Kristin Neff’s Three Steps for Self-Compassion, Illustrated

Graphic recorder Johnine Byrne created this wonderful graphic recording of Kristin Neff’s three steps for self-compassion.

Sam Littlefair
19 October 2015
self-compassion, kristin neff, lion's roar, buddhism, shambhala sun

Neff, who has researched self-compassion for the last ten years, says it has three components: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. In her Lion’s Roar article, Neff writes that “these components mutually interact to create a self-compassionate frame of mind. From this point of view, self-compassion is relevant to all experiences of suffering, whether cause by personal inadequacies and failures or by life situations outside of our control.”

Neff also writes, “Self-compassion means being more willing to experience difficult feelings and to acknowledge them as valid and important. The beauty of self-compassion is that instead of trying to get rid of ‘Bad’ feelings and replacing them with ‘good’ ones, positive emotions are generated by embracing our suffering with tenderness and care, so that light and dark are experienced simultaneously.

Enjoyed this @LionsRoar article by Kristin Neff so much I did a #graphicrecording of it. #selfcompassion

— Jo (Johnine) Byrne (@SeeYourWords) October 14, 2015

Sam Littlefair

Sam Littlefair

Sam Littlefair is the former editor of He has also written for The Coast, Mindful, and Atlantic Books Today. Find him on Twitter, @samlfair, and Facebook, @samlfair.