04 Nov Don’t lose hope as a teenager – all the good stuff lies ahead if you take control
When was the last time you ‘hoped’ for something to happen? Whether it was hope about a place, a person or a thing … when did you last wish for it? Equally, when did you last lose hope?
What does hope mean to you as a teenager?
Hope is one of those words that’s super powerful in one situation yet a bit wishy-washy in another. It can be empowering and disempowering depending on how and where you use it. Think about the different versions of hope such as ‘hopefully’, ‘hopeless’, ‘hopelessness’ and ‘hoping’. These variations all have very different meanings.
Hope can be a formidable force when you are at rock bottom. When you feel depressed and downtrodden your body lacks energy and your mind lacks clarity. This could be during your exam studies, enrolling in a new class or starting your first job. It could even be because of bullies at school, over-demanding parents or a clash of personalities with your teacher.
Whatever the reason, we’ve all been there. But when you’re in that dark place the act of clinging onto hope is absolutely the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a spark to ignite a change in your circumstances and take action. Become free from the pressures of exams, take an opportunity to learn new stuff and develop your career or advance in a chance to earn money and gain some independence.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela
Hope creates possibility
How does that sensation of ‘hope’ make you feel inside when you are aware that things are about to change for the better? When you can see the silver lining in a situation and the possibility of a way out is visible, do you feel anticipation or excitement?
Being ‘hopeful’ gives you something to hang on to and believe in. In desperate situations this emotion can absolutely save lives. But this hope needs to turn into some kind of action because if it doesn’t then you will not move towards change.
“Of this be sure: you do not find the happy life … you make it.”
Hope must be combined with a clear intention
Hope combined with a clear intention and action will create a change that leads to progress, a positive outcome. Your hopes should be your goals to enable an idea to become something to achieve. When you hope but never act on that hope it will become unmotivational. You may start to resent the thing you once hoped for. You may begrudge the obstacles that you perceive have prevented you from achieving what you hope for. You might even become fearful or anxious about the situation and this is when that dark place opens up and you feel hopeless.
Remember this … you will give away your power when you hope without action. By taking action you will ignite the desire and intent inside that keeps you moving forward. You will achieve more and you will achieve it faster with this mindset.
“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong. Focus on what could go right.”
Stop whatever you are doing
Yes, that’s right, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, stop now because I want to demonstrate the power of hope to you.
Find a comfortable position and close your eyes. Think about something you would really like to have or to do in your life right now. What is it that you would choose to be different? Push all other thoughts from your mind and passionately hope for that thing to happen. Hope that you get it.
- What are you seeing when you hope for this?
- What do you hear?
- What do you feel?
- What are you saying to yourself?
- Where is this hope in your body – what sensations do you feel?
- Does the feeling have a weight, a shape, a colour?
Consider your emotions and feelings for a few seconds. Now shake off those feelings and prepare for round two!
Close your eyes again, but this time I want you to know with absolute certainty that you already have this thing in your life. It’s happening, it’s yours, it’s real. Notice the differences in how you feel.
- How do you feel?
- What do you see and hear?
- What do you say to yourself now?
- Does it have an identity, a vibration a sensation?
Capture that feeling inside.
Now open your eyes. Which feeling do you prefer? Hope or certainty? I’ve done this exercise multiple times and the only way to be certain is to take action.
Learned hopelessness is a thing – don’t let it take hold
It’s your decision to take control, so don’t lose hope as a teenager. Instead, decide to be different and remove all other outcomes other than achievement. Be determined that your wishes will happen and remove hope from the equation. Hope alone won’t make it happen because the odds are not in your favour and it can turn into hopelessness. Hopelessness is where you feel that people, even the world is against you or has let you down. You feel as though you’re always unlucky, that things aren’t fair. But it’s not true. This is you giving away your power. It’s ‘learned hopelessness’ and your situation becomes hopeless.
‘Hopeless’ is a negative word, but when you describe something as hopeless you actually put a lot more certainty around a situation than ‘hoping’ for something. It’s almost as though the thing you are hoping for has been written off. If this is the case you can give yourself permission to move on. It’s a fresh opportunity to start something new, something positive. A new hope that you can assign an action to.
“Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try.”
Hopefully should raise alarm bells
Be aware of the person that says they will hopefully do something. What they are really saying is ‘maybe I will’, ‘maybe I won’t’. There is no commitment from ‘hopefully’ and what the person is really doing is creating an excuse, a get out clause in advance. It’s wishy-washy speak again!
I’m going to wrap up the session by saying ironically ‘I hope you’ll now think about using the word hope differently’. To clarify, I’m using the words ‘I hope’ because ultimately the control lies with you.
“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.” ― Margaret Mitchell
Choose the life you want to lead
Hopes and dreams must be turned into action somehow. Start off by removing the habitual ‘hope’ and ‘hopefully’ from your internal and external dialogue unless you are willing to take the steps to turn whatever it is you are hoping for into an action.
I’m excited to hear what your ambitions are and what you dream about doing, having and achieving. If you have any questions or would like to share anything privately with me, please email me. Alternatively, let’s connect on social media and add some accountability to your hopes. You can reach me on the networks below.
Wishing you an action-filled week of absolute certainty.