Aa Fourth Step Worksheet Details

The Fourth Step inventory is a key part of the 12-step program pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous. This inventory is used to help individuals identify and reflect on their character defects, which can then be addressed in subsequent steps. The Fourth Step inventory can be used as a standalone tool or as part of a comprehensive substance abuse treatment program. While there are many different versions of the Fourth Step inventory, all share the goal of helping people become aware of their negative behaviors and motivations. If you're interested in learning more about this important step, keep reading. We'll discuss some tips for completing the Fourth Step inventory and offer advice on how to get started.

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QuestionAnswer
Form NameFourth Step Inventory
Form Length14 pages
Fillable?No
Fillable fields0
Avg. time to fill out3 min 30 sec
Other names4th step worksheets, 4th step, step 4 worksheet, 4th step worksheet

Form Preview Example

FOURTH STEP INVENTORY

These Fourth Step worksheets use the wording from Alcoholics Anonymous (the Big Book) pages 63-71. Text in italics is quoted from the Big Book. When the word “optional” is used in the worksheets, it means that the Big Book suggests doing this but does not suggest writing anything down. However, many people who have used these worksheets found it helpful to write down their flaws and their specific defects.

Remember, these worksheets are meant to be helpful, but do not feel restricted by them.

You can get the latest version of these worksheets and other AA materials at www.royy.com.

These worksheets are not officially produced or approved by Alcoholics Anonymous. They have been circulating unofficially

among AA members for at least 50 years in various versions. Their origin is unknown to the producer of this version.

hR 1/1/2005

. . . what? . . . )

HELPFUL HINTS

PREPARATION: before you start this written Fourth Step, read pages 63-71 in the Big Book and the Fourth Step in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

NOTE:

1.This inventory is not an exercise in beating yourself up. Be scrupulously honest but be fair to yourself. Inventory your strengths as well as your defects.

2.The following checklist merely suggests what some people consider flaws. You must decide how they fit with your own moral code. Do not be limited by this list--add your other flaws and assets. It is in this Fourth Step that you begin to discover your values– what you consider right and wrong,

functional and dysfunctional behavior–and how you live up to your standards.

3.This inventory is about who you are now, not who you were when you were drinking and taking drugs. Be careful, however, not to blame all past bad behavior on drinking and drugs if the seed of that bad behavior still exists in you.

4.Don't be discouraged when your character defects are not immediately lifted after you

have completed your 5th Step--that is the work of the 6th, 7th and 10th Steps.

5.Prioritize! Spend most of your time on

the 20% of your flaws that cause 80% of the trouble in your life. You can initially check off as many flaws as you want on the checklist but then prioritize to the 12 that cause the most trouble. If you list more

than 12 flaws, you are probably beating yourself up! You must check at lease twice as many assets as you check flaws or you really are beating yourself up.

INTO ACTION: On the following list, check all of your defects and all of your assets. This is an inventory of both bad and good characteristics. Then discuss your defects (with your best example of each) on the Review of Flaws form.

ROYY@ROYY.COM

Glossary of Words Used in Steps Four and Five

Moral Inventory

..A list of personality defects, violations of moral

 

principles, defects in character, maladjustments,

 

and dysfunctional behavior.

Character

Moral vigor or firmness, especially as acquired

 

through self-discipline.

Defect

Lack of something necessary for completeness; flaw;

 

weakness, fault; same as Shortcoming.

Dishonest

The act or practice of telling a lie, or of cheating,

 

deceiving, stealing, etc.

Exact

Precise, detailed.

Fault

Something done wrongly, an error or mistake.

Fear

Painful emotion marked by alarm, dread, anxiety,

 

agitation, uneasiness, apprehension, etc.

Frightened

A temporary or continual state of Fear. Anxious.

Inconsiderate

Without thought or consideration of others.

Nature

The essential characteristic of a thing.

Self-centered

Occupying or concerned only with one’s own affairs

 

(same as Selfish).

Self-seeker

A person who seeks only or mainly to further his

 

own interests.

Selfish

Too much concerned with one’s own welfare or

 

interests and having little or no concern for others

 

(same as self-centered).

Shortcoming

Falling short of what is expected or required (same

 

as Defect).

Wrong

Immoral, improper; not suitable or appropriate.

