Alcoholics Anonymous an overview of Step 10

Sobriety Navigator: Alcoholics Anonymous an overview of Step 10

Step Ten: “Continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Program: A plan of procedures: A schedule or system under which action may be taken toward a desired goal. (Webster’s Third New International Dictionary)

Programming: The planning, scheduling, or performing of a program. (Webster’s Third New International Dictionary)

At the onset of step 10 we begin the ongoing practice of working and refining our 12 step program. 

For most of us, for the first time in our lives we feel on equal footing with our fellow men and women. It feels great. We embrace our humanity. Our goal is progress, not perfection. This is a very realistic and obtainable goal. We clearly see the benefits of taking a daily assessment of our actions and attitude.

As a general rule alcoholics are easily agitated and hypersensitive. These tendencies, though not terminal or permanent, can continue to plague us long into our sobriety. In order for us to continue to feel on equal footing with others we must continue to address our emotional and mental immaturity. As time passes and we continue to stay abstinent from intoxicants we will naturally outgrow these self-centered and immature actions and attitudes.

We learn very quickly that not only is physical sobriety our goal but that emotional sobriety is equally important. Life is an inside job. The exterior aspects of life may have become stable and manageable, which is great. But it’s the internal aspects of our lives that require daily maintenance. By the practice of daily examination we safeguard against emotional hangovers that can have devastating effects on our serenity and self-esteem.  

By continuing the daily practice of working the 12 step program we are guaranteeing ourselves that we will continue to feel good about ourselves and others.

Aren’t these practices joy-killers as well as time-consumers? Must A.A.’s spend most of their waking hours drearily rehashing their sins of omission or commission? Well, hardly. The emphasis on inventory is heavy only because a great many of us have never really acquired the habit of accurate self-appraisal. Once this healthy practice has become established, it will be so interesting and profitable that the time it takes won’t be missed. These minutes and hours spent in self-examination are bound to make all the other hours of our day better and happier. (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions – Alcoholics Anonymous World Service)


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