When you’re uncertain about the future

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When you’re uncertain about the future

when you're uncertain about the futureDo you suffer from impala syndrome?

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.

when you're uncertain about the future

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!

2 Comments so far:

  1. pat says:

    Hi lily,
    I cannot believe the syncronicity of this email today. My ex partner from 30 years ago called in to visit me two days ago ( after calling) after visiting his daughters interstate. I was planning to head to the town he lives in to visit a friends with cancer and he offered to take me down with him.
    Whilst together I tolerated much verbal emotional and physical abuse which echoed the home I grew up in. Over the years we made our peace and I felt I could be in his company after he seemed to have changed his manner of negativity and judgmental attitude not only to me but to the world in general. It began fine and I gave him a lovely room, fed him well, shared some photos he had brought with him and he offered to fix a few minor jobs I needed doing but had not the strength which I was most grateful for. However at his insistence one job which I had started at my local woodwork group needed another pair of hands to fix two hinges. I had what I thought were the tools needed but it didn’t go well and he started to insult my ability to “get everything organised” and started shouting to which I stood up for myself in a calm but firm way and he reverted back to the aggressive angry behaviour I had walked out on 27 years ago.
    I recently began yoga and meditation and despite my initial distress I managed to pull myself together and organise a train to my friend tomorrow and am now settled with an incredible sense of relief and realisation I had not cut the ties because of my links with his daughters and grandchildren.
    Being the kind of person who always tends to see the best in others, it is sad when the realisation comes that some may never realise their good.
    Your words have added some warmth to my heart tonight.

    Best wishes Pat

  2. Lily says:

    Hi Pat. Thank you so much for your openness and willingness to share your story. I’m so glad that you’ve been encouraged. I’m further glad that you were able to find your inner strength and stand up for yourself when you most felt the need to–what a very important rite of passage for anyone. Blessings to you, my friend. I wish you the best on the journey ahead! :0)

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