Master Your Mindset: To Thine Own Self Be True

“The journey to mastering your mindset requires a path similar to the 12-step path alcoholics take to regain control of their lives.”

Christi McAdams, CCC Chairman

In appreciation for National Recovery Month (September), I want to acknowledge and honor AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) as an organization that is a testament to mastering your mindset and share how many of the steps from their infamous 12-step program could be vital attributes to anyone’s transformation of becoming the best version of themselves. I also have a very close relative whose recovery from an addiction, which was the result of being prescribed oxycodone (when they should have been prescribed cannabis), was only possible thanks to AA’s steps and meetings. AA literally saved her life.

Below are the 12 steps of AA and a few notes on how non-addicts can apply them to master their mindset and create a purpose-driven life. I will preface that I am not religious, but I am spiritual and that God to me is the energy that unites all of us. To some, God is the one in the Bible and to others, it could just be their own higher self or even a simulator (that’s a subject for another post).

The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

1. We admit we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives became unmanageable.

We admit we are not yet the best version of ourselves and that we can become better.

2. Believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Believe that a Power greater than ourselves could help us achieve anything we put our minds to as we live in a loving, magical universe that supports our dreams.

Steps 3-11 can be taken just as they are:

3. Turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Make a fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admit to God, to ourselves, and to other human beings the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

The four absolutes of AA are honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love. You can see that everyone, not just alcoholics, can benefit from living a life committed to these values.

“To thine own self be true.”

The quote from the character Polonius in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet has become synonymous with AA and is engraved on many of the medallions given out to mark periods of sobriety. Ultimately, this quote which has come to stand for honesty to yourself and others is necessary for any kind of true transformation or enlightenment.

Psychologically, when you do not do what you say you are going to do, your self-worth diminishes. To be successful and ultimately happy, you must have solid self-worth. Put effort and thoughtfulness into the things you say and fulfill commitments that you make. Breaking a commitment you make to others, is also breaking a commitment you made with yourself.

Wishing you continued growth and success,

Christi McAdams