Step 10: What It Means
Step 10 is one of 12 steps outlined in the principles of any 12-step program. Step 10 states that we need to continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong, promptly admit it. This sounds like a straightforward step; however, what does it mean.
In recovery, we need to continue to take a personal inventory. Some do this daily, some only do this when needed. The word inventory might be confusing but in a simple sense it means a complete list of items such as products or a service. Inventory in a 12-step program then can mean a complete list of ourselves. Our inventories can include our emotions, behavior, thoughts, or the things we do each day.
We need to check ourselves or our inventory about how we feel or what we think in a situation. In checking our inventory, we are ultimately watching for areas that could set us up for relapse. These areas include selfishness, fear, procrastination, or dishonest behavior. It can also mean encountering those that could jeopardize our recovery. In watching our inventories, we are ensuring that all areas of our lives are in check and we need to do this daily and we need to act.
When you find yourself wanting to lie about a situation that came up or feeling hopeless, we need to first discuss this with someone as soon as possible and second, we need to work them out and release them. What this does is create a sense of ownership of our inventories or ourselves and to be accountable for how we feel or what we think. As addicts, it is sometimes easier to cast blame on other people or find fault in what others do or say. If you keep your inventory in check, this is less likely to occur.
The second part of this step has to do with admitting when we are wrong. If you take a personal inventory, check your feelings, and talk about them with another person, you just might find that you may be wrong about something. This is how we learn to be responsible and practice forgiveness. If you wrong someone, own it, admit it, and seek to resolve it.
It is important during recovery to maintain a sense of who you are, your inventory, and to promptly admit when you are wrong.