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Learn to hope again

When do we lose hope and why do we?

Written by Catherine Ryan and posted in opinion

This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for please contact

"If I had one piece of advice for you, it’s to stop living your life in fear"

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This is one in a series of blogs from Catherine who won a travel award to Vermont and attended workshops on leadership and hope.

Hope… One word… One syllable, But isn’t it truly amazing how one word can have such an effect on us!

From a young age we’re all encouraged to be hopeful, to be optimistic... and everything will always work out. I’ll openly admit how fantastic this works at a young age, as we have not yet been tested (well hopefully) and put through certain situations which test our ability to keep the hope alive. As we get older we are tested… how can we learn to motivate, inspire and even encourage ourselves to have hope and even try and make a positive impact on our lives. There’s no easy answer to this, and hope means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but me being me, I’m going to give it my best shot!

To be hopeful is something that doesn’t come easy. When life experiences prevent you from being happy and optimistic it’s no wonder our faith is tested. I believe no level of hope can remain the same throughout our lives as hope is something that can and is truly chipped away. So if we are being chipped away, how can we can we learn to be hopeful again? For me it’s the little things.

No matter what happens in my life I always know there is someone there to help me back on that hope “scale”. Personally I see it every day in young people. It may be that one child who’s telling her daddy she wants to be a princess and truly believes it will happen or simply just that look in young people’s eyes. I’ve seen that a lot lately and I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by sensational, motivated young people who actually care about our global community. They inspire me, they give me hope, and they show me that no matter how many problems there is, if we start creating solutions now we will indeed solve them eventually.

Escaping fear

I believe there is only one thing that stops people from being hopeful. One word… FEAR! I believe my favourite singer Ben Howard well and truly hits this nail on its head in his song The Fear. (If you haven’t heard of Ben go look him up, you really won’t regret it) In this song, Ben talks about “How we all live our lives in the confines of the fear” No truer words can be said. Every day we see people hold back on living their lives, on being hopeful all out of some misplaced fear! Why shouldn’t we have hope, why shouldn’t we be amazing, why shouldn’t we have dreams and most importantly go for our dreams?

I ask you all to learn to take chances. Believe me when I say that when you do, fear goes and hope, hope most definitely comes. You’ll start to rely on yourself which is a pretty amazing feeling. I am a strong believer in the saying: 

“Fear less, hope more, hate less, love more and good things will be yours”

If I had one piece of advice for you, it’s to stop living your life in fear. Don’t leave people tear you down. It’s your right to have hope and faith and don’t leave anyone tell you any different. We all begin life full of hope, happiness, un-bias, innocence and love, and that’s how we should end it too. Why do we let society tear us down, chip away at our hope and live in fear? We need to stop all that right now.

I ask you all to accept people for who they are, to help them with their dreams, be understanding. But also I ask you to seize every opportunity, don’t hold back on your life, you only live it once so make every day count. You are inspiring. You are amazing. You are the future. You are beautiful. You are welcomed even though sometimes you don’t feel like it.

Most importantly you are hope!
(Just think about it)

Le Grá,

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Published August 5th2014
Last updated July 23rd2018
Tags hope inspiration
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