Proactive 12 steps

proactive 12 steps

a down-to-earth approach to the 12 steps


Millions of people credit the twelve steps for their recovery from addiction to alcohol and other substances. I do not have personal or professional experience in this area. So, you may wonder, how are these steps relevant to what I do?

The original 12 steps are not a list of instructions specific to substance abuse or addiction. They describe a path toward self-discovery and personal growth. This is what I find very inspiring.

I believe that, as we develop a deeper sense of who we truly are, we increase our ability to lead a more fulfilling life. This, in turn, makes it easier to make difficult changes.

On this site, you will find the traditional wording of the 12 steps together with an original approach: the "proactive 12 steps".

With this new wording, and the accompanying commentary, my goal is to describe the “steps” as a self-directed process—as opposed to a mystical process in which change somehow happens to you. This is about how you can take a proactive role in your growth as a person.

I originally wrote these steps for people who, like me, were not part of the “twelve steps” culture.

Over time, many people involved in 12 steps recovery have told me that they find inspiration in these “proactive steps”: Not as a replacement for the wording they are so familiar with, but as a way to gain a new perspective on it.

This down-to-earth approach describes a path that is meaningful regardless whether your orientation is secular (non-religious) or spiritual or religious.

I am inviting you to see the “proactive steps” as an invitation to a dialogue, as opposed to a directive that is carved in stone.

Let yourself explore what comes up for you as you go through the steps. Take the time to digest each step before moving on to the next.

See: 12 steps workbook (online and pdf)


12 steps workbook


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The Proactive Twelve Steps provide a straightforward description of a path of personal growth that will speak to you regardless whether you are Christian, Jewish, Buddhist... or an atheist... See: Higher Power & Inner Power.
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