Gary S. Fisher, Psy. D., C.A.D.C.

healing, integration, authenticity

Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Perseverance vs. Complacency

This step begins what are referred to as the “maintenance steps,” in that they represent behaviors and attitudes that will continue for the rest of one’s life. The continuation of the inventory process takes the initial beginnings from the 4th Step and moves them into a realm of staying current with issues instead of letting things like resentments and shame build up and undermine one’s newly found self-respect. It is also important at this point for the individual to continue to look at how their character defects are still operating in their life and to continue focusing their attention on the building up of their shortcomings (assets).


The daily inventory referred to in this step must not just deal with behaviors and interactions with others. It must also be directed to the addict’s belief systems, defense mechanisms, etc. As the individual is released from the guilt and shame associated with their past transgressions, begins to forgive those who have transgressed against them, and has a firm foundation in their recovery from the addictive behavior, they become more receptive to look at the other issues related to their dis-ease. It is at this point that the person can make the most use of many of the psychodynamic therapies noted above. Cognitive-behavioral approaches can aid the individual in the daily inventory process, highlighting recurrent thoughts and feelings associated with the character defects, as well as offering concrete behavioral changes that can be made. RET can help the addict explore the irrational belief systems that continue to affect the individual in their daily life. Self-psychology can help improve the addict’s awareness of their alienation from themselves as well as help alter their self-concept. Psychoanalysis can help the individual deal with the conflicts that still exist in their unconscious mind, especially centering around childhood issues.


In a world where few people readily admit their wrongs and seek to correct them in a timely fashion, an individual practicing this step experiences the deep power of owning one’s mistakes and correcting them promptly. Try it out and see for yourself the next time you are involved in a situation where you know you are wrong about something you said or did (nothing illegal, without consulting an attorney), and see how it diffuses the conflict and opens the communication between you and the other party almost immediately.