Written by Courtney Lynch

Do you believe in yourself? Take a moment and reflect on that question. Whether there is an unwanted task to do or an exciting goal to meet, do you believe you have what it takes to succeed?

Many of us would answer, “It depends.” And then, we’d go on to explain how and when we can count on ourselves. When we articulate our own odds for success, we reveal how hopeful we are for ourselves and our future. Studies show we are more likely to succeed at what matters to us if we have high hopes for our success. It’s not our goals that make us successful. It’s our belief in our ability that we capable of making the changes and taking the actions necessary to purse a personal goal.

High hope people are just that because once they commit to a certain success, they work to identify numerous pathways to making happen what they want to happen. In contrast, if a pathway isn’t working, a low hope person will stay on that same path over and over. The high hope person will change their approach. High hope people stay accountable to what’s not working to inform better ways to do what is important. And, when something works well, they explore why it did so they can leverage that lesson learned far into the future.

If you want the advantage of being high hope, focus here:

  • Set clear, stretch goals, that matter to you. Motivation is within us. When we have a clear goal that is meaningful, we are more likely to endure the challenge of getting from here to there. Set your sights on what you want to achieve. Don’t let society or others set the tone for what’s best for you.
  • Accept that failure is a normal part of stretching for better. People with high hope seek growth over comfort. Striving can be oddly joyful for the very reason that success is uncertain. What is certain is that learning happens during the journey, regardless of whether your reach the goal line.
  • Choose the process that will change you for the better. Be sure to set goals where the process to achieve them is interesting and exciting. You are more likely to succeed when you are confident that just taking steps toward your vision will transform you on positive ways.
  • When in doubt, just change. If you are not sure if something is working, stay open to changing your approach. Even the smallest changes can illuminate better or different ways of being successful. Change can also mean letting go of old goals that don’t serve you today. Often in the pursuit of one thing, we learn that something different is better suited for us.

Ultimately, the most significant difference between high hope and low hope people is the variety of pathways you can imagine beyond, over and through the challenges you’ll face on your way to achieving goals that matter. Stay agile, stay aware, and keep imagining better ways forward. That’s the power of hope.

Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch are Lead Star’s co-founders, leadership coaches, and the bestselling authors of SPARK, Leading from the Front, and Bet on You. They help professionals reach new levels of success through their innovative coaching program, Year to Rise.