I was reading an article at the weekend and long story short, the article echoes that people who suffer from depression are suck in a rut with it and that a big portion of their depression is caused by the belief that nothing can change and that big portion of the work we do is actually helping them to develop the belief of ‘hope’ that with work and time that there is light at the end of the tunnel. A lot of the times, we find that even having done a consultation session with someone and just really getting them on the path towards making some form of recovery they begin to feel a little bit better already because we’ve just been able to install some hope within them.

I want to focus on the part that hope plays in helping depression to move and disappear so I found an article which is on IQ matrix.com. I’m not going to read you the whole article but I will share with you these kinds of key traits that a hopeful person possesses and I want to take a closer look at each one of those helpful traits and also potentially put a bit of an NLP spin on it.  

A hopeful person is happy and grateful for the life they have they are by no means content and therefore are always looking to make improvements”. 

I think there are two really important things in that sentence, a hopeful person is happy and grateful for the life they have so we’ve got gratitude in there. An attitude of gratitude is always going to go a long way to help you feel grounded.

 “They are by no means content and therefore are always looking to make improvements”  

That’s telling us that they’re internally itchy, that they won’t sit still, they won’t stay where they are so they’re content with what they’ve got but they’re simultaneously always kind of got their radar switched on.

One of the things I noticed when the lockdown started is being at home more has really forced me into doing a lot of home improvements as well as self-improvements but a lot of home improvements which allowed me to completely finish decorating the house. It also give me the time to look at how I could live my life in a more environmental way so I made some changes within my home and within my own lifestyle.

This included switching out tissues for handkerchiefs, recycling more products and repainting old furniture instead of buying new furniture. I wanted to feel that I was doing my bit to improve the planet but that also in some ways this would be improving myself. It forces me to be more grateful for what I’ve got and rather than sort of buying into this idea of consumerism and just replacing stuff when it’s gone crappy, it can like bring it back to life in some way I find that really quite rewarding to do so. It sounds to me like a hopeful person is someone who is going to be kind of exploring the world around them their environment and themselves.

‘A hopeful person is a big dreamer who consistently imagines a better world than the one they constantly live in’

Just think about that for a second how powerful that is and how contrasting that is to the people that we know which may indeed be you who consistently imagines the world as being a dark, miserable, terrifying and ugly place and how differently that’s going to impact upon your psychology to thinking about the world in a better way. In NLP, we think about how we want our life to be and how we want our future to look and we imagine that and if you continue this idea in your mind, you are emotionally and neurologically setting yourself up for that outcome. Eventually, when it does happen it will feel like it fits because you’ve been living that way in your head for so long already! 

However, a hopeful person is never really satisfied with just daydreaming they instead turn their dreams into concrete goals and build upon their personal values. What we’re saying here is that hopeful people and this would say something that almost appears to contradict hopefulness, think it’s easy to believe that hopefulness is desperation, hopefulness is waiting for something external to happen, something that steps in and saves the day for you and actually what we’re saying here is that if you’re a hopeful person you’re proactive, you’re a doer, you put goals in place, you make things happen and I think a lot of people don’t think about hope that way. I think a lot of people think about hopefulness almost as neediness and it’s not that that’s not been the way that I’ve seen it.

A hopeful person approaches everything with a sense of curiosity. They are curious about life and the world around them, given this they are constantly in the act of exploring and experimenting in an effort to make things better. I think that’s super important. We talk about curiosity a lot in NLP, particularly, on the practitioner training that I’ve just finished which is possibly why that word has piqued my interest because I was literally talking about it a week ago so one of the things that we say about NLP overall is that it is about having an attitude of curiosity about kind of saying how can this work. You’re always going at things with an expectation of a positive outcome and you never sort of saying could this work. It’s more of a how could this work like how can I play with this to make this work out for me. 

There is some kind of connection between hopefulness and curiosity and we can agree in reading this article that hopeful people are curious about life and about the world around them. If you really think about the above words you would agree that to be a hopeful person you got to put yourself out there, you got to be out there in the world and engage with your surroundings and others. In some ways, hope does need fuel, it needs nurturing and it needs stimulation in order to stimulate your hopeful senses. 

Why not try this summer to be a hopeful person and get out there in the world and start to interact and be curious about things and your surroundings? Give it a try and come back to me with what you have found in your journey and how you have used NLP on this journey.


By Gemma Bailey