Step 10 of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous reads as follows:
“We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
Taking a personal inventory in this step requires examining our emotional distress, particularly those episodes that may drive us to return to drinking or drug abuse. When our feelings are disrupted, it is usually because we find something in our lives hard to accept. A common response to this interruption is to blame our feelings and behaviors on others.
Alcoholics have sharpened the skills of fostering resentments and finding offense. We give others power over our lives when we say that they make us sad, angry, or upset. The reality is, however, that we often say or do something that contributes to these frictions in our lives.
What Is Step 10 About?
Step 10 of AA implies that we need to accept responsibility for our behaviors and immediately clean up our role in all our affairs. This action requires being prepared to let go of ego, selfishness, resentment, and fear at the very minute that these feelings transpire. Step 10 of AA requires diligence, maintenance, and determination.
Recognizing what is working and stable can also help to identify what is unstable or not working. Taking a personal inventory isn’t just about finding out when we are wrong. We can’t distinguish the times when we are wrong unless we also have identified the times when we have handled things well as a base for measuring.
Working with a sponsor in step 10 to recognize the situations in which we do things properly helps us to devise a value system. This type of work is also about identifying our responsibilities.
Working on step 10 of AA requires continual honesty, having trust and faith, and heeding our behaviors and reactions. We have learned to consider how our actions impact others, and when the effects are adverse or harmful. It means promptly moving forward and accepting accountability for the hurt caused and attempting to correct it.
By practicing step 10 of AA will help keep us conscious of ourselves and our patterns of destruction before they occur. We can make the decision not to punish ourselves because we feel bad and instead concentrate on the positive moves we have been taking.
As alcoholics, we are prone to make judgments about our feelings, and anything that feels negative we instantly want to stop. Sometimes we need to recognize that the way we’re feeling makes sense, especially considering the circumstances.
Step 10 stresses the need to continue exercising a personal inventory and appears to allege that we do this merely to identify when we have been wrong. But how can we recognize the times we have erred unless we can also notice the times when we have been right as a means for comparison?
Being aware of the times we do things correctly and developing personal values are as much a part of taking a personal inventory as recognizing our liabilities. The 10th step informs us that we must soon acknowledge when we have been wrong. However, this is also assuming that we invariably know when we have made a mistake, but most of us don’t, at least not promptly.
We become more skilled at recognizing when we have been wrong with the continual practice of making a personal inventory. We use step 10 to sustain a perpetual awareness of what we have been thinking, feeling, and doing.
Thoughts and feelings are firmly attached to our behaviors. Many of us have anger issues, and we don’t like the way it feels. We may conclude that we do not have a right to feel that way, and then do our very best to defeat our feelings of anger.
And yet, we may be encountering circumstances that would make almost anyone angry, but when we think about it, we begin to feel very uncomfortable. Then comes the time when our recovery either drives us forward into improved self-respect or our disorder pulls us down into intense depression and bitterness. It is all based on how we respond to our feelings of anger.
If we take decisive action focused on improving our circumstances, there is an opportunity to make things better. At the very least, we’ll be able to recognize when it’s time to walk away and do so without regret.
Moreover, it doesn’t help to make a list of our feelings or to become cognizant of them without parallelling them with the behaviors that they contribute to or fail to generate. Before starting a regular routine of taking a personal inventory, it’s crucial to understand what we are evaluating in the inventory.
Getting Help for Addiction
Alcoholics Anonymous is an organization that has helped countless people break free from the cycle of addiction. However, research reveals that addiction is best treated using a comprehensive approach that also includes psychotherapy, counseling, and long-term aftercare.
If you are ready to recover from alcoholism or drug addiction, contact us today! We are dedicated to helping people reclaim their lives and foster the health and wellness they deserve!
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