an onion growing from an egg shell in the sidewalk cracks
Image by congerdesign 

Narrated by Marie T. Russell.

Watch video version here

My training taught me that it's necessary to give up all hope so you can accept reality. This means give up all hope that your partner will ever change, or come back, or see you like they once did.

Then once you truly give up hope, from a state of acceptance -- "People and things are the way are, not the way I think they should be" -- then you are in a position to figure out what you need to do in order to experience more joy, love and peace. That means, based on this new reality, what action(s) do I know I need to take? Clearly, this giving up hope extends well beyond our personal relationships.

A Different Take on Hope

Jane Goodall, a heroine of mine and author of the 2021 book, The Book of HOPE, A Survival Guide for Trying Times, has a slightly different take on the word hope. She gets hope from seeing the courage, bravery, and forward thinking that people experience in dire circumstances and situations. She writes:

"...each time I become depressed [about all of the atrocities and conflicts currently and in the past], I think of all the amazing stories of the courage, steadfastness, and determination of those who are fighting the "forces of evil." For, yes, I do believe there is evil amongst us. But how much more powerful and inspirational are the voices of those who stand up against it. And even when they lose their lives, their voices still resonate long after they are gone, giving us inspiration and hope--hope in the ultimate goodness of this strange, conflicted human animal that evolved from an apelike creature some six million years ago."

innerself subscribe graphic

She believes that rather than giving in to the helpless/hopeless feelings about a certain situation or topic, figure out what you can do and focus on doing it. She concludes that it's not too late, if we all use a model that those with hope embody.

Jane writes:

"Hope is often misunderstood. People tend to think that it is simply passive wishful thinking: I hope something will happen but I'm not going to do anything about it. This is indeed the opposite of real hope, which requires action and engagement.... The cumulative effect of thousands of ethical actions can help to save and improve our world for future generations."

Prescription for Giving Up Passive Hope

According to Attitude Reconstruction, our unrealistic hope turns an irksome characteristic, situation, or event into a source of continued frustration. It's our misplaced expectations that cause us to feel resentful, discouraged, disappointed, hopeless, or helpless. Here's my Rx to give up (passive and unrealistic) hope so we can take action aligned with that which serves our greater good.

What You're Experiencing?

* Waiting, always hoping someone or something will change

* Remaining attached to someone's "potential" rather than the reality, not accepting they're unlikely to be any different

* Feeling discouraged, hopeless, neutralized, at someone else's mercy

* Living in agony

The Price You Pay?

* Clinging to false hope that people, organizations, or situations will be different in the future if you just hang on

* Failing to take the action you know in your heart is required, giving up trying

* Sacrificing yourself and your needs

* Clinging to crumbs

How to Change?

* Look reality in the face, give up hope that things and people will change OR that they need to change

* Accept that most likely, the future will be the same as the present

* Write down everything you wish were different, then take the first statement and put before it, "I give up all hope that…" such as "I give up all hope that Linda will ever understand me the way I want" or "I give up all hope that politicians will wake up and do the right thing."

* Keep repeating the statement, express any anger or sadness that arises constructively, interrupt your old thinking, and focus on what you are saying. When you "get it," repeat this procedure with the next item, and then the next

* After you are finished, look within to see what's true for you and what's in your control right now about each item. Get specific, make explicit requests, set specific, reasonable deadlines and boundaries, and announce well-thought-out and doable consequences

* Speak up and take action with love and conviction as needed

* Follow through on what you say or your words will be empty

Repeat and Repeat Some More!

I give up all hope that xxx will ever change.

This is the way she/he/it/is.

My job is to take care of myself.

The Upside?

* You stop wishing and hoping, channeling your energy into what is in your control and what you want instead of feeling thwarted and disappointed

* You put an end to waiting for something outside of your control to change

* You truly honor yourself

* You step through your fear and create the life you are entitled to

Final Thoughts about Hope

Whether on a global or personal level, we need to give up the hope that leads us to nowhere-land and embrace Jane and Jude's vision of hope. It's time to choose courage to embody our best selves by taking constructive action.

We must never give up and let our minds drag us down, but rather contribute to uplifting ourselves and our world.

©2021 by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.
All Rights Reserved.

Book by this Author

Attitude Reconstruction

Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life
by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.

book cover: Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life  by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.With practical tools and real-life examples, this book can help you stop settling for sadness, anger, and fear, and infuse your life with joy, love, and peace. Jude Bijou's comprehensive blueprint will teach you to: ? cope with family members' unsolicited advice, cure indecision with your intuition, deal with fear by expressing it physically, create closeness by truly talking and listening, improve your social life, increase staff morale in just five minutes a day, handle sarcasm by visualizing it flying by, carve out more time for yourself by clarifying your priorities, ask for a raise and get it, stop fighting via two easy steps, cure kids' tantrums constructively. You can integrate Attitude Reconstruction into your daily routine, regardless of your spiritual path, cultural background, age, or education.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Also available as a Kindle edition.

About the Author

photo of: Jude Bijou is a licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT)

Jude Bijou is a licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT), an educator in Santa Barbara, California and the author of Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life.

In 1982, Jude launched a private psychotherapy practice and started working with individuals, couples, and groups. She also began teaching communication courses through Santa Barbara City College Adult Education.

Visit her website at