The Dark Side of “Hoping”
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In my last blog I stated that I will be taking some time off to focus on my Identity Evolution.
“What the hell is that?” a few of you asked.
Before we dive into answering your question, let's first agree on how I define “Identity”. It is an important concept that we need to get right in order to have a fruitful conversation. So, are you ready to explore this together?
"Identity" refers to who you are as a person. It is not determined by what you say, hope for or what others want you to be. However, the way others perceive you can give you a good indication of your “Identity”.
Our “Identity” is shaped by the choices we make and the actions we take on a daily basis. Walking our talk is the ultimate decider of our “Identity”.
For instance, being courageous is not just about overcoming fear, but also about taking bold and decisive actions.
Being a finisher is not about starting things with enthusiasm, but also seeing them through to completion.
Being committed is not about showing up when everything is going our way, but also doing so when it's the last thing in the world we want to be doing.
Ultimately, our true “Identity” is revealed not through our words, but through the way we live our lives and treat others.
You are what you do again and again.
A phrase I dislike is, “It’s the thought that counts.” This is the get-out-of-jail-free card for people whose “Identities” have not yet met their aspirations. And that’s perfect because we should all be in a constant state of growth and expansion.
But know this. The thought alone doesn’t count. What you wanted to do, say, or create counts for nothing if you didn’t do, say, or create it. And if you tell me, “I’m hoping to…” well, I have a few thoughts on that.
To clarify, I am a strong advocate of hope. A life without hope is missing an essential ingredient for happiness and vitality. Who are we without hope for a better future?
But hope, like every other quality we human beings possess, has a dark side. Hope can quickly become a crutch for inaction. As long as we have hope, we can bask in the warmth of possibility without taking even one step to get closer to our goal.
How many of us continue to hope for a future, a goal, a deep desire that we continuously think and talk about? Scientific evidence shows that simply imagining, visualizing, and talking about a goal gives us a dopamine hit.
People who continuously do this without taking action fool themselves with these superficial dopamine hits. Worse, they get addicted to this system of inaction and believe they are moving towards their goal when, in actuality, they are steadfastly in the exact same spot they were, maybe one or ten years ago.
Yes, hope can be a deceiver of the highest order, leading us to a time when it’s so much harder and maybe even impossible to fulfill the dream we’ve forfeited to hope.
So, in this New Year, we will talk about “Identity”.
I am thinking about who I want to become and am inviting you to do the same.
The three questions that will start your journey are:
- What is the goal and dream that I've entrusted to hope's warm embrace?
- How long have I been doing this?
- Do I want to continue doing this?
I warn you that this is a challenging exercise. It could have you coming face to face with some hard truths. You must trust your emotional range and capability to do this exercise meaningfully.
There’s no judgment if your response to question 3 is a clear “Yes”. But if your response is a “Hell No”, let me know, and I’ll support you in your next steps.
To be clear, I’m not looking for more clients. I am so very grateful to be working one-on-one with some of the most dedicated human beings on the planet. My goal here is to use this blog to help more people than I can with my private practice alone.
There are ten days left to the end of this year. I’m asking you to make them count by taking the time for deep reflection and to set yourself up for greater success in the New Year.