Step Four

“Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

Moral Inventory

Step Four includes work on these ideas:

  • The use and misuse of instincts
  • Examples of character defects
  • Use of shortcomings as an excuse to relapse
  • The delusion of self-righteousness
  • A sponsor can help
  • Those blinded by self-justification
  • Shift from blame to humility
  • The Seven Deadly Sins
  • Primary instincts for sex, security, and society
  • Inventory should be thorough and written

It is easier to understand the Fourth Step inventory if you look ahead to the rest of the Steps. How are you going to release the character defects in Steps Six and Seven unless you have inventoried them to know what they are? And until you have realized the kind of damage you may have caused yourself and others, you will have difficulty doing the amends of Steps Eight and Nine. The inventory is an essential step in the daily honesty of Step Ten, the spiritual contact in Step Eleven, and the spiritual awakening that Step Twelve says is THE (not A) result of working all the Steps.


Step Four, see also: Assertiveness, Behavior, Body image, Character defects, Codependency, Defenses, Dichotomous thinking, Energy levels, Family, Feelings, Honesty, Inventory, Perfectionism, Psychological problems, Self-image, Sex, Step Three, Step Five, Step Six, Step Eight, Step Ten, Survival roles.

Updated 9 Sep 2015

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Addictionary 2 by Jan & Judy Wilson

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