Footnotes to the list on following page:

1Dr. Bob’s Fourth Step List; in “He Sold Himself Short,” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 292)

2 Seven Deadly Sins (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 48)

3Clarence Snyder’s Fourth Step List (one of the original 40 members of AA, see “Home Brewmeister,” Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 297-303)

4 Boy Scout Law, Robert Binkey's The Official Boy Scout Handbook (10th edition, 1990)(so?

- 1 -

4 Character Defect

 

 

 

Opposite Asset 4

aggressive, belligerent

 

good-natured, gentle

angry2

 

 

forgiving, calm, generous

apathetic

 

 

interested, concerned, alert

apprehensive, afraid

 

 

 

calm, courageous

argumentative, quarrelsome

 

agreeable

arrogant, insolent

 

 

unassuming, humble

attacking, critical

 

 

 

fair, self-restrained

avoidant

 

 

faces problems and acts

blocking

 

 

 

 

honest, intuitive

boastful

 

 

 

 

modest, humble

careless1

 

careful, painstaking, concerned

cheating

 

 

 

 

honest

competitive (socially)

 

 

cooperative

compulsive

 

 

 

 

free

conceited1,self-important

 

humble, modest

contradictory, oppositional|

reasonable, agreeable

contrary, intractable, pigheaded

reasonable

controlling

 

 

lets go, esp. of other's lives

cowardly

 

 

 

 

brave 4

critical 3

non-judgmental, praising, tolerant,

cynical

 

 

 

 

open-minded

deceitful

 

 

 

 

guileless, honest

defensive

 

 

 

 

open to criticism

defiant, contemptuous

 

 

respectful

denying

 

 

 

 

honest, accepting

dependent

 

accepts help but is self-reliant

depressed, morose|

hopeful, optimistic, cheerful 4

dirty, poor hygiene

 

 

 

clean 4

dishonest3

 

 

 

 

honest

disloyal, treacherous

 

 

faithful, loyal 4

disobedient

 

 

 

 

obedient 4

disrespectful, insolent

 

respectful, reverent 4

enabling

 

setting boundaries, tough love

envying2,3

 

empathetic, generous, admiring

evasive, deceitful

 

candid, straightforward

exaggerating

 

 

 

 

honest, realistic

faithless, disloyal

 

 

 

reliable, faithful

falsely modest

 

 

honest, has self-esteem

falsely prideful2,3

 

 

 

modest, humble

fantasizing, unrealistic

 

 

practical, realistic

fearful3

 

 

 

confidant, courageous

Checklist of Flaws and Assets

forgetful

 

responsible

gluttonous2, excessive

moderate

gossiping3

 

closed-mouth, kind, praising

greedy 2,3

 

moderate, generous, sharing

hateful3

forgiving, loving, concerned for others

hypersensitive

tolerant, doesn't personalize

ill-tempered1, bitchy

good-tempered, calm

impatient3

 

patient

impulsive, reckless|

consistent, considered actions

inconsiderate

 

 

thoughtful, considerate

indecisive, timid

 

firm, decisive

indifferent, apathetic, aloof

caring

inflexible, stubborn

 

open-minded, flexible

insecure, anxious

 

self-confident, secure

insincere3, hypocritical

sincere, honest

intolerant1

 

tolerant, understanding, patient

irresponsible, reckless

responsible

isolating, solitary

 

sociable, outgoing

jealous1,3

 

trusting, generous, admiring

judgmental

 

 

broadminded, tolerant

justifying (own actions)

honest, frank, candid

lack of purpose

 

purposeful

lazy, indolent

 

industrious, conscientious

loud

 

 

tasteful, quiet

lustful2

 

 

healthy sexuality

lying3

 

 

honest

manipulative

 

candid, honest, non-controlling

masked, closed

 

honest, open, candid

nagging

 

 

supportive

narrow minded

 

open minded

obscene, crude

 

modest, courteous

over emotional

 

emotionally stable

perfectionistic

 

realistic goals

pessimistic|

realistic, hopeful, optimistic, trusting

possessive

 

 

generous

prejudiced

 

 

open-minded

procrastinates3

disciplined, acts promptly

projecting (negative)

clear sighted, optimistic

rationalizing

 

 

candid, honest

resentful1,3,

bitter, hateful

forgiving

resisting growing

 

willing to grow

rude, discourteous

 

polite, courteous 4

sarcastic1

 

praising, tolerant

self-important3

 

humble, modest

self-centered

 

caring of others

self-destructive, self-defeating

self-fulfilling

self-hating

 

self-accepting, loving

self-justifying3

 

admitting wrongs, humble

self-pitying3

 

grateful, realistic, accepting

self-righteous

 

humble, understanding

self-seeking3

 

selfless, concerned for others

selfish1,3

altruistic, concerned with others

shy

 

 

outgoing

slothful (lazy)2,3

 

industrious, taking action

spiteful, malicious

 

 

forgiving

stealing

 

 

honest

stubborn

 

open-minded, willing

sullen

 

 

cheerful

superior, grandiose, pretentious

humble

superstitious

 

realistic, no magical thinking

suspicious

 

 

trusting

tense

 

 

calm, serene

thinking negatively3

 

being positive

treacherous

 

 

trustworthy

undisciplined, self-indulgent

disciplined

unfair

 

 

fair

unfriendly, hostile, bitchy

friendly4

ungrateful

 

thankful, grateful

unkind, mean, malicious, spiteful

kind 4

unsupportive of others

 

supportive

untrustworthy, unreliable, dishonest|

trustworthy 4

useless, destructive

 

 

helpful 4

vain

 

modest, humble

vindictive

 

 

forgiving

violent

 

 

gentle

vulgar3

 

 

polite

wasteful

 

 

thrifty 4

willful

 

accepting of the inevitable

withdrawn

 

 

outgoing

wordy, verbose

 

frank, to the point, succinct

Other dysfunctional ways of acting, feeling or thinking which cause others or me pain (specify in the following Review of Flaws).

