September 22, 2020 by Dymphna

T-Bomb: the two sources of hope

Truth Bomb Tuesday: If you’re waiting for hope to come, I’ve got another trick for you.

I’m hearing more and more people describe their situation as ‘hopeless’.

This is something I’ve heard a lot in my line of work over the years. In fact, a significant number of people come to see me precisely because that’s the situation they have found themselves in.

They just can’t see a way out of their situation. And if they can’t see a way out, they start to believe that there actually isn’t a way out, and they’re stuck. They’re hopeless.

So what’s my advice to people who are in this jam? Who feel hopeless?

“Do something.”

“Do something? Like what?”

“Doesn’t really matter.”


No, I’m serious. Just do something. Take a step. Just get into action.

Maybe it’s sorting out your taxes. Maybe it’s having a chat with a mortgage broker to see if you can find a better deal. Maybe it’s setting up a system to pay down some credit card debt.

Do one of these things. Do the easiest thing. Just get something done.

It doesn’t matter if you still can’t see a way out. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing your taxes without any sense of hope. Don’t worry about it.

Just act.

Because if you act, hope will come.

And this is the thing that we don’t understand about hope. Hope is born out of action.

We normally think about it the other way – that action is born out of hope. First we get inspiration, then we put that inspiration into action.

It can work like that. If you’re willing to rely on some external power coming down and meeting you in your hopelessness and bestowing you with hope, go for it.

But you’re giving all your power away. You’re letting your fate swing on whether the universe decides to bless you with inspiration or not.

But this outside-in form of hope is not the only form of hope.

There is another hope that comes out of action.

In a picture of hopelessness there are actually two elements. There is our situation – as overwhelming as it is, and then there’s our capacities.

Hopelessness comes when our perception of the situation looks like it outguns our capacities.

But if you’re in a ‘hopeless situation’ its likely that a few things have gone wrong, and you’re probably starting to doubt your skills and abilities.

In my experience, at this stage, it’s likely that you are significantly underestimating them.

And so when we act – when we get stuff done and just put ourselves into action – then we start to repair our sense of self and what we are capable of.

That can change the equation radically.

And so what I notice is that when people act – when they get a few runs on the board – they get their taxes done, of they cut up the smallest credit card – their self-confidence starts to return.

There’s a feeling of forward movement again. There’s a new feeling that we might be up for this after all.

And with that, comes hope.

And so this is the secret hack that I wish everybody knew. Hope can come from within.

We can build our own hope.

Who do you think needs to hear this right now?