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How We Lose Hope and How to Get it Back

Hope is the life force that keeps us going and gives us something to live for. Hope is a crucial part of dealing with life’s problems and maintaining resilience is the face of obstacles. Even a glimmer of hope that our situation will turn around can keep us going.

Though, when we begin to lose hope, things can seem bleak. When we run into constant resistance and are prevented from reaching our goals we can start to feel like there is nothing to live for. If we can’t get to where we want to be and don’t feel in control of our life, what’s the point?

If you or someone else is feeling apathetic and are tired of running the rat race of life you may be starting to lose hope. In order to open up new and fulfilling possibilities for your future, you may need to nurture hope.

Below is an adaptation from the book, The Psychology of Hope by C.R. Snyder, a late and great pioneer in the field of positive psychology.

How we lose hope

  • Lacking hope from the beginning – If we experienced neglect and were never nourished as a child, we may never have developed a healthy level of hopeful thinking. We might not have confidence and resilience set in place, and simply struggle when things prevent us from achieving our goals.

-3 Comments to
How We Lose Hope and How to Get it Back

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  1. Hi;
    My son has severe arthritis, and just turned 33. This condition will only worsen over time, and he already appears as though in his eighties. There is no hope in him. How can I help him before we both die?

  2. I have been hopeful most of the time for the past 25 years. Mainly because I came to believe God was going to help me finacially. I know I am a slow learner but finally after all the these years I realize that there is no way he will help me like that. I read your article and am actually depressed. Since I have never accomplished a goal and feel so terrable when I don’t accomplish it I don’t think I’ll make any more.

    • JW I hope you’re still here to see this. My mom wrote gospel songs and spent over 30 years hoping and wondering why nothing ever became of them. At the age of 70, singing in an elderly quartet for a church talent show, she was approached by a Nashville music producer who is now working with her on producing her songs. 25 years may seem too long for us. But God doesn’t work on our time schedule.

      We also need to remember that we can’t simply ask God to take care of all our wants if we’re not listening. I’ve often purchased frivolous items I felt I truly needed but they were honestly just items of comfort to make life easier. But what if I didn’t purchase those and instead purchased CDs or stock? It might be 30 years before my finances improved but I would at least be taking steps towards it. What if we returned to school part time? It may bring us a better job in the future.

      I say this as one who’s lost hope many times, have battled a childhood of molestation and criticism, childhood major illness, who deals with poor health and mounting medical bills right now, single parent raising a special needs child who’s very demanding while working full time and barely keep my head above water.

      But by holding onto God’s promises, I’ve gone from 99% hopeless to maybe 30%, as a rough estimate. I’ve moved from mostly negative to way more positive. I have down days. But I have more up days now because I’m trusting more and more in God’s promises.

  3. I have been working 12 years in an entry level job even though I have a master’s degree. I recently applied for a higher management job which I did not get. One of the interviewers is someone who tends to yell at me. She doesn’t respect the staff. I have had to stay at my job because I have been taking care of my elderly mother. My father who died a few years ago was a pack-rat, and I have been sorting through his stuff. I have given up on my whole life (love, the idea of having my own family, career). My home is even a mess. I have felt unwanted in work and love. I’m exhausted most of the time, and I feel like I am going to burst into tears. I feel empty and dead inside. Sometimes I wish a 12.0 earthquake would just take me and my problems out. I don’t know how I can get hope back at this point. The future just seems bleak.

    • Hopeless, this was posted two years ago. Did things get better? I hope they did.

    • I hope the same


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