A couple of years ago I was hiking in the Costa Rican jungle with my husband and a local tour guide. We were knee deep in succulent greenery and walking beneath beautiful trees that were home to viper snakes, sloths and more birds than I’ve ever seen when we approached a picture perfect waterfall.
It was serene and magical, until the tour guide told us we needed to jump the waterfall to continue on with our hike.
I actually considered myself a free spirit. Just months prior we were sweeping through the Ecuadorian mountains on a motorcycle. But this, jumping off a waterfall, was just out of the question. Before I had babies calling me mom I would have been all over it. But now it just wasn’t going to happen.
In the grand scheme of things I know that one has nothing to do with the other. My rational brain knows that when it’s my time to go, it’s going to happen regardless of where I’m at or what I’m jumping or not jumping off of.
But why tempt fate?
How many situations have we encountered where an escape route is planned when we get to the edge of what we really want?
If I could have known for sure that I wouldn’t end up with a head injury or paralyzed or eaten alive by ravenous piranhas, I would have jumped that thing in a heartbeat. But my future self wasn’t letting me in on the outcome, so I refused to do it.How many situations have we encountered where an escape route is planned when we get to the edge of what we really want?
Uncertainty keeping us from taking a jump into a place we’ve never been before.
Unless we stop walking, exploring and making the most out of life, those waterfalls will continue to appear on our paths. They are unavoidable. We can either play it safe (boring) and skirt around them, or we can jump.
What Would Your Future Self Say?
There’s an exercise I like to do when I feel stuck or unsure if it’s time to take the leap – it involves a quiet mind, an open heart and my future self.
I write a letter from me to me.
Only I write the letter from the perspective of my future self as if the jump has been made and all the risks, accomplishments and even failures have been experienced.
And every time, without fail, my future self is always proud of what I tried, even if it didn’t work out. My future self is always happy that I gave it a shot, because then I know for sure if it was for me or not. The question has been answered and I can move on with my life – regardless of the outcome.
Still not sure if you’re ready?
8 Ways to Know It’s Time To Jump
1. It’s Inconvenient – The more inconvenient it feels, the more certain you can feel that it’s your next step. If it’s meant to be, that probably means it’s not a day-to-day thing, in fact it probably means it’s far from what your everyday looks like. Change is never convenient, but things that are worthwhile cause us to change. It’s time to jump.
2. Will You Regret Not Doing It? – If the answer is yes, then get ready to jump, because you’ve just approached your next waterfall. It’s time to jump.
3. There’s No Time – This excuse has been used since the beginning of time. But guess what? There will never be enough time. That’s just how it is. So might as well use the time you do have to do the things that feel exhilarating. This is what a well-lived life is all about! It’s time to jump.
4. Excuses – You have a million reasons not to do it, but the idea just won’t go away. It’s time to jump.
5. Future Self Approved – When you imagine your future in 5 years, without any restrictions or limitations, is your future self excited and happy? It’s time to jump.
6. Details – It feels right, but- others don’t agree, or the details don’t seem to add up. This is where trust comes in. The details get figured out along the way, so don’t let them keep you wondering and wishing. It’s time to jump.
7. You Want A Guarantee – If only it worked this way. But no one gets a guarantee. Ever. Guarantees don’t give our dreams a chance to breathe. It’s time to jump.
8. Control – You feel if you jump you’re giving up control. This is a big one, because most of us really want to feel like we’re in control. (Psst…you’re not.) Surrender lives on the other side of control, and it’s always downstream and easy, once you let go. It’s time to jump.
Words on paper are way easier to write than jumping off of a waterfall will ever be, so start there. What are the beautiful waterfalls in your life that you would love to jump? Where are you avoiding the feeling of a free fall? What would your future self be proud of you for trying? Giving them space and attention is the first step to figuring out if they are worthwhile.
I’d love to hear about your next waterfall. Please leave your comment here.
Till next time, happy jumping!
Lot of love,
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