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Alcohol & Health
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Where Does My Call Go?
Updated on March 17, 2023
4 min read

Step 10 AA 

What is Step 10 of AA?

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


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The Purpose of Step 10 (Personal Inventory) 

Participants take a personal inventory in step 10 of AA. It’s a time to evaluate how far you’ve come since step one and assess where you are daily. 

In step 10 of AA, you prove you can control your actions. You aren’t handcuffed to your old habits and character defects. You can think about your actions and control your addiction behaviors. 

You’re encouraged to practice self-examination and moral inventory as part of your daily routine. You’ve achieved a great deal of success in steps one through nine. However, you must keep them in check and continue on the right path.

Falling back into bad habits is easy. By putting step 10 into practice, you reduce the risk of this happening.

Spiritual Principles of Step 10 in AA

Several spiritual principles are a part of step 10. For example:

  • Acceptance
  • Discipline
  • Humility
  • Patience
  • Mindfulness
  • Self-restraint
  • Honesty
  • Fair-mindedness
  • Tolerance
  • Love
  • Persistence

Perhaps acceptance is the most important of all of the spiritual principles in step 10. 

In step 10, you recognize your present condition and don’t attempt to change or rebel against it. You might feel uncomfortable about things. However, you must confront it and take personal responsibility instead of avoiding and pushing it.

It’s a step that helps you accept your situation daily and remain grounded in reality. You conduct an ongoing personal inventory daily or hourly when needed. You can turn things over to your higher power or God and continue progressing in your recovery. 


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Step 10 AA: List of Daily Inventory Questions

The daily inventory questions to ask in step 10 include:

  • Was I dishonest or resentful?
  • Did I say or do anything that warrants an apology?
  • Am I worried about yesterday or tomorrow?
  • Do I allow myself to develop an obsession with anything?
  • Am I hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?
  • Do I suffer from problems physically, mentally, or spiritually?
  • What can I do to be better tomorrow?
  • What am I grateful for today?

You can do this spot check anytime and anywhere. It’s helpful to create daily to-do lists to keep you on track. 

Also, take time each day to journal your thoughts and feelings. If things seem off or you’re struggling, check in with your sponsor or a trusted friend.


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How to Complete the 10th Step of AA 

Several things can help you move through step 10, including:

  • Avoid immediate decisions based solely on emotion. Instead, take a step back, breathe deeply, and then act.
  • Be honest in your assessment of situations.
  • Admit to any mistakes you're making.
  • Forgive others when they’ve made mistakes.
  • Focus on progress, not perfection.

In this step, self-appraisal should become a habit. This is the step in which you put into daily practice all you’ve learned in the previous steps. 

It’s no secret that you’ll face daily tests for your sobriety. Remaining sober requires emotional stability and humility. Making right your wrongs is an ongoing process and requires constant self-examination.

This isn’t to say you won’t fail. If you notice an emotional disturbance, do a self-inventory as soon as possible. This silences your volatile emotions and helps build your character.

Why is the 10th Step Important for Recovery?

Step 10, like all steps in the 12-step program, is important for recovery. 

Ongoing personal inventory helps you:

  • Set healthy boundaries
  • Manage your emotions
  • Stay in control of your moods
  • Maintain better physical health
  • Improve relationships
  • Achieve a productive work life
  • Function as a healthy and productive member of society

Emotional disturbances can trigger negative behaviors. Many people return to abusing alcohol because of how they feel. They respond to their emotional triggers in a self-destructive manner.

Step 10 is about helping you better manage these triggers. It lets you walk away from any situation knowing you’ve done your best to make things right. You’re taking responsibility for your behavior.


Step 10 is important in the twelve-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s a maintenance step that helps you stay present and control your behavior.

Don’t hesitate to contact a sponsor or trusted friend if things seem off. They can help you stay on track to recover from alcohol use disorder.

Updated on March 17, 2023
6 sources cited
Updated on March 17, 2023
All Alcoholrehabhelp content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies.
  1. “Why Is Spirituality an Essential Part of a Recovery Program?” Psychology Today.

  2. “What Makes AA Work?” Harvard Gazette, 2011.

  3. Stone, et al. “Therapeutic Factors and Psychological Concepts in Alcoholics Anonymous.” Journal of Counselor Practice, 2011.

  4. Suire JG, and Bothwell RK. “The Psychosocial Benefits of Alcoholics Anonymous.” American Journal on Addictions, 2006.

  5. “Alcoholics Anonymous: Is A.A. For You?” 

  6. Tonigan J and Sturmhöfel S. “Alcoholics Anonymous: Who Benefits?.” Alcohol Health & Research World.

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All content created by Alcohol Rehab Help is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert. However, the information provided by Alcohol Rehab Help is not a substitute for professional treatment advice.
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