Hope vs Fear: Tips to help you in difficult times

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Hope vs fear – opposite emotions which we all know well.

The earth is a wonderful, creative place to be and when your life is going well, it’s easy to stay hopeful, focused, happy and in tune with your higher self. Everything seems to work out; you meet the right people at the right time, things just seem to fall into place and it seems as if the universe knows everything about your dreams and desires and has sent everything around you, to help you achieve them.

It’s easy to stay positive in these situations because everything you look at seems to reassure you that the universe is on your side and you just feel it with every part of your being. Everywhere you look you see things that are going your way and because of this, you feel good.

You see good conditions and you feel good. 

But what happens when things don’t go the way you had anticipated; or you seem to be hit with a metaphorical curve ball that knocks you for six, leaving you wondering what has gone wrong.

Perhaps you receive a financial blow, or you come across a relationship problem or maybe even a concerning or life-threatening health problem rears its ugly head and you find it harder to maintain your optimistic view of the world. You begin to focus more and more on the things that are going wrong, ignoring anything else, and your once happy mood starts to deteriorate into what some might call ‘depression’.

What options do you have in this situation and how can you get back to feeling good again?

In this situation, there are number of options you have, but I have found that most people fall into one of 2 categories in terms of their reactions.

They can react with FEAR or with HOPE.

And how they react, goes a long way in determining the outcome of the situation.


One thing to understand from the start, is that although you may never be able to control a particular situation or circumstance in every detail, you can always control the way you think about it. And that’s crucial, because:

Your thoughts are creative – everything stems from your thoughts.

In trying to make sense of my life, I have been led down a spiritual path which has been fascinating for me. I was brought up in a Christian household, studied aspects of Gnosticism and Buddhism, yoga, NLP, emotional-intelligence, mindfulness, self-help and positive thinking. And throughout it all, the practice of controlling my own thoughts and the impact these have on my emotions and outcomes, have been key.

I have discovered that whatever happens to me, if I approach it with an element of hope, (however small), the situation inevitably turns out better than if I had succumbed to the feelings of fear. Later I began to understand the law of attraction and everything I had experienced fell into place with my greater understanding of how this works.

Fear may be the starting point – but it is what you do after feeling fear that matters.

Depending on your opinion, there’s a ‘great’ science fiction/super hero film called “The Green Lantern” in which a self-obsessed, cocky test-pilot called Hal, is chosen to become part of a mystical order of intergalactic guardians, keeping the peace in the galaxy. (Go with me here for a moment). He’s given a ring which he is told is the source of his power and it allows him to create anything he can imagine and which he should use to protect earth.

A fellow Green Lantern tells him:

“I’m a Green Lantern. I fear nothing. Fear is the enemy of will. Will is what makes you take action. Fear is what stops you and makes you weak.”

In the movie, Hal needs to use his new-found powers defeat Parallax, a powerful entity which feeds on fear and is determined to destroy the galaxy.

Like all heroes, Hal’s journey to self-discovery is not easy: he is initially cocky and disrespectful, mocked by the other Green Lantern guardians and he experiences failure. This leads him down a path of self-pity and despair when he realises that he is afraid of failing his mission and letting everyone, (but mostly himself) down. And this is contrary to everything he believes a Green Lantern should be, which is fearless.

Like every good movie, just as the hero is knocked down and almost out for the count, they have a moment of realisation, (usually aided by a suitable mentor). In this case, it is Hal’s girlfriend, Cathy who provides his inspiration. She tells him:

“The ring didn’t see that you were fearless. It saw that you had the ability to overcome fear. It saw that you’re courageous.”

Obviously Hal then recovers and goes on to defeat his nemesis, but the point I’m trying to make with this story is that it was not the absence of fear that was needed, just the ability to overcome it.

This is the same for all of us in everyday life. We all feel fear, it is a natural response to situations that we are unsure of or that are challenging to us. The trick is to learn to control the fear and move forward into a more positive emotion such as understanding, eventually leading to hope, faith and trust.

From a law of attraction point of view, you get more of what you think about, or more-specifically, you get more of what you FEEL about something, since the universal language is one of vibrations and feelings rather than words. But what you think about something, leads to your feelings.

If you are faced with a certain situation, and your thoughts are negative and thinking the worst will happen, then you will become fearful; you will feel uneasy, possibly physically sick and your vibration will fall towards the lower end of the emotional scale.

The universe will then respond to your feelings and bring you more of the same.

If, on the other hand, faced with the same situation, you choose to feel hopeful, trusting that things will work out for the best in some way even if you cannot see it yet; your feelings will be more positive and you will be moving up the emotional scale. So the universe will be bring you more of that and ultimately, your outcome will be better.

