4 Keys To Finding The Catalyst To Change Your Future

By Dr Daleen Smal | Personal Development

Mar 12
Catalyst to change your future

To change your future and your life, you need a catalyst. A catalyst is something that enables a change that would otherwise not have happened. It can be an event, or someone’s words, or a book or a movie that causes you to change your life in some way.

Let’s say a man gets fired because he is always late for work. Losing his job may be a catalyst for him.  The event of getting fired caused him to make a change in how he behaves in life and to change his habit of being always late.

Change is always hard because we have formed habits. It’s easier to do what you’ve always done. Changing also means you have to move outside your comfort zone. People find it scary to move outside of what they find familiar. More often than not, we won’t change without a push.

1. Change Begins And Ends With You

When asked “Are you happy with your life?”, more people give “no” answers than “yes”. Yet, day in and day out, they don’t do anything to change that.

The problem may be that you don’t know how to change. You don’t understand how you need to find a catalyst to motivate and inspire you towards the life you desire.

Sometimes there is a catalyst but you focus on the ordinary and you miss it completely. You must focus on seeing opportunities to raise yourself to a different level of success.

Take time to look over your life as it is now. What do you think about it?

Think about the people in your life and your relationships with them. Is it everything you wanted it to be and hoped for? What about your finances? Do you wish things could be different? What about your job? Are you, like so many others, miserable in your job? Like them, you stay there year after year, getting more miserable as you grow older.

If you are unhappy with any area of your life and you do nothing about it, you'll still be unhappy a year from now. Apart from still unhappy, you will lose time and you will miss opportunities to make changes. If you want more out of life, then you need to take steps to make changes.

Physical signs, for instance feeling a knot in your stomach, are always a clue something is wrong. You must address the cause. Stress will build up if you ignore physical signs from your body. This will lead to further health complications.

Life is not meant to be something that’s just endured. It’s meant to be exciting. Life is an adventure only when you decide that it is.

Key Points:

  • A catalyst is something that enables a change that would otherwise not have happened.
  • If you want more out of life, then you need to take steps to make changes.
  • Life is not meant to be something that’s just endured. It’s meant to be exciting. Life is an adventure only when you decide that it is.

2. Roadblocks That Stop You To Change Your Future

One thing all people have in common is that we experience roadblocks or obstacles to get what we desire in life. The truth is nothing in life is handed to us on a silver platter. Obstacles are everywhere.  

The difference is how people react to these obstacles. Some get motivated to make changes to overcome them, while others get stopped in their tracks. The truth is we only get what we want by overcoming the obstacles.

Fear

Fear is the most common and biggest roadblock. Some people stop right in their tracks because they fear change.

Sometimes people are in a bad job that’s killing them, but they don’t leave. Many people dream to start their own business but they fear they won’t be successful.

Fear is often driven by “what if” scenarios. What if this doesn’t happen? What if that doesn’t work out? Most of these “what if” scenarios never happen.

Don’t allow fear to keep you stuck where you are and watch life passes you by. Get courage and focus on what a leap of faith will bring you.

Lack Of Knowledge

A lack of knowledge is another big roadblock that stops people from change.

When you don’t know how to make changes it is hard to make them. Maybe you want to go into a new business that lies beyond your current knowledge.

Whatever you don’t know, you can learn. There are so many good resources you can use as a catalyst for change. Always try to reach new levels of understanding.

Don’t Have Time To Make The Effort

Another roadblock that keeps people stuck is they believe they don’t have time to make the effort. They are too busy for the extra effort. To bring about any change requires effort and many people don’t want to make the effort – which is a big mistake.

Thinking like this will keep you stuck in a job you hate. Your messy finances will stay messy and stress you. You will remain in the dead-end relationship that brings you very little joy. Your health will remain in the downward spiral.  

Better time management skills can be a catalyst. You get rid of things that waste your time and create space for things that bring more benefit.  

Being Just Comfortable Enough

Being just comfortable enough is another roadblock to keep you stuck. You’re not 100 percent happy, but you’re “happy enough.” This means you have settled for a life in your current comfort zone.

You have settled for a less-than-full life. If you are not 100 percent satisfied with your life, it means that something is missing. Something you desire is missing but you never will get it as you have settled for “happy enough”.

