How to Work Step Two | 12 Step Program Tips & Worksheets

woman realizes there is a higher power

Whether you’re recovering from addiction or not, you’ve likely heard of the 12-Step Program. This recovery program is a highly successful method that many people around the world have used to get sober and stay sober after weeks, months, or even years of substance abuse. Each actionable step in the 12-Step Program is based on an important principle that is intended to produce lasting behavioral change and lifelong sobriety.

If you want to learn more about the 12-Step Program, this blog provides a brief overview of each step as well as detailed information on how to work Step 2, with tips and printable 12-Step worksheets. Working through each step of the 12-Step Program is a highly individualized process, but these tips may help you work through it at your own pace.

What are the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)?

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Why Is Step 2 Of the 12-Step Program Important?

Step 2 of the 12-Step Program goes hand-in-hand with Step 1. Once you admit you’re powerless over your desire to drink or use drugs, you also recognize that you need to accept help and guidance from others to maintain your sobriety.

However, accepting help to get sober doesn’t always mean you solely rely on another individual. While having mentors and relying on supportive loved ones should be a part of the recovery process, Step 2 is a spiritual one. A common misinterpretation is that this step is about God. (It’s not!) Instead, Step 2 asks you to find something outside of yourself that will encourage you to stay sober.

Whether you are religious or not, Step 2 is extremely powerful because it asks you to place your hope in a power greater than yourself that can guide you toward a better life. For some, this higher power may be God. For others, it may be the concept of family or a historic role model. Most importantly, Step 2 is all about identifying what inspires you to stay sober and relying on the strength and hope that this higher power provides.

How Should I Work Step 2 of the 12-Step Program?

Working Step 2 is a very personal process so it won’t look the same for everyone who does it. However, talking with other people in recovery about how to work Step 2 and interpret it may help, especially if you’re not religious.

As you work through Step 2 alongside your sober peers and with the guidance of a sponsor or addiction treatment professional, here are a few tips that may help.

  • Practice being open-minded. Step 2 is challenging for many reasons but the best way to get through it is to stay open to possibilities that you may have never considered before. If you have predetermined thoughts and ideas about religion or God, you may have trouble accepting and understanding this step. Regardless, try to keep your mind open to new ideas and simply read Step 2 and accept the thoughts and emotions you experience with it. With time and openness, you will eventually establish your own interpretation of the step and determine how you will live it out.
  • Focus on choosing a higher power that works for you, not everyone else. You may feel pressured to find a higher power that is impressive, well-understood, or that will make sense to those around you. Yet, it’s more important to choose a higher power that resonates with you. Whether it’s nature, a version of your best sober self, or even a favorite song of yours, what’s most important is that you choose something that inspires you to make a change and stick to it.
  • Talk through it. Like many things in life, having outside input and perspectives can help you understand your life experiences. Maybe you’re struggling to come to terms with the concept of a higher power or you can’t get over the mentions of “God” in the Big Book text. Talking through these issues with sober peers, a sponsor, or an addiction treatment professional can help you understand your discomfort and identify alternative ways of thinking about Step 2.

Printable AA Step Two Worksheets

If you’re searching for Step Two worksheets, your sponsor, counselor, or addiction treatment provider is a great resource. Step 2 worksheets are excellent tools that can help you process your thoughts and feelings regarding a higher power. After you complete a worksheet, you’ll likely get more out of the whole process by talking it over with your sober peers or sponsor. However, you shouldn’t feel pressured to share your Step 2 worksheets with anyone else if you don’t want to.

In addition to getting them from your sponsor or addiction treatment provider, you may also find printable Step 2 worksheets online from various trustworthy sources. Here are a few printable Step 2 worksheets you may find helpful:

Who Can Help Me Work the 2nd Step of the 12-Step Program?

Although you can work through the 12-Step Program on your own, it’s always best to study the steps and implement them with the help of your sober peers, a sponsor, and a certified addiction treatment professional. Also, having supplementary guides like printable Step 2 worksheets and is very helpful too.

If you’re ready to get sober and you need help working through the 12-Step Program, the experienced and compassionate professionals at Briarwood Detox are available to help. We offer individualized medical detox programs for all addictive substances with evidence-based treatment methods for your safety and comfort. After detox, we provide referrals for comprehensive, holistic addiction treatment that promotes lasting recovery. 

At Briarwood, our detox clients also have the opportunity to participate in H&I meetings. These meetings serve as an introduction to the 12-Step Program in a low-pressure, relaxed environment. During these meetings, detox clients can also connect with sponsors in the area, which helps increase confidence and social connections to local peers in recovery.
When you’re ready to commit to a sober lifestyle, the caring team at Briarwood Detox Center is here for you. We understand the struggle of addiction and it’s our mission to safely help you establish a sober life that you are proud to live. Call (888) 857-0557 to learn more about our detox programs or to get started today.

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