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Have you ever wondered why personal growth is important when you’re chronically ill?

Whether you’re newly diagnosed or have been living with chronic illness for a long time, adding personal growth tools to your daily life can easily take you from just surviving chronic illnesses, to thriving.

Keep reading to dig a little deeper into why personal growth is important when you’re chronically ill.👇‍

Why Personal Growth is Important When You're Chronically Ill Blog Title Image

What is personal growth, exactly?

Personal growth is the process of learning and developing new skills and mindsets that can have a positive impact on your life. This includes skills that can help you achieve more in your career, as well as personal resources such as self-awareness, self-esteem, redefining your priorities, and learning to set strong & healthy boundaries.

Other forms of personal growth that are important when it comes to coping with chronic illness can include:

  • Emotional Wellness
  • Self-Acceptance
  • Resilience
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Body Awareness

Each of these things can help enhance our lives and better equips us to deal with everything that comes with living with chronic illness.

Why should you pursue personal growth?

You may no longer be able to pursue other goals and dreams after being diagnosed with a chronic illness, but nurturing and growing your mind and soul is still accessible to you.

Pursuing personal growth keeps us from feeling like life is happening “to” us, and allows us to be active participants in our lives – even when living with chronic illness.

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, self-actualization (through personal growth) can help us feel more fulfilled. This is especially true when one lives with a chronic illness (or multiple chronic illnesses), and why I believe personal growth is important when you’re chronically ill.

By focusing on personal growth areas like boundaries, self-awareness, self-advocacy, emotional wellness, acceptance, and self-care (just to name a few), you’re equipping yourself and empowering yourself to better cope with the ups and downs of living with a chronic illness.

Personal growth can help give you perspective on your life with chronic illness and can encourage behaviors that can decrease complications from chronic illness, like eating healthier foods, staying hydrated, and actively seeking to reduce stressors in your life.

Pursuing personal growth can also teach you to prioritize your health and well-being – something many of us neglect in our fast-paced society, where we are taught that focusing on ourselves is selfish.


Quote about why personal growth is important for the chronically ill

The areas of personal growth that have had the biggest impact on me (and how):

As a life coach who has a background in yoga, I’m no stranger to personal growth. And while I started my journey long before I was ever diagnosed with a chronic illness.

But, since my diagnosis, I’ve come to adjust and adapt my personal growth practice to better accommodate living with a chronic illness.

Here are some of the things that are currently a part of my chronic illness personal growth journey:

  • Emotional wellness through EFT Tapping, journaling, and Inner Child work
  • Boundaries – being able to know my body’s limits and honoring them, and asking others to do the same
  • Self-advocacy – standing up for my needs and not settling when I know something is going to harm my health
  • Self-awareness – learning to tune into my body and become receptive to the signals it gives me so I can minimize or avoid a flare-up when possible
  • Self-care – helps me make sure that I’m doing everything I can to support my mind and body as I navigate life with chronic illness. I am learning to stop seeing my body and my chronic illness as an enemy, and learning to listen to the messages it gives me

Personal growth isn’t only for healthy people

You may think that personal growth is only essential or accessible to those who are healthy & not living with a chronic illness. But the truth is, it’s something we can all achieve and benefit from.

As someone living with a chronic illness, I know I can get hyper-focused on my physical body’s limitations, and understandably so. By seeking to expand my mind through personal growth, I remember that I’m more than this sick body – that I can still keep growing and learning, and that my life can still be meaningful and purpose-filled.

I know feeling like you have a purpose when chronically ill can be a challenge, which is why learning new skills and ways of coping is so helpful. If you’re struggling with your sense of purpose, I talk more about ways to find your purpose in this post, so be sure to check it out!

You can pursue personal growth from anywhere

The great thing about personal growth is that it’s accessible wherever you are. So if you’re stuck at home in bed, or if you’re able to be out & about, you can still work on your personal growth.

Some great ways to do this are:

  • Get involved in online study groups on the topic you’re most interested in
  • Look for in-person groups or classes
  • Visit your library or check out their e-books on new-to-you skills and topics
  • Try watching a documentary on your favorite streaming service
  • Head to your local craft store to see if they offer in-person or online classes

Thanks to the pandemic, more and more places are offering online resources, which helps make things so much more accessible to us. It’s a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of this and start a personal growth journey in a way that works for you and your unique needs.

It’s never too late to work on your personal growth

There is no age limit on personal growth! So, if you’re thinking you missed your chance to make the most of things before your chronic illness diagnosis, you can rest assured that you didn’t!

Some of us with chronic illnesses find ourselves reprioritizing things, and often take a step back from some of the responsibilities we once had to make room for rest and recovery from our flare-ups. This gives us the perfect opportunity to dive into personal growth!

Even if you still have to keep up with the same things as you did before your diagnosis, there are still plenty of opportunities to squeeze in some personal growth in your free time.

And now that you may have a different outlook on things thanks to your chronic illness diagnosis, your motivation and willingness to learn and grow may have changed as well, which means you’ll be more open to trying new and different things as you pursue expanding your mind and awareness through personal growth.

How to start your personal growth journey with EFT Tapping

There’s a quote from E.V. that says, “Like wildflowers; you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.” I love this quote because I feel like people with chronic illnesses aren’t often expected to do anything other than survive, and yet here we are – doing so much more!

Quote from EV on personal growth for inspiration for those with chronic illness

I want to help you thrive through your chronic illness, not just survive. But I know that starting a new habit like personal growth can be hard, and you might not know where to start.

That’s why I created the 10 Chronic Illness Affirmations Printable – to empower you & remind you that there is more to life than your chronic illness.

These affirmations are crafted by a spoonie (that’s me!) specifically to address some of the most common & challenging thoughts and emotions spoonies are faced with.

It’s 100% free, just fill out the form below to get instant access!

I hope this post has helped show you why personal growth is important when you’re chronically ill, and how beneficial it can be.


If you want more tips on personal growth, self-care, and living with chronic illness, be sure to follow me on Instagram!

Until next time,

April Smith Signature

Do you struggle with intrusive thoughts

about living with chronic illness?

Mockup of Free Guides Available in the Resource Library
These 10 empowering affirmations are created by a spoonie (that's me!) specifically to address some of the most common & challenging thoughts and emotions spoonies are faced with.

10 Empowering Chronic Illness Affirmation to Help You Cope With Chronic Illness

These affirmations are crafted by a spoonie (that’s me!) specifically to address some of the most common & challenging thoughts and emotions spoonies are faced with.

I’ve left out the toxic positivity and ableist jargon, so you can feel safe and comforted using these phrases whenever you need them!


Thanks! Your affirmations are on their way!

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