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  • Writer's pictureJulie Terry-Jenner

Is hope holding you back?

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

When you think of hope, what comes to mind? Maybe that warm, happy feeling of something good coming your way. Possibly that anticipation of hard work finally pays off. It might even be a vague feeling that a situation or person is going to change for the better.

Hope is often seen as something warm, sunny, and positive and this can distract us from the emptiness of blind, unfounded hope. This is the darker side of hope and which can lead you to wait longer than you should, to put up with a situation that is doing you harm or can have you believing you don’t deserve better.

Through my own personal journey, and from working with many others, I found that hoping for the wrong things can be very damaging to the self. For example, if you are in an unhealthy relationship, and you keep holding on and hoping that the other person will start treating you right, or they will suddenly become a better person, you may be hanging onto hope for something that does not exist.

If you are in a job you hate and are hoping it will get better, or that you will get the raise you deserve, or that your boss will suddenly start valuing people as they should, is this blind hope stopping taking action to make the changes that will make you happy.

Hoping, and waiting, for something or someone else to change is refusing yourself the right to take action. It can stop you from seeing what is really going on around you and prevents you from taking steps to being happy. The harsh reality is better than false hope as at least it is honest. It might not be happy at first glance, but seeing the reality allows you to see what you need and to start working out how to get it. Hope can be a bit of a tease, designed to prevent us from accepting our reality.

Once you can see the false hopes you are holding onto, you can then start to redirect that energy into something more positive and begin to make life-changing decisions. You can see an unhealthy relationship for what it is and decide if you can bring changes to help it survive, or not. You can really look at what it is about your job you hate and work out if you want to stay or look for something new. All of a sudden you have choices you didn’t have before. You rediscover a strength that has probably been hidden for a while and can use it for situations that are far healthier for you. Hope cannot and will not do the work for you.

Once you start letting go of anything that is holding you back, once you remove your blinkers, your worldview changes. You begin to see solutions rather than problems. You can take responsibility for yourself and take control of your life again. Choose where you hope, and let go of anything that stops you from getting what you want and deserve.

One final example of how blind hope can stop you from getting what you want:

A man died of old age after living a full but difficult life.

When he reached Heaven he said to God

“I was a good man, I never hurt anyone, I looked after others

and I only ever prayed for one thing and that was to win

enough money on the lottery to provide for my family”.

God looked at him when a sad smile and said

“All you had to do was buy a ticket!”

Could counselling be your lottery ticket?

*** If you would like support or help to talk about anything in this blog, please get in touch. I know things can be confusing at times, and that's why I am here. I offer a non-judgmental safe space to ensure you get the best possible outcome from your sessions. I offer both online and in-person treatments. My therapy room is based in Alton, Hampshire. I'm on the Hampshire/Surrey Boarder and just 15 minutes from Basingstoke and Farnham. Talk Helps is at the end of a direct line from London, Waterloo. ***

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