The Power of Hope

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
— Helen Keller

Hope, which involves both beliefs and expectations, causes the brain to release neurochemicals called endorphins and enkephalins which actually mimic the effects of morphine, thus reducing pain and increased feelings of “I can do it.” Hope can be like a “runners high.” The result is that the brain can overcome fears and move to a place of change and risk. In scientific terms, hope and recovery are not causally connected, but they are correlated.  Real hope gives a feeling of confidence, optimism, and a willingness to take risks—a “go for it” ––“I can do it” confidence

There are basically two kinds of hope.

One kind of hope is a desire or longing. The word is used as a verb— “I hope everything is going to be okay,” or, “I hope it doesn’t rain this week.”

The other kind of hope is based on reality—based on what is  actually taking place in a person’s life, such as, “I have hope because I am doing the work to change”

For recovery purposes, hope is not a verb—it is a noun. It is something you either have or you don’t. When you project your current situation into the future, either hope or hopelessness looks back at you.

The Genesis Hope Formula:

HOPE comes from CHANGE,
CHANGE comes from RISK,
RISK comes from FAITH,
FAITH gives you the HOPE (Courage)
to CHANGE and RISK again.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
— Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Real hope gives a feeling of confidence, optimism, and a willingness and ability to take risks—a “go for it” ––“I can do it” confidence. When I teach now my targeted goal is to impart hope. In my experience people have hope when they believe that someone understands their inner world, what it’s like to be them. In other words when someone truly understands what’s broken with my self-destructive behavior––why I do the very thing I don’t want to do––how it got broken and what it takes to produce real change gives them the ability to seek help. It takes two things for those struggling to take the risk of asking for help, grace and competency. In other words, they believe you’re not going to judge them but that you also have the understanding, experience and tools that will help them be successful.