Personal Development

How Your Pain and Trauma Can Transform Your Life

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A Tragedy Can Change You

“You’re one of my best friends. I love you. Tell my friends and family I love them. This isn’t anybody’s fault. I can’t do this anymore”

Those were to be the last words spoken by my dear friend on a rainy evening in May 2010. As he passed on his last words to me, I froze in the shock of what had just happened. It didn’t seem real. It was like being in a movie that turned to slow motion.

Little did I know at the time, but my life was about to change forever. In the difficulty of such a tragedy, something happens within us. I don’t know exactly what that thing is, but I do know that it created an unbelievable desire to make the most of life. It was like this strange realization that death is actually real. Trying to come to terms with the fact that I would never see my friend again shook my entire world.

I realized that I wanted more from life than the way I was currently living. Life wasn’t particularly meaningful, I worked a job I hated, my finances were in a bad state, and I had no sense of purpose or direction in life. Something had to change.

From Then to Now

Fast forward to this moment in 2018, I now live in Canada, have a meaningful career as a personal trainer and life coach, work for myself, and have tripled my income in less than 3 years.So how did I do that?

Step 1: Make a Decision

I believe that in every moment we have the power to make a decision. In the loss of my friend, I consciously decided that I would seek answers and search for a better way to live life. Whatever it took to get there, I was willing to do it.

So much strength comes from taking ownership and not letting your circumstances control your outcome. To live a life on your own terms always starts from a decision from within.

Step 2: Change Your Mindset

Once a decision is made, it’s time to rapidly shift your mindset and change your beliefs. Without believing, nothing will change. This happened burying my head deep into self-help books, taking various online programs, and watching a lot of content on mindset.

Some of the biggest influences in my life have been Bob Proctor, Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, and Abraham Hicks. It didn’t take long for my mindset to start shifting. I can honestly say that nothing compares to the feeling of the self-belief that you create in yourself.

I would recommend to create a big list of all the beliefs you have in your life that aren’t serving you anymore. Then start to replace them with something more appealing.

Step 3: Have a Vision for Your Life

When you want to take charge of your life, it’s important to get clarity on what it is you really want. For me, it didn’t happen right away. I took some time to travel, fall in love, and learn more about myself. The entire time of doing this I continued to work on my personal development.

Recognizing that I had a desire to help people, I decided to pursue my passion for health and fitness as a personal trainer. After working with hundreds of clients from all around the world, I began to recognize patterns when it came to peoples struggles. It always came back to the mindset. The best strategies for success in the world won’t work without it.

This fascination of the mindset took my journey to a new avenue with a desire to help people on a bigger scale. This is when I decided to become a life coach.

The standout thing about all of this is that a desire to help other people seems to be the key in a meaningful life. I believe that we can all find something in life that is very close to our heart and that we can help other people in some way.

Think about your ideal life. What do you do on a daily basis? Where do you live? Visualize and get super clear on your ideal world.

Step 4: Create Massive Reasons

Without massive compelling reasons, the chances for a better life are slim. Experiencing some kind of trauma is a big enough reason to want to change something. You may and probably will have other reasons too. Having reminders of that is essential because life is always happening. Thing’s don’t always go to plan; our path may take a new turn. Having a big reason will ensure you can continue to have control of your life.

Start making lists of things that are important to you. Why do you want to change your life? What goals do you want to achieve?

Step 5: Surround Yourself with Great People

Our friends have the biggest influence on us whether we believe it or not. If we’re hanging around the wrong types of people, subconsciously we are picking up on certain traits and behaviors. Our friends’ opinions matter to us, even if we cannot see how far off, they can be sometimes. We must be around the types of people who support, serve, and challenge us in a good way.

I believe that you can be influenced by the people in the books that you read, which is why the self-help section is so beneficial to us. By feeding your mind with concepts from certain influencers, you begin to feel like you know them and trust them, hence they’re able to influence you.


Life is always going to have ups and downs even after a tragic event. Learning that you always have the power to choose in each moment is an extremely important thing. We don’t become the victim to our circumstances with this approach and take full ownership of our life. These steps have helped me to live life with greater health, happiness, and freedom.

Just remember, you always have a choice.

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About the author

Paul Wadsworth

Paul Wadsworth is a personal trainer and life coach. He has a huge passion for helping others to transform their lives to live with greater health, happiness, and freedom. You can find him here or on Facebook or Instagram