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Step 6

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 6

We were entirely ready to assist our Higher Power to affirm our positive and remove our negative behavioral traits.


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.

Assistance of Higher Power to affirm us

In Step 6 the strengths and weaknesses identified in Step 4 are turned over to your Higher Power. In this step you offer as a partner with your Higher Power to continue to practice self‑affirmation of your positives and to work hard at changing those negatives you have control over in your life.


This step requires that you never exempt yourself from the responsibility to change the things you can change in yourself. This step requires you to actively work on your program of recovery by seeking ongoing strength from your Higher Power.


This step requires that you work at your recovery one day at a time. This is in recognition that full change will not come easy since it took so long for you to get where you are today.


This step requires that you accept yourself as a human being who cannot possibly be 100% perfect in your recovery efforts. This recognizes that you have habits which are hard to break and that you may backslide or relapse. This does not mean you should give up your efforts at recovery but rather recommit to more intensive effort and scrutiny of your progress. Engaging your Higher Power in this effort is to admit that the Higher Power is the consistent source of power and strength in your life.

This step can lead to serenity as contained in Reinhold Niebuhr's Serenity Prayer.


The Serenity Prayer

God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

Wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace.

Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world

as it is, not as I would have it.

Trusting that you will make all things right

If I surrender to your will

That I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with You forever in the next.


Answer these questions as you proceed with your Step 6:

  • How much serenity or peace do you feel in knowing that your Higher Power is the consistent source of strength and encouragement in your life?
  • What have you done to make positive self‑affirmation a source of healing in your life?
  • How does the concept of “one day at a time'' help you to go on in your efforts for recovery?
  • What does surrendering to the will of your Higher Power mean to you? How does this surrendering affect your personal role in your own recovery?
  • How can you help your Higher Power remove your negative behavioral traits?
  • What actions do you need to take to assist your Higher Power to remove your negative behavioral traits?
  • How much support and comfort do you gain from recognizing that as a “weak'' human being you have a “friend and ally'' in a power who is beyond human and not subject to human frailty?
  • How does Step 6 help keep you from resorting to fantasy and magical thinking that the world and your problems can be other than what they are? How does this keep you on the road to recovery?
  • In reviewing Tools for Personal Growth, Chapter 13 Handling Pride, how does Step 6 keep your pride and inability to ask for help in balance?

  • In reviewing Tools for Personal Growth, Chapter 14 Developing Patience, how does Step 6 keep your impatience and tendency to lose focus in check?



As you proceed in your Step 6, reframe in your own words what it takes for you to gain serenity in your pursuit of recovery and healing from your low self‑esteem.