The 12 Step Program: Step 3


After admitting we are suffering from an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and turning over our control, to gain our sanity back, to those that care for us and support our recovery journey we must keep pushing forward. Enter Step 3 where we actively, “make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God {or a higher power} as we understood Him {it/them}.” During this step, we have a choice to make that can leverage our life forward into active recovery. 

What does Step 3 accomplish?

Step 3 is all about choice, accountability and personal reflection. We must question our own will to evaluate what we are and are not in control of in our lives. To understand the facets of our life that are currently out of control allows us to, then, regain full control of who we are and who we want to be without the holds of addiction. Through each step we are becoming more of an open book, allowing others to walk into our lives who are willing to help us through recovery. The choice for openness is actively happening during Step 3. We are opening up our hearts, minds and addiction journey to a trusted person (or group of people) so that they may help us move past our addictive tendencies and gain control of our life.


How can we follow Step 3 if we are not religious?

You do not have to be a believer or religious to accomplish this step. Removing the religious tie to this step is completely acceptable. This step can change your life if you allow it to be the stepping stone to recognize your current level of control over your life, create goals to gain back control, cultivate a positive mindset and become more open to outside guidance that will foster your recovery. Don’t think of this as a religious obligation, but rather a step toward mending your willpower. 


What is the goal of Step 3? 

Step 3 is all about the reflection of self-will. It is about evaluating your current willpower, understanding how your lack of will has affected yourself and others, and creating a plan to gain your will back. Instead of just acknowledging we have a problem, Step 3 pushes us to seek outside knowledge from a “higher power” and turn our journey over to allow them to help us down the path to full recovery. This is the biggest actionable step we’ve faced in the 12 Step Recovery Program thus far. We are moving from simply acknowledging and accepting to taking action to mend our lives. This step also focuses on how our self-will has affected others. During self-reflection, we learn about considering others in our choices and not just listening to and fulfilling our own wants and needs selfishly. 

If you had to describe Step 3 in one word what would it be?

Willpower. During this step, we are evaluating our current level of willpower (or lack thereof) and acknowledging how addiction has diminished it. We are opening a door to others and allowing them to take over control of our journey for the greater good of our personal willpower. Often, this journey can be a spiritual one, as we pave a path to recovery. We are surrendering our past self to build a new version of who we are without the holds of addiction.

Do you or someone you know need help? East Point Recovery Center can help. Call our admissions line (855) 88-SOBER