Fear Versus Hope

Fear and hope are opposite emotions, but like so many opposites, the difference between the two is slight. The question, then, is why live in fear when you can live with hope?

Living in fear is living with the belief that a negative outcome is inevitable, whether that means fearing that the job interview will go poorly, the next layoff will be you, sickness is inevitable, or love will never come your way.

Living with hope is living with the belief  that a positive outcome is possible, whether that means trusting that the interview will go well, job opportunities abound, good health can last forever, and love is possible for you.

Either way, you’re unsure of the future, so why assume it will be negative when it might very well be positive.

Not Pollyanna

Living with hope is not living in an overly simplistic, pollyanna world where, if you smile, the sun will always shine, and you’ll get everything you want; however, living with hope is a way to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.

In other words, living positively can mean that if the job interview doesn’t go well, you can take lessons from the failed interview and be more prepared for the next one. That’s better than feeling like a failure and assuming more will follow.

Living with hope can mean that if you get laid off, you can be more relaxed and confident that a better opportunity will follow. That certainly gives you a better opportunity to succeed than assuming that the lost job was the only one for you.

Living with hope can mean that if you become sick or injured, you might develop a greater appreciation of health when it returns, or an appreciation of family and friends. This gives you something positive to focus on during a difficult time, rather than focusing on your problems.

It can mean that if you don’t find someone to share your life with, you’ll learn to enjoy life on your own rather that wallowing in self pity.

Being hopeful is a choice that we can all make.


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5 Responses to Fear Versus Hope

  1. I hope you change the typo in the headline ;-). (Hey, we word people are allowed to make typos once in a while, too — just thought you might want to know.)

  2. M.A. says:

    We really enjoyed this article, Paul – very inspirational! Yet another example of the radical difference a simple word choice can make.

    (I’m correct in assuming that this was an article targeting Buffalo Bills fans, right?)

    • languageandgrammar says:

      Thanks, M.A. Glad that you and J enjoyed it.

      (How’d you guess? The mighty Bills will be 3-2 after Miami and Cleveland.)

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