Get help today 888-319-2606 or sign up for 24/7 text support.
American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

Alcoholics Anonymous Step 2: Find a Power Greater Than Yourself

What Is Step 2 of Alcoholics Anonymous?

Step 2 of Alcoholics Anonymous is: “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

What Is the Purpose of Alcoholics Anonymous Step 2?

Step 2 of AA is one of hope and humility. It’s a “rallying point” where a person opens their mind to the support of a higher power to help them through recovery.1

How Do You Complete Step 2 of AA?

Step 2 of Alcoholics Anonymous is an opportunity to begin your life of recovery by choosing your own higher power.

Step 1 is about acceptance, while step 2 of AA is about letting go of preconceived notions about what Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is and how it works to make room for change.

No matter what you believe in, this is the step in which you become open to the idea that faith in a higher power will help you attain soundness of mind. The Alcoholics Anonymous “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” book states:

Step 2 is the rallying point for us all. Whether agnostic, atheist or former believer, we stand together on this Step.1

What Are Some Tips for Completing Step 2 of AA?

  • Keep an open mind: Be open to the idea of looking outside yourself for help and support, and you’ll be able to better conceive of the idea of recovery.
  • Maintain humility: Accept that you can’t conquer your addiction alone.
  • Seek support: Finding a sponsor and/or regularly attending AA meetings may help to process step 2.

What Are Some Myths About Step 2 of AA?

Some people may avoid Alcoholics Anonymous or moving through the steps because they believe that their higher power has to be God. Your higher power can be anything that you believe in: the universe, nature, Buddha, music, love, Allah, humanity or even AA itself. Step 2 of AA doesn’t require you to believe in anything that you don’t want to; each step is a suggestion along the road to a sober life.1

Perspectives on Step 2 of AA By Dominica A.

“Once I came to terms with Step 1 and reached out for help, I naturally progressed to Step 2.

Some of my thought processes and behaviors were certainly unreasonable, and I appreciated the chance for SOMEONE OR SOMETHING to help restore my sanity!

For me, insanity in terms of addiction involves doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. That is exactly what I kept doing when it came to my addictions, so yes, I was acting in an insane way.”

What Does “Higher Power” Mean?

“Now, this step tripped me up a little because when I started recovery, I wasn’t convinced about the “God” thing, and I thought that’s what “Higher Power” meant.

Not true.

I realized that a power greater than myself can be many things, such as my recovery program, meditation, nature, recovering alcoholics etc.

At that time, I needed help, as my emotional state was a hot mess. In fact, early on in my recovery, my sponsor was a power greater than myself and really helped me regain my sanity.

In addition, people may refer to this Higher Power as things such as Creative Intelligence, Universal Power, Infinite Mind, Source, Spirit and so on. AA literature uses the term “God” more so out of convenience rather than religious reasons, so if you’re raising your eyebrows at AA due to a distaste for religion, you may let go of that.

This step is applicable to people of all faiths and beliefs, as it gives hope that you really can be restored to sanity by whatever your Higher Power is.”

The Hope Step

“I think of Step 2 as the ‘hope’ step, because it gave me hope that I wouldn’t continue to feel so alone, sad and in pain. Once I drew a line in the sand on drinking and addictive behaviors, I had hope that I could face life on life’s terms and all would be well.

I didn’t have to drink to escape. I didn’t have to stay stuck in the same insane cycle, and my old patterns could be turned into new, positive ones.

Step 2 helps me accept that I’m not left to “recover” on my own; that there is a power greater than myself. My own notion of that power was all I needed to get positive momentum going.

When I find myself thinking of acting out on addiction, I remind myself that help is available. I remind myself of times when a power greater than myself helped me get through something—whether it was a friend who loved me unconditionally or the times I didn’t drink when I really wanted to.

Step 2 can give us hope of living a life full of freedom, peace, and joy. We can be restored in so many ways and grow and experience life in ways we thought we never could—and that’s pretty exciting.

Author Bio

Dominica A. has a love for the 12 steps, as working through them several times has helped her steer clear of addictions and grow personally and spiritually.

She is committed to living out the 12-step philosophy and sharing the message of hope to those still suffering in addiction—and to those in recovery as well.

Dominica has attended both Alcoholics Anonymous and Codependents Anonymous meetings over the years and appreciates the support she’s received. She’s got a deep-rooted passion for helping others heal emotional pain and trauma, as her own journey through love addiction has served as a catalyst for her own healing and transformation.

How to Find Help for Alcohol Misuse Near Me

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol misuse, know that help is available, and recovery is possible. Professional alcohol treatment programs can give anyone battling addiction the tools needed to face life’s challenges without the use of substances. You can contact an admissions navigator with American Addiction Centers for free at at any time, day or night, to learn more about alcohol addiction and treatment options. You can also check your insurance coverage online now to determine whether your insurance provider will cover inpatient or outpatient rehab treatment.

More Information on 12-Step AA Programs:

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.