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  • Writer's pictureGHF CAT Team

Ladder of Potential

Use imagery, movement and art to focus on your aspirations and positive goals in this fun interactive activity.

What you’ll need: Paper and pens

What’s it for? This activity focuses on your your emotional strength, stability, hopes and dreams using various creative modes to ignite your inspiration.

Check In: Notice how you’re feeling right now. Close your eyes and notice what’s going on inside your mind and body.

  • How are you feeling?

  • What are you thinking?

  • How does your body feel?


  • Imagine one of your goals, hopes or dreams. These can be anything - it's up to you. It might be something like organising a visit to grandma in a different city, or something more long-term like learning to play an instrument, or becoming a pilot!

  • Take a piece of paper and divide it into five. You can even draw a ladder with five rungs, if you'd like to.

  • Imagine this goal, hope or dream as at the top of your ladder and write or draw a picture of your end goal there.

  • Each rung represents a small step towards your goal. Think about the following:

    1. Identify - what are you working towards?

    2. Reflect - on your attributes and qualities that might help you reach your potential

    3. Develop - how to specifically use your attributes to reach the final goal or think about what you might want to learn on your individual ladder of potential

  • The first rung represents the smallest, easiest step that you can accomplish right now. Write down or draw what this is.

  • Each higher rung takes you closer to your goal. Write or draw what each step entails.

  • With your ladder of potential completed, put it close by so that you can see it.

  • Now let's start the climb with your words and drawings in mind:

  • Using your arms to reach up high and your legs to move up one rung at a time, climb your imaginary ladder to your hope, dream or goal!

  • Maintain a consistent beat and continue to reach high and move both legs with a repetitive motion

  • Include some background music if this helps to motivate you

  • If you need to pause your journey at any time then settle on that particular rung and wait until you are ready to move on!

  • It is your choice whether you remain high up on the ladder or make your way gradually back down again to finish the activity - that is up to you!

Extra Activity: Make a story that involves climbing your ladder to reach your goals and include five different stages of achieving the top of the ladder! If you are ever feeling overwhelmed or disheartened, then close your eyes and use this story to visualise you climbing the ladder to enable a more positive outlook.

When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did you find yourself getting stuck at any particular part of the ladder?

  • Did you imagine important people in your life supporting you through any challenging steps and who were these people?

  • Did any words or images that you came up with in the reflection part of the activity surprise you?

  • Did acting out the climb of your ladder of potential motivate you?

  • How might this activity support you in your goal setting?

Conclusion: Using structured reflection using words, images, and action can help and support the journey towards goals and aspirations. It can also create a sense of control and an increased ability to move forward in our emotions and thinking. Take a moment to notice how you are feeling at the end of this activity. Did you discover anything surprising? What can you take away to make you feel better about yourself from this activity? If you would like to, share something about your experience with this activity with someone you live with! Ask the person who looks after you to send us an email if you have any questions or comments about the activity, or would like to send us any pictures ( Don't forget to subscribe for more fun CAT activities! Created by Sarah Kong © March 2022


Creative Arts Used: Drama, Art, Creative Writing Psychological Areas Explored: Resilience, Emotional Wellbeing, Self-Exploration and Self-Esteem If you enjoyed this activity, you might also like: Stairway to Happiness: Draw a staircase where each step represents a good deed. Reward yourself when you reach the top! These activities could be done by children of all ages, but some may need the support of their parent or carer to read the instructions or complete the activity safely. This website was made by CAT Corner to help you explore your feelings through fun creative arts activities. The people using the website and the people responsible for them need to make sure they stay safe (full disclaimer on About page).

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