Step 10 – Onward and Upward

Steps 4-9 are the house cleaning steps. We go over our past actions, thoroughly and honestly, and make amends wherever indicated. Step 10 tells us how we can keep it that way by putting them into practice day by day. How I do this follows below.

Every day as I go about my business, I try to be aware of any instances where I am acting selfishly, dishonestly, or resentfully in my relationships with others. When I see any of that going on, I correct it (make amends) immediately or as soon as I’m able.

Early in my recovery, I wasn’t very good at staying aware of how I was acting. So after each interaction with someone, I would stop and do a sort of mini-inventory (Steps 4, 5 and 9). I’d put the of the interaction through Steps 4 and 5. If I found anything I needed to correct, I’d continue as directed in Step 9. Note: I was already ready to work on correcting myself, that’s why I was doing this in the first place. So Step 6 was a given, and as I’ve said before, Step 7 does not apply to me. As for Step 8, listing the person would be a list of one, and I was not likely to forget that I needed to make amends to the person, so I didn’t bother. Also in Step 8, we are to “become willing” to make amends. Also a given from the fact that I was doing the mini-inventory.

As time went on, doing my mini-inventory became habit. Today, I can usually catch myself acting selfishly, dishonestly, or out of resentment at the time I’m doing it, and often before I act at all. It has just become part of how I live my life.

I go through the same process with my interactions on-line. When someone writes something to me or anyone else that ‘get’s my hackles up’, I give my feelings the mini-inventory treatment before I respond. Why am I feeling angry, resentful, envious, or whatever? (My answer almost always comes down to pride.) And I remind myself that “Love and tolerance of others is our code.”

That’s how I practice Step 10. I’d love to hear how you put the step into action in your life.

5 thoughts on “Step 10 – Onward and Upward”

    1. Thank you for the reminder to do Step 10. I often go about my day clueless about what I’m doing or acting. But I like the idea of evaluating each encounter with a mini 10th step. I think I get hung up with the faulty way I treat myself internally with self-talk. I think Step 10 is a perfect exercise to do with all these moving parts in my own brain!


        • Welcome, Molly! I”m glad you found this useful. Yes, our self-talk can be brutal at times. I have a few ways to counteract the tendency, and I’ll be posting about those in up-coming entries. Thank you for the feedback.


    1. I used to go weeks or months before I even would consider I might be acting like an ass, if at all. And if I wasn’t an ass, I beat myself up because I was convinced I was an ass. “As time goes on”, that is my daily reminder. I must be patient and kind to myself. I can catch these behaviors now almost in the moment, I just have to keep reminding myself that there is no shot clock running and I don’t get penalized for the length of time it takes me to correct my actions or thoughts. Also, worth noting, recognizing that are more steps than just #4 reminds me that eventually I must practice 10, otherwise, I can’t check my work. Thanks as always.


        • Learning to be patient and kind with ourselves is hard, especially at first. Self-compassion is one of the topics I just mentioned in my reply above that I’ll be writing about in the near future. Thanks!


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