Iyanla Vanzant: 4 Ways to Stay Hopeful About the Future
Q: How Do I Stay Hopeful About the Future?
I've always believed that our thoughts are powerful—so powerful that they can influence what lies ahead. If we focus on our past difficulties and fears, we find ourselves struggling to nurture positive feelings about the next chapter. Here's a plan for remaining optimistic.
1. Imagine the way you'd like your future to look.
Having a clear vision of what you desire evokes a sense of excitement, and issues an invitation to the future to pull you forward. Believing in your vision is the surest way to attract what you want in life; the key is to keep that vision energized with positive thoughts for tomorrow, regardless of what today looks like.
2. Move through your fear and let go of the past.
It's natural for human beings to fear the unknown, and the future falls into that category; none of us can predict what's to come. But what we can control is our mind-set. Don't hold yourself back because you're afraid or because you've been hurt. Instead, acknowledge your fear, accept it, and walk through it with confidence. Letting go is like a mental, emotional, and spiritual delete button. It doesn't change what happened, but it removes that event's power to continue hurting you. Until you make peace with your difficult memories, that pain will continue to bleed into your current and future experiences.
3. Stop rehearsing your limitations.
Talking constantly about what you cannot do and do not have can become habitual, and talking about what you don't want to happen—"I don't want to be single forever!" "I don't ever want to go through that again!" "I don't want to be broke!"—can wind up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
4. Live well today.
Often our lives are so overwhelming, over-committed, and exhausting that it feels like we will never get it all done. This leads us to believe that tomorrow will bring us more of today—a day in which we'll continue to be stressed. To pump some life and excitement into your future possibilities, you need to be joyful, peaceful, and grateful for what you have and what you're doing right now. This means spending time resting, working, learning, nourishing, preparing, and loving. When we do things that keep us feeling alive and hopeful, we learn to look forward to a brighter and better future.
Iyanla Vanzant is the host of OWN's Iyanla: Fix My Life and the author of Peace from Broken Pieces.
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