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The Proactive Twelve Steps (printable)

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Click on "commentary" under each step for detailed discussion of the step.

Step 1:

I get it: What I’ve been doing is self-destructive. I need to change.

Original wording (AA):
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable.

We admitted we were powerless over others - that our lives had become unmanageable.

Generic version:
We admitted we were powerless over things we believed we should control -- that our lives had become unmanageable.


Step 2:

I see the big picture: The way to stop relapsing into self-destructive behaviors is to build a healthier sense of self.

Original wording (AA):
Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.


Step 3:

I have an action plan: From now on, I am squarely facing everything that is in the way of feeling really satisfied with my life.

Original wording (AA):
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of our Higher Power as we understood this Higher Power.


Step 4:

I honestly look at the effects of my actions on others and myself.

Original wording (AA):
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.


Step 5:

I take responsibility for my actions.

Original wording (AA):
Admitted to our Higher Power, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.


Step 6:

I see that my knee-jerk reactions have to do with being in the grip of more or less conscious fears.

Original wording (AA):
Were entirely ready to have our Higher Power remove all these defects of character.


Step 7:

I strive to find my motivation in a deeper sense of who I
really am, rather than fear and defensiveness.

Original wording (AA):
Humbly asked our Higher Power to remove our shortcomings.


Step 8:

I stop blaming and feeling blamed, with a willingness to heal the wounds.

Original wording (AA):
Made a list of all the people we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.


Step 9:

I swallow my pride, and sincerely apologize to people I've hurt, except when this would be counterproductive.

Original wording (AA):
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.


Step 10:

I live mindfully, paying attention to the motives and effects of my actions.

Original wording (AA):
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.


Step 11:

I stay in touch with a broader sense of who I really am, and a deeper sense of what I really want.

Original wording (AA):
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power as we understood this Higher Power, praying only for knowledge of this Higher Power's will for us and the power to carry that out.


Step 12:

A growing sense of wholeness and contentment motivates me to keep at it, and to share this process with others who are struggling.

Original wording (AA & others):
Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to other (alcoholics, codependents, people who feel stuck...); and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


The Proactive 12 Steps are an alternative inspired by the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anolymous and other addiction programs.

The original Twelve Steps are reprinted from materials of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
A.A. has neither reviewed nor approved the contents of this publication, nor does A.A. necessarily agree with the views expressed herein.
A.A. is a program of recovery from alcoholism only - use of the Twelve Steps in connection with programs and activities which are patterned after A.A., but which address other problems, or in any other non-A.A. context, does not imply otherwise.
About higher power | serenity (full text)

See also:
- More info related to The Proactive 12 Steps
- The book: Proactive 12 Steps for Mindful Recovery
- Proactive 12 steps on facebook

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