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Choosing Hope

18 Jan

YOU ALWAYS HAVE A (1)Your situation may seem dark right now, yet you get to choose your perspective.

We are surrounded by negativity. Just turn on the news and you will see just how dark the world can appear.

Each morning as you wake up you get to decide what your outlook for that day will be.

Here are some ways to choose hope:

Hope Tools

Start and end each day with gratitude

Gratitude opens your heart to what is really happening in your difficult circumstances. If you have a difficult person in your life write down all the lessons you are learning. Change your perspective about them. Realize you may be their difficult person, as well, as you react to their negativity. Let them know why you are grateful they are in your life.

At the end of the day, gratitude sets your heart at peace about the things you were unable to control during that day. Creativity increases as you let go of your set way of doing things and embrace new options.

Focus on possible solutions

Eliminate complaints from your life. Have you ever heard someone complain about what they are doing? Most of us complain about the things over which we have no control. Focus instead on possible solutions. In any given situation, start brainstorming on the things that you control and how you can change that situation or relationship.

You may not be able to change the outlook of others but you own your choice to look on the hope side of life. You can choose hope every day. Your life will be transformed as you consistently choose hope.

Karen Sebastian is an author, blogger, corporate trainer and gifted speaker who transparently shares the hope she has found in the darkest times of her life. As an ordained minister, she served as co-pastor of several churches alongside her husband Bill who has now moved to heaven. She also founded HOPEpreneurs, a consulting firm dedicated to helping women succeed in the marketplace. Affectionately known as The Hope Lady, Karen takes every opportunity to inspire hope by sharing her rich life experience with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Karen lives in Dallas, Texas, close to her children and grandchildren.

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7 Inspiring Ways to Choose Hope

13 Jan

You can chooseThere are many signs that people are losing hope. All you have to do is talk to young people for a short while to realize that dreamers are discouraged these days. I say it’s time to rekindle some hope with these seven strategies.

Redefine HOPE

Hope is in short supply these days. In fact, the very use of the word hope is now used in a very hope draining way. When someone says, “I hope that everything will work out okay,” they usually mean that they have no assurance that it will be okay. They feel powerless because the circumstances are out of their control. Here’s my definition of HOPE – A confident expectation of good results regardless of the circumstances.” You determine your own hope quotient.

Realize you always have a choice

Your situation may seem dark right now, yet you get to choose your perspective. We are surrounded by negativity. Just turn on the news and you will see just how dark the world can appear. Each morning as you wake up you get to decide what your outlook for that day will be. I have learned to start and end each day with gratitude for exactly what is happening in my life. You may not be able to change the outlook of others but you own your choice to look on the hope side of life. You can choose hope every day.

Remember hard times

You may wonder how remembering the difficult periods of your life can inspire hope. Did you survive? Are you stronger? As I look over the panorama of my life, the times when I struggled are my best stories to inspire others to keep moving toward their goal and purpose in life. Memories of the strength found in caring for my precious late husband make me realize what a treasure our family has in his loving legacy. You are stronger than you realize.

Reflect on good times

Pleasant memories are like a fire on a cold day. They can warm your heart and inspire you to choose to do the things that only you can do. Some of the things that create the best memories are: spending time with family, writing your memoirs, creating an honoring slide show for someone you love, explaining why your family has the crazy traditions each holiday, etc. Pull out the pictures and tell the stories of how you ended up where you are today. You are richer than you think.

Recognize current challenges

A hope perspective does NOT mean that you ignore the challenges you face today. Instead, it means facing the difficult and trying details of your life today. Hope says that you can confidently look the ‘enemy’ in the eye and determine a strategy to overcome. You ask others you can trust to help you get through the trials. You look for solutions that can, in turn, help others. You are more creative than you were before this happened.

Respond with confidence

You will be paralyzed if you wait until you are no longer afraid. It is time to stop asking everyone else what they think you should do and take action. Be firm, bold and courageous. You will get the “butterflies in your stomach” feeling. That’s okay. Take a deep breath and get them to “fly in formation.” You have solutions that others need. Do your homework and ask for the funding for your dreams. You are more confident than those who shrink back.

Recommit to forward movement

This is more than just a pie-in-the-sky exercise. There is something to be said for passion in your life. When you look forward to something you act differently. Move forward and learn from any mistakes you make. You do not have to wait until you have a perfect plan to launch your start-up. Use what you have in your hands right now. Take a step at a time. Celebrate forward movement. You are moving forward every day.

Speak these affirming words every day to increase our HOPE Quotient.

Karen Sebastian (AKA The Hope Lady) is an author, speaker, corporate trainer and Hope Catalyst who delights in sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. To increase hope and make difference in your business, click here.

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