Claire Booth Luce, the accomplished World War II war correspondent, writer and socialite had said “There are no hopeless situations; there are only men who have grown hopeless about them”.
These words are the essence of what having courage in a hopeless situation means. People face inevitable situations and downfalls often in their lives. Some may be small setbacks or losses and others more significant or major.
Nothing, however, is more inevitable than the finality of death. And there are some who will question that too. So what is it that sets apart the ones who have the courage to face an inevitable loss from the others who cannot muster it?
It is all a matter of attitude.
It is how you decide to look at the situation placed in front of you. You may choose to let go and make no efforts since your cause will be futile; or you may choose to rise up to face it, to go through the test of fire, and come out as a better and more enlightened person from the other side.
Anyone who has lost a loved one to a prolonged battle with illness will vouch for this. The experience of it alone may shatter you. It may give you sleepless nights and stressful days. The inevitability of losing someone you love is one of the most helpless and hopeless feelings of all. But everyone who has chosen to rise out of this abyss has come out stronger, with a new zest and courage to face life like never before. The choice was made by them – to take the most negative event in their lives and instead make it their source of strength.
Learn to win while losing
When faced with imminent loss or defeat, don’t just pack your bags up and head for the door. Instead choose to learn from the experience. Failure is the path to learning – learning from your mistakes, learning to accept defeat graciously and learning to live with an imperfect you.
A baby falls down countless times in the process of learning to stand. Similarly, if you find yourself falling down in life, it is only to learn how to get back up. If you think of every defeat as a learning experience, and apply that to everything in life, you’ve never really lost, have you? You have gained a valuable lesson each time.
Give in to defeat when it is inevitable
If loss seems inevitable, accept it. Do not try to resist it. That will just create more stress. Understand that you need to give it your best and it is okay to lose. It is difficult to have this mind-set when facing this kind of situation, but it is this mind-set that will give you peace and let you learn from the experience.
Take all the help you need
When faced with a hopeless situation, many of us break down. But there’s always help. Your family, friends, support groups and counselors are all there to help you get over an unfortunate event in your life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and take it when offered.
In such situations, sometimes, a lot of help is being offered but it is usually rejected. If you need it and it is being offered, take it. They say that a journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step. Take that one step in the right direction. No child who is now an adult learned to walk and got it right in one single day. It took a lot of falling and rising to master the art of standing and walking with balance.
Remember, falling down is not failure, but not getting up is.