Step 4: Take Your Personal Inventory Honestly


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Step 4: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

In Chapter 5 of the Big Book, it states, “We took stock honestly.” During Step 4 of the 12 Steps, you will need to take your searching and fearless moral inventory. You will need to do this with all honesty. When it comes to your recovery from an addiction, everything must be honest. You must be willing to open up, talk about things, and go through your past with truth and honesty. If you are in an alcohol rehab center or recovery and haven’t started this Step yet, now is the time to learn more about it.

Searching Out Your Flaws

Chapter 5 of the Big Book also states, “First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure.” By doing this you can greatly improve your recovery progress. You start by searching for the flaws in your make-up. Some common examples include:


  • Lying
  • Dishonesty
  • Cheating
  • Being secretive
  • Self-pity
  • Impatience
  • And more…


If you can write down your flaws that causes your failures, you will be well on your way to the next step of your recovery. If you are attending one of the best treatment centers, you can ask for help with this step if needed.


In Chapter 5 of the Big Book, you will also read, “Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us, we considered its common manifestations.” This one is a little trickier for some recovering alcoholics to get at first. However, there are some ways to simplify it including:


  • Every person with an addiction has their own experience
  • Addiction takes form in many ways and through many flaws
  • Those paths you took and flaws you have defeated you


Basically, this is stating that through your addictive lifestyle, the flaws you had, tore apart your life. Now, it is time to put things back together. It is time to overcome self-defeat, overcome the addiction, and turn your life around.

Knock Out the Resentments

Chapter 5 of the Big Book states, “Resentment is the number one offender.” Does this hold true for you? Do you find that you have many resentments you are holding onto? During your recovery and through the 12 Step process, you will learn to let those go. Remember, your recovery is all about being honest. Are you remembering these situations, where you have the resentments, correctly? Think about this and you can learn to move past the resentments and get your life back.

Recovery from an alcohol addiction is certainly not a one step process. With that being said, you don’t just partake in each of the 12 Steps once either. This gives you a little background into Step 4 and how to progress further into your recovery. Step 4 is very important and it does take some time. As long as you are honest throughout it, you should do just fine.

Contact the alcohol rehabilitation center today at 888-992-7955.

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Picture of Esra Ahmed - MS, NCC, LPC, MHSP
Esra Ahmed - MS, NCC, LPC, MHSP

Experienced Clinical Director with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Skilled in Anger Management, Healthcare, Medicine, EMDR, and Life Transitions. Strong healthcare services professional with a Masters Degree focused in Psychology from The University of Memphis.

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