Step 10

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

Take continual inventory

Recovery is all about constructing a new life for yourself. Steps 10 – 12 are the building part of your reconstruction. You’re going to build your new life by building new habits. The first set of habits center around your ability to take your personal inventory on a daily basis. Taking your personal inventory isn’t hard once you get the hang of it. Here are a few suggestions as to how you can get started…

A.  “Spot checks”

· Conscious awareness: Learn to ‘catch’ yourself when you are in a negative state of mind (e.g. feeling angry, fearful or resentful) ____________________________________________________
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· Taking mental notes: Step out of the head space (the fantasy) in which you find yourself. Learn to pin point where you went wrong, when it happened, etc. (try to be specific)… ____________________________________________________
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· Moment-by-moment: Actively engage in self-talk. Learn how to encourage yourself moment-by-moment, forgiving yourself when you make mistakes and thanking your Higher Power for the courage to make the necessary changes ____________________________________________________
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B.  Daily inventory

· Check list: Do you have a journal – something in which to make notes? This may be new for you…are you willing to try?
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· End of day: The best time to fill in your journal is just before you climb into bed. Reflect on your day… What was good about it? What things were challenging? ____________________________________________________
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C.  Long term inventories

· Check list: After several weeks and months in the program we gain a better perspective of our strengths and weaknesses. It is helpful to draw up a list of recurring themes that represent our journey over an extended period time. ____________________________________________________
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· Every 6 months: An occasional ‘retreat’ where we get away from it all and examine our progress in the program – either by ourselves or with a sponsor. ____________________________________________________
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II  Make a self examination

Learning a new habit takes time. The key to maintaining the habit of taking a personal inventory everyday requires 3 attitudes: Honesty, Awareness and Vigilance. Putting the blame on someone else for your personal faults and failings won’t help you. You are learning the habit of self examination. So you must focus on no one but yourself.

A.  Honesty about failings – selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear ____________________________________________________
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B.  Awareness of limitations and strengths – balance! ____________________________________________________
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C.  Vigilance about making lists – stay on top of things ____________________________________________________
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III  Be prompt to admit your fault(s)

It won’t be easy to admit your faults to another. That’s why you need to practice at the beginning. Even little things (like being late for a meeting) require your prompt admission. If you can recognize where you spoke harshly or over-reacted when another person poked fun at your shortcomings, get used to admitting it to another person.

Taking the time to practice humility is a habit that will pay you back in dividends. By accepting responsibility and learning to let go, you will strengthen yourself emotionally. In the long run, you will avoid relapse.
A.  Humility

· Be willing to own it: Are you willing to admit to your own mistakes and your personal weaknesses? ____________________________________________________
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· Accept your responsibility: Are you able to ask the question, “What part did I play in all of this?” ____________________________________________________
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B.  Guilt / Shame

· Willing to speak it: Speak directly to the person(s) you have offended. ____________________________________________________
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· Able to let it go: Get current with your 12-step fellowship about how you feel. ____________________________________________________
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C.  Spiritual health

· Avoid relapse: Can you see how this step will help you avoid relapse? ____________________________________________________
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· Encourage growth: Is there any doubt in your mind how this step will encourage your spiritual growth?                                 ____________________________________________________
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