Step 2

Step Quick Links:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12

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.”

“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

The One Thing I Need To Know About Step 2:
The Solution To My Problem Isn’t Me

of this Step:


Reading Assignment:
BB: Pgs. 44-60 / 12&12:  Pgs. 25-33
(Read Online)

Literature Reference:  Step 2 Promise: “In the face of collapse and despair, in the face of the total failure of their human resources, they found that a new power, peace, and happiness, and sense of direction flowed in them.” (Big Book – Page 50, We Agnostics)

What Can I Surrender in this Step?

1.) My desire to control everything myself, and
2.) My belief that I am responsible for the outcome of my life


In Step 1, we learned our problem wasn’t alcohol – it was/is our mental states (our thinking) that was the crux of the real problem. How perfect it is that just 10 pages later (page 45, “We Agnostics” – 4th Edition), Bill shared with us the solution to that problem: “Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. That’s exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem.

Check! How simple is that? This one of twelve simple suggestions is much easier than I ever imagined. I thought solving the drink problem was going to be insurmountable. When I figured out that it’s not a drink problem I need to solve, but a think problem – and that simply believing there is a Power out there that is greater than I am that can help me solve it – well, that made life much easier to bear.

I then get to ask myself why I shouldn’t apply to life’s problems this same readiness to change my point of view. I was having problems with relationships, couldn’t control my emotions, was prey to misery and depression, couldn’t make a living, had a feeling of uselessness, was full of fear, was unhappy and couldn’t be of help to others. I was/am “maladjusted to life, in full flight from reality and an outright mental defective” (B.B. – Doctor’s Opinion – Page xxvi – 4th Edition). All of this was true until the day came I could finally believe that a Power greater than myself could run my life better than I could – and all I had to do was let it.


Your higher power has to be God. This is a big misconception in Alcoholics Anonymous. Your higher power can be anything that you believe in: the Universe, nature, Buddha, music, love, Allah, humanity or even AA itself. Another thing to remember is that your Higher Power doesn’t need to have a gender (even though in 1939, Bill W. felt it easier to use one for our basic text). AA doesn’t require you to believe in anything that you don’t want to; each step is a suggestion along the road to a sober life.


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:

  1. Am I obsessed with what others are not doing in my life rather than what I can contribute to the relationships I am in?
  2. Am I relying on an obsession with food, sugar, caffeine, or smoking rather than relying totally on a HP?
  3. Am I ready to believe that I can be restored to sanity in all my relationships and “appetites?”
  • Corrective Measure(s)?

At Work:

  1. Am I a workaholic? Do I have a balance in my life around work? Do I need sanity here?
  2. Am I obsessed with financial success? Am I ready to be restored to sanity financially and be content with giving service, knowing that the miracle of sobriety is enough?
  • Corrective Measure(s)?

With God and in A.A.:

  1. Do I trust the relationship I have with HP or am I just trying to use HP for my purposes?
  2. Do I ask HP for sobriety and relief from the obsession to drink or am I trying to do it by myself?
  3. Am I seeking the experience, strength and hope of the sponsor HP has sent me? Or, am I still trying to run the show?
  • Corrective Measure(s)?


  1. Do I believe that left to my own devices, using my own willpower – that my life has become too much to bear?
  2. Am I willing to agree that there is something out there that might, just might be able to bring me a degree of peace in my life that has eluded me?
  3. Has my best thinking taken me to very dark places?
  4. On my own willpower, do I feel somewhat insane?
  5. Am I willing to let go of whatever conceptions or beliefs I may have had about a Higher Power (God) and design a new one?
  6. Am I willing to draw near to that Power and let it show itself to me?
  7. Am I willing to have a true humility and open mind that can lead me to a new faith – a faith that can work?
  8. Am I willing to believe that a Power greater than myself can restore me to soundness of mind?

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

“It is absolutely possible to believe without trusting – but one cannot trust without believing.”