Season 2, Episode 1
There is a lot of uncertainty in life, whether in our personal affairs or in our changing and unsteady political climate. The strategies that most of us rely on to contend with such uncertainty tend to be self-defeating. When we face an uncertain future we often resort to feeling anxious, worrying, complaining, or being negative about events that may never occur.
I know I fall into that trap now and again. In fact, this year … and I know we’re not even a full month into it — has been one irksome, annoying day after another! But I persevere, knowing that this, too, will pass.
Some people rise to meet uncertain times with hope and resilience. And you know what? We all need to develop these attitudes if we want to be successful in the face of life’s ebbs and flows.
What does having hope mean?
How do you handle difficult situations? Do you offer platitudes like, “I hope everything will work out”?
Unfortunately, this is just a way of disengaging or checking out of a difficult situation. It is much like sticking your head into the sand.
True hope comes from a source much deeper than this. It comes from your core. At your core, there are vital qualities that help to determine how much hope you yourself feel, as well as what you can offer to others. Hope is an essential component in facing any type of uncertainty, from layoffs, to promotions, to moving, and to the current state of the world.
There is a reason that Hope was within Pandora’s box.
Now I’d like to talk about the three primary qualities of hope. They are
- Strength — You draw from inner strength to tap into your personal powers.
- Resilience — You bounce back when faced with setbacks and obstacles.
- Optimism — You stay positive despite the challenges ahead of you.
These qualities are the antithesis of pessimism, complaining, and worry.
Hope is essential for handling a crisis but it can also serve as your core value on a daily basis. Uncertainty can arrive at any time, whether it appears in a personal issue, a business issue, a national event, or a global event. The situation doesn’t even necessarily need to be negative. It could be the uncertainty and excitement of starting your own business or moving to a new home or expecting a new addition to the family.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the qualities I just mentioned.
Most of us are all too willing to give away our power. We give others permission to control our lives and our emotions. This happens quite commonly in the workplace, in our business life, and in our personal lives. This happens when you find yourself going along with something you disagree with simply because you don’t have the strength or power to speak up. I did this a lot in my former marriage. It was just easier to say “whatever” than it was to fight — or worse yet, sit through another one of his monologues about how my templates were wrong!
However, what could be a more hopeless situation than being without power? You could probably hear it in my voice when I mentioned how it happened to me. When you give up your strength, you feel defeated and hopeless.
Retaining power means that you can stand up for yourself, that you can overcome resistance, that you can turn a catastrophe into an opportunity. True strength is in the core of your being. It’s a quiet calm that isn’t disturbed by events or the turmoil of emotions.
Inner strength establishes self-power that will anchor, uplift, and encourage you. I took back my power the moment I asked for a divorce and did not let him dissuade me from my decision.
Do you want to know what the real secret to longevity is? Resilience!
People who have lived for a long time, how have faced numerous hardships, and yet continue to move forward are resilient. They face hard times and bounce back. They shake off defeat at every turn.
Resilience isn’t about positive thinking. When we’re faced with troubling or sorrowful situations, it’s healthy to feel sad. When you lose a loved one, grief is natural.
Resilience and overcoming adversity comes from a strong sense of self. It isn’t an absence of negative emotions.
Society has taught us that life is hard, that struggling is normal. Society wants us to believe that the safest place for us is behind a wall. In this environment, optimism seems foolish and unrealistic. Yet, when we meet people who are truly optimistic, we are jealous of their cheerfulness. Honestly? Attitudes of pessimism, skepticism, and cynicism come from fear and distrust. Life can take care of itself, that’s the attitude of optimism.
Take, for example, in my current situation. Almost three years ago, I was hit by a car while crossing the street. One of the results of this accident was the loss of two teeth and the rest being woefully misaligned. I’ve spent the last few years undergoing orthodontic treatment and last month began working with a periodontist to replace my missing teeth. The first step was to remove two more teeth. At this point, I don’t have my four top front teeth. The second step is to get implants and the final step is to have permanent crowns and a bridge installed.
However, I’ve just been informed that this process will cost $11K. I don’t currently have $11K lying around. And so, I’m going through a normal process of emotions: Fear, sadness, anger and now optimism. Everything is figure-mutable. I will figure this out. I have hope that I’ll have shiny new teeth very soon.
Finding hope in uncertain times is easier than you think, it’s within you. All it takes is allowing your emotions to process, not wallowing in the negative and searching for that silver lining that is in all dark clouds.