In the previous article on Hope, Part One, I discussed what I believe to be the single biggest thing a supporter can do for someone they support and why. In this article I am going to explore how you actually undertake to do this.
“When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.” – Author Unknown
How do you give hope?
As with all things – seek first to understand. You need to know where they’re at and what they want.
Consider yourself a leader. A leader for the person you are supporting. As Napoleon, a once great leader, said “A leader is a dealer in hope.”
The first thing I believe we need to do as a supporter is to build hope for the person versus the outcome they are looking to achieve. Understand this, because it is so important, and I’ll discuss it again in another article. Nothing is permanent. Nothing is permanent. Desires, values and goals, and how you view the world change over time. How you feel this very second is different to how you felt a few minutes ago, and yesterday, and how you will feel tomorrow. Your brain has a super powerful ability to play tricks on you. If you let it, it can make you feel despair in an instant. It is the person that is constant, and how we feel constantly changes – sometimes in the blink of an eye. Our perception of the reality around us, and what is happening changes.
I’ve had situations where business owners, or people I’ve been supporting have been trying to achieve something and they’re on the brink of despair because things just aren’t working. They feel that things are hopeless. They’re really in no state to consciously achieve what they set out to achieve, and even in some cases what they believe they want to achieve is not actually good for them, such as making a toxic relationship work. In such situations you need to slow them down and make sure they know they’re ok and will be ok no matter what happens. “Everything will be ok.” “You will be ok.” The person will be ok. No matter what position they are in or what has happened – there is hope for the future for them. Sometimes hope is all there is. Their picture of how they see themselves may – and often should – change.
Once you feel that they can feel hope for themselves, that they will be ok, then you can move on. Then focus on the thing they are looking to achieve. Sometimes it is a matter of looking at things differently. Maybe the outcome they’re trying to achieve is worthy, however the path they’re on is the wrong one. Instead of seeing themselves as “I am unhappy in a toxic relationship” to “I am happy single” or whatever. When you have got them in a positive frame of mind, and they’ve determined that what they seek to achieve is worthy, then give hope for the positive outcome. Go past the “why” – and why things aren’t good. Drag them up and out, and focus on the “how” you can get there. “You can do this. Let’s work out how.” Do they need new support, courage to make changes, do things differently – review all options. But keep your eye on the goal and constantly support hope until it once again becomes a belief that it is achievable. Build belief in oneself and hope in the goal.
“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.” – Anne Lamott
Please share your thoughts on hope and how it has worked for you.
At EKO we know that providing support to people can be challenging. Because of this we have created this series of informational newsletters which we believe will be of value to you in your service to others. Remember, at EKO we believe no one should be alone in their journey – whether they are seeking support or supporting others.