The dancer previously dated the TV personality and recently filed for divorce from Brooks Laich.
Julianne Hough worked to find herself after a high-profile split. During an Instagram Live with Valeria Lipovetsky, the 32-year-old dancer recounted going through an "identity shift" after a breakup.
"It was 2013 and I had just got out of a relationship that was very high profile," Hough began. "I was on private planes and yachts and living in a very, very well-off house. My life was pretty different from where I grew up."
"I had just got out of that relationship because I wanted to create that for myself," she continued. "I kind of felt like I didn’t deserve it, like, I didn’t earn that, so now I need to go and create that for myself."
Though Hough doesn't mention the ex in question by name, she dated Ryan Seacrest from 2010 to 2013.
Hough's breakup inspired her to begin living her life in a "different" way than she had thus far, and she stopped trying to live "in a state of perfection and image and doing everything the right way."
"I kind of just was like, 'eff it.' I’m just going to do things where I’m not gonna necessarily overthinking them to make sure that I'm doing everything perfect and right," she recalled. "And that year I kinda got a little lost."
At the time, Hough "didn't have really any friends," largely due to the fact that her social circle was the same as her ex's who was older than her.
"I really was like, 'I’m 24 and I don’t really know who Julianne is,'" she said. "And so I met some girlfriends and we went to Coachella and we did certain things that I was not proud of, but also am kind of like, 'Get it girl!'"
"So during that year it was kind of my wild year of abandon and freedom, and I realized that the pendulum swing went from one side to the extreme," Hough added. "I was like, 'OK, there’s gotta be something in the middle where I can find fulfillment without having to be so dynamic and extreme.'"
With moderation in mind, Hough, for the first time, began self-development work to help her discover "why I did the things I did and behaviors that I had, and needed significance and attention and security."
"As that started to progress, I realized that I had all this awareness now, but now I need to put it into action," she said. "That was in 2013, so that was the beginning of a big identity shift."
After that split, Hough went on to tie the knot with former NHL player Brooks Laich in 2017. The pair announced their separation back in May. Hough officially filed for divorce from Laich earlier this month.
Following Hough's divorce filing, a source told ET that she and Laich "gave it their all and finally came to the realization that they aren’t meant to be together."
"Julianne feels like she hasn’t had a chance to live her life to the fullest and needs even more time to discover herself," the source said. "Brooks is sad but he is also relieved and ready for his next step in life. He tried his hardest and can move forward without regrets."
"It has been difficult for both of them to take the step and file for divorce," the source added. "Ultimately Julianne knew it was time."