How Personal Development Saved My Life

UPDATED: December 7, 2022
PUBLISHED: December 6, 2022
older couple walking outside to nurture well being

It’s a classic story: We go about our lives, striving to achieve the next big thing, and the itch to be successful clouds the importance of taking care of our inner self and nurturing our well-being. Sometimes we have to experience a traumatic event before the alarm bells start screaming in our minds.

Five years ago, I experienced that trauma when I was sexually molested and exploited. I fell into depression, crying myself to sleep every night, eating poorly and losing weight, and I had absolutely no sense of my reality.

Up until that point I had focused solely on getting to the next level in my career as a professional figure skater, and it took a situation that left me mentally paralyzed to wake me up from that on-the-go daze. This adversity pushed me to reanalyze my life and the direction in which I wanted it to go.

I realized I had a choice: I could allow my adversity to negatively affect the rest of my life or view my experience as a way to grow. I decided to take the path of personal growth. I’ve since studied great leaders in the personal development realm—Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Darren Hardy, Brian Tracy and John Maxwell. I’ve learned that one important secret to achieving success—especially in the face of adversity—is being able to nurture your well-being.

How to Nurture Your Well-Being

I’m sure you’ve experienced setbacks in your life. But no matter where you are right now, take the time to listen to what your inner self desperately needs.

As a certified life and wellness coach, I’ve gathered valuable information over the years and created a list of four specific ways you can take time to nurture your well-being. Success is important, but so is taking care of yourself, and you can’t have one without the other.

1.  Go out in nature. 

Spending time in nature is bliss to me. Being outdoors gets your blood flowing and allows you to think more clearly about your life.

2. Unplug from society to nurture your well-being. 

My husband and I turn off all technological devices each Saturday. We like to plan for our upcoming week on Sundays, so Saturdays are our day to spend quality time with each other. Schedule moments to unplug every once in a while and spend your time—undivided attention mandatory—with those you love.

3. Keep a wisdom book. 

Ever since my experience, I decided to write down all the wisdom that I’ve acquired in my wisdom book. Anything you learn, you must write down. This is a great way to remember pieces of wise advice and help integrate them into your life. Once you break open and begin writing in your wisdom book, make sure you also reserve the time to sit quietly and reflect. Take a look at where you currently are and where you want to go.

4. Ask yourself, “Why?”

As you walk through life, one way to nurture your well-being is to make sure you are continuously living in alignment with your values. Ask yourself, “Why am I making this decision?” If it’s not in alignment with your values, choose another option. At the end of your life, you’ll want to make sure you’ve lived a good life that paralleled what is most meaningful to you.

Life’s too short not to enjoy the journey to success. And success starts with taking care of yourself. We only get one chance at life—why not use it to reach our fullest potential?

This article was published in November 2014 and has been updated. Photo by Ground Picture/Shutterstock

Tiffany Mason is a certified relationship coach, speaker and author. She is the founder of Mason Coaching and Consulting, a lifestyle coaching firm based in New York, where she empowers women entrepreneurs to design a meaningful life and marriage.