Accessing our Inner Resources – A Self Esteem Toolkit

New books, new courses, newsletters to follow, Twitter threads, new models, new blogs (just like this one 😉)… so many resources out there!

With the abundance of resources, it’s easy to overlook the resources that lie within – that which waits quietly in our depths, the whispers, the dreams, the power we all hold. Accessing this potential is seldom a journey of acquiring more, but rather an inward journey of connecting with what we already know.

So how do we connect with our inner resources and tap into our own, infinite potential?

Virginia Satir was a psychotherapist and is often regarded as one of the founders of family therapy. She created a beautiful Self Esteem Toolkit which I share in this post. A big thank you to Joanne Perold for first introducing and teaching it to me!

The Self Esteem Toolkit

The Satir toolkit helps us to remember the resources we already have, and to connect back to them easily. What’s in our toolbox that we can draw on to create new possibilities? You can see these tools as little doorways to accessing that which you already know. I like to have physical reminders of them on my desk (shown in the picture at the top).

The next time you find yourself in a tricky situation – consider which tool you can bring forth to access the depths of your wisdom and create new options.

Wishing Wand

The wishing wand connects us to our inner child, the unbridled dreams we have. What if? What could be? What is your ultimate dream for the situation?

The unicorn – When I feel bogged down with details, analysis paralysis or demotivated, I sometimes hold the magical unicorn and spend a few moments dreaming – reconnecting with my high dream, the child-like dreams that know no restraint.

Detective Hat

The detective hat invites us to get curious, analytical and look for more data. What data might be missing? What would your detective self want to know more about?

The rubber duck – for some reason the rubber duck with glasses on reminds me to be a detective. Sometimes I’ll be flying ahead on something and sense the need to pause and explore more. As I look at this little yellow guy, I consider – what might I be missing?

Courage Stick

The courage stick reminds us that we are brave. If you were a superhero of infinite potential, what would you do?

Mulan – Mulan reminds me that anyone can be brave, and when I feel really nervous, maybe I’m facilitating a high stakes session, I hold Mulan and remind myself that there is courage and strength within. I can do this!


Heart is a reminder to connect with how we feel, and let our heart guide us. How can we show compassion, both for ourselves and others? What wisdom does our heart hold?

Love and light stone – this smooth, little stone feels reassuring in my hand. When I pick it up to connect with how I feel, I become aware of my shared humanity. I put work aside for a moment, and see the humans around me as they are, giving myself permission to feel.

Wisdom Box

We all have a lot of knowledge, the wisdom box connects us with that part of ourselves that already knows, and also knows what is right for us. What might your mentor say? What might your hero tell you to do?

Praying stone figure – this figure reminds me that I am connected to many voices, and they all live within me, there is a deep knowing within myself. So when I feel ungrounded or unsure, I can tap into this inner wisdom.

Yes/No Medallion

The medallion reminds us of our choice – and the strength required to say a clear “yes”, or a clear “no”. This tool allows people to trust us – because they know that we make decisions with integrity, we maintain our own boundaries. What is right for you? What do you really need?

Golden elephant – the elephant represents integrity for me, and is a reminder to approach decisions with courage and integrity. When a decision feels hard or uncomfortable, I can pick up my golden elephant and remind myself that I have choice.

If you’d like to make your own Satir Toolkit, I encourage you to find physical symbols and place them somewhere handy. Maybe next time you’re in a meeting one will catch your eye. What if you touch it and channel that wisdom?

There are infinite options within us, we need only look.

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