Becoming More Hopeful at Work

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Staying hopeful at work requires you to take action! Learn how to set goals, motivate yourself, and derive pathways.

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The past couple of years have been really challenging. Now, more than ever, employees might benefit from learning how to grow their hope at work. It’s challenging to be hopeful in the face of looming problems. But, being hopeful can help you to stay on track and achieve your goals.

The research on hope is a little different than the way we generally talk about being hopeful in society. Learn how to grow your hope at work below!

Being Hopeful Requires Goals

First, in order to grow your hope, you need something to hope for. People don’t often lean on hope unless they are in dire conditions. Yet, even if you are going through a stressful time, you can’t just wish for a better future. You have to get really specific about what you want to improve about your work or life.

When you are determining your goals, it’s important that they are relevant to the problem you’re solving. Try to pick a goal that really helps to change the situation you’re in. You should also pick goals that are challenging, but not impossible. You aren’t hoping for a miracle! Finally, they should be specific. Saying you wish you performed better at work is not the same as saying you hope to improve your performance rating from a 4 to a 5. If you have a specific, challenging, and relevant goal, you are more likely to get what you hope for!

Hope often grows in desperate conditions!
Hope often grows in desperate conditions!

Don’t Hope for It, Work For It!

The second way to become a more effective, hopeful person is to try to derive pathways to get to your goal. This means that being hopeful requires some work! If you need to hope for what you want, that means it’s probably not easy to achieve. When goals are challenging, you may not be successful on your first try.

But, that’s ok! Being hopeful means that you believe it is possible for you to achieve your goals, and that you persist in coming up with ways to do so. Hopeful people keep generating pathways toward their goals, as they determine what will work and what won’t. So, before you start down the path toward your hoped-for goal, generate as many avenues toward goal success as you can.

You can't just hope for your goals. You have to find ways to achieve them if you want to stay hopeful in the long-term!
You can’t just hope for your goals. You have to find ways to achieve them if you want to stay hopeful in the long-term!

Being Hopeful Requires Motivation

Once you know what you’re working for and how you’ll do it, you need the energy to get going! Motivation to continue pursuing your goal is also part of being hopeful. You can’t believe that something will work out if you’re not willing to do anything to make your dreams reality.

When you are willing to keep persisting when hurdles are placed in your way, you are more likely to keep hope alive. In other words, you begin to lose hope if you don’t think there is any way to continue moving toward your goal over time. So, remember why you are hopeful toward your goal and remind yourself of those reasons frequently!


If you’re interested in achieving a challenging goal, you might say you “hope” it will come true. But, you won’t maintain your hopefulness if you don’t have your goals, pathways, or motivation in order.

Instead, if you keep your energy up, generate new ways to achieve your goal, and strive toward realistic goals you care about, hope will remain in reach. So, become a higher hoper by taking action! It’s not a passive process if you want your hopes to become reality.

If you’re interested in learning more about hope, and other useful psychological tools for goal achievement, check out our course on psychological capital!

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