12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous: Step 10

This series of articles is a PERSONAL perspective/interpretation of The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous began on June 10, 1935 and has helped scores of people around the world obtain and maintain sobriety from drugs and alcohol.

STEP TEN- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Step Ten of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is one of my favorite steps—along with Step Eleven. And, to me, the “A-B-C’s” of Step Ten of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are described in “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” on page 88. “Then comes the acid test: can we stay sober, keep in emotional balance and live to good purpose under all conditions?” If we can do these three things on a daily basis we’re doing pretty well! And, working on Step Ten of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous basically teaches us what “emotional sobriety” and balance is as well as teaches us how to maintain this balance. For me, it’s being able to stay off the “emotional rollercoaster” and stay on the “mini-mind train”! Step Ten also involves taking a daily “inventory”—basically looking at what we’ve done well during the day and what we could have done differently. Step Ten of The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is the first Step of what are often called “The maintenance Steps”. Steps Ten, Eleven and Twelve are our opportunity to put into practice what we’ve learned and accomplished in the First Nine Steps of the 12 Steps. “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” also uses words like “self-searching” and “accurate self-appraisal” when teaching us about Step Ten of The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. After looking at and learning about Step Ten, we’re able to move on to Step Eleven.


1. Alcoholics Anonymous, Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. 2001.

2. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions; Alcoholics Anonymous Services, Inc. 1952

***NOTE: this article is a personal interpretation of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and is neither endorsed nor approved by Alcoholics Anonymous. ***

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