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Step 10

Section 4: The SEA's 12 Step Workbook
Self-Esteem Seekers Anonymous -

The SEA's Program of Recovery
By James J. Messina, Ph.D.


Step 10

We continued to take a personal inventory and affirmed our goodness while promptly admitting our wrongs.


Directions: As you systematically work through the twelve steps of the SEA's program, you will be expected to read the material in this section and respond to the questions in your journal. Each step contains key words or concepts, which are explored in the questions under each step. Your recovery from the negative impact of self‑esteem is dependent on your honest assessment, admission, and acceptance of the steps you need to take in order to ensure your personal recovery. Most likely over your lifetime you will need to review these twelve steps, so for later reference keep the SEA's manual along with the other Tools‑for‑Coping‑Series books in a safe place.

Ongoing self‑assessment

Step 10 requires that you remain vigilant in your progress on the road to recovery from low self‑esteem. By taking an ongoing inventory you are monitoring your progress as well as identifying relapses or some backsliding.


This step requires that you maintain an honest and open approach to your own behaviors. It requires that you keep your focus on your goal of recovery and thus keep your motivation for change high.


To assist you with Step 10, consult Tools for Personal Growth, Chapter 12 Overcoming Perfectionism  and Tools for Relationships  Chapter 14 Creating a Healing Environment, and Tools for Handling Loss, Chapter 7 Accepting Change.


In order to perform an ongoing self‑assessment of your progress on the road to recovery from low self‑esteem, you need to identify if you are becoming "perfectionistic" in your pursuit of health. Negative consequences of perfectionism in the pursuit of health are:

  • Guilt, shame, self‑recrimination.
  • Pessimism, fatalism, disenchantment.
  • Depression, chronic feeling blue.
  • Rigidity, inflexibility.
  • Obsessiveness, nit‑picky, finicky.
  • Lack of motivation since to reach ideals is impossible.
  • Immobilization with fear of failure.

As you perform your ongoing inventory, you need to assess if where you live and work is a healing environment. You can tell if you are in a healing environment if it is a place where people:

  • Show respect to one another.
  • Are free to show physical affection.
  • Use supportive language with one another.
  • Are willing to confront their disagreements with open and honest communication.
  • Feel they are among equals.
  • Have no power struggles for emotional control of the environment.
  • Play neither role of victim nor martyr.
  • Feel they have a chance to change or reform.
  • Can give and receive open, direct feedback.
  • Are able to forgive and forget.
  • Are developing a strong spiritual focus making a place for their Higher Power in their lives.
  • Are free to express all feelings be they positive or negative.
  • Feel secure, cared for, accepted, and respected.
  • Are willing to be vulnerable to grow.

Ongoing self‑assessment must focus on how well you are progressing in self‑esteem enhancement. To do this you need to assess the state of health of your self‑esteem by using the following self‑esteem assessment measures:

Self‑Esteem Assessment

Directions: In your journal write down the statements that are true for you.

  1. I am able to discuss my good points, skills, abilities, achievements, and successes with others.
  2. I assert myself with someone whom I believe is violating or ignoring my rights.
  3. I am content with who I am, how I act, and what I do in life.
  4. I am not bothered by feelings of insecurity or anxiety when I meet people for the first time.
  5. My life is balanced between work life, family life, social life, recreation/leisure, and spiritual life.
  6. I am aware of the roles I played in my family of origin and have usually been able to make these behavior patterns work for me in my current life.
  7. I am bonded with the significant others in my environment at home, work, school, at play, or in the community.
  8. I am able to perform the developmental tasks necessary to ensure my ongoing healthy self‑esteem.
  9. I am satisfied with my level of achievement at school, work, home, and in the community.
  10. I am a good problem solver; my thinking is not clouded by irrational beliefs or fears.
  11. I am willing to experience conflict, if necessary, to protect my rights.

If you are maintaining a realistic, balanced focus of recovery without becoming too perfectionistic, you are one‑third of the way there. If the environment in which you are living is a healing one, you are two‑thirds of the way there. If your self‑esteem is improving by the way you conduct your life on a day‑to‑day basis, then you are 100% on the long road to lifetime recovery from the impact of low self‑esteem.


Step 10 personal inventory of self-progress in recovery from low self‑esteem includes:

  • What is the current state of your self‑esteem?
  • What behaviors dependent on healthy self‑esteem do you still need to work on?
  • What is the status of your relationships with others?
  • What is the status of your unresolved anger issues?
  • What is the status of your unresolved loss issues?
  • What is the status of your letting go of the uncontrollables and unchangeables in your life?
  • What is the status of the resolution of your self‑destructive behaviors?
  • What is the status of your communications with others?
  • How frequent are your relapses?
  • How intense are the relapses from past times?
  • How successful are you in gaining greater stretches of time between relapse incidents?
  • How successful are your “getting back on the wagon" efforts?



Step 10 requires an ongoing inventory. As you reach Step 10 on a regular basis, reword the step to indicate how it is beneficial for you in your recovery from low self‑esteem.