People want life to be easy. We have apps, tools and systems for anything to make our life easier. Die-hard marketeers know that buyers want the result, but they don’t want to do the work in order to get there.

We want to lose weight, but we don’t want to sweat in the gym or stop drinking wine at dinner. We want to be successful, but we don’t want to work 100 hours a week. We want a new job, but we don’t want to beg for it. As an entrepreneur, we want clients, but we don’t want to wait for a year to finally get some. We want shortcuts to results.

A shortcut to success

That’s a human thing to want, because our brain is wired to take shortcuts. And wherever and whenever the brain can do that, it does. Take a look at this little exercise below. How long does it take you to be able to read it? I bet it won’t take you but a few seconds. That’s the magic of our amazing brain. brain-game-nicoline-huizinga

Staying alive

The reason our brain does this, because it wants to make sure we use our energy efficiently, and more specifically: to stay alive. Our reptilian brain (the eldest part of our brain) is wired to keep us from harm, enabling us to assess situations really quickly and find easy ways to survive. In the old days, when we could be attacked be wild animals, that made sense. But today, in our world where we’re not directly exposed to life or death situations, we might be better off if this reptilian brain just kept its silence for a while.

Don’t hurt me, please

Because this part of our brain is quite powerful in finding shortcuts, we tend to avoid pain as much as possible. It’s the number 1 principle neuroscientists and psychotherapists refer to when speaking about human behavior. Humans want the results, but we don’t want the pain. We think pain is unpleasant. Pain makes us sad. Pain wears us out. Pain is something that needs to be solved instantly. That’s why we want quick and simple solutions that make our life easy. And as much as we like the gain (some of us would do a lot to be a size zero), we want to avoid the pain a lot more.

Overnight success? Sign here & pay now

For instance, when we’re looking for new clients or a new job. We love to turn to anyone who helps us to get these clients or the job ASAP. We pay for experts who give us ready-to-use resume templates, ‘I made a million dollars in 3 months and so can you’-blueprints and algorithm & SEO-proof copy. The thing is, these people are selling what worked for them. Soon after you bought their template, system or blueprint, you’ll find out it doesn’t work as well for you, provided it works at all. And let’s be honest here, we could have known from the beginning. Because how sustainable do you think it is when you’re trying to follow someone else’s footsteps? How successful do you think you will be if you’re not willing to do the work?

Please help me (so I don’t have to do it)

Just the other day, I saw one of the unemployed guys I’m connected to on LinkedIn. He posted the same lines he uses over and over again: ‘I’m available. I’m reliable. I’m looking for a job as <job title>. Who is willing to help me find it?’. Actually, these messages make me roll my eyes. If you want a job (or a client for that matter), you need to take action and stop being a couch potato. Asking someone else for help is not a bad idea in itself, but in order to get any desired result you need to do much more than that and it starts with YOU.

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The truth, and nothing but the truth

The only way to get clients or a job, is to get real with yourself and do some serious digging in the person you are. To find answers to these questions. Who are you? What do you have to offer? What is your unique added value? What do you stand for? What holds you back? What do you fear? What makes you stand out from the crowd? Who is your ideal client (or employer)? The (disappointing?) truth is, I don’t have these answers for you. No one has, not even that 7-figure business coach or that ‘I can teach you to be rich in one month’-guy could provide you with a shortcut there. Only YOU have the answers, but only if you’re willing to dig deep.

With this article, I’m not dismissing business coaches or job coaches in general, but I AM dismissing the people who ‘guarantee’ the quick fix and promise an easy ride. I don’t promise my clients an easy ride. If you want everything to be easy, you don’t want to work with me. But I am not afraid to guarantee you working with me to be a life-changing experience with a sustainable, positive impact on your personal and business life. If you’re willing to do the work, I’ll be happy to work with you

Lovingly merciless

So I’m not the sugarcoating kind of coach – you might have figured that one out by now. I believe that personal development starts with the willingness to change. And to embrace the fact that change might hurt. Change might cause pain. Yes, you might get angry, frustrated and yes, you might cry. But you will find out that your pain can be a really inspiring source for your true power. Revealing the real you, the amazing you that was there all the time, but since you chose the easy path, so you never knew this powerful you existed! Some of the people I work with called me lovingly merciless and that’s exactly who I am.

I know you’ve got it in you. Perhaps you’re in the middle of this journey of discovery. Perhaps you’re at the beginning, or you’re in the middle of a huge inner battle. I’ll be happy to be taking the next steps with you and be your trusted travel partner on this journey. I know how tough and lonely it can be. I’ve been there myself, and I’ll share that story in a next blog. One thing I’ve learned that life becomes a hell of a lot more interesting when it’s not easy. You learn. You grow. You stumble and fall. You get up again. You persevere. You win. Pain means gain. And life will never be the same again.