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Step 7 of AA: Ask Him to Remove Your Shortcomings

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Step 7 of AA is “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”3

Step 7 builds upon the work you did in Step 4, 5, and 6, in which you acknowledged your shortcomings, admitted them to your higher power and another person, and readied yourself to let them go so you can live a happier and healthier life free from problematic behaviors.

Step 7 of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is about changing your attitude and moving forward with humility so you can give yourself over to your higher power and ask it to do what you cannot do on your own: rid you of the faults that have harmed yourself and others.

Step 7 helps prepare you for Step 8, which involves making a list of the people you’ve hurt in your life. Step 8 is going to be an emotionally-challenging step, which is why it’s so vital that you give up your pride and ego during Step 7 so that you are able to acknowledge the people you’ve harmed and then progress to making amends.

You’re going to want to take your time during Step 7, as it is the foundation for the rest of the 12 steps of AA. The attitude and perspective you establish in Step 7 will help set you up for success in the future. But let’s not jump too far ahead—it’s important to know how to get started with Step 7 of AA.

How to Start Step 7 of AA

When you start AA Step 7, you will want to begin from a place of humility. Do everything that you can to shed your ego and pride and approach Step 7 with modesty. This means no defensiveness, no blaming others, and no making excuses for the mistakes you’ve made in the past.

Now is the time to show your strength through humbleness, through your willingness to take a good hard look at yourself and decide it is time to make a change.

One way you can try to shed your pride is by approaching Step 7 of AA as a positive step toward healing and recovery as opposed to one in which you shame or belittle yourself. Facing your faults is a healthy step—not a negative one. Flipping the script in this way may help to change your attitude and perspective. 

Helpful Tips for Working Alcoholics Anonymous Step 7

If you find yourself struggling with Step 7, you can try some of these tips:

  • Shift your mindset from self-reliance to reliance on your higher power.
  • Focus on transforming from a self-centered life to a selfless one.
  • Accept that you need to practice humility in order to successfully complete Step 7.
  • Put your progress ahead of your comfort.

Another helpful tip for working Step 7 is to let this step take as long as it’s going to take. Going into it with a preconceived notion of how long it’ll take to complete will only set you up for disappointment if it ends up taking you longer. Plus, recovery from alcoholism is not a race. It is a self-paced journey that requires reflection, introspection, and radical honesty.

Popular Myths About AA Step 7

As with Step 6, in which you become ready to ask God to remove your defects, you may interpret Step 7’s use of “Him” as a God, but that is not the case. In Step 7, like all of the other steps, the higher power refers to your personal entity—not one associated with any specific religion or belief.

Another common misconception about Step 7 AA is that you don’t need humility in order to recover from alcoholism, but this is far from the truth—without humility, you won’t be able to recognize, admit, and address your shortcomings, and you will fall into the trap of being overly prideful and making excuses for your behaviors.

Humility actually shows great strength of character, and it is a great trait to have not just during Step 7 but for the rest of your life.

What is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a 12-step support group with meetings all over the world. Members of AA are all recovering from alcohol addiction or alcohol abuse. Joining Alcoholics Anonymous means that you will attend meetings and work the twelve steps, in a sequential manner and at your own pace.

You may find that you’d like the support of a sponsor, someone who has been in recovery for longer than you, although a sponsor isn’t necessary. The twelve steps of AA are designed to help you get and stay sober, as well as rectify some of your problematic behaviors so that you can live a happy and healthy life. The only requirement to join AA is that you need to possess an earnest desire to stop drinking.  

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship comprised of these three components:

  • Service: You lend a helping hand to your fellow AA members whenever possible.
  • Recovery: You commit to working through AA’s 12 steps, thoroughly and honestly.
  • Unity: You encourage, support, and empower other AA members.

During Step 2 of AA, you will be asked to put your faith in a higher power—this does not mean that you have to choose a religious or spiritual being. Contrary to popular belief, Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t have a religious affiliation and welcomes secular-minded members from all backgrounds and beliefs. Your higher power can be whatever best suits you, as long as it is “greater” than you. You also have the option to attend a strictly secular peer support group at the same time as AA meetings. These groups include the Secular Organizations for Sobriety, LifeRing, SMART Recovery, and HAMS.

One of the great features of AA is that you have a built-in support system of people who may understand what you’re going through. Meetings are held internationally, and chances are, there is one near you. You can use the AA directory to learn more about available meetings in your area.

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