By blocking out thoughts of what will make you feel content in life means you'll miss out on what could have been. Most people on their death bed regret not what they did, but what they didn’t do.

Visualization can be a catalyst to change “happy enough”. Picture the next level of satisfaction in your life. By visualizing what life could be, you create a gap between what is and what could be. That gap may inspire you to close the gap.

Waiting For Everything To Be Perfect

Waiting for everything to be perfect is another big roadblock. Don’t wait until the situation is perfect before you try to change something. The situation will never be perfect.

Don’t wait for the perfect time or situation. Perfection kills change and progress. The perfectionism you create in your head never translates into real life. There are no perfect scenarios in life. 

Fear Of Failure

Fear of failure is the number one roadblock preventing a catalyst to motivate people. They think if they don’t try then they haven’t failed.

The problem is if you think like this, you have failed. You choose to stay stuck in a pale version of the life you dream of. You choose to live smaller than what you are. Doing this is a form of failure. It’s failing to live up to your potential.

Wait For Change

The last roadblock I want to talk about is the one where you wait for change rather than pursuing change.

You wait for the perfect business partner instead of looking for one. You wait for the right time instead of making now the right time. You avoid difficult situations by waiting for it to change on its own.

The thing is, change won’t happen by itself. You start the change and make things happen.

You have to look inside yourself to find the motivation to make the needed change in your life and your future.

It is going to be uncomfortable at first but that’s OK. Discomfort during change is a sign you’re taking action to improve your life.

Key Points:

  • Get motivated by obstacles. Don’t allow the to stop you.

  • Some people stop right in their tracks because they fear change. Embrace change because that’s a sign of growth.

  • When you don’t know how to make changes it is hard to make them. The good news is that whatever you don’t know, you can learn.

  • To bring about any change requires effort and many people don’t want to make the effort. It’s a mistake to avoid the effort to change.

  • You’re not 100 percent happy, but you’re “happy enough.” You have settled for a less-than-full life. Don’t allow “happy enough” to steal your dream.

  • The situation or time for change will never be perfect. Don’t wait for “perfect” before you try to change your life and future.  


  • Fear of failure is the number one roadblock preventing people from living a life they desire.  

  • Change won’t happen by itself. You start the change and make things happen.

3. Use Your Mind As A Catalyst To Change Your Future

Your mind is powerful and can help you to make changes in your life.

When you feel fed up with your current situation and you decide to change it, your mind will lead you to take action.

Your emotions will become a catalyst and trigger a change. Let’s say someone is in a job they hate. They will often stay in that job until their emotions push them to look for a change. The pain of staying pushes them to make the change.

Anger could be one of the emotions acting as a catalyst. The other person’s bad behavior could have angered you before without turning into a catalyst. Until one day, your anger becomes the catalyst to cause you to look for a change.

Don’t be fooled. Your subconscious mind knows what you want. Unfortunately, what you are willing to settle for suppresses your true desires deep inside you. When you find you live your life without passion, you have settled for less than what you desire.

If what you do don't excite you and you have to drag yourself through every day, it’s a warning that you need a catalyst. You need a spark to wake you up and push you through roadblocks, even if you are the only one who believes in you and your dream.

Key Points:

  • When you feel fed up with your current situation and you decide to change it, your mind will lead you to take action.
  • Your emotion can become a catalyst. It may remain dormant as a catalyst until one day, your emotions are so strong they become the catalyst to cause you to look for a change.
  • Don’t be fooled. Your subconscious mind knows what you want.
  • When you find you live your life without passion, you have settled for less than what you desire.

4. Face The Hard Truth That You Are Responsible For Change

Do you know someone who lived unhealthily and then got a serious health scare because of their bad lifestyle choices? They got all shaken up and followed the doctor’s orders for a while. But bit by bit they slipped back into their old habits.

What happened here?

The catalyst, in the form of a health scare, lost against personal responsibility. For your catalyst to keep on motivating you, you must take full responsibility. The hard truth is that you and you alone are making the choices in your life.

You may have made them because you didn't know better or you followed bad advice. Whatever the reason, you were the one that made the choice. If you do not accept full responsibility for where you are and how you got there, you won’t accept responsibility for change either.

