Step Four

Made a searching and fearless
moral inventory of ourselves.

Leader's Share and Step Questions

We will be taking two weeks to cover step 4... I would suggest that you complete each corresponding Character Defect/Asset pair before you move on to the next. (But feel free to do the pairs in whatever order works for you. Maybe pick the easy ones first!) It is all too easy for most of us to come up with a long laundry list of our CDs....and to overlook the assets that we have and exhibit. I am hoping this format will help you make a balanced inventory of yourself. Macrina Weidekher once said, “God, please help me believe the truth about matter how beautiful it is.” That is my prayer for you.

This list is adapted from a Big Book Study, and is similar to the “On the Beam, Off the Beam” list that you can find in AA literature. Your 4th step work is for YOUR is critical to your recovery. The principle of Step 4 is Courage. The deeper you are willing to go, the larger the degree of honesty you are willing to embrace, the more this step will help your recovery. Be kind to yourself...this is HARD may find you are extra tired after working on this....Emotional truth telling is tiring work. BUT, it is oh, so worth it. We will share whatever portions of Step 4 you would like to share with the loop in the Step 5 week. That is also when you will share this with your sponsor.

I have included some questions...for before and after you write your Step 4...which you may share with the loop during these two weeks.

Here are questions which pertain to Step 4.

1. What are your biggest fears around Step 4?

2. What are your biggest hopes around Step 4?

3. Have you done Step 4 before? If so, what was your experience like?

4. We are as sick as our secrets, as they say. Are you willing to bring your ‘dirty little secrets’ to light so that they don’t have to fester inside of you anymore? This is not the time to worry about with whom you will share this....Right now, this is all about you and what YOU need to recover.

5. If not now, then when?

4th STEP CHART~ Please fill in your experiences that correspond to the CD or the CA indicated. There are some empty boxes in the bottom if you have other things you need to write about.

Character Defect



My Experiences

Character Asset

(HP’s will)

My Experiences

Selfishness/self seeking


Interest in others/Altruism


Being Self-Centered


Being Love-Centered and HP-Centered








Faith and Trust in HP


Being Inconsiderate


Being Considerate




Humility, Seeking HP’s will




Giving and Sharing


Lustful thoughts


Respectful thoughts









Doing the Next Right Thing




















Love and Concern for Others


Harmful Acts


Good Deeds








Humility and Truth































To be answered after you complete your chart:

1. How was this experience?

2. What did you learn about yourself that you didn’t realize before you took this step?

3. Was it harder to face the CDs or the assets?

Here are my answers to these questions:

I have now done two in-depth 4th Steps, and I no longer have any fears around this step. I have learned that this can be a very freeing step, and I look forward to bringing more CDs to light, and also to recognizing more CAs. I hope that this Step will be a blessing to those of us who are willing to do this work, as it has been for me in previous step work. My previous 4th Steps helped me free myself of old shame, fear and resentment, and have brought to light areas in my life where I have been living as a victim instead of taking the next right action to take care of myself and my life in recovery. I don’t think I have any ‘dirty little secrets’ left, but if I do, I will be glad to bring them out into the light of truth, because I do not want anything festering inside me anymore. No time like the present!

Hugs, Lainey

Hi everyone. Here are my answers to the second part of the questions. I have received some questions about the chart, which I will answer later tonight, and share with the loop. If one of you is wondering, perhaps there are many, and certainly her ESH will help others. I welcome your questions and comments.

Remember, sharing your 4th step is done in your 5th step, although if you have already shared with us or your sponsor, that is just fine.

Hugs, Lainey

    After taking my 4th step:

    This was a helpful has helped me see how far I have come in recovery, and helped me focus on those things I can change, instead of focusing on those things I cannot change. I learned that I have not been as considerate of my husband as I would want to be, and that I have less acceptance of my situation than I would like to believe I had. It was not hard to face my was easier this time round to face the assets. This process has helped me get a clearer view of who I am, based on how I behave and think. That is a good thing.

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