Creating An Effective Toolbox For Success


Think tools are just for builders and construction workers? Think again!

Everyone needs a well stocked toolbox.

Over the years, given the wisdom of life’s experiences and much learning, I have assembled my own psychological toolbox. It contains, among other things,

Ideas from diverse schools of thought
Different ways of perceiving
Trust in the wisdom contained in my body
An open mind
An open heart
A creative spirit

Acquiring effective coping tools changed my life. (There’s an understatement!) In times of stress, these tools bring me back to center and realign me with my higher self. They lead me to receiving nourishment when I need comfort. They help me find safety within myself and in this world. I now have many practices which reconnect me to divine source when I wander off the path. When worry, stress, self-doubt, or victim thinking fill my mind, it’s time to dig through the toolbox and pull out one (or many) strategies that help bring me back into a more natural state of peace and empowerment.

Each of us has a range of coping mechanisms that we employ when faced with stress. Sometimes, a solution as easy as taking a few deep breaths and putting the situation back into perspective can bring us back into balance. Once in a while a brisk walk outdoors brings us a sense of relaxation when we need it most. While at other times a steamy bath, candles, Mozart, and cup of warm tea is what is needed to soothe the body, mind and soul. What doesn’t work is continuing to worry about the problem without taking action, remaining in victim thinking, berating ourselves, or ignoring our needs.

Most people have a toolbox of coping mechanisms that effectively get us through life’s tougher situations. But if that toolbox isn’t very full with empowering tools, then we are unable to cope with balance when a stressful situation arises. Oftentimes, people who use food to cope (anorexia, bulimia, compulsive overeating, binge eating, etc.) do not have many soothing, calming, nurturing tools to alleviate anxiety. The use of food or addiction becomes one of the few ways to reduce the effects of stress from the mind and body.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you have a toolbox. But maybe it’s time to inventory the contents. Do your tools help you survive – or do they help you thrive? Are there enough tools to support you as you build the life you want? Take a look at the following two lists and notice how you would go about the business of consciously filling your personal toolbox for success

Some questions to ask yourself:

1) How can I utilize my tools better?

2) What new tools do I need to acquire?

3) Which tools can I replace or eliminate?


Self-judgement (stupid, lazy, worthless, etc.)


Poor me

Big fat slob


I can never have what I want

Seeking other’s acceptance

Mental chatter

Binge eating

Anorexia and starving


Excessive busyness



Numbing out

Excessive Sleep

Checking out


Creating illness in times of stress


Communicating and expressing feelings

Supportive self-talk

Journal writing

Self soothing strategies

Talking to self in mirror with encouraging statements

Releasing anger safely and effectively

Accepting emotions and emotional pain

Voicing emotions instead of stuffing emotions down

Speaking truth instead of hiding real feelings, opinions

Setting written goals

Recognizing accomplishments and successes

Empowering affirmations

Visualization and imagery

Relaxation strategies

Abdominal breathing techniques

Healthy movement, dance, yoga, etc.

Inspirational books, poetry, religion

Emotionally supportive music

Surround yourself with beauty

Add more fun to your life!


Copyright 2005, Dr. Annette Colby, all rights reserved.

Dr. Annette Colby, RD
Nutrition Therapist & Master Energy Healer

“Opening Creative Portals to Success”

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