Wouter Kleinsman

Wouter Kleinsman

Why Change is Hard and How to Overcome the Pain

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Are you convinced deep down that you can get more out of your life than you do now? Consider for example your health, relationship, company, career or deepening of relationships with your family and friends. What do you think you need to do in order to make all of these better? What is in your way of change? The answer to this question is very simple: nothing! Change is possible for everyone, especially if you know your pitfalls and the important habits you will need to adopt to make change possible. Ready for it? Ready for a change? Let’s go!

The big change in my life

All the articles that I write are about my own experiences and the past years have been all about change. In fact, change plays a role in my life every day. As a high-performance coach, I always look for new possibilities to become an even better version of myself. I want to achieve my maximum potential and best performance in all areas of my life. To achieve this, CHANGE is extremely important! If you know me, you know that I started my own online marketing agency in 2011. Marketing was always my thing and I loved doing it. When I look at my lifestyle at that time it was average/normal. Got out of bed around 8.30 am, work from 9 am to 5 pm and nurse a hangover on the weekends. I was also a big fan of going to festivals to get away from everyday life. (check my about me page for the complete story). For many years I lived that way, but in 2016 I realized that I was done with my average life. I had started looking at personal development, mindset and such like because I knew deep down that I could achieve so much more. I had to change The biggest change for me took place in 2017. In November I decided to go on holiday alone. During that holiday I met Victoria, the love of my life. Since that day my life changed completely. I felt deep inside that together we could achieve so much more because she thought the same about her own life. She was constantly looking for ways to improve herself and help people along the way. I started living life by a routine that served me and got me closer towards my goals and started making choices that the best version of myself would make. I was also conscious of who I spent time with because I was starting to understand how much of an influence the people around me had on me. Visiting festivals was a thing of the past. I optimized my already healthy diet, went to bed earlier and got up earlier and as a result, much more goals were met and I was happier in my self. This short version of my story may seem simple, but when I look back, the enormous change did not happen without pain or discomfort. I ran into various struggles, struggles that everyone who really wants to change will face at some point in their journey. Change is possible for everyone, as long as you are well prepared to leave your comfort zone.

# 1 Change brings uncertainty

Whether it is a career switch, moving to a new city or another country, starting with your entrepreneurship or switching to your entrepreneurship, change brings with it uncertainty. After all, you can never really determine how the change will go and where you will end up at the end. That is why I want to warn you about all the negative thoughts that will undoubtedly arise when you want to change. In a previous article, I wrote about the 3 different types of fear you read about one of the biggest fears in our lives: the fear of change. That is why 98% of the world’s population remains average and never has the courage to develop further. So .. embrace your fear and uncertainty and transform negative emotions and thoughts into positive ones.


  • If I make this career switch, I will miss my current colleagues that I get on so well with. Maybe if I make the move I won’t get along with my new colleagues or be able to build relationships.
  • When I start my own company, I give up my financial security and if my company is not successful, financial problems will arise.
  • If I want to lose 10kg, then I have to find new recipes, find ingredients in the store and then cook. Do I really want to put all of this effort into it?


  • I am so enthusiastic about my career switch! I’m going to meet new people who fit the best version that I want to become. Like-minded people with the same interests!
  • When I start my business, I can finally do something that is 100% my passion! I am convinced that when I follow my passion, everything will work out just fine in my life.
  • Yes, I am so excited about losing weight!  Soon I will see myself going to the beach confidently, enjoying sports and experiencing a feeling of more energy and happiness! I can try new recipes and learn how to cook healthy meals!
As you can see, it is up to you how you handle your change. When I opted to make the switch from a 100% focused online marketing agency to a certified high-performance coach and business coach, I gained so much positive energy. I knew that I was going to help people and that this would make me very happy and give me a feeling of great appreciation. Of course, I also had negative emotions and thoughts in my head. But because I was aware of them, I could quickly turn them into positive thoughts. For more insights about your limited mindset. Click here.

# 2 The moment of “saying goodbye”

When you are ready to change, you will soon receive opinions from the people around you. For example, there will be family members and friends cheering you on and supporting you, but there will also be people who will try to change your mind. There were people in my life who thought it ridiculous that I would get up at 5:00 am. Who did not understand that I was not satisfied with an income of € 8,000 and so on. In my change process, I noticed how so many people tried to keep me in their world. The reason?
Often people pull you back to their world because they don’t dare to change themselves. They see you change and try to pull you back so that they will not see you progressing because that would make them jealous. It is either that or people who have a limited mindset who do not see how much more the world has to offer. And of course, you have the people who love you so much and don’t want anything bad to happen to you so they desperately try to keep you small and safe in an attempt to protect you.

