6 Hopes That Are Ruining Your Life and Why Hope is Not Good For You

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Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

We have all been brought up with the word 'Hope' in our vocabulary. However if you stop to think about it in your own life you'll realise just how damaging the word is.

The dictionary definition of hope is:

"to want something to happen or be true"


Two types of hope

First person hope

First person hope is when we hope something for ourselves.

When we hope for something to happen in our own lives we are giving our power away to an unseen force and telling ourselves 'I can't do it, so I will just hope it happens'. We are telling ourselves that we are too weak to make something happen, so we will just hope it happens.

Third person hope

Third person hope is when we hope something happens for others

Hoping for someone else is completely different from first person hope, like 'I hope my friend gets better soon' or 'I hope my team will win their match today' or 'I hope my son or daughter does well in their interview today' – that is a different type of hope. You have no control over the outcome as it's up to another person or set of events that will make something happen. So hoping for someone else is like wishing them well in whatever they are doing and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

However when we hope that something happens for ourselves we are giving our power away, and that's when we have to replace the word hope for something else.

Here are 6 hopes we must give up in order to empower ourselves again:

I hope I get rich someday

Everything about that statements says 'I lack money in my life, and can't find a way to get more." When you are hoping to become rich you are just reaffirming that you have no money in your life.

A better statement, or question to ask your mind is:

"What can I do to bring more money into my life?" As soon as you ask yourself that open, positive question, your mind will get to work on giving you answers.

I hope I do well in my exams

When you have put in the effort and the hard work in studying for exams of any kind, then there is no need for hoping. Again, you are telling yourself that the outcome of the exam you are taking is in the hands of another, when in actual fact it's completely within your control.

A better re-affirming statement for this would be:

"I am confident in my ability to pass this exam."

I hope I meet my perfect partner

Listen to that statement inside your head for a few seconds and you'll realise you're giving up on actually finding your perfect partner and handing over the controls to fate.

Now, I really do believe that if things are meant to happen they will, but you also have to work to make the chance of it happening more likely. It's like positive thinking does not work unless you take positive action. So, you're never going to find your perfect partner unless you make it more likely that you'll cross their path and to do that you have to do things to make that more likely e.g. join an online dating site, take a college course, go out with your friends more often, join a local group.

A better statement to tell yourself is:

"My perfect partner will come into my life when I am ready."

I hope I get a better job

How many times have you heard people saying this.

The only way you are going to get a better job in life is to do something that increases your chances of getting a better job. It's all about statistics.

Think about this scenario in terms of statistics:

You work in a factory part time and you are hoping you get a job of a primary school teacher. What are the chances of you getting the job of primary school teacher – 0%

You work in a factory part time and during the day you attend college to study to get your teaching degree, which you gain after a few years – 90%

You work in a factory part time and during the day you attend college to study to get your teaching degree, and also volunteer working in the local school – 95%

Hoping that something will happen, will, statistically, not happen unless you do something to make it happen, and then it is no longer a hope it's a working goal.

A better statement or question would be

"What can I do to increase my chances of getting a better job?"

I hope I find my perfect home

Nobody ever found their perfect home with hope. We find our perfect home when we go out and actively look for it or ask our friends to keep a lookout for our ideal home and usually give them a criteria to look out for.

Sitting down to watch a soap in the evening will never bring your perfect home to you, instead it's time to search the net, the estate agency sites, or private listings in the local paper.

A better statement would be:

"My perfect home is out there, and I will find it the more I keep looking for it."

I hope I become famous one day

We're living in a world of instant fame with TV shows like The X-Factor, (Your Country)'s got Talent, The Voice etc

You'll notice that anybody who appears on shows like this already has a talent of some kind, have usually worked years to perfect their act, and they have put themselves in a better position of being discovered by entering these talent shows.

Reality TV shows are different, where you can become famous with no talent whatsoever, and if it is your hope of getting on a reality TV show then good luck as you are competing with millions of others, so the statistics go against you again.

If your hope is to become famous then the only way that is going to happen is to develop your talent, and make something happen for you like starting a business, writing a book, recording your own songs, anything as long as you are prepared to work on your chosen talent.

As ever let me know what you think or if you can add anything to this list.

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About the author

Steven Aitchison

Steven Aitchison is the author of The Belief Principle and an online trainer teaching personal development and online business.  He is also the creator of this blog which has been running since August 2006.