I once thought hope was a perky disposition and that I was constitutionally incapable of feeling it. I was, yet again, wrong. Our cynical, sarcastic family is excellent at foreboding joy! But when I heard that research had proven my suspicions about the meaning of hope unfounded, I was comforted to know that I too could be a person of hope.
Here’s what C. R. Snyder, as explained by Brene Brown learned about hope. Snyder says hope is a three part process:
1. The capacity to identify a realistic goal. This aligns nicely with resiliency training, where we have learned that the ability to set and strive for a goal is a skill set resilient people practice and master. Maybe it isn’t realistic to say that you are going to go on a diet and only it sprouts and cauliflower. That’s not realistic (or healthy). Maybe our resolutions have failed because we have not practiced setting a realistic goal! (Good news, we can learn from this!)
2. Set a course to achieve the goal. The path may be winding, which requires flexibility, but it is important to be intentional about walking the path. If the path isn’t working, we get help to adjust our course.
3. Finally, the magic ingredient is this: have enough belief in ourselves that we can stay on the path until we have reached our realistic goal. When I am working out, my trainer believes that I can do things that I would never think were possible for an old lady. But since I am choosing to get it right rather than be right, I acquiesce to her way of seeing me and by dingy - I try. She’s right more than she’s wrong!!
Which part hope do you need some support and encouragement with? Hope may not be warm and fuzzy, but it is an essential element if we are going to stay the course.