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Step 2

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 2

We came to believe that our self‑esteem could heal and grow by our cooperating with a power greater than ourselves who is our Higher Power.


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.

Self‑esteem can heal and grow through the power of self‑affirmation.

Step 2 implies that you can change your negative self‑esteem which can make you feel insane, crazy, out of control, and sick. To change you need to "reform'' the ways you refer to yourself. You need to eliminate the negativistic references with more positive ones. You need to rewrite your negative self‑scripts with positive healing ones.


Use Tools for Personal Growth, Chapter 1 Self‑Esteem, Chapter 2 Handling Irrational Beliefs, and Chapter 3 Self‑Affirmation to assist you to work on the healing and growth of your self‑esteem. Begin each day to use a positive self‑affirmation to heal your belief about yourself.

  • Give examples of some common negative self‑scripts you currently have about yourself:          
  • Give examples of some common negative statements you have heard others say about you in your past life:
  • Give examples of your past behavior that could have been described as crazy or insane:
  • Give examples of positive self‑affirmations you have used in the past which you found helpful to feel better about yourself:


As you begin your journey into recovery and experience the “panic'' of recovery described in Step 1, what self‑affirmations can you use to restore you to calm and peace as you pursue your desire to change and grow?

Higher Power

As you pursue the road to recovery, you find that there are powers which pull you back from your efforts to change and grow. You will feel so overwhelmed by the power of the “old you” and the old behaviors that to change to a “new you” seems close to impossible to achieve. At this point in the recovery process, you need to recognize that you don't need to do it alone. You can hand over the burdens or the overwhelming magnitude of the problems to a power greater than yourself who is your Higher Power. For many people this Higher Power is God as they know and believe God to be. For others, the Higher Power is the Universe, Mankind, the Eternal Consciousness, a universal energy force, or something else they believe in.


You may be resistant to involve your Higher Power at this time because of your anger at your Higher Power who allowed you to come to this “powerless'' point in your life. Use the Tools for Personal Growth Chapter 13 Handling Pride and Chapter 14 Developing Patience to assist you to allow your Higher Power to provide you the strength and courage to go on. Remember there is no problem too big that you can't let go of and hand over to your Higher Power.


Describe your Higher Power.

  • How is your Higher Power different from organized religions?
  • How do your feelings toward organized religion affect your ability to identify your Higher Power?
  • What can you do not to feel uncomfortable or hypocritical and still seek out your Higher Power for your recovery?


Give examples of how your Higher Power can help you:              

Give some reasons why you are or have been resistant to call on your Higher Power to help you with your low self‑esteem problems:

  • Give examples of the problems which seem unsolvable that you could at this time hand over to your Higher Power:


Once you feel “freedom'' by handing over to your Higher Power “those things you cannot change;''

  • What are some self‑affirmations you can give yourself to promote your healing and growth at this time?



Restate Step 2 about who your Higher Power is and how you can use your Higher Power to assist you to heal and grow in self‑esteem.