Step Six

Were entirely ready to have God remove
all these defects of character.

Leader's Share and Step Questions

The principle behind this step is – WILLINGNESS

In finishing the 4th and 5th Steps, with the help of your sponsor you have identified your character defects, identified how these defects have hurt you and others, and see that it is in your best interest to be rid of them. With that accomplished you are ready for Step 6.

Step 6 is a decision step. It is simply becoming willing to have God remove all these defects of character. Simple but not Easy. In AA’s 12 & 12 it states, “This is the step that separates the men from the boys” pg. 63. That is because this Step asks us to be ENTIRELY ready – without any reservations. When I looked at this step, I thought to myself – easy, breezy. Then I was asked to write down my character defects and describe how they were useful to me, I realized I might not want to let go of them so easily.

Character Defect Definition How I thought this
was useful to me 
Controlling Trying to control others by manipulation, bribery, punishment, withholding. Failing to be equal partners  with others and to consider their knowledge and opinions I used this defect to get my own way.  Driven by fear I wanted to control people, places and things in order to assure “I got what I wanted”.  I was afraid that if I didn’t control things I would not get what I wanted.
Dishonesty Kinds: omission and commission. Telling lies, hiding things, telling half-truths or pretending something is so that isn’t. Adding untrue details to stories and situations. Stealing, cheating, taking things that aren’t ours and that we aren’t entitled to. Again this defect was used so that I would get something I wanted – whether it was a something material or a reaction. I did this mostly to get people to like me – making situations sound like I was always in the “right” and what a wonderful person I was.
Dependency Relying on others to provide for us what we ought to provide for ourselves I used others to make me feel like I was “good enough”. I sought their approval above all else.  I made people my HP.  There was lots of dishonesty here too.
Closed mindedness Contempt prior to investigation.  Disregarding things and ideas just because they are new and unknown.  Being unwilling to try things or follow suggestions.  Failing to remain teachable. I used this when upon hearing something I would immediately determine if it was “right or wrong”, and if it didn’t jive with an already belief of mine I would just dismiss the idea.  I used this so I wouldn’t have to feel I was “wrong” about something.  This defect kept me free of my fear of being wrong (no good).

So, there it is - a sampling of my defects, and how I used them. Now, I realized why it is said that we might want to hold onto some character defects. I had to face the fact that if I surrendered them I was willing to live my life differently. Have a new way of living! This step had to be done from the heart.
When I looked at my previous work - Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, I realized this was the natural progression of things. And by the grace of God was now willing to ask to have these defects removed.

Read in the Big Book pg. 76, first paragraph.
Make a list of your character defects and next to each defect write how they had be useful to you. (If you are comfortable, pick one or two of them and share with the loop the defect and how you used it.)

Answer: Are you now ready to let God remove from you all the things you have found objectionable? Every, single one of them? If not ask God for help to get willing.

As always feel free to contact me with questions, comments, etc. at

Your work is inspiring. We are now halfway there. The promises are coming, recovery - permanent recovery - is guaranteed if we work these steps (That's from the Big Book :) ) You deserve it, let the Sunshine of the Light shine in and through you.


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