Esther Hicks/Abraham defined an emotional scale which I’ve listed below. In any situation, the aim is to choose thoughts which move you up the emotional scale towards joy and freedom, and away from fear and despair.


Simple tips if you are struggling with fear today

If you are facing a problem or challenge today and find it difficult to change your thoughts, then here are a few things you can do to help you.

1. TAKE A STEP BACK AND LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE

Things may look grim at the coalface, but in the larger scheme of things, you may get a better overall view of your situation and begin to see your position as a temporary transition period, which will lead to better things in the future (this is hopeful thinking!)

For example, if you have a particular money situation you are worried about, instead of getting bogged down in the details of how you are going to cope, or how you will pay this bill or that bill, remind yourself that things are often cyclical and that you will find a way out, even though you maybe cannot see it right now.

By looking at your situation from this point of view, understanding that life is a constant state of flux and this is just one of the transition periods for you, you will find it easier to be more optimistic and see the wellness that is surrounding you. You will begin to see solutions more readily because you are focused on them, rather than being overwhelmed by the problem.

There’s a great old adage which I love that states:

“Just when the caterpillar thought its life was over, it changed into a butterfly.”

I love this because it reminds me that there is a bigger picture that we are not always aware of, and by trusting in the process, things will work out better in the end.


2. FORGET ABOUT THE PAST

Memories are wonderful things but if they hold you stuck in an emotion based on past events and past outcomes, then they are best forgotten as it causes inertia and will lead to a stalemate where you can go neither forward nor back.

Remember, that whatever you did or whatever happened in the past, is exactly that – past! It cannot be brought back and it can only affect your future now, if you let it. Luckily you have a choice in that if you are choosing your thoughts and reactions carefully and not from a place of fear.

By adopting this approach, you will find that each day, you can move further away from past situations and events and closer towards a better and brighter future. Focusing on the outcome you want in the future will serve you better than constantly reminding yourself about something that happened in the past.

As the adverts for financial services always say: “Past performance is no guarantee of future returns”.

Turn this around to make it relevant for you. Past failures are no guarantee you won’t succeed or get a better outcome in the future. Especially if you have changed your thinking about it.

Changing your thinking, changes your feelings – and that changes the outcome.

You see how it goes?


3. GO ONE STEP AT A TIME

Don’t feel you have to go from despair to joy in one step – you can’t. It’s just too big a jump. Your aim is to move up the emotional scale towards hope and joy and you will do this best by taking small steps. This is natural.

So if you are currently in fear, it’s ok to go to anger, which will feel better.

Blame, although still a negative emotion, is a step closer to joy too.

Your emotions are important – they let you know how close you are to the vibration of your higher self. Recognising that you can move up and down the emotional scale one step at a time, will help you change your thoughts in the right direction.

 


4. LEARN TO RELAX AND HAVE FAITH

My final tip is about just relaxing and having a bit of faith.

Look around you are see what you can learn from your cat!

Cats don’t often worry, they seldom fret about things that happened yesterday or worry anxiously about tomorrow. And they never go out to work!

They are hedonistic, pleasure-seekers whose primary concern is making themselves feel good. They just trust that everything will work out for them in some way, and you know what, most of the time, it does. This way of ‘thinking’ serves the cat well. And we can all learn a lesson here.

I’m not really into organised religion as such, but there are some wonderful truths that we can get from many places.

In the bible it says:

Luke 12:27

“Consider how the lilies grow: They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned like one of these.”

And if your really think about it, how utterly brilliant is that?

Nothing in nature worries. Only humans do that. And yet evolution has endured for billions of years, transforming consciousness from single-celled amoeba into homo sapiens – the most complex living organisms on earth so far.

I’d call that pretty amazing, wouldn’t you? I’d trust in billions of years of positive evolution anyday, over a few negative thoughts about something that happened yesterday.

Now I’m not suggesting here that you find your best pair of rose-tinted spectacles and ignore or gloss over the problems and challenges you currently face.

But what I am suggesting is that by using some discernment and choice in your way of thinking, that you head towards optimism, trust and hope, instead of pessimism and mistrust.


A few years ago, my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and a very wise doctor gave here this piece of advice:

She said:

“Ruth, you’ve been given a diagnosis of cancer, and that’s a fact. We will do everything we can to help you but you also have a choice now, and your choice will determine your outcome. You can face your cancer with hope or you can face it with fear. I urge you to choice hope.”

She did and the rest is history. Ten years later, my mum has not only recovered from her cancer, but 2 knee-replacements and an open-heart, valve-replacement surgery as well. So it is not the situation that matters but your approach to it. And in my mum’s case – hope served her very well.

