Summarizing Step 4 of Alcoholics Anonymous

Summarizing Step 4 of Alcoholics Anonymous
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Step 4 provided an opportunity to assess and evaluate yourself. This step asked you to take a hard look at who you have been, who you are today, and who you would like to be. When summarizing Step 4 of Alcoholics Anonymous, we see it was the time to take stock of yourself, to take your own inventory, to assess your personality traits, to become aware of what can block and / or jeopardise your recovery. Step 4 also allowed you to further recognise your strengths and good qualities, and how you can use these to consolidate your recovery and self-respect.

Step 4 asked you to be:-


To dig very deep, to be open.


Face facts, stop deluding yourself, stop making excuses for addiction recovery and avoiding, don’t let your fears block you. Have the COURAGE and honesty to look at and into yourself.


Principles, values and behaviour, reassess what is important to you.

Step 4 – I make a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself that I can re-explore whenever I need to: Provide short answers to summarize just some of these from step 4:

  • Have you had any broken relationships? If so, describe them and how they hurt others or yourself. Describe any grudges, anger or resentment that you have/had over these relationships.
  • Have you ever felt self-righteous and been wrong? Explain when and the circumstances.
  • What events or triggers have caused you to begin your addictive behaviors in the past? Describe situations, feelings, events, food or people that you seem to be a part of your life just before or during your addictive behaviors.
  • Have you ever held a grudge? Did you try to get revenge? If so, explain the situation and how it played out, including whether or not someone else was hurt.
  • Describe times that you have been oversensitive. When summarizing Step 4 of Alcoholics Anonymous, ask, did this ever damage your relationship with others, or were you just trying to keep your own boundaries?
  • Describe the faults that you most detest in others.
  • Do you have any of these faults or traits yourself?
  • Put a tick beside any of the following traits that you despise in others. Also check whether you see these traits in yourself.

Reflect when summarizing Step 4 of Alcoholics Anonymous: In addiction you were probably lost, enmeshed in all of these things above, and much more. Lost in a dream, that probably was so painful you didn’t want to truly feel emotions anymore?

Traits that I Despise in Others (tick the appropriate boxes)
TraitIn OthersIn MyselfTraitIn OthersIn Myself
Selfishness  Greedy  
Cowardice  Snobbish  
Dishonesty  Sarcastic  
Fearfulness  Hypercritical  
Controlling  Gossip  
Manipulative  Tightwad  
Intimidating  Harsh  
Power-hungry  Unforgiving  
Possessive  Verbally abusive  
Prejudiced  Physically abusive  
Overly dependent  Sexually abusive  
Procrastinating  Impatient  
Judgmental  Adulterous  
Preoccupied  Sneakiness  
Lying  Ungrateful  
Cheating  Cynical  
Intolerant  Bitter  
Self-Pitying  Full of Rage  
Jealous  Envious  

LOOKING AT RESENTMENTS, FEAR AND GUILT (answer very briefly in summarizing Step 4 of Alcoholics Anonymous):

  • Have you failed to do things that you KNOW that you should have done? If so, then briefly explain.
  • What are your fears? How have they caused you difficulty in your life?
  • Describe your relationship with your friends, co-workers or neighbors. Is there something that you wish that you could do over again? If so, explain.
  • Describe your relationships with your family of origin. Do you have conflicts with any siblings or with your parents? Are you avoiding these matters in your family?
  • Describe the earliest memories of your life. Did you share a similar personality with those in your family or were they very different than you? Do you think that these similarities o differences caused problems in your life? If so, explain.
  • If you were to describe your family’s major themes, what would they be?
  • Describe your relationships with your nuclear family (spouse and children) if that is different now from your family of origin. Is there anything that you wish that you could erase from this part of your life?
Summarizing Step 4 of Alcoholics Anonymous
  • In summarizing Step 4 of Alcoholics Anonymous, describe in detail any major experiences in your life that you believe changed your life forever afterwards (good or bad).
  • What decisions have you made in your life that made a significant impact on your life? How did you go about making those decisions?
  • How much of your life have you used up already? If you drew a time line of your life, where would you be now?
  • Put your major experiences and major decisions on a timeline. Is there a pattern of any kind?
  • What are you most ashamed of in your life?
  • Do you see any patterns in your addictive behaviors? If so, explain them in detail.
  • What have you done to cover and conceal your addictive behaviors? What other deceptions did this lead to?
  • What kind of personality do you exhibit at home? At school? At work? When no-one is around?
  • What is so shameful in your life that you would not want to tell anyone? Who would you hurt if you told this?
  • Write a summary of the highlights of your fourth step.
  • How would you like to share your fourth step summary? What details would you like to make sure that are known? Write these details down in your summary and prepare the summary for presentation in your fifth step.
  • Describe any celebrations or honoring activities that you have done to honor the completion of your 4th step.

For more info on summarizing Step 4 of Alcoholics Anonymous, doing some addiction treatment work, or starting a drug rehabilitation centres in the Western Cap process, call us. Call +27824424779 or email