How to Work Step 2 of the Twelve Steps

Embarking on the journey of recovery through the 12 Steps, individuals often find themselves at a pivotal point when they reach Step 2. This step, central to the transformative process, is not just about acknowledging a need for help but about embracing the concept of a higher power that can guide one toward healing and sanity.

Understanding the Essence of Step 2 of the Twelve Steps

Step 2 of the 12-Step Program, as defined by Alcoholics Anonymous, is “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” This step follows the initial acknowledgment of powerlessness over addiction and sets the stage for a deeper spiritual awakening. The essence of this step is to find strength and hope in something greater than oneself, which can be a guiding force in the journey to sobriety​​​​.

The Role of Open-Mindedness and Personal Interpretation

A crucial aspect of working through Step 2 is maintaining an open mind. This step is highly personal, and its interpretation varies greatly among individuals. For some, this higher power might be a religious deity, while for others, it can be the strength found in a recovery group, nature, or a personal set of values. The key is to choose a higher power that resonates on a personal level and provides a source of inspiration and hope​​​​.

The Process of Coming to Believe

The journey through Step 2 is often described as a progression. Initially, individuals may struggle with the concept, especially if they have preconceived notions about spirituality or religion. The process of “coming to believe” involves gradually opening up to the possibility of a power greater than oneself, which can offer guidance and support. This process is unique to each individual and may involve reading literature, participating in meetings, and engaging in self-reflection and meditation​​​​.

Practicing Step 2 in Daily Life

Practicing Step 2 in daily life involves several key actions:

  1. Openness to Guidance: Regularly seeking guidance through meditation, prayer, or reflection, regardless of one’s religious or spiritual beliefs.
  2. Building a Support Network: Actively participating in support groups or with a sponsor to gain insights and share experiences.
  3. Self-Reflection: Regularly examining personal beliefs and attitudes towards the concept of a higher power, and being willing to adjust these beliefs as one’s understanding evolves.
  4. Accepting Help: Recognizing and accepting that one is not alone in their struggles, and that help and support are available.


Step 2 is a journey of developing faith and hope in a power greater than oneself. It’s about finding something to believe in that provides strength and guidance. Whether it’s a traditional notion of God, the collective strength of a support group, or a personal set of values, what matters most is the belief in a power that can aid in restoring sanity and leading a sober life.

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