With or without chronic / persistent pain, there is a lot of uncertainty in life, whether in our personal affairs, our physical or mental health, or in our changing and unsteady political climate. Often 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.
But some people rise to meet uncertain times with hope and resilience. We need to develop such attitudes if we want to be successful in the face of life’s ups and downs.
What does having hope mean? Think of how 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. True hope comes from a source much deeper, your core. In my chronic pain clinics, we often discuss your core, as 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.
Hope’s Primary Qualities
- 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.
The above qualities are the antithesis of pessimism, complaining, and worry. Rather than be self-defeatist, you can be strong, resilient, and optimistic, and in this way improve your self-esteem.
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 health 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.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the qualities that were mentioned above.
Most of us are all too willing to give away our power. Yet, what could be a more hopeless situation than being without power? This can happen in both business and personal relationships. You can find yourself going along with something you disagree with simply because you don’t have the strength or power to speak up.
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 established self-power that will anchor, uplift, and encourage you.
We often see the elderly celebrated in the media for reaching 100. They are always happy to share the secret to their long life. They all have different secrets, from a cigarette and a glass of whiskey every day, to 3 glasses of red wine a week.
The truth is that they didn’t win the gene pool lottery, nor were they immune to the woes of life. They were resilient. They faced hard times and bounced back, shook defeat off at every turn. Being resilient is the true secret to avoiding victimhood.
It isn’t about positive thinking. When we’re faced with sadness, it’s healthy to deal with sadness; when we lose a loved one, grief is natural.
Resilience and overcoming adversity comes from a strong sense of self.
Society has taught us that life is difficult, that struggling is the norm. 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. Attitudes of pessimism, skepticism, and cynicism come from fear and distrust. Life can take care of itself, that’s the attitude of optimism.
Finding hope in uncertain times is easier than you think, it’s within you.