Say goodbye

Whatever the reason, be aware that there is a good chance that you will have to say goodbye to certain people in your life. Change in your life often means a change in the people you interact with. It is a “proven statement”: you are the average of the people closest to you. That’s why I’m telling you straight in the face: it’s time for new connections and to say goodbye to people you don’t want to trade lives with. Find new like-minded people that you admire so that you can learn from each other and grow together. I  am in a mastermind group of high achievers who are the best in their field. We meet every week at a fixed time with a fixed agenda. A mastermind is one of the most important activities you can do for yourself when you are ready for faster growth.
Make choices and realize that the chance is 99.9% that people will try to make you change your mind. Don’t get mad at these people, but let them know that you are ready to become a better version of yourself whether or not they are behind you.

# 3 Change and the many struggles

Let’s be honest: change is difficult for everyone and creates struggles. If you do not experience any struggles, you are still too close to your comfort zone. This means you are playing it safe. I know too well: safety = no growth.
If change does not entail struggle or scare the sh*t out of you, then nothing dramatic will happen. After all, change means going outside your comfort zone, entering onto new paths, taking steps into the unknown and developing a new identity.
Embrace the many struggles, it means that you are on the right track. Raise your inner thermostat so that you do not suffer from the thermostat effect. What is the thermostat effect? Let’s say you set the thermostat of your heating/air conditioning to 20 degrees. If it gets colder than 20 degrees, the thermostat fires up and ensures that your house is wonderfully heated back up to 20 degrees. When it gets warmer than 20 degrees the air conditioning will fire up and bring the temperature back down again. This often happens with people who are trying to change. They are trying their best to change, but their identity does not grow with their efforts towards their goal. So they shoot over 20 degrees (they make huge improvements towards their goals) and then they self-sabotage until their temperature (success/life conditions) becomes 20 degrees or cooler, in other words: back to where they were. Do you recognize that in yourself? If so then it is to do with your identity that does not grow with your efforts to change. Learning a habit takes on average 66 days. You also have to work for least 66 days to develop your identity and that has everything to do with commitment and discipline. You will get nowhere without commitment and discipline in your life. Therefore make sure that you:
  • embrace your struggles;
  • you are disciplined and committed no matter what;
  • and that nothing and no one slows you down!

# 4 Change and a new mindset

Change requires a new mindset and a new personality. To steer you in the right direction, you need to set up personal core values ​​for yourself that you bring to your attention every day. Then you will live as the best version of yourself.
With your true personal core values, ​​you will live as the best version of yourself.
When I was ready for change, I didn’t know that we all have core values, whether we are aware of it or not. I lived for a long time without conscious core values ​​and that caused fear, sadness, disappointment, irritation and more! After all, deep down I could feel that I was not living according to my (unconscious) core values. That is why I now advise you to come to realise your core values ​​immediately if you have not already done so. Without core values, ​​you can easily fall back into your old identity and you don’t want that. Therefore ask yourself:
  • What does the best version of myself look like?
  • How does that person think?
  • How does that person live?
  • What are his values?
Make it clear and be prepared to make a switch from your “old mindset” to your new one. There is one thing that I regularly do to work on myself and that is to upgrade my mindset. I do this by:
  • Readin lots of books
  • Regulry meditating
  • Listening to audio frequency programs

# 5 Change without ‘approval’

I often hear from my 1-on-1 coaching clients that they are waiting for approval from other people (or even from me!). I am here to tell you that you do not need approval from other people. The only person’s approval you need is your own.
Simply say to yourself: I give myself permission to change from today!
Take personal leadership over your own life when you want to change. No finger-pointing at anyone else. Do not blame the situation or make up excuses. You can change whenever you want. You decide. Always.
Show leadership. Therefore, stop consuming, stop searching for more information and “know-how”. You know enough!
Take that first step now! PS If you are looking for a coach who is committed to you and who will hold you accountable to the promises that you make for yourself then read further in the field of  my high-performance coaching. 2.-when-you-change-people-change-your-mind 3.-Embrace-the-struggles-of-change- 4.-Permission-to-change 5.-Change,-you-know-enough