Improving Self Esteem: A Self Esteem Key Ring

The Self Esteem Key Ring (adapted from Virginia Satir’s Self Esteem Kit) unlocks inner responsibility and promotes a healthy view of the empowered self. The ring contains…

1. A Wisdom Key: Unlocks the voice inside us, our conscious, which holds the knowledge of universe. Use it to gather your inner resources, the wisdom of your past that can help you find the path towards wholeness.

2. The Golden Key: Unlocks curiosity, innovation, new possibilities, and opens doors. With this key, you can ask any question, and say or do what once felt unspeakable and undoable.

3. A Detective Key: this key symbolizes our abilities to observe and analyze without judgment, sort input and options, make meaning and come up with logical explanations. With the Detective Key we can fit pieces together, and discover what is missing.

4. A Decision Key: Gives us the key to integrity and strength by providing the ability to say a clear “Yes” and a clear “No.” This key helps others to know who we really are, aids us in setting healthy boundaries and allows us to take care of ourselves. You might assign a direction for the key: left is no, right is yes.

5. The Courage Key: Use this key to unlock you r ability to ask for what you want and make wishes come true, or to use the self as a reference. This key can empower us when we want to move in the direction of our vision or go into the unknown.

6. The Heart Key: The Heart is a reminder that we all have feelings that can help guide us in the world. Use this key to unlock compassion for both self and other, as well as consideration for context (what might be contributing to the scenario that is in the world, such as racism, poverty, etc.).


• If you have a problem with a child, an employee, a co-worker, a spouse or a friend, ask yourself, “What tools might you need to help overcome this problem?

• Maybe you are thinking about retiring but what stops you is that you do not know what you will afterwards.

• If you are working on team building, you could ask your team, “Who in the group has a highly developed Golden Key? Courage Key? etc.

• When you think about a difficult experience that you handled well, what tools did you use to achieve this positive outcome?

Some people use physical objects to bring the keys to life more. Others put them on paper the size and weight of business cards and carry them in their wallet as reminders. A few have made posters and hung them on office walls. Do whatever you can to create representations to help remind you of these powerful, essential resources.

The Self Esteem Key Ring HANDOUT

Adapted from:

Satir, Virginia and Banmen, John (1984). Virginia Satir Verbatim. N. Delta, B.C.
Canada: Delta Psychological.
McLendon, Jean (2002). Congruent Leadership Workshop.

Self Esteem HANDOUT

For Therapy Services: The Key Counseling of SA


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