Why both concern and hope are necessary for action

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Kevin Mangelschots

Let’s start off with the following two quotes that perfectly describe why both hope and concern are vital for taking action, in my opinion.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.”

It means that even though times might be bad and rough at the moment, we still see the path toward something better. And not only do we see the road ahead that we must take, we also have the confidence needed to accomplish this goal of creating a better life.

The second quote goes as follows: “Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself.”

It means that concern is no reason to feel down on ourselves. Only that we should utilize that fear and anxiety to fuel ourselves to undertake action so that we can improve our existence.

Why are concern and hope both necessary for action?

Both concern and hope are necessary for people to undertake action.

A certain amount of concern is required for to feel the need to undertake action, but hope is also critical since a positive outlook is necessary in order to have the expectation that you can control and improve your life. That you can see a more positive future for yourself if you applied yourself.

Worry and even fear can be powerful emotions and great motivators to work harder, and to better one’s existence. Without an urge of emergency, or a reason to change, there wouldn’t be any reason to act.

So even though concern and fear are commonly seen as negative, uncomfortable emotions, both are vital to become successful, in addition to having the ability to change your life for the better.

At the same time, feeling too many, or excessively intense antagonistic emotions can be overwhelming and prevent people from taking action.

That’s why we need hope to compensate and offset the heavy burden that’s living. It’s needed in order to be able to see a more positive future for ourselves eventually. And hope gives us the self-confidence that we can reach our goal of a better life.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is hope?

Image of the word “hope” written on a rock.

Hope can be defined as the feeling of expectation or the desire for a specific thing to happen.

A positive outlook gives us hope. And it’s this anticipation of “something better” that motivates us to take action.

What does concern mean?

Concern can be described as a feeling of worry, uneasiness, or even fear in extreme instances.

A certain amount of worry is necessary in order to feel the necessity and drive to turn things around by improving our existence.

Examples why both concern and hope are necessary for action

Image of the word “example” being written with a blue marker by someone's hand.

  • Example 1

    First up, meet Bob.

    Bob is not necessarily happy at work, but he’s not always miserable either.

    He’s fairly content with his pay. It’s not much, but it’s enough to survive. He lives close to his work, something he considers to be a great advantage.

    Bob knows he’s overqualified for his current job, but doesn’t think he can cut it in another occupation with more responsibilities. Nevertheless, being overqualified makes him feel a bit anxious at times, since he knows deep down that he’s underperforming.

    Fortunately, he has a good relationship with his coworkers, which eases the work and anxiousness. He’s working at his current job for 20 years, and is stuck in a rut.

    Bob is an example of someone who doesn’t experience enough concern, and doesn’t have an adequate amount of hope that’s required in order to change his line of work.

    But as a result of not taking action to switch jobs, he’s currently experiencing feelings of anxiety because he’s overqualified, and knows he should be doing better for himself.

  • Example 2

    The word “example” written in red letters on a white background.

    And finally, there is Tom.

    Tom on the other hand is clearly unhappy and wretched at his current job.

    He’s too smart and hardworking for his current line of work. And to make matters even worse for his mental state, he’s fully aware of the fact that he’s not doing as well as he could. His coworkers are jealous of his intelligence and the fact that he’s raising the bar for everyone around him.

    The wage is low compared to how much effort Tom puts into his work. He’s currently looking for another job because he’s certain he can be more productive elsewhere, and because he wants to get paid his worth.

    Tom is an example of someone who experiences enough concern to take action, but also has an adequate amount of hope that he can do better. As a consequence, he’s started looking for another occupation in order to feel satisfied and lessen the negative emotions he regularly experiences due to underachieving.

How does fear drive action?

The quote, “fear is an opportunity. It is fuel for courage to transform us into a finer human being” written in white letters on a black background.
 
While fear is a mechanism designed to protect us from danger and harm, we can utilize fear to drive action.
 
It’s a sense of fright that your physical or mental state might be injured, which motivates us to protect ourselves by changing our behavior.
 

Thus, it forces us to make decisions, and to take action, whether we want to or not. And this sense of urgency is regularly needed before we’re willing to modify our behavior.

At worst, when the fear we experience is too overbearing, it can cause us to freeze entirely and not make any choice or action as a result. Obviously, that’s almost never the right play, since it’ll lead to the situation getting worse over time without the capacity for improvement.

Why does action cure fear?

The word “why” written multiple times on a blue background with question marks surrounding it.

Action cures fear because it shows us that taking proactive measures and changing our behavior aids to get rid of, or at least diminish, our feelings of anxiety and discomfort.

Confronting our concerns directly shows us that we’re courageous enough, and willing to stand up against what’s troubling us. This allows us to build self-confidence, while also making us more resilient in the process.

Action restores the belief in ourselves that we can modify our behavior for the better, while giving us the energy needed to do so. The worst thing to do when frightened is doing nothing, since this will only make us more terrified in the end.

Why am I afraid of taking action?

Image of an ankle brace with the name “fear” on stuck to someone's ankle indicating that they're paralyzed by fear.
 
There are multiple reasons why you can be afraid of taking action.
 
You might not experience enough worry to incite you to change your ways, or it’s possible that you don’t have enough faith that you can actually improve things.
 
Fear of judgment can also keep you from taking action. We’re social animals that want to look good in the eyes of those around us. That’s why we’re regularly fearful of the opinions of others.
 

Humans are inherently fearful of the unknown. As a result, we seek out familiarity and create habits that feel acquainted to us. That’s also one of the causes why we might do, and stay in situations even though they might be harming us.

Final thoughts

Feelings we commonly associate as being negative like concern, fear, anger, or jealousy can be uncomfortable, yet powerful motivators. We can make use of these emotions to fuel ourselves to actually do something useful to build a better life.

At the same time, an adequate amount of hope is required to maintain a positive outlook, and to establish the self-esteem that we can accomplish our dream of creating a better, more fulfilling, and more productive life.