See source footnotes on page 2.

- 2 -

Instructions for Completion

REVIEW OF FLAWS

First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure.

(optional)

FLAW

Give your best example of this specific flaw in your life.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

- 3 -

10

11

12

FLAW

Give your best example of this specific flaw in your life.

If you must list additional flaws do so below. Do not beat yourself up.

- 4 -

RESENTMENTS

Do not be restricted by this list. It is just to help you get started. List your resentments on the next pages.

PEOPLE

In-Laws

Father

Judges

Mother

Lawyers

Boy Friends/Lovers

Life-long Friends

Brothers

Parole Officers

Sisters

Police

Sponsors

Probation Officers

Employers

School Friends

A.A. Friends

Teachers

Acquaintances

Uncles

Aunts

Wives

Best Friends

INSTITUTIONS

C.A. Friends

Authority

Childhood Friends

Bible

Clergy

Child Protection

Co-Workers

Church

Cousins

Correctional System

Creditors

Education System

Doctors

Government

Employees

Law

Girl Friends

Marriage

Husbands

Health/Mental Health System

 

Nationality

Philosophy

Races

Religion

Society

PRINCIPLES

Adultery

Death

God-Deity

Golden Rule

Heaven

Hell

Homophobia

Jesus Christ

Life After Death

Original Sin

Retribution

Satan

Seven Deadly Sins

Sin

Ten Commandments

MORE from your experience!

- 5 -

Step Four Resentments Checklist Column 4*

“Putting out of our minds the wrongs others had done, we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened?”

SELFISH

Not seeing others point of view, problems or needs

Wanting things my way

Wanting special treatment

Wanting others to meet my needs– dependence

Wanting what others have

Wanting to control–dominance

Thinking I'm better–grandiosity

Wanting to be the best

Thinking others are jealous

Wanting others to be like me

Being miserly, possessive

Wanting more than my share

Reacting from self loathing, self righteousness

Too concerned about me

Not trying to be a friend

Wanting to look good or be liked

Concerned only with my needs

DISHONEST

Not seeing or admitting where I was at fault

Having a superior attitude–thinking I'm better

Blaming others for my problems

Not admitting I've done the same thing

Not expressing feelings or ideas

Not being clear about motives

Lying, cheating, stealing

Hiding reality–not facing facts

Stubbornly holding on to inaccurate beliefs

Breaking rules

Lying to myself

Exaggerating, minimalizing

Setting myself up to be “wronged”

Expecting others to be what they are not

Being perfectionistic

Ignoring others’ needs

Trying to control others

Getting revenge when I don't get what I want

Holding a resentment

Acting to make me feel good

FRIGHTENED (OF)

Peoples' opinions

Rejection, abandonment

Loneliness

Physical injury, abuse

Not being able to control or change someone

My inferiority, inadequacy

Criticism

Expressing ideas or feelings

Getting trapped

Expo sure, embarrassment

SELF SEEKING

Manipulating others to do my will

Putting others down internally or externally to build me up

Engaging in character assassination

Acting superior

Acting to fill a void

Engaging in gluttony or lusting at the expense of another person

_______________

*Thanks to Anonymous in New England.

- 6 -

Instructions for Completion

Complete each column top to bottom before proceeding to the next column.

Thus, for instance, fill in all the names of those you are resentful at

before filling in the column for the cause of each resentment. List real resentments, not imaginary or theoretical resentments. Is the resentment a problem for you, does it cause you pain?

Column 1 In dealing with resentments we set them on paper. We listed people, institutions or principles with whom we were angry. Column 2 We asked ourselves why we were angry.

Column 3 On our grudge list we set opposite each name our injuries. Was it our self-esteem, our security, our ambitions, our personal, or sex relations which had been interfered with?

Column 4 Referring to our list again. Putting out of our minds the wrongs others had done, we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened?

Column 5 This Column is optional. List specific other defects to show your participation in the resentments.

Reading from left to right we now see the resentment (Column 1), the cause (Column 2), the part of self that had been affected (Column 3), and the exact nature of the defect within us that allowed the resentment to surface and block us off from God’s will (Columns 4 and 5).

