How to Be Kind to Yourself, With or Without Cancer [Podcast Ep. 25] | ITC

How to Be Kind to Yourself, With or Without Cancer [Podcast Ep. 25]

How to Be Kind to Yourself, With or Without Cancer [Podcast Ep. 25]

Kim Fredrickson is a compassionate person. Every word of this interview whispers the same mantra: “Be kind to yourself. Be a friend to yourself.”

During Kim’s years as a marriage and family therapist, she taught people the value of speaking kindly to themselves and how to ease up on self-criticism. Then she developed breast cancer. She says she made the decision then and there that she would be her own best friend to herself–not that she didn’t have others who were great friends, but she wanted to practice being kind to herself.

Just whenW she thought she’d beat that health crisis, she learned she’d developed pulmonary fibrosis, a terminal illness and very rare side effect of her cancer treatments. She decided that she wanted to dedicate the time she had left to helping others develop a skill we never really think about: how to be kind to ourselves.

Self-compassion is a strange concept to a lot of people in our world. Self-compassionate language may feels excusing ourselves, when we’re not used to the practice. Kim gives practical exercises and even models how to talk to ourselves kindly. Carefully she teaches us to soften our internal monologue and silence our inner critic.

Kim is the author of multiple books, including Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend and Give Your Kids a Break: Parenting with Compassion for You and Your Children. She offers an approach to self-compassion that is simple and life-changing. In this conversation, it is evident how she walks the walk, rather than just talking the talk, of treating oneself with dignity, kindness, and respect.

Music Credit: Scott Holmes of

What We Talked About

  • Kim’s background in Marriage and Family Therapy as well as her diagnosis
  • What causes negative self-talk?
  • Why can’t we show ourselves the same compassion we show others?
  • How do we combat that first impulse to speak poorly of ourselves when things go badly?
  • Practical steps to be kind to yourself
  • What are special challenges cancer patients face compared to your average person when dealing with self-compassion?
  • How to engage in self-compassion and silence your inner critic
  • Some resources Kim has for people who are looking for guidance in self-compassion





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