By Paula Bianchi –
How many times have you been let down because something you hoped for didn’t happen? If your answer is, more times than I care to count, then, you can understand why hope can be such a difficult mind game to play.
When we build our hopes up for something we really want or for a certain outcome in a given situation, it can be very devastating and depressing, when we don’t get what we wanted or if the outcome of a situation doesn’t end how we feel it should.
We enter competitions with the hope of winning, but there’s always the chance that someone will be better than us. Even when we know this, not winning is still hard to come to terms with.
Employees hope they’ll get a raise or a promotion because they feel they’ve earned it, then, when it doesn’t happen, it’s a blow to their ego and wallets.
When a high school graduate places all of their hopes and dreams on attending a certain college, then, they receive a rejection letter from them, it can be very crushing and painful, leaving them feeling unsure about their future.
Families who are dealing with alcoholics or drug addicts, are always hoping and praying that their loved ones will choose to quit because it hurts so much to watch them flounder through life.
A writer hopes and prays for a publisher to publish their book, but they become discouraged when the publishers send their book back with a rejection letter, and they never give pointers on how you should fix your book.
When things, like the above, don’t go the way we had hoped for, our minds begin to spin with lots of questions. What’s wrong with me? Why didn’t they accept me? Is it about my looks? Did I say or do something wrong? How can I change it? Will I ever get what I wanted? And on and on.
Thus, begins the mind games we play as we try to answer these questions. Our minds are always looking for ways to get what we hope for, and trying to figure out why our hopes were dashed seems to be the biggest part of our puzzle, while we try to come to terms with our disappointment. This is where it depends upon us to play our mind games wisely.
How can we do that? You may ask. First, we should always have a backup plan for what we didn’t hope for. Even when you don’t want to think about it, you should still be ready for it and have a plan for what you should do next.
An example of this could be: what the employee does, when he doesn’t get the raise or promotion he hoped for. His plan may be to find a new job, or to just sit it out until the next evaluation.
I’ve heard some people say they can’t even think about any other outcome other than what they hope for, then, when what they hoped doesn’t happen, they’re left feeling overwhelmed because they don’t have a backup plan on how they should proceed with what they never wanted to think about.
Second, we should always remember that not getting what we hoped for, doesn’t mean we’re never going to get it. Just because we create these little scenarios in our heads on how we’ll get what we’re hoping for and when we should get it, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen the way we may have fanaticized about it. If what you hoped for is truly meant to happen or is something you’re supposed to get, then, it will happen in its own time and in its own way. Be patient.
Third, don’t be the reason why you didn’t get what you were hoping for. We can sabotage ourselves from getting what we hoped for by our own actions. Especially, if they run contrary to our hopes. Sometimes, we get just a slice of the pie and get something that’s close to what we hoped for. Don’t kill it with an all or nothing attitude. We may not be ready for the whole pie yet.
Lastly, always be prepared and willing to do the work you need to do to get what you’re hoping for. If you hope, with all your heart, for something or for a certain outcome in your life, you have to do whatever you can to help achieve it. It could be as simple as changing your attitude, or putting yourself out there for all to see. Doing anything is better than just sitting there waiting for it to happen.
Sometimes, getting what you hoped for can turn into a nightmare, like marrying the wrong person or having everything go wrong on the vacation you hoped to take. There are so many times in life where we regret getting what we hoped for, and it makes us wish we never got it in the first place. It’s a double-edged sword.
For those of us who have had our hopes, in an ongoing situation, squashed over and over again, can be very devastating and hard to accept. With each disappointment, we become more and more numb to the whole situation.
A good way to deal with situations like this is to stop placing anymore hope into the situation. Go into it without any expectations and be willing to accept any outcome, (even the unacceptable) so our hopes won’t get crushed again. Keep saying, “It is what it is.” Especially for things, that are out of our control.
It goes without saying that we don’t always get what we’re hoping for, but learning how deal with the times that we don’t, can really make or break us. When we consciously choose how to win our mind games, we’re choosing to take care of our soul.
In my next mind games article, I’ll write about confrontation. Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again on Tuesday. Bye for now.