Step 3 of Alcoholics Anonymous Worksheet – Made A Decision

Soberlink Recovery Circle

When we arrive at Step 3, we’ve admitted we are powerless over alcohol, and we have acknowledged that a Higher Power we defined would be able to take care of our addiction. Now, it’s time to let that Higher Power take over. Step three is simple if we have fully worked on steps one and two. We make a decision to turn our will and lives over to the Higher Power we acknowledged in step two.

We say simple but not easy. It takes processing and action to work Step 3. Welcome to the first action step.

Download Step 3 Worksheet

Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, we arrive at Step 3 when we reach the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous in Chapter Five, “How it Works.” on page 59, “Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.” We decide to throw ourselves under a Higher Power’s protection and give up our will. Sounds like a tall order. Give up our will? We are human. How can we do that? All that is asked of us is that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The Big Book states, “We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.” -pg 60

In the 12-step program, you may hear, “I can’t (step 1), God can (step 2), I think I’ll Let Him (step 3).” This saying refers to steps 1, 2, and 3. It is a simple way to remember our commitment to work in the following steps of the program. Once we begin working on steps 4-12, it will become important to remember the decision we make in Step 3.

Understanding Higher Power

In Step 2, we defined a Higher Power as anything outside ourselves. In Step 3, we will examine our Higher Power more deeply. The first time I worked on Step 3, my sponsor told me to write down characteristics I would want in a best friend. I made a list of the best qualities I could think of. When I finished, my sponsor said that it was your Higher Power. 

A Higher Power is who you want it to be. It could be your Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, the sun, the sky, or the stars. It’s all about having an entity outside of yourself. To define your higher power, check out step 2.

Working the steps is all about a journey towards a better life. We must deliberately establish our own means of contacting a Higher Power.

Maintaining Personal Power

Time and time again, I take back my personal power after deciding to turn my will over to the care of God. I have been convinced that my will can hardly be a success. I made a mess of my life when I was running the show. I know that. Yet I continue to take the reigns and do my will. This is why I continue to come back to Step 3 every day.

In Step 3, I turn my entire life over to the care of God. Discuss with your sponsor or friend in recovery areas of your life where it’s difficult to turn over to God. It might be your children, spouse, parents, or job. Control affects our everyday life. It’s important to turn over our personal experience daily.

Benefits of Surrendering

Identifying the benefits of surrendering will give us peace of mind when we decide to turn our will and lives over to God’s care and a Higher Power. How does it feel to be relieved of the bondage of self? Does it bring peace, serenity, and freedom? How does it improve your recovery program?

The benefit of surrendering my life daily is that it gives me peace of mind and makes my day seem smoother. This daily surrender creates conscious contact with my Higher Power.

Forms of Fear

Sometimes, our lives can be motivated by a hundred forms of fear. Forcing our own way of doing things can exacerbate our bad situations. How does acknowledging our fears about surrendering control and surrendering to a higher power affect our spiritual growth? We have to let something else run the whole show. We are no longer in charge. Perhaps there is a fear that turning over your child will be harmed in some way. In the process of surrender, we can write down these fears and let them go with a sponsor. This sets us on a new path towards a sober life.

Made A Decision

At this point in your step worksheet, you can decide, based on your reflections on the questions, to turn your will and your life over. You’ll want to write down your commitment to recovery, to the steps of recovery, and to yourself.

Prayers

The third step is about making a decision to turn your will over to a Higher Power. At this point in recovery, the third step, prayer, is available to pray if you choose. Below we’ve included the third step prayer and the serenity prayer. I recommend saying the third step of prayer each day when you wake up. I believe this will help your spiritual path immensely.

Third Step Prayer

God, I offer myself to Thee

To build with me and do with as Thou wilt.

Relieve me of the bondage of self,

that I may better do Thy will.

Take away my difficulties,

That victory over them may bear witness to those

I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.

May I do Thy will always!

From the AA Big Book Chapter How It Works pg. 63

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil,
for thine is the kingdom,
and the power and the glory forever.
Amen.

The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were 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 others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.