It’s playoff season in America (where I’m originally from) and that means Sunday afternoons and evenings are spent in front of the TV, especially during this time of year. This past Sunday night’s game was intense to say the least. (I mean, standing on our feet, heart pounding, breathtaking, kind of intense.) My home team, the Tampa Bay Bucs, were playing to advance to the next round of playoffs, the final game before the Superbowl. Everything was on the line, you either win and advance or lose and you’re out. Hang in here with me, even if football isn’t your thing. Lets just shorten this intro and say that they weren’t playing so hot. The score at the start of the 3rd quarter was 20-3, basically the odds of coming back were super slim.
This is where I want today’s post to begin. I want it to begin where Sunday’s game started to turn around. This is the point of the game when fans started to leave, when the odds felt so high that the win looked completely out of sight. It was a pivotal moment when many had given up and lost hope. What happened at the beginning of the 4th quarter was truly remarkable. One play turned around the entire momentum. In seconds, the crowd regained hope. Minutes later the score inched so close that people could start to believe that victory might actually happen. The Buccaneers ended up losing by one field goal, but I couldn’t shake the intensity of the game even the next day. Then it hit me, there are so many parallels to this game and real life. How many times do we start to consider ourselves out? We believe the lie that circumstances will never turn around, we lose hope, let doubt set in and end up feeling defeated. Anyone? Life can feel so heavy and hard sometimes that it seems nothing will ever change, but that’s exactly when your comeback could happen. How exciting is that?
Today I want to share three ways we can regain hope when the game of life feels like a never-ending battle. I hope that this blog post will give you the hope that you need to push through and the encouragement to keep going.
01. Ground yourself in gratitude and reframe the negative thought patterns
When a situation feels hopeless the natural thing to do is to sink into that feeling. It’s okay to acknowledge the situation and how you feel, but we can’t stay in that state of negativity. One thing we can do to break the negative cycle of thinking is to look for the good in the things around us. To start it might seem almost impossible and counterintuitive but the more you practice gratitude the easier it becomes. It might start by listing three things every morning and evening that you’re grateful for. By incorporating this practice day after day, it will become a habit. At first you might feel like you’re really stretching to recall three things, but eventually your mind will start to look for the good and store them up. I truly believe that the more you seek the good things, the more you will find. The negative cycle will start to be replaced by a more positive and uplifting one.
02. Whenever everything feels out of control, remember what you CAN control
If you’re walking through a difficult OR stagnant season, most things might feel out of your control. Going back to the game, they had little control over the time clock or what the other team may or may not do. They could only do what they knew how to do, they could only use the time that they had to make the best plays that they could. When it feels like everything is spinning out of control in our lives, it’s important to remember the things that we CAN control. We can control how much social media we consume, what kind of foods we put in our body, how we prioritize exercise, what time we go to bed. There are so many factors of our day that we can take control of when all else feels like it’s spiraling. Find out what it is that will add to your wellbeing and take control and prioritize those things.
03. Make sure you have a solid fan base
Although fans started to dribble out when things looked bleak, the true fans stayed to cheer on their team. They were so loud during one play that it caused the other team to fumble the ball. Those are the kind of people you need on your side when things get rocky. You need the type of people that will help to keep the hope alive. The kind of cheerleaders that will back you and encourage you during the intense moments in life. The friends who will remind you of what and who you were created to be. The people that can be your strength when you feel weak. This doesn’t need to be a whole crowd of people, just a handful that you can confide in and feel safe enough to be vulnerable with. If you feel like you haven’t found that circle yet then set aside time to develop your friendships.
Remember… life isn’t always going to be easy. You will face moments when you feel like you’re losing the game. Moments when you might feel behind or defeated. In those moments it’s just important to remember that with a little grit, perseverance, perspective and help from those around you, a comeback could be right around the corner. At any minute circumstances could change. At any second the tides could turn, it’s never too late.