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3 things that help when you’re struggling and losing all hope

Struggling and losing hope?
The other day I published a post about ‘hope’ on my Instagram feed – it was one of the prompts of the #augustbreak photo challenge I take part in every year.  It had certainly got me thinking. About what it is and what happens when (for some reason) we find ourselves struggling and losing hope.

Occasionally the prompts and the words that need to accompany my chosen photo push me a little out of my comfort zone (which is a good thing). It certainly led me to writing a little more about it here.

Does your life or your business always run smoothly? I bet it doesn’t.

Even when you’re in a good place, the next challenge or obstacle often just waits around the next corner. A serious illness, relationship problems, or your small venture being in trouble – life always seems to have a way of throwing a spanner in the works.

And usually we manage ok, especially when we have a positive mindset. But even positive people can find themselve struggling and losing hope!

 

hope and a positive mindset

Why you need optimism and hope

Optimism is having positive thoughts that reassure you that all will be ok. And I think of hope as that deep feeling that makes you look into the distance where, hopefully, you are coping with your setback and turning a corner.

Having both is vital in each and every challenging situation that we find ourselves in. Particularly new situations that we are experiencing for the first time.

But it is hope that shines a light in the darkness and helps you to put one foot in front of the other – despite any of the fear or worry that might have been stopping you in your tracks.

Not having hope is a terrible and lonely place to find yourself in. I know. I’ve been there.

The problem is, you can plan and try to solve problems with your head but sometimes your heart stops you in your tracks. And another difficulty is that you  may not be able to see the full picture anyway and start worrying whether your actions will make a difference.

You certainly can’t force optimism or hope – ideally they come from within you, like a light you need to switch on yourself.

sunflowers giving hope

3 tips for when you’re struggling and losing hope

Do you have a gratitude practice?

Practising gratitude always helps me through the lows –  like that time when I lost my biggest and best customer. Or when the recession hit big time. And more recently, when I was diagnosed with a worrying lung disease. (It’s when I struggled for a while to adjust as it affects many aspects of my life and my work.)

Have you ever tried practising gratitude every day?

It might only take 5 minutes and you can do it in the morning before you start your day, or at the end of the day before you go to bed. And all you need is a little notebook or your phone to capture at least 3 things you are grateful for that day.

You’ll probably find that as the days go by your list will gradually get longer and your mindset will slowly improve!

Talk to someone you trust

This should be a given, but you’ll be surprised how many women continue to struggle on their own. Over the years I’ve seen many women wait far too long before  plucking up the courage to talk to someone outside their business. But once a situation has escalated it can be really hard for anyone to pick up the pieces.

A mentor or business coach has the unique ability to look form the outside in. They either have the tools or the experience to help you work out the best course of action.

Even a colleague who knows you  may find it easier than you to see what’s happening and what could be done.

Although please be warned, not every friend or colleague you know and trust will be completely impartial. You want to stay clear of people who might not respect confidentiality or even have an agenda of their own. Both scenarios happened to me once which subsequently encouraged me to look for regular guidance from a professional mentor. (Who fortunately also stopped me from making several potentially expensive mistakes.)

Use the power of an inspirational quote

If things are tough and hope is a little elusive right now, maybe the following saying will inspire you?

“Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are”.

(I’m not sure who said it but it’s one of my favourites and it helps me a lot)

So there you are. Three of my favourite things you can do to stop struggling and losing hope.

What helps you to feel hopeful when something worrying happens?

Ute

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