Step 10

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From the Foreword of the 12 & 12:  “A.A.’s Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.”

“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

The One Thing I Need To Know About Step 10:
This is What a Sober Day Looks Like 

of this Step:


Reading Assignment:
BB: Pgs. 84-85 / 12&12:  Pgs. 85-95
(Read Online)

Literature Reference:  “Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear. When these crop up, we ask God, at once, to remove them.” (Big Book, Page 84, Into Action)

What Can I Surrender in this Step?

  • My belief that I don’t need to enhance the inventory I did in Step 4 each and every day and identify “defects du jour.”


One of the biggest misconceptions in the rooms of A.A. is that when we do a 10th Step (write it or speak it to another), it involves the “when we retire at night” inventory found on page 86 of the Big Book. That particular inventory is actually found in Step 11. Step 10 very clearly lays out our need to continue to look at ourselves throughout our day being aware when we find that, in the moment, we are being selfish and self-centered once again, when we are telling little (or not so little) white lies once again, when we are harboring resentments against our fellows once again, and when we find ourselves being fearful about our lives once again.

It has been said that one of the best descriptions of “What a Sober Day Looks Like” is found in Step 10 (Page 84 – 4th Edition). Through our willingness to continue to look at ourselves throughout the day, we can use the text below to begin to embrace the basic foundations of what a sober day CAN look like for us (with a few minor alterations that support what we learned from Step 1 – that alcohol really isn’t our problem):

I’ve ceased fighting anything or anyone – even my insane thinking. For today, soundness of mind (sanity) has returned.  I will seldom be interested in participating in my negative thinking (insanity), I react soundly (sanely) and normally, and I find that this has happened automatically. I see that my new attitude toward the noise that lives between my left ear and my right ear has been given me without any thought or effort on my part.  It just comes! That’s the miracle of it. I’m not fighting it, neither am I avoiding temptation. I feel as though I’ve been placed in a position of neutrality-safe and protected. I’ve not even sworn off. Instead, the negative thinking (insanity) has been removed. It doesn’t exist for me. I’m neither cocky nor am I afraid. That’s my experience. That’s how I react so long as I keep in fit spiritual condition.

NOTE: The purpose of the statement above is not in the least to try and rewrite our literature. It was modified for this study so that we can begin to have a truly PERSONAL experience with it in ways that shed light on the real nature of our problem – the spiritual malady. Step 1 is the only step that talks about alcohol. Steps 2-12 talk about how we can become recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body. This Step reminds us that we have a daily reprieve (definition: “temporary suspension”) from our insanity so long as we continue our personal inventory, immediately admit our wrongs, and remember throughout our day that somewhere along the line, we TOOK Step 2 and came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to soundness of mind.


You constantly need to apologize to everyone. Some AA members get hung up on this step because it involves admitting when you’ve done something wrong. But it isn’t so much about apologizing to others as it is being aware of actions that harm yourself and others. It is a very personal process of constant inward reflection.


Taking a step displays a willingness to write inventory and allow it to surrender something within us. Write inventory on your most serious shortcomings around the practical application of this step in your life today (“How am I applying the principle found in this Step to every moment of my life?”).

In your Personal Relationships:

Provide at least one (1) example (more if applicable) of an action you took today to look at the condition of your personal relationships and recognized any missteps taken, harms done, and amends made.

At Work:

Provide at least one (1) example (more if applicable) of an action you took today to look at the condition of your work relationships and recognized any missteps taken, harms done, and amends made.

With God and A.A.:

Provide at least one (1) example (more if applicable) of an action you took today to look at the condition of your relationship with God and A.A. and recognized any missteps taken, harms done, and amends made.


  1. Am I willing to pause throughout my day and do a spot-check inventory on my feelings and emotions recognizing disturbances in all areas of my life?
  2. Am I willing to make this part of my daily routine?
  3. When taking my daily inventory, if I find that I have caused some harm, acted in a way that God would not want me to, or harbored ill-feelings toward another – am I willing to make the immediate amends necessary to keep myself in fit spiritual condition?
  4. Because it is easy to fall back into a life of pride and self-justification, am I willing to look at my daily successes (as I did my defects) and ensure that credit is given where it is due?
  5. Am I willing to, day in and day out, be tested to see if I can remain emotionally stable, sober and live humbly (with a desire to seek and do God’s will)?
  6. Am I willing to silence all volatile emotions, build my character and promote a positive way of life for myself and others today?

(If you can answer yes to these questions, you’ve likely taken this Step)

“Old Behavior Isn’t Old Behavior If We’re Still Doing It”