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Step 3

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 3
We made a decision to develop a spiritual life in which our wills and lives would be open to the healing graces of 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.

Spiritual life

On your road to recovery from low self‑esteem, you need to free yourself of the burdens of problems and issues which you have no control over and cannot change. You also need to free yourself of the "guilt'' and "fears'' which encourage you to return to the "old you.'' The people in your current life may be hurting because you are changing and no longer fixing, rescuing, or enabling them. To remain on the road to recovery you need to maintain a hope and faith that the future will be better than the past. Why else would you continue to exert the effort to change? To accomplish this you need to develop a spiritual centeredness in faith, hope, and love. Use the Tools for Personal Growth, Chapter 15 Spirituality, Tools for Handling Loss, Chapter 9 Death and Chapter 8 Letting Go, to assist you in determining a spiritual life which will assist your recovery process. Tools for Handling Control Issues is also a text filled with spiritual truths about letting go of the unchangeables and uncontrollables to your Higher Power.

Give some examples of what your spiritual life was like in the past:

Give some reasons why your spiritual life has failed you in the past in your quest for sanity and increased healthy self‑esteem:

What changes need to be made in order for your spiritual life to grow in:

  • Faith
  • Hope
  • Love


What are some reasons why you are resistant to embrace the concept of a spiritual life as a tool in recovery from low self‑esteem?

  • What problems over which you have no control and thus no possibility of changing currently burden you?
  • Which people do you feel “guilty'' about “hurting'' as a result of your desire to no longer fix, rescue, or enable them?
  • What are some obstacles which make it hard for you to believe that the future will be better and that your healing and growth will be realized in the future?

Healing graces

In recovering from low self‑esteem, you can become weak and disbelieving in your own ability to heal within yourself. You might become dependent on others to lead and affirm you. Through “letting go'' of the uncontrollables to your Higher Power and by use of positive self‑affirmation, you can function as a partner with your Higher Power. This creates a climate for yourself in which you recognize your possibilities and develop a “can do'' attitude about life. This can lead to a healing of your spirit, soul, and mind resulting in enhanced self‑esteem and personal functioning.

Give examples of how you have lost belief in your ability to overcome your problems:Give examples of how you have transferred your dependency on others to assist you to feel better about yourself and to give you direction as to what to do with your life:                  
  • Give examples of what you can do to develop a “partnership” with your Higher Power to help heal yourself:
  • Give examples of what a “can do” attitude would look like in your life.

Give examples of what your Higher Power can provide you in order to heal your:

  • Spirit
  • Soul
  • Mind



Restate Step 3 by outlining your spiritual life plan to enlist your Higher Power as your partner in helping you to heal and grow in self‑esteem.