Sometimes, we feel like there’s nothing we can do.

We see something happen in the world, something out of our control happens to us, and we feel powerless.

Yes You Can: How to Silence Your Inner Critic and Grow Stronger

It’s a feeling I would never wish on anyone.

The pain of powerlessness is excruciating. It is the most painful experience in the earth school, and everyone shares it.

– Gary Zukav

Powerlessness and hopelessness are difficult to overcome, because they strip you from your ability to feel in control of your destiny.

Luckily, you’re a human being and you have a remarkable ability, one you can use to meet that challenge head-on and beat it — the sheer determination and perseverance to push on. It’s one of your most useful and beautiful qualities.

So, you’re feeling powerless. But you can stand. And you have the fight in you. It’s time to get up and do things that will help you regain hope and take your power back.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Do something small you’ve been putting off

Have a to-do list? Great.

Have a few things you’ve been putting off? Even better.

Incredibly insignificant things that are easy to do but that, for one reason or another, you’ve just been procrastinating on? Perrrrfect.

The reality is, most of us have mundane pending items on our to-do lists. And, lucky for you, those simple tasks are huge assets in a situation of powerlessness. Tackling them will help you generate the energy and motivation you need to get your hope back.

When we complete a task, no matter how small it is, especially one that we’ve been putting off, we generate a certain amount of energy. This serves as a sort of universal confirmation that we’re capable, and gives us a sense of self-power.

And the really cool part about this is that you can continue building on this sense of power and energy by doing additional tasks. It’s a virtuous cycle.

2. Read the stories of those who came before you

Stories are more powerful than most of us realize. The right story at the right time can inspire us to action, empower us, give us an epiphany, or spark our next great idea.

No matter what you’re going through, there’s someone (likely a lot of people) out there that has gone through what you’re going through now. And the internet has been great for improving your access to such stories.

Nowadays, all you have to do is type a few words into Google and you’ll be presented with pages of stories that you can identify with and learn from. (You can also check out Goalcast’s life stories or inspiring quotes as a starting point).

This process can not only help you regain hope, but also empower you by showing you proof that there is a way out.

3. Find someone to connect with

beware burnout - shut it down and spend time with friends and family

Most of us are adept at keeping our problems to ourselves. Whatever the reason, despite the fact that we’re social creatures, we have a habit of hiding how we really feel — even from the ones closest to us.

This kind of behavior can be really damaging, especially when we’ve lost hope in ourselves and life as a whole. This is when we need to connect with others the most. By communicating with others, we’re able to regain hope and realize that what we’re going through isn’t so unique — we all go through the same challenges and struggles.

Talking to someone when you’ve lost hope is one of the easiest and single most powerful things you can ever do. And chances are, your loved ones will be more than willing to listen and would jump at the chance to help if they really knew how you were feeling — you just need to have the courage to reach out.