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How to Instill Hope in Others

Updated on September 19, 2018
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Sometimes in life we feel as if we’re trying to live than living the life itself. We never know when we will enjoy our lives. It appears as if we were never meant to enjoy our lives. When we deal with a problem, another one crops up before we have settled our minds. We wonder why we were born in a harsh world. We wish to be engulfed in darkness where we won’t experience any problems, any challenge or any obstacle that will prevent us from reaching our goals or realizing our dream.

However, we should remember that there’s no human being who has ever lived or is living a perfect life. Even the rich also have problems to deal with. It looks as if life is unfair among many of us than the few of us who appear to enjoy life. The never ending problems or difficulties we undergo sap our energy, we don’t feel the urge, the determination to push on, to stay afloat.

This is one reason every year; hundreds of people commit suicide because they feel there is no point in continuing to live. They have lost hope. Despite the challenges we face, we can find meaning in our lives. We can enjoy our lives amid an earthquake and tornadoes. We shouldn’t give up our goals, dreams, the belief we can make it. We shouldn’t give up in ourselves. It’s true life is difficult. It has its difficulties. But, we should always remember there’s always the good side to every bad side. For every cloudy day, there is a shiny day.

In life people have overcome challenges and difficulties. Many of these people were never born in rich families. They hoped beyond any hope they would make it, they would conquer their problems and come out victorious. Why? They had hope. They clung to hope because it fueled them to sojourn; it motivated them; it encouraged them; it gave them a reason to push on.

Hope is the belief or expectation things will change for the better. It is the desire the situation we are in will improve. We picture ourselves as having reached our destination, fulfilled our goals, realized our dreams, enjoying our lives.


All of us need hope. It is what makes us to want to live another day. Sometimes we need someone to instill hope in us so that we don’t lose our focus or give up. At other times we need to instill hope in others.

Maybe you have a friend or a loved one who is going through a hard time. You don’t have any tangible hope to offer him/her e.g. money. This shouldn’t discourage you to offer the hope that cannot be touched but can be felt, seen, smelled, tasted or heard because it is envisioned in the person’s mind.

Thus, this article will guide you, in three steps, on how to instill hope in another person no matter what that person is going through.

1. Listen

In a fast-paced world, not many people have the time to sit down and listen to somebody. We feel we don’t have time to listen to other people’s problems because we have our own problems to deal with. Even among people who have a lot of time to spare, spending some time to listen to somebody’s problem(s) seems an impossible task.

Not many people have the gift to listen. Some have to learn it. Even if it’s the case, whether a person has the gift or not, listening is the most important step a person can undertake to offer hope to somebody who’s going through a tough time.

What we forget is that the people who are going through a difficult time want someone to just listen to them, a shoulder to lean or cry on. Sometimes, they know you cannot help them. The fact you’ve taken time to listen to them is enough for them to understand someone loves and cares for them. This is enough to renew or strengthen their hope.

How to Comfort Someone Going Through a Tough Time

Before a person commits suicide, he leaves behind a note. In the note he explains why he decided to undertake that action. If only somebody took time to listen to them, they wouldn’t have committed that act.

A person who is terminally ill knows his life is but short. In a few month’s time, the disease will claim his life. But, he wants to believe that he will get better. Even if you don’t know how to comfort the patient through use of words, the mere act of listening is enough to let the patient know there’s still hope.

You will never know the importance of listening till you take time to listen. Some situations don’t warrant you to offer your opinion or help. Listening in itself encourages the person things will get better, it is possible, he can make it; there is still hope.

Listening is the greatest tool you can employ to offer hope to somebody who is undergoing a crisis.

2. Understand

We need to differentiate between knowing and understanding. You can know what a person is undergoing but it’s a different matter understanding what that person is going through.

Even if you have experienced what your friend or loved is going through, you’ve to put yourself in the shoes of that person. We are all different. We don’t deal with problems or challenges that we face in the same manner. Thus, you shouldn’t term your friend or loved one a coward or label him other derogatory words because he is unable to deal or solve his own problems.

Condemning, criticizing, judging or offering a piece of your mind want help solve the matter. Instead of uplifting your friend’s or loved one’s spirit, you’ll be in essence crashing his hopeful spirit. If it’s a person who has been entertaining suicidal thoughts, he will go ahead and commit the act.

