Fear is a big motivator, but it can also be a big reinforcement not to actually get much accomplished. — John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
Losing hope for the future is a terrible thing to experience. For any number of reasons, you can’t see the path that lies ahead and you believe that there is nothing left to look forward to in life, which can lead to depression, ill behaviors such as addiction, and suicidal ideation. Just because you can’t see it, however, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a future waiting for you. Here is what you should do when you see no future for yourself.
First off, we should get negative things out of the way and seek counseling for depression, or seek help with addiction. Once these are out of the way, you can think more clearly and re-focus.
- Rediscover Your Passions, Talents, and Abilities
We all have gifts. Whether you are the next Mozart or you can unclog a toilet like no other human on Earth, you have something that makes you special. Search for that something within yourself and pursue it. The happiness and the excitement that you’ll experience when you accept and chase that dream will give you a new, more fulfilling purpose in life.
- Surround Yourself With People Who Are Successful
Who we choose to surround ourselves with tends to have a direct effect on our personality and other aspects of who we are. If you are friends with people who have no vision, no drive, and no hope for the future for themselves, you are more likely to see those qualities and incorporate them into your life. If you have friends who have their lives planned out, who hustle to get what they want, and who see a better future for themselves and the world, on the other hand, you are more likely to follow in their footsteps and regain that hope for your future.
We have strong needs for connection, acceptance, success, and approval, but we are faced with the reality that sometimes people reject us, get disappointed with us, and put their needs ahead of ours. — Danielle B. Grossman, MFT
- Volunteer Your Time
You will gain an entirely new perspective on life when you begin volunteering your time to others. You will hear some of the most heartbreaking stories from people who are struggling to get through life but who are still motivated to get to where they want to be. This can be inspiring and even if you hear while you are volunteering, you will still get the positive feelings that come with helping others.
- Seek Out People Who Have Been in Similar Situations
Even if you have one of the unique experiences in the world, there is still someone out there who can relate to your story and who has most likely gone through some of the same situations that you are currently going through. Seek these people out and ask them for their advice. Learn from their experiences and use their methods to help yourself out of the rut that you are in. Once you’ve created your vision for your future and you have successfully carried yourself there, you will then be able to use that experience to motivate others.
- Realize That There Is Plenty in Your Life to Look Forward to
Sit down and make a list of everything and everyone in your life that you love. Write down all of your positive experiences and everything that you have wanted to accomplish in your life. I’m guessing that the list in all of those categories is rather long. Take a moment to realize that you will have a future with all of the things that you have written down. There is still a lot of time that you will be spending with each of the people that you love. There is still a lot that you have yet to accomplish. There are still more positive experiences out there in the world that you have yet to encounter. Remember, even if something devastating happens to you and it appears that you will never get out of the darkness, there is always love, light, and hope waiting for you.
In the end, when we are consistently expressing our character strengths for the greater good, we are making a solid and meaningful contribution to society. — Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D