Each day I talk with clients who are struggling to make a change. They want to leave a job they hate or end toxic relationship, or they want to go back to college or ask someone out on a date. They give lots of reasons why they can’t or haven’t…but it all boils down to one core feeling. Fear.

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The Connection Between Hope and Change

Hope is characterized as a feeling of expectation and desire for something to happen. Throughout our lives, we have all felt hopeful about something happening, but also a lack of hope when going through tough times. On a deeper level, hope can bridge the past and future and instill motivation and confidence in us that our lives can improve. Conversely, feeling hopeless about the future can lead us to sadness and despair, which could eventually lead to depression.

While hope itself can be a very powerful concept, I have seen many clients who solely rely on this idea that “things will hopefully get better”, without taking any action or responsibility to make a change in their lives. They hope that they make a better grade on their next test, or meet their soulmate, or finally stop drinking. I believe having a positive mindset of hope can be one of the most positive tools of changing your life; however, my suggestion is to fully embrace the feeling of hope emotionally, but also take action behaviorally. So, can you hope for change and change with hope at the same time? Absolutely. Here are just a few ideas on how to bridge the gap between these two and how I’ve used them in therapy sessions with clients.

Looking at life holistically.I have seen clients get caught up in a present struggle with a lack of focus on the past and how they persevered through those trying times.

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