relationships, hobbies, technical skills and be a good person in general. You’ll spread happiness and (almost) everyone around will pay the same back to you.
The environment often associates with feelings. If you revisit your childhood places, you’ll suddenly feel a burst of memories and emotions.
Similarly, it’s the same with your current environment. If it associates with pain, hopelessness, then you might want to rearrange it.
For example, if you really feel sluggish in your environment and you are able to move out (at the same time weighing the financial, relationship risks), then do it. Otherwise, repainting the walls, moving the furniture to other places (or buying new furniture), cleaning up the house can improve your mood dramatically.
Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect. - Margaret Mitchell
Not only the physical appearance of your environment can help you to feel better, but also the physical activity when you perform the rearrangement can help you to reduce or completely remove the thoughts of hopelessness.
If you are feeling hopeless, it could be due to lack of productivity that you are unable to achieve. You might be a perfectionist and want to accomplish a lot of things throughout the day. Consequently, you are not able to complete everything and feel hopeless as a result.
Not only you are disappointed in yourself, but you also reduce your self-esteem and fall in risk to getting stressed and depressed.
Therefore, you should plan your time accordingly with realistic expectations. Track how much of work you are able to do per day. Then, adjust your goals accordingly to the time you spend on tasks. There are plenty of time management tools, like “MS project”, “Focus Keeper”, etc.
However, I’d suggest you starting from simply writing down your tasks in a notebook and assigning how much time you’ll need to spend on them. Usually, about 3 (of course it depends on your work profile; could be less or more) realistic tasks per day are sufficient to keep you busy and engaged.
You can also try implementing Pomodoro method. 1 Pomodoro is a 25-minute interval of work focusing on only one thing and then taking 5 minutes of break. When you complete 4 Pomodoros, you can take a break from 15 to 30 minutes.
Therefore, you might feel hopeless due to tasks that you want to do in a very short (unrealistic) amount of time. That’s where the hopelessness that you are worthless and unskilled can born. Be kind to yourself and give yourself space and time.
If you feel hopeless, you can solve in a very therapeutic way by talking someone you trust. It can be your family member or any friend that you trust.
Pouring your emotions, thoughts, problems to someone can help you feel a lot better even your listener don’t provide with any solutions. Even if he or she simply shares a similar story, you will feel enlightened and will feel like you have someone to relate your situation.
Communication has a healing power that can be underestimated at some times. The most important thing is to be open minded, honest with how you feel and accept rational criticism if you receive it. People you trust don’t want to hurt you. Instead, they want to help you. Nevertheless, always take their opinion with a grain of salt.
However, don’t fall into a trap of self-pity. If you will have a perception that life’s unfair to you all the time, you shouldn’t try solving a problem by tackling with the consequences (pouring your emotions to someone all the time). Instead, you have to look for the root problem and start from there.
For example, if you feel hopeless because you believe that everything you do is unsuccessful, then you have to change your scarcity mindset to a growth mindset. None of the failures are meaningless. “A failure”, in other words, it’s just a way that doesn’t work for you or you haven’t put enough of effort for it to work out. You’ll have to improve your efforts until you succeed.
If I had an hour to solve a problem… I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper questions to ask, for once I know the proper question, I can solve the problem in less than five minutes. - Albert Einstein
The quote above tells it all. If you ask yourself the right questions, you’ll always find a way to solve a problem, which in this case is the feeling of hopelessness and despair.
That’s the essence of solving the problems – asking the right questions. Instead of asking yourself: “why I can’t afford travelling and buying materialistic stuff I want?”, ask “How can I earn more money or what are other ways/alternatives/solutions to my problem?”
Things you should keep in mind when questioning yourself, are:
If you’ll question yourself the right questions, you’ll eventually find out how to solve the root of your problem and feel happier.
If you truly feel hopeless and out of control of your well-being, seek for professional help as soon as possible. Not only you’ll save yourself a lot of time seeking for an answer to your inquiry of feeling hopeless, but an expert will also show you ways how to prevent it in the future.
Psychologists have accumulated an incredible amount of experience throughout the years and will gladly help you in need. They’ll solve the problem or help you relieve your emotional state even if you feel helpless. Remember that it’s always easier to achieve your goals with a mentor. Similarly, a professional will help you to solve your problem much quicker and in an efficient way.
Whatever you feel right now, try to question yourself if that’s real. Perhaps you don’t feel hopeless, you just feel irritated at the moment. You may also find that you have to do a few adjustments to your life, like getting rid of unhealthy habits or changing your environment.
Remember that if you feel like you can’t control your situation, seek for help. There’s always solution to every problem, but sometimes we can’t perceive the right way to find it on our own. Someone else’s idea might put you just on the right track to start feeling better and happier.