By Joshua Lyon
Sep 03, 2015 @ 8:30 am

Many people were shocked when Justin Bieber broke down in tears at this year's MTV Video Music Awards after performing his new single “What Do You Mean," and it turns out that the waterworks weren't just due to the physical discomfort of flying through the air via cables.

“It was just so overwhelming for me, everything,” he told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show Wednesday. “I just wasn’t expecting them to support me in the way they did. Last time I was at an award show, I was booed. I worked so hard at this album, I worked so hard at just becoming the man I want to become.”

The pop star’s reputation hasn't been stellar for some time now, but he’s bent on making changes, and part of that process has been eliminating some unnamed bad influences from his life. “I just had a bunch of knuckleheads around me, that was pretty much it,” he said.

Fallon was quick to empathize. “But you’re a kid, too, and you have fun and then the knuckleheads grow up and you’re like, ‘Bye, dude.’”

“I just went through a place of trying to figure it out and making decisions,” Bieber told the host. “You have to figure out what you are ok with and what you are not ok with, but you have to test the waters. I just happened to be in the spotlight in front of cameras all the time and they caught all those moments.” With a new album dropping Nov. 13, Bieber has plenty of time to make up for past mistakes. Click the video above to find out why both Bieber and Fallon hate wearing harnesses!