How Leaders Can Overcome Feelings of Hopelessness

August 3, 2022

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Overview: The grind of everyday leadership can narrow our perspectives, cause tunnel-vision, and saddle us with hopelessness as a consequence of repeated failures. Leadership coaching can help depressed leaders gain fresh perspectives and adopt behaviors that foster hope and motivation.

Leadership can be difficult and challenging. A leader’s job is to always explore new ideas, possibilities, and opportunities. Devising ways to embrace and manage change is also among a leader’s responsibilities. Always deprived of the safety of a comfort zone, the mental state of a leader can be unstable and prone to feelings of hopelessness.

Being hopeless about the performance of a team member or an entire team can be debilitating for a leader. Leadership coaching can help leaders find ways out of the predicament of hopelessness, helping them understand what it is and how they can mentally defeat it.

No One Is Immune to Hopelessness

Hopelessness, one of the precursors of depression, can creep up on anyone. It can blindside leaders from many possible angles, as its sources are diverse and numerous. Hopelessness can stem from:

  • Loneliness. Consumed by the pressures of work, leaders can feel isolated from their peers and reports.
  • Low Self-Esteem. If you don’t think you “have what it takes,” you end up ruminating over failures and criticizing yourself for every perceived fault. Low self-esteem may cause leaders to shy away from challenges and retreat to the safety of their comfort zones.
  • Poor mental, cognitive, or emotional health. When you suffer from physical pain or emotional problems that never improve, it’s easy to lose hope.
  • Substance dependence. Substance dependence leads to poor mental, cognitive, and emotional health.

How Can You Overcome Hopelessness? 

Leadership coaching professionals understand hopelessness and can help clients understand the condition, helping them take the first steps towards dealing with it.

Recognizing and Understanding Hopelessness

When you are hopeless, in addition to being in a dark mood, your brain utters self-defeating thoughts like:

  • There is nothing I can do to make it better.
  • Nothing and no one can help me.
  • I’m done.
  • I should give up.

Such thoughts may take the shape of statements if you decide to be upfront and vocal about your feelings.

Hopelessness evolves from repeated exposure to situations where a leader is overwhelmed and unable to deal with adversity. Always emerging as the “loser” from such situations conditions the brain to assume things cannot change.

Sleep hygiene, stress, and hormones may also contribute to hopelessness and depression.

Talking to an Executive Coaching Professional About How You Feel

Executive coaches may not be psychologists, but they understand many specifics that can saddle a business leader with hopelessness. Verbalizing your thoughts and giving your problems a distinguishable theoretic form can be your first step towards overcoming depression.

executive coach

Executive coaching can help.

A leadership coach knows how to steer you toward behaviors that can alleviate the pressure you feel and defeat negative thoughts that besiege your mind.

Why Do You Think Something Is Hopeless? 

Identifying the reason for your hopelessness can deliver a solution to a problem. Hopelessness often stems from tunnel vision. When caught up in the dynamics of day-to-day leadership, we may narrow our perspective of what’s important and what isn’t.

By defining the reason behind hopelessness, we take a step back and gain a wider perspective of the situation. An alternative point of view can be enough to defeat hopelessness by disproving its validity.

Actively Breaking the Vicious Circle of Hopelessness

Executive coaches understand you can always do something to fight hopelessness. It’s a standard approach to break up large, daunting goals into smaller, more achievable bits. As you work your way through small goals that are not hopeless, you find yourself closer to your seemingly hopeless bigger goal.

Controlling and overcoming hopelessness and depression are essential leadership skills. Business coaching can help leaders give structure to what they want to accomplish and draw up plans to do it. A structured approach based on logic and realism is often the best way to eliminate hopelessness.

Contact us to learn more about how you can join the IL Movement as a coach or how you can benefit from partnering with us to bring IL Solutions to you and your organization.

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