Step 10 in the 12 step program is a continuation of steps 4, 8, and 9, as you continue to take personal inventory and promptly admit when you are wrong. The house cleaning that you’ve undertaken is a concentrated version of a process that you will need to continue to repeat for the rest of your life. It’s essential to keep yourself free from anger, resentment, and self-deprecating thoughts in order to maintain recovery. Steps 10-12 comprise the maintenance portion of the 12 step program that is meant to be used daily for the rest of your life.
Why You Need to Repeat This Process
This stage of recovery, when you’re back on your feet, your confidence is growing, and your life is starting to fall into place, can actually be one of the most dangerous. This is because you may begin to feel that you don’t need help with recovery anymore. You may think you’re strong enough to avoid substance abuse without the help of God. This is where you start having thoughts like, “One drink won’t hurt me.” Continuing to take a daily personal inventory will help you to recognize potential pitfalls, discover weaknesses, and ask for help in overcoming them.
What You’re Searching For
You can effectively move forward when you take the time to make a personal inventory each day. Having a pattern you follow during this time, or a path to direct your thoughts can help you stay focused as you self-evaluate and reevaluate your relationship with God.
Start by asking yourself a series of questions, which you answer honestly and without fear. Use these questions to evaluate your relationship with God, your attitude towards recovery, and your willingness to make amends. Some examples of questions might be:
- Am I yielding to God’s will?
- Am I praying sincerely?
- Am I showing gratitude for all of my blessings?
- Am I using the 12 step program as a tool for change?
- Are there any character defects that I need to address today?
- Have I harmed anyone to whom I need to make amends?
- Making Personal Inventory a Daily Habit
The key to succeeding in step 10 is making it a part of your daily routine. Your goal is to train your mind to be always aware of your actions and thoughts. As you practice this skill, you will find that taking personal inventory becomes second nature, and that you enjoy using this time each day to refocus and evaluate your game plan.
Keeping a daily journal is one way to focus your personal inventory and evaluate your thoughts. This will allow you to objectively determine which thoughts are true, which are false, which are negative, and which are productive. You will recognize weaknesses and wrongdoings, as well and strengths and blessings, and then discuss them with God in prayer.