COLUMN 1

COLUMN 2

REVIEW OF RESENTMENTS

“SELF”

COLUMN 3

COL. 4

COLUMN 5

Affects My

My

Specific

 

Own

Defects

 

Mistakes

(optional)

I’m RESENTFUL at:

The Cause:

1

2

3

4

5

6

-7-

I’m RESENTFUL at:

The Cause

7

8

9

10

11

12

If you must list additional resentments do so below.

- 8 -

FEARS

Do not be restricted by this list. It is just to help you get started. List your fears on the next pages

abandonment

flying

needing anyone

aging

fourth & fifth steps

not being good enough

anger

future, the

not being happy

authority figures

getting fat or thin

not being liked

being alone

God

not being perfect

being deceived

going home

people (specify who)

being found out

going out on a “whim”

police, the

being myself

having children

poverty

change

homelessness

procrastination

compliments

homosexuality

rape

confrontation

honesty

rejection

creditors

humiliation

relationships

death

hurting others

resentments, my

denial, my

I’m a fraud and others will find out

responsibility

disapproval

incarceration

risks

disease

intimacy

saying that I can’t do something

divorce

IRS, the

sex

embarrassment

letting go

sponsor, my

employment

living

success

facing myself

loneliness

unemployment

failure

losing hope

unknown, the

fear

love

violence

feelings

mediocrity

work

financial insecurity

money

Search your own experience for other fears..

-9-

 

 

Instructions for Completion

REVIEW OF FEARS

Complete column 1 from top to bottom before proceeding to the next column. Ask yourself whether the fear is

 

 

a problem in your life. Be realistic. Discuss significant fears, not theoretical or imaginary fears.

 

Column 1

We reviewed our fears thoroughly. We put them on paper, even though we had no resentment in connection with them.

 

Column 2

We asked ourselves why we had them.

 

 

 

COLUMN 1

COLUMN 2

 

I’m FEARFUL of:

Why do I have the fear?

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

- 10 -

9

10

11

12

If you must list additional fears do so below.

- 11 -

DISHONEST

Column 1 checklist (We reviewed our sex conduct over the years past. Whom had we hurt?)

Her, him, family, friends, co- workers, etc.

Me with guilt or shame

Infecting him/her a sexually transmitted disease

Involving him/her in legal proceedings

Embarrassing him/her

How did I cause the hurt?

Column 2 checklist (Where had we been selfish, dishonest or inconsiderate?)

SELFISH

Using him/her to meet my needs for sex, attention, approval, mothering, or fathering

Not seeing him/her needs or problems

Wanting to look good or be liked

Taking out my emotions on him/her (anger, sadness, etc.)

Wanting to control him/her

Wanting special treatment

Wanting him/her to take care of me

Wanting more than my share

Not trying to be a friend

Step Four Sex Conduct Checklist*

(to me or others)

Leading someone on–saying I care for him/her more than I do because I want sex

Not admitting my sexual orientation

Thinking I'm better (grandiosity)

Being perfectionistic

Not being clear about my motive (wanting fathering, mothering, approval, approval, or sex)

Wanting to vent my emotions on or control him/her

Cheating on him/her

INCONSIDERATE

To her, him, family, friends, co- workers, etc.

Putting others or myself at risk of disease, legal involvement, and embarrassment

How I was inconsiderate?

Column 3 checklist (Did we unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness)

JEALOUSY:

Of her, him, family, friends, co- workers, etc.

How did I cause jealousy (tricking, flirting, also see Suspicion, below)?

-12 -

SUSPICION:

Of her, him, family, friends, co- workers, etc.

How did I cause suspicion (lying, flirting, tricking, coming home late, etc.)?

BITTERNESS:

About her, him, family, friends, co- workers, etc.

About me (guilt, shame) How did I cause bitterness?

Column 4 (Where was I at fault?)

Was I selfish, self seeking, dishonest or fearful, thoughtless, uncaring?

Column 5 (What should I have done instead?)

Not used the person

Respected him/her

Tried to be a friend

Been candid and open

Cared about him/her

Treated him/her as I would have wanted to be treated

__________

*Thanks to Anonymous in New England.

Instructions for Completion

Complete each column top to bottom before going on to the next column.

Column 1 We reviewed our sex conduct over the years past. Whom had we hurt? Column 2 Where had we been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate?

Column 3 Did we unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion, or bitterness? Column 4 Where were we at fault?

Column 5 What should we have done instead?

COL. COL.

23

REVIEW OF OUR OWN SEX CONDUCT

COLUMN 1

COLUMN 4

COLUMN 5

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Whom did I harm?

Where was I at fault?

What should I have done instead?

If you must list additional sex conduct attach another sheet.

- 13 -

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