Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
Now that we have progressed through the first nine steps we should be ready to maintain them with the last three steps. Each day, take an inventory. This inventory is for today only and it shows quite clearly if the day has been used wisely or not. The daily balance sheet will help you see personal growth as you realize that you are accomplishing things which you could not do before. This is a good feeling which gradually increases self-worth and self-esteem. Changing “Love of self”, a fantasy, to “Self-love”, is a reality.
In taking an inventory, look for personal growth, not perfection. For example, make a list containing five items you want to achieve. At night the inventory might reveal that you accomplished three. Be happy with three. Remember the many days, months and even years, when you tried to think of even one thing of a positive nature that you had done. Seek daily progress, not perfection. Growth may be slow and small but be grateful for progress. The ability to cope is perhaps the most valuable reward which you will receive from the program. One no longer has to avoid a problem by ignoring or side stepping the issue. With some problems, particularly at first, you may cope weakly. So what? Don’t avoid responsibility, and as you cope on a daily basis you will become more skillful. One day at a time becomes a life time. Some of us tend to be over achievers; we tend to take on tasks for which we are not yet ready. Either we are too new in the program to handle such a problem or we are too ambitious. Take it easy, a little progress each day is a great reward. Perhaps two questions we might ask ourselves each day are these — Did I help another person today? Did I contribute to harmony in my world today? It is suggested that no major changes be made during the first two years of abstinence. The mental and emotional imbalance we brought to Gamblers Anonymous needs time to heal. After two years our thoughts are much clearer and success much more reachable. Abstinence combined with physical, mental and emotional healing will give us a logical ability to cope.
The second part of the step is sometimes more difficult. To promptly admit to being wrong means that one has become a little humble and that can rid oneself of deceit, arrogance, false pride and other character defects. If you can admit to being wrong right now, you are truly gaining a deeper insight into yourself. Freely admit the other party is right and being glad for them, even appreciating confrontation and constructive criticism is a giant step. This step and the two which follow if done each day will help maintain daily growth. Another view is that Steps One through Nine are never done and should be regularly repeated.
Step Ten tells us to put our GA way of living to practical use.
- To maintain the desire to stop gambling.
- To maintain emotional balance under all circumstances.
- How can we carry our GA way of living into our daily lives?
- What particular circumstances “tick” us off and create anger?
We cannot make much of our lives until we form the habit of self appraisal (taking regular inventory).
- Our first objective is to restrain angers, actions and judgments which encourage impatience.
- Create insurance against our return to “big shotism.”
- Do we “think” before we speak? Are we prone to snap judgments?
- Are we less angry since coming to GA? Why?
- Are we still slaves to our emotions?
Daily inventories will become routine, not the unusual.
- Calming the moment.
- Deciding who is right and wrong.
- Revealing our true motives.
- Do we still justify our feelings of anger?
- Tolerance of others. Has it improved? Why?
- Is saying “I’m sorry” painful?
- If apology is becoming easier … when did this start? Why?
Delay of apologies and procrastination is a defense.
- Why should we promptly admit wrongs?
- Having a “defense” signifies a war or contest. Who are we fighting? Why?
WORKING THE STEPS: Step 10