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Step 10 – Perseverance – Principled Recovery Series



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

It’s never easy to admit you’re wrong, but this step requires it. Clients must commit to monitoring themselves for behaviors that could harm themselves or someone else and to freely admit when they are wrong. The spiritual principle behind this step is perseverance.

A SOZO Client’s Point of View: 

“I never really knew the full meaning of the word perseverance. I just knew I wasn’t very good at it. The 10th step reads, “continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” By using the words “continued to take”, I assumed that the people who first used the step meant “continue to take your inventory as you did in step 9 when you were making direct amends to people”.  I am very grateful that, at SOZO, we get exposed to step 10 early on and we’re encouraged to do this daily inventory right from the beginning. Because, when I got to step 10 I knew a lot about it.

 I decided to go back to the table of contents on pages 8 in the 12 & 12 again.  I found these very helpful words: “can we stay sober and keep emotional balance under all conditions?  Self-searching becomes a regular habit. Admit, accept, and patiently correct defects. Emotional hangover. When the past is settled with, present challenges can be met. Varieties of inventory. Anger, resentments, jealousy, envy, self-pity, hurt pride—-all led to the bottle (and drugs). Self-restraint first objective. Insurance against “big-shot-ism.” Let’s look at credits as well as debits. Examination of motives.”

Wow! This daily inventory covers the waterfront! I had no idea that getting sober by working these steps is such a thorough house cleaning. It suddenly occurred to me that I was already doing some of this self-searching that’s mentioned in step 10. Sure, it wasn’t in a formal “sit down session with me”, but I was thinking about some of these things during my day. And, guess what? I was beginning to understand what an old-timer in A.A. told me once. He said, “it’s all about starting some things and stopping other things. I became strangely excited to realize that what was once just a piece of obscure advice from a guy in A.A., was now something that I understood a little and was starting to put into practice. I was letting go of old, negative ideas and starting to embrace new ideas that were filled with hope.

And all because I just kept “keeping on, keeping on”. I’m kind of amazed because I never was very good at things that took maintenance. I hated advice like “trust the process” because I never felt that I could ever stay with anything very long. But, here I was, practicing my 10th step and looking forward to steps 11 and 12. It was a little strange to think about it, but I had to admit that I was changing.

And the strangest of all my new awareness was the realization that the biggest factor in my being able to persevere was my new, growing faith in God. Nothing in my life had ever helped me to persevere like my newfound faith. It was like a secret answer to the mysteries of life. I wondered if these new amazing feelings of being “saved” were a reward for working the steps as diligently as I had been doing. I decided that I will never know the answer to that question and that it was time for me to stop questioning the good things that were happening in my life.

I would never have guessed that “persevering” could be so joyful and rewarding”.


Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) defines the 12 Steps as “a set of principles, spiritual in nature, when practiced as a way of life, that can expel the obsession to drink (or use drugs) and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.”

The 12 steps are a process of getting honest with yourself, cleaning up the wreckage of your past, and learning how to live your life in a better, more meaningful & principled way. Based on the idea of God as each individual understands him, the 12 steps are generally spiritual in nature. 

In this article series, we examine each of the 12 step principles from a  SOZO client’s perspective, as they journey through the twelve steps. Through direct survey feedback, we’ll join various clients and their growing awareness of the spiritual principles behind each step in this series of articles.