Thoughts on Tradition 11

Thoughts on Tradition 11

ES&F Tradition 11 explained


Hi Everyone!

I am continuing to find the spiritual principles in the traditions inspiring and so helpful for my program.  I am so grateful that we are now studying them in our group. They really are so useful within program, and outside of program.

As a service, I wanted to post some of my ideas about Tradition 11. I am including the playback recording information for our group on Tradition 11 as well.

08-23-2020 #188. This is the link to the mp3. This week, we continued reading and discussing the book Guiding Principles the Spirit of Our Traditions by NA. We completed Tradition 11 and the principles are humility, hospitality, selflessness, & self-control.

Tradition 11 Short Form: Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.

Tradition 11 Long Form: Our relations with the general public should be characterized by personal anonymity. We think A.A. ought to avoid sensational advertising. Our names and pictures as A.A. members ought not be broadcast, filmed, or publicly printed. Our public relations should be guided by the principle of attraction rather than promotion. There is never need to praise ourselves. We feel it better to let our friends recommend us.

How to personalize Tradition 11:

Dan S., who wrote the BBA, suggested in a talk on the traditions that the traditions need to be personalized in order to understand them. He suggests that after you read the tradition in both the long and short vision, ask yourself:

“At the general public level, does the group publicize any individual AA member’s name or picture as a self-appointed representative of AA?”

Consider: “How may your group or groups around you possibly broken Tradition 11?”

Visualize: “What it would look like what it would look like if a group violated Tradition 11?”

Visualize: “What is a personal example of what it would look like to break Tradition 11?”

After considering what it would look like to break Tradition 11, ask “How does the 12th Tradition that “anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities” apply?

For example: How is anonymity the spiritual foundation of Tradition 11?

How does Tradition 11 help me understand the 12th Tradition that “we are to place principles before personalities?”

Are the principles of program prioritized over the individual personalities in the group?

How does Tradition 11 help me understand “we are actually to practice a genuine humility?”

Principles: humility, hospitality, selflessness

Problem: self-seeking, pride, self-aggrandizement

Purpose:  selfless giving

Process: individual membership is private but the fellowship is not

Practice: living a life of attraction and anonymity

Promise: spiritual integrity

Proposal: when given the opportunity to help someone in AA, do I give freely from my heart — from a place of love and care without expecting something in return?

Ponder: what is the difference between anonymity, confidentiality and privacy?

God is not here to do what we want, but, God helps us to do what God needs doing.

Practical application:

Do I behave in a way that is attractive? Am I an example of the change that I want to see in the world?

Do I confuse the importance of the message with my importance as the messenger?

Am I willing to inconvenience myself to help another person?

Am I willing to let others’ needs be satisfied before my wants?

Did I help another person without waiting to be asked?

What good have I done today that I did not take credit for?

Do I need validation from others to justify my self-worth?

Shira’s Tradition 11 Inventory:

Do I share my experience of how program has helped me recover and to respond sanely and normally to life without compulsively eating?

When I speak about my program of recovery, do I simply describe how it has worked for me, without embellishment?

Do I attribute my recovery to my own efforts rather than to God’s grace?

Is my recovery attractive enough that others would want to join program?

When given the opportunity to help someone in AA, do I confuse the importance of the message with my importance as the messenger?

Do I understand that in order to carry the message, others need to know that our fellowship exists, what we are, and how to reach and join us?

Do I understand that my membership in program is private, but the fellowship is not?

Do I clearly understand that my real purpose in learning to live by the Twelve Steps is to fit myself to be of maximum service to God and the people He places in my life?

What does this tradition ask me to surrender?

Which defects may keep me from embracing this tradition?

Tradition 11 Affirmation– Let me remember that we must walk the talk. Our willingness to be His agent will attract what or whom we need to do His Will. Humility goes hand in hand with this willingness.

Shira’s Tradition 11 Prayer:  

God, I humbly ask You to remove my shortcomings of self-seeking, pride, and self-aggrandizement and replace them with humility, hospitality, and selflessness. May I be willing to give freely from my heart — from a place of love, generosity and care for others.  Please grant me the clarity to understand that my real purpose in learning to live by the spiritual principles of this program is to fit myself to be of maximum service to You and the people You place in my life. I do not need the validation from others to justify my self-worth. My worth is dependent on You and doing as You would have me BE. May I do Thy will always!

Quote: “To us…[Tradition Eleven] represents far more than a sound public relations policy. It is more than a denial of self-seeking. This Tradition is a constant and practical reminder that personal ambition has no place in A.A. In it, each member becomes an active guardian of our Fellowship.”

I hope that everyone will find this information helpful!

Thank you all for sharing this journey with me. Together we can do what we could never do alone.

In love & service,



Here is the post as a PDF:

Thoughts on Tradition 11 post with pictures

Here is a link to the page on the blog that lists all of the various Traditions Study Guides and other references on the Traditions.






  1. good voch! I am definitely going to make an effort early in the morning to get on to you. I know i always want to but reading about your take on traditions (even though, i dont have the books) i am tempted to get on! Hope to see ya! take care!

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