When you’re uncertain about the future
The impala is a graceful, athletic antelope that dwells in the savannas of southeast Africa. Their jumps can reach heights of up to 8-10 feet, and they can easily clear lengths of 30 feet in a single leap.
However, for all their prowess in the wild, the impala is commonly held captive in zoos…behind fences no more than three feet tall. This shouldn’t be possible. In fact, impalas all across the globe should be leading epic coup d’états en masse as they flee their captors.
But alas, they have yet to rebel.
The reason may stir you. As it turns out, the impala only leaps at incredible distances when it can see where it will land.
Because it can’t see what the other side of the fence looks like, the impala will choose not to jump and instead remain in captivity.
Sound familiar yet?
How many times do we refrain from taking a jump forward because we just can’t visualize what the landing is going to look like?
Uncertainty about the future can be crippling, paralyzing. Instead of taking action, we become consumed by the mind-eaters: What if it doesn’t work out? What if people don’t respond? What if I fail? What if I only go so far? What if I’m no good at it? What if they don’t like me?
So long as uncertainty about the future lingers, however, you’ll suffer from impala syndrome.
Fortunately, there is a cure that can be found in the four steps below and through applying them, you’ll finally take that leap and leave the walls of captivity behind once and for all.
1. Inventory. Before a builder constructs a building, he makes an inventory of all the tools and supplies he’ll need. It should only follow, then, that when we’re building the life of our dreams, we need to create an inventory all the same.
Take note of those dreams you’ve wanted to achieve ever since you were a kid. What is it you really want to do in this world? Having trouble with this one? An easy way to come up with some answers is to ask yourself this: when the time comes for you to leave this life and you look back on the years behind you, what are the accomplishments you most want to see?
Keep on going with the inventory. What stories have you amassed from personal experience over the years? What lessons have you learned from simple how-to’s to life-changing revelations? What are your natural talents?
Spend at least 15-20 minutes on this exercise.
2. Envision & Act. Now that you know or at least have an inkling of what you would like to do in this world, start to envision it. What does your dream life look like? Are you the founder and CEO of a six-figure business? Are you traveling the world sharing an incredible story about overcoming adversity? Are you a bestselling author? Do you create arts & crafts for those in need? Do you teach yoga and meditation for those who want to deepen their spirituality?
Picture where you want to be in 5 years…and start doing the things that will get you there. Sounds simple enough but it’s surprising how much time we spend simply thinking about the future. Dreaming is lovely but acting achieves results. What’s one thing you can do today to move yourself forward? Take a class, attend a networking event, start writing that book…whatever it is, start doing it!
3. Positivity. Did you know that Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected 140 times before it finally found a publisher? The book is now a series with over 200 titles in 54 languages. Imagine if its authors had given up at the first rejection, or the second, or the third and so on.
With every leap you take, recognize that setbacks may arise. Refrain from calling them failures, however. They’re simply learning experiences, situations that you can grow from, situations that will ultimately enhance you.
But most importantly, remain positive. Take out the trash when it comes to negative thinking and start seeing success instead. Love on yourself. Speak positive affirmations as long as you have to until you start believing them. You’ll keep your own morale up by doing so, which will make you work even harder toward success.
4. Jump! Some of us wait for the perfect time to start chasing after our dreams. Here’s the truth: there will never be a perfect set of circumstances and if you keep waiting, you’ll be waiting forever. Now is the time! You’ve dreamed about it for long enough. Take the leap. Jump!
And no matter where you land or what things look like on the other side of the fence, give yourself a standing ovation for having the courage and boldness to escape captivity. You deserve it.
In the comments below, tell me; have you ever suffered from impala syndrome? What kind of things have held you captive in the past and what are going to start doing to take the giant leap up and over? Share your insights. And don’t forget to share this article with a friend—they’ll love you for it!