Hope and also the absence of hope, hopelessness, came repeatedly across me during the last weeks.
Customers who come to me with eyes full of hope. Who look positively into the future, are motivated and want to get started or already did. 
 
And there is also the other side. Absence of hope. The image that describes it best for me is a dried out piece of land. Or, better yet, burnt. A burnt field.
With some people that’s immediately obvious. For example, clients who can’t find any job. Who have applied a lot and lost their courage.
 
And often both are close together: hope and hopelessness. And sadness. Giving up, courage lost.
 
 
There are many possible causes, for example:
  • Blows of fate
  • Disease
  • the obstacles of moving to a country whose language, rules and requirements are very different from your own
  • sudden poverty
 
These are definitely far reaching effects, where each of you would probably have some kind of “understanding” for despair, and perhaps also, in any case, temporary hopelessness.
 
But sometimes it comes rather sneaky. Little by little experiences cut into our lives and we lose hope. For my clients it is often the subject of rejection. Every application requires courage and the application feels more and more like a process of being open to attack or vulnerable and at the mercy of – to put it nicely – „feedback” from potential employers. With every disappointing experience the motivation to expose oneself to it decreases.
 
This sneaking process also often entails the fact that their hopelessness does not show itself immediately to the people around them. Often energy is put into a new path and the last hope is pinned on it. “If I do this study or retraining, THEN I will…”
 
But the new path does not lead me necessarily to where I want to go – and if, for example, you are still learning a new profession at the end of your 40s, it does not automatically mean that it will be easier for you to find a new job in this area than in the one where you have already worked in. I often experience it with customers that they give up one area as hopeless and want to start with full force in the direction of something new, of something that is first associated with less pain – but while doing this sometimes they forget their actual goal.
 
Sometimes it feels as if a new plant would quickly blossom on this burnt ground – but how do we best deal with it? What is the best way to make this plant of new hope thrive and ensure that it won’t be killed with the next light breeze – or burst into flames and burn?
 
Hopelessness can be there in general, in all areas of life or as life attitude – or just in one area, for example your job – or your partnership.
 
 
 
 
 
Very important is: If it’s not a temporary state and nothing can grow anymore, but the person is sitting in a dark hole and can’t get out of it, if it’s rather a dark whirl that tears into the abyss, then it’s no longer what I’m talking about here. Then it makes sense to talk to a doctor about it.
 
But back to partial hopelessness:
 
What can you do if you realize that you feel hopeless?
How can you find again hope?
How can you look towards the future with confidence?
 
Here are a few clues on how to get hope back in your life.
 
The important thing is to see how much you can change about how you feel yourself. You cannot necessarily change all the circumstances in your life – but you can take responsibility for how you behave and you can choose your point of view.
 
  • Meditate: I’ve mentioned it before in other episodes: Meditation and silence will help you to get back to yourself, in peace and also to look positively into the future. If you are a believer, praying can also help you – that is also a kind of meditation. One of my clients, who was feeling hopeless in his job, had his eyes light up when he talked about praying. In that area, for example, it was easy for him to have hope.
  • be realistic: Why did you lose hope? On the subject of applying: not even every advertised position really exists. I remember a big company that, despite a hiring freeze, published a lot of job ads for marketing purposes. This way the competition doesn’t even notice how bad things actually are. Being realistic also means: How many applications have I written? 20 applications over several months, if someone is unemployed for a while, is NOT a lot. And of course, despite the example, my chances are higher when a position is advertised than when I send unsolicited applications, because the company may not need anyone in my area of expertise.
  • Be aware why you are hopeless: I know several examples where hopelessness came from a single statement or experience. So, don’t listen to the one friend who told you that you can’t work in retail in Germany if you don’t have the right education. I could give you some more examples now, where hopelessness was caused by one key moment. NO! So, try to find your courage back.
  • Ways to deal with rejection: Look for ways to deal with rejection. No matter whether it’s about work or in life in general. Yes, we strive for love, approval and appreciation. But we also get our butts kicked from time to time. And that’s why it’s good to establish techniques and mechanisms in your life that help you to feel safe. Here are a few more examples.
  • Eating lollipops: How to comfort a child who falls down. As an adult I can allow myself something as simple as “for an injured knee here you get a lollipop”.
  • Allow yourself to have your feelings, even your bad ones. If you just find them stupid and want to get rid of them, they are still there – and mostly, at least subliminally, much longer.
  • Plan beautiful moments. Talk to someone, report briefly about your bad experience and then do something nice – and really plan it – with yourself, your partner, family or friends. Maybe it is easier in those areas of life where things are going well. So, make sure you have joy and positive feelings in your life.
  • What are you looking forward to in the next few weeks? Draw yourself an overview of it.
  • Find examples to prove the opposite: If someone tells you what you can’t do, find examples of where they’re right – and also examples where you CAN do it.
  • Create incentives: If you are aware of where you want to go, you are more easily motivated.
  • Your successes: In the evening, think about what your successes – even small ones – and your best moments of the day were. And look at them: What have I myself contributed to have that success? There you also see your own responsibility. For example, I met with a colleague I hadn’t seen for ages and who was in Cologne. So I rescheduled my appointments and drove for an hour each way. This was my way to contribute to that.
  • Let someone help you: Ask for help. Or, what I like as well: Pay someone who is an expert to help you. This is often easier than talking to someone who plays an important role in your life, who is not objective and who may be under stress himself.
  • Inspiration: Who in your environment is full of hope and confidence? Learn what parts of their behaviour you like!
 
Well, this got a little out of hand and longer than I thought. I hope this is helpful for you. Of course, I just briefly addressed a few things. … but you’ve got a lot of leads now. 
 
 
I wish you much joy in finding and having hope!
 
Be happy & be light
 
Love Janina
 
 
 
 
 
 

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