AA Step 10: We continued to take personal inventory and admitted when we were wrong.
By now you should be getting pretty good at writing personal inventories. It’s a great exercise in self-awareness, and most people are amazed at how much they learn about themselves in the process. The 10th step inventory is about taking what we have learned in working steps one through nine and putting it into practical use in our daily lives. It’s less about reflecting on the past, and more about how we deal with the challenges we face day-to-day, as a result of our words and deeds.
The 10th step inventory is an invitation to examine your motives on a daily basis. It’s about taking stock of your defeats as well as your successes. It’s about checking yourself before you slide back into a prideful place. It’s a habit that should be as much a part of your routine as brushing your teeth in the morning. After all, we can’t possibly predict what the day will bring, so we must be alert to the potential of being tipped out of our comfort zone and aware of our emotions in the moment.
Tips for Completing the 10th Step Inventory
If you experience an emotional upset over the course of the day, do a ‘spot-check’ inventory. This will help you calm extreme emotional responses, mitigate damage to yourself and others, and support a more positive way of living.
Some more tips include:
- Avoid making knee-jerk decisions on how to handle a stressful situation. Take a step back and let the situation cool before you respond.
- Be honest about what’s happening and try not to lay blame.
- Admit when you are wrong.
- Forgive others when they are wrong.
Nobody Is Perfect
Try not to beat yourself up about your shortcomings. After all, nobody is perfect. In fact, you shouldn’t even strive for perfection, as it’s virtually unattainable. Focus on making steady progress, and be satisfied when you are able to manage a situation better than you were able to before.
Another misnomer about the 10th step is that you ought to be apologizing to everybody. It’s not about that. This step is more about being aware of how your actions impact yourself and others. Sometimes, it is simply enough to temper your thoughts before you act on them. Impulse control is a serious problem for many alcoholics, and realizing the damage that can be done before you act is more than half the battle.
So be diligent. Continue to watch for fear, resentment, dishonesty, selfishness, greed, envy, jealousy, and any of those emotions that take us down a destructive path. Recognize them immediately and address the issue, making amends if necessary. Your heart will be much lighter for it.
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