Step ten of the twelve steps is we “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”   This step is all about sustained accountability.  Everyone makes mistakes.  It’s ok to make them.  We must head off the destructive behavior before it takes root.


Understanding AA’s 12 Steps: Step 10


The number one cause for relapse is not being vigilant enough on an ongoing basis.  It is easier to slip into harmful behavior patterns than many think. By admitting our wrongs immediately we do not allow this to take place. At this step in the process we have been stressing accountability so we cannot slack on it at any point. Our relationships are now being built on a foundation of honesty and trust.  When we make our inevitable mistakes we maintain this trust my making amends as soon as the mistake is recognised.

We are encouraged to examine ourselves as a part of everyday routine.  We want to avoid at all costs slipping back into a life of self satisfaction. and pride.  There is no one way to examine yourself.  How and when this happens every day is up to you as long as it gets done.  When we look at ourselves each day we purge negative paradigms and behaviors in the ways we’ve learned.  Everything we’ve learned must go into use in this step.  The practices learned throughout the twelve steps thus far must become a lifestyle and not just a teaching.

One misconception of this step is that you will become an “I’m sorry” machine.  This is not the case.  Correcting our wrongs immediately is as much about action as it is thought.  We want to develop and grow to where we correct our behavior fast enough that an apology is always warranted.  This starts with not making rush decisions.  Be aware of yourself and your surroundings at all times.  Do not make uneducated decisions.  We must examine the consequences of choosing before we do.  This preemptive strike is correcting behavior before it happens.  This is the essence of step ten.

Much like we seek to right our wrongs immediately we must be prepared to forgive quickly as well.  We examine ourselves constantly and still make mistakes.  We have to realize others will do the same.  Forgiving them fast will stop us from harboring negativity.  Without such weight we can concentrate on living a lifestyle of constant self improvement.


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