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  • Writer's pictureCait Donovan

Dr. Kristin Neff: Self Compassion, Being Human, and Living with an Open Heart

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

An open heart can hold everything,” shares Dr. Kristin Neff, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, self-compassion research pioneer, and author of bestselling novel Self-Compassion. Dr. Neff developed the Mindful Self-Compassion program along with her colleague, Chris Germer, which is now taught internationally. She turned to self-compassion to help her overcome burnout.

Dr. Neff’s burnout came when she was being a caregiver for her autistic son when he was young. She explains that learning to have self-compassion allowed her to set boundaries, recognize her intrinsic value, and focus on the connection between herself and the world around her. Along her journey, she conducted the first empirical studies ever done in self-compassion research and is recognized as one of the most influential researchers in psychology worldwide.

Tune into today’s episode of FRIED. The Burnout Podcast for a conversation with Dr. Kristin Neff about self-compassion and how to open yourself up to conquering difficult situations and painful moments. Learn about how to reclaim your worth and start setting boundaries.


  • “One of the things that’s challenging for women especially is we’re raised to be people pleasers. We’re uncomfortable saying no because we’re afraid people won’t like us, learning to draw boundaries and to say no, and to say ‘you know, I’m sorry if you don’t like me, but my worth doesn’t stem from whether or not you like me. My worth is intrinsic, because I’m a human being who is worthy of respect just like every other human being.’ That allows us to draw boundaries which is a really big thing for reducing burnout culture.” (17:56-18:41)

  • “All life is intrinsically valuable. When we’re talking about human beings, every life is worthy. And who we are is totally, inextricably intertwined with the rest of life.” (31:01-31:32)

  • “If your heart is open enough, there can even be joy in moments of real suffering. The joy isn’t in the contents of what’s happening, it’s in just having an open heart.” (35:09-35:22)

  • “An open heart can hold everything. That’s where we should be investing in. The more we focus on ‘how can I open my heart in this moment, the happier we’ll be.” (48:17-48:38)




If you know that it’s time to actually DO something about the burnout cycle you’ve been in for too long - book your free consult today:


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