Don’t say you understand what the person is going through when you’ve no inkling what he is going through. You might as well say, “I don’t know what you’ll going through but am trying to understand what you must be feeling.”

It doesn’t hurt to be frank you don’t understand how it must feel to experience that situation. You want to help, and you have surmised the best way to ignite hope in your friend’s or loved one’s heart is by ‘lying’ you understand what he’s going through. In this instance, be frank if you haven’t experienced what your friend is undergoing.

If you take time to understand, by putting aside your criticizing thoughts, you will know which words to utter or how to help that person.


3. Encourage

We all need encouragement time and time again. It’s easy to lose hope. It’s easy to give up.

When we hear or read inspiration, encouraging, uplifting and motivating words; our hope is reignited or made alive. We feel we can make it, things are going to turn out better. Even if the situation will not improve very soon, the determination not to give up is enough to keep a person’s hope alive and kicking.

Don’t offer false hope. If the person is terminally ill, don’t offer him baseless hope. Let him know his situation. But, encourage him not to give up the will to live. He might get better. He might make it. The will to live no matter what a person is going through is fueled by hope. It’s hope that motivates and encourages a person to push on, never to give up.

There are countless books, online articles, apps and songs that contain words of encouragement. They’re inspiring and uplifting. Use them to encourage your friend or loved one who is going through a tough time.

If you are speechless on what to say, the best you can do is to hold the person’s hand(s). Hold it tightly then gently to indicate that even if you don’t have words to utter - to encourage him - you’re there by her side. This is specifically the case with a patient who is facing a life-threatening disease. If the hospital staff allows it, you can play him a song or some of them which will encourage the patient. Or, you might sing the song(s) yourself.

You can even read from a book, an app or an online article. Your friend or loved one will see the effort you’ve undertaken to help him, thereby he will be grateful to you. This will motivate him to want to live, to push through, to face the challenge or obstacle and deal with it.


Hugging is another technique you can use to encourage your friend or loved one who is facing a difficult situation. There are gestures you can employ which will offer hope or instill hope in the heart of that person. It is said, ‘a picture speaks a thousand words.’ In this instance, it is nothing but the truth. Actions speak louder than words. Use actions which will prove that you love and care for the person even if you don’t have material possession to help him or her.

We can make a difference in the world, in people’s lives if we take time to listen and understand. When we do so, we will find appropriate avenues to assist them through words and/or actions.

Finishing up, I will summarize this article in the viewpoint of a teacher. In class, not all students are bright. They are divided into three groups: below average, average and above average. Some students try hard to improve in their studies but they never seem to reach the target. As a teacher, will I call such students stupid or foolish because they always fail in exams? Not the case. When I call them such names they will lose hope of ever performing well in their studies. In the long run, they will drop out or commit suicide. The best I can do is to try to understand by listening why they don’t perform well. Maybe there are issues the pupil experiences in his life that interfere with his concentration in class or have affected his life negatively - parents always arguing and fighting, eats one meal in a day, they are very poor and so. It’s through listening that I will understand why the pupil is not performing well in her studies. Thus, I will know how to assist her to perform well including offering words of encouragement. I will tell her she’s not stupid or foolish, she can do well; she has the ability to perform well and so on. These words will inspire, uplift her spirit and motivate her. Her hope will be renewed or ignited knowing she can make it, she can do better.

Song: You Raise Me Up

Quotes On Hope

1. I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death. (Robert Fulghum).

2. Hope is the thing with feathers that preaches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all. (Emily Dickinson).

3. They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: Someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.

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

5. Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. (Desmond Tutu)

6. A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning. (Brad Henry)

7. There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope. (Bernard Williams)

8. Where there is no vision, there is no hope. (George Washington Craver)


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    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Alianess 

      7 years ago

      Thank you freedomspirit. God Bless you too and for the work you are doing. We do need encouragement as life at times is not always joyful and happy. Its good reading such articles as they inspire and renew ones hope in this life. Thanx.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very wise words ben, you are a good man and thank you very much for your insightful comments on my hub about spirituality.

      It is very important to be a good person and listening is one of the kindest things one can do, you are right.

      It's wrong to walk away if you can be of help----

      empathy is such a beautiful thing too

      God bless,




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