So the only thing you have to lose by choosing hope and optimism today are your worries! 

I’d give those up gladly – how about you?

Have a wonderful and positive day ane please do check out my relatated articles or leave a comment below.

Gail

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Posted in Positive thinking, Tools.

Hi. I'm Gail and I'm a teacher, coach, writer and blogger who has been involved with self-development and the performing arts for over 30 years. I'm passionate about helping people to develop their full potential and I've studied education, the law of attraction, personal development and NLP which I write about on this site.

I love working with people of all ages and backgrounds and truly believe that we are all unique, unlimited creative beings who can do wonderful things with a positive attitude and spiritual outlook on life.

Here's to your continued success.

Gail

10 Comments

  1. Hi Gail. I can totally relate to what you shared. There have been many times in my life where I’ve been stressed and it brought me down to the bottom level that includes fear. I’m still working on it, but I think I’m making progress by changing the way I think in more of a positive way. The approach I’ve sort of taken is if something negative happens, take a step back and take a look at the grand scheme of things. Essentially one small negative event does not have a significant impact on my life as a whole, let alone the vast universe. Would you agree? This way of thinking doesn’t necessarily get me to the top where I’m feeling hopeful and joyful again, but it at least keeps me away from the bottom. Thanks for the suggestions! I enjoyed reading!

    • Hi Jeremy. I totally agree with you that taking a step back is good way to start looking at your situation in a better, more positive way. Many of us get a bit ‘tunnel vision’ when it comes to problems and we fixate on the problem instead of the solution. A small example is if you suffer a broken bone or something like that. It can seem like the worst thing in the world at the time, but when you stand back, you realise that you were burning yourself out and needed some time to rest and recuperate, which breaking your bone gave you. Not something you want to happen every day, but a better way to think of it in the long run. I also really rate using emotional freedom technique or tapping to help you move up the emotional scale and it’s very good for helping with stress I find.

  2. What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You! For sharing this quality post with others.
    Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for about hope and fear and when I landed to your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in details.
    So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a source for hope and fear.

    I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to read your new posts.)

    Thanks!

    • Hi Ali. Thank you for taking the time to comment on the post and I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it. My aim is to bring things into people’s awareness so that they can make better and more emotionally-astute choices when it comes to their state of mind. This way, they will be more able to create their life in the way they truly want. Thanks again for reading.

  3. Hi Gail, I found that while I was reading this article, goosebumps appeared all over my arms. I am working on looking at the hope side of conflicts that happen in my life. Yes, fear is difficult to overcome when conflicts and challenges happen in your life. But my mom has a saying that I try to repeat to myself when I am faced with difficult times. “When one door closes another opens”. Thank you so much for reminding me of this.
    Tai

    • Hello Taianne and thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I love your mom’s expression and think that it is very true. Things that can appear to be negative in our lives are sometimes just the universes way of moving us on to something better. If you believe that things are always working out, and then trust they will, you can be sure you will be right. Conflict often occurs when we are in a transition period and the vibrations of us and those we are in conflict with, just don’t match up. Eventually, these people will pass through our life and we will be drawn to people who have a similar vibration to us. I’m glad you found the article a good reminder and wish you all the best. Gail

  4. I really find this post totally fit in my life, I had from a few months ago until now a lot of problems, which caused a lot of stress, panic, fear,.. but I thought by myself, that doesn’t help, if I find the good and positive vibe, things will be better. And weird, but we received news a week ago, that couldn’t be better. So I really support your post, because it is all true what you state, and I love it!

    • Hi Emmanuel. I’m so glad that you found the post was along the lines of your own experiences. A universal truth is a universal truth after all. When we have a positive outlook, we definitely attract more positive things into our lives. I’m so glad that you understand this and have shown this to be true for yourself. Keep up the good work and more good things will flow.

  5. What a beautiful post, Gail, thank you!
    I’m what you would consider as a worry-wort, lol. But over the years, I’ve been working on choosing to trust in God and it has helped immensely. Worry will not add to our lives, just take the joy out of it.
    As for the past, it took me a long time to learn to forgive and let go. But once I did, it was like a big weight was lifted off my shoulders.
    I now choose Hope for my future, and it looks so much brighter.
    Cheers,
    Suzanne

    • Hi Suzanne and thank you for your comment. So glad that you have learned that worry only leads to more worry and trusting will lead to more joy. We are all born like this but unfortunately society usually leads us away from our wonderful and trusting selves and then we have to retrain ourselves back to our natural state.
      Hope is definitely my preferred state of being too and I find that if I live in the moment more, that I can stay with hope for longer. Wishing you have a wonderful day. Gail

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