The 12 steps shouldn’t be just for people who are suffering from addiction. It’s an outline for living in the world that can be applicable to anyone – in all areas of life. We all have vices and emotional hurdles we need to cross in order to get to where we need to be. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the day-to-day there’s no time to think of our state of mind or emotional well being. It’s easy to lose sight of the ultimate goal in life with the monotony of work, school, schedules, family – whatever it may be.

For creatives, it’s important to take risks and not be afraid of breaking rules at times. Too many laws, rules, schedules, and opinions coming from others can stifle the creative process. In my area of expertise in creativity and self awareness, I found the 12 steps to be very beneficial when trying to break out of a cycle. It gives me guidance on what to do when I am afraid of trying something new. It steps through the process of forgiveness – of myself, and others.

One issue I found with the original 12 step program is it’s focus on spirituality. Spirituality is a great tool for overcoming many things, but it is a personal preference on how each one views their own spirituality and that language will not be understood by everyone.

The 12 steps also briefly mentions the concept of shame and guilt, and associates these deeply ingrained emotions with being “crazy”. These feelings are natural and normal and should not be made out to be otherwise. We were designed to be hungry, emotional, and have the desire to do good to our fellow human. It is what helped us survive as humans for so long. Guilt and shame are natural consequences of going against our deeply ingrained drives.

One of the very reasons we are on this planet is because we are addicted to our experiences on this planet. Addiction shouldn’t be treated like a disease, it’s what makes us human. Addiction ultimately starts off as just a habit.

If you get down the the bones of it, the 12 Steps are about letting go of control and letting nature take its course – which includes feeling the emotions and urges that come up head on – in order to get through to the next phase of life. This is not a comfortable process, but is well worth it if you want to work towards growth and a healthy state of being.

Remember, emotions are just that. They are built into our biological system to help us. They WILL NOT kill you. It’s ok to feel. It’s OK to be hungry. We just need to be hungry for the right things that won’t destroy our lives.

Step 1:
ADMIT that you messed up

Step 2:
BELIEVE that you can be restored to a balanced state of mind

Step 3:
CHOOSE to stop trying to control your life

Step 4:
REFLECT and UNDERSTAND where you did yourself or someone else a disservice
(if applicable)

Step 5:
ADMIT AGAIN to yourself exact nature of that disservice (if applicable)

Step 6:
GET READY to have those negative feelings cleared. Gather supplies if necessary.

Step 7:
ASK that yourself for insight as to how to have these feelings cleared

Step 8:
MAKE A LIST and/or A PLAN (ideally both) of ways for it to not happen again.

Step 9:
APOLOGIZE and THANK people and yourself wherever possible, except when to do so would injure you or others.

Step 10:
CONTINUE THE WORK and check yourself – when you’ve messed up, promptly admit it. Repeat steps 1 – 9.

Step 11:
SEEK to improve connection with yourself, asking ONLY for knowledge of the GREATEST GOOD to be carried out.

Step 12:
CONGRATS! You’ve learned something about yourself and are on your path to self awareness.