Research shows that people who blame others never reach a place where they are happy. In their mind, life is happening to them rather than them making life happen. They are the victim of circumstances or other people. 

Get yourself to the point where you can admit you have stuffed up and made bad choices. That bad job you took was your choice. That bad relationship you stayed in was your choice. Your bad health was your lifestyle choice.

I know it’s hard to do. But only when you accept full responsibility for everything in your life, will you be able to move on. Only then will you free yourself to accept the power of the catalyst because you have taken control.

Don’t allow what happened in the past to become an anchor to keep you where you will be in the future. Get yourself to the point where past mistakes motivate you. Make it part of your learning experience and growth.

Growing is hard, but growth leads you to a whole different place in life.

Key Points:

  • For your catalyst to keep on motivating you, you must take full responsibility.

  • The hard truth is that you and you alone are making the choices in your life.

  • Research shows that people who blame others never reach a place where they are happy. In their mind, life is happening to them rather than them making life happen.  

  • Growing is hard, but growth leads you to a whole different place in life.

5. Ways To Find Your Catalyst To Change Your Future

You must take stock of your life. Look at every area and make notes on what’s not making you feel satisfied, excited, and passionate. You cannot change if you don’t know what to change.

Understand What Matters More Than Anything To You

As a first step understand what matters more than anything to you in life. Remember, it will be different for you than anybody else’s highest priority.

Someone else may dream of a fancy house to own but you may not. Maybe you want more quality time with your loved ones. Perhaps you want your own business. Everybody wants something else out of life.

Your catalyst will be whatever action you need to take to free you. You may cut back on hours worked or you may have to change jobs. Whatever the catalyst, it must be something you desire with a passion.

Accept You Have To Change What You Do

You have to accept you have to change what you do to get what matters most to you. There is no point in wanting something and then refuse to change what you do to get it. You cannot run away from change and think you will get what you want.

Have you ever lost weight without changing something in your life? It doesn’t happen that way. You have to eat less, eat healthily, and exercise more.

The same principles apply to anything you want. You have to change the things you do to bring about what you want.

Allow Your Catalyst To Make It Happen

You must allow your catalyst to make it happen. Let’s say you want to start your own business but your life is full of things that leave you not a minute to spare. That means you don’t have time to learn about business development or upgrade your skills.

You have to change and make room for the change you want. Work less, stop doing useless things like watching TV. Do whatever it takes to create space for your catalyst to work. You must make short-term sacrifices to gain in the long term. Doing nothing leads to nothing.

Writing It Down

Make your catalyst concrete by writing it down and share it with others. Look at role models and find someone to mentor you.

The worst thing you can do is to leave the needed change as only a desire. Step up and claim what you want in life. Make the future real by writing it down and making concrete plans to achieve it.

If the size of the change is big don’t let it scare you. Perhaps you have to move to another country to make your dreams come true. Remember, you don’t have to leave overnight. Start planning and preparation for the move even if it takes a year or more.

Accept Personal Responsibility

When a catalyst happens, you must accept personal responsibility for the change to take place. Focus on the sensible things you must do to create an orderly change.

For instance, in moving to another country you would find a place to live and a way to sustain yourself. You will take your spouse and children into consideration during this move. You put in place smaller action steps to achieve your bigger change.

Small changes add up to move you closer to your bigger goal of how your life should look like.

Don’t wait for a lightning bolt to strike you. Don’t sit and watch time passes by. Accept personal responsibility for making the necessary changes. Like Nike says, Just Do It.

Key Points:

  • Take stock of your life. You cannot change if you don’t know what to change.

  • Understand what matters more than anything to you in life.

  • You have to accept you have to change what you do to get what matters most to you. There is no point in wanting something and then refuse to change what you do to get it.

  • The worst thing you can do is to leave the needed change as only a desire. Step up and claim what you want in life.

  • Make the future real by writing it down and making concrete plans to achieve it.

  • When a catalyst happens, you must accept personal responsibility for the change to take place.

Conclusion

When your life is not what you want it to be, you need to realize you must change. Consider today your wake-up call. Look for a catalyst to inspire you to make changes for a better future.

Don’t remain stuck in the mud looking at life passing you by. We get what we settle for. Don’t settle for less. Take personal responsibility to live life to your full potential. Just do it. Time is something you can never get back.

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