We must tell ourselves that we believe in hope. If thinking makes it so, then it’s much better to believe in hope than to dismiss it. Positive thoughts can motivate us to get to work on our action plans in recovery. Make it a point to greet each day with a positive outlook. When we first awake in the morning, give thanks for the new day and our opportunity to do something good for ourselves in recovery. This sets the stage for us to meet challenges and begin to recognize the opportunities that they contain, instead of turning aside with a defeatist attitude thinking that we couldn’t possibly tackle what’s before us. Acknowledge the good things we’ve done today. This is a kind of self-reckoning, a tally of all the things that we accomplished on our to-do list today for our recovery. Each one should help us increase our optimistic attitude, since each one took some doing and we pushed through to complete it despite obstacles. Every accomplished task is one more boost to our self-esteem and should add to our reservoir of hope.
Recognize that hope builds upon hope. The more our outlook on life improves, the stronger our hope becomes. When we can look at a task or project and see a positive outcome from our efforts to achieve it, we are laying the groundwork or foundation for our ability to tackle ever more challenging and rewarding tasks. Gradually, our horizons expand and we begin to believe that we are indeed capable of much more than we’ve ever given ourselves credit for. We are building upon our accumulated stores of hope, and that will help sustain and nurture and motivate us going forward.
Help others to realize their own hope. We aren’t alone in our desire to have hope. When we can help others to see that they can achieve their dreams and lift their spirits with an encouraging word or gesture of support, we are also helping increase our own feeling of hope. Spread the good feelings around and give to others. It’s a truism that we help ourselves when we help others. It doesn’t take much to do this and it certainly doesn’t cost a dime. It’s also one of the simplest ways we can go about bolstering our reserves of hope. What happens if we’ve tried these things and still feel slightly deficient in the hope department? The only answer here is that it may take a little longer for some of us to overcome years of feeling no hope and having no goals to work toward. But we can get there. Just take it slow. Don’t expect too much of ourselves. Certainly don’t beat ourselves up over not being able to summon up strong hope toward a situation. Be grateful for what we have today, right now, and learn to build upon that. This is, after all, a process. Recovery is a path that is unique to each of us, yet we can all be supportive of one another. And, in that, we are helping increase our own share of hope.