Step 6 - Character Defects

12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.
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Step 6 - Character Defects

Postby sober789 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:30 pm

Step 6 talks about ones' character defects.
My question is :
How do you actually create the list of defects from your inventory, is there a method that is applied or is it just reading each line of the inventory and then deciding what character defect that applies to (by referencing a list of every possible character defect there is known to mankind). Where can one get such a list. (other than "from the devil").

Sometimes I hear that your character defects for resentment are the ones in the 4th column. That would mean every single person would have the same character defects ie Dishonest, Selfish , Self Seeking, Inconsiderate, Frightened. This cant be right.
I've also heard that these 5 character defects are the basic colours - all others are some form of mixture of these , like envy is selfish + frightened+self seeking. I'm not sure about this either.

Any feedback appreciated.

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Postby ccs » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:41 am

Hello sober789 I have a few thoughts :shock: ### in bold print are some discriptions ####
but if you havnt done steps 4&5 with a sponsor dont sweat 6 yet !!
see how the page #s are going backwards!! thats a nono :)

start at 1 and work your way up and Use your sponsor keep it real simple because it really is simlpe 1 thru 12 Keep reading the Big Book over and over from the front to pg 164 the more I read it the more I discover and the easier it gets to understand !!! :wink:

sometimes all I can do is just dont drink go to a meeting or call another alcoholic like me :)

I believe that anything objectionable is a defect just like it says below

there are many lists that have been made over the years with character defects I`ll see ifI can find some and Post them for you
there are probably some right here on our site I will look here aswell
and now I`m gonna thump you with some Big Book :lol: :lol:
LUV Cess

Step Six. We have emphasized willingness as being indispensable. Are we now ready to let God remove from us all the things which we have admitted are objectionable? Can He now take them all - every one? If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing.
B.B. Pg.76

to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.

First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure. Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us, we considered its common manifestations.

Resentment is the "number one" offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease,

Notice that the word "fear" is bracketed alongside the difficulties with Mr. Brown, Mrs. Jones, the employer, and the wife. This short word somehow touches about every aspect of our lives.

We reviewed our own conduct over the years past. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate? Whom had we hurt? Did we unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness?

If we have been thorough about our personal inventory, we have written down a lot. We have listed and analyzed our resentments. We have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality. We have commenced to see their terrible destructiveness.

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Postby ccs » Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:02 am

ok Here is one small list I found

Resentment, Anger

Fear, Cowardice

Self pity

Self justification

Self importance, Egotism

Self condemnation, Guilt

Lying, Evasiveness, Dishonesty



False pride, Phoniness, Denial






Negative Thinking

Immoral thinking

Perfectionism, Intolerance

Criticizing, Loose Talk, Gossip


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Postby DiggerinVA » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:43 pm

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

Lets look at the instructions.

If we can answer to our satisfaction, we then look at Step Six. We have emphasized willingness as being indispensable. Are we now ready to let God remove from us all the things which we have admitted are objectionable? Can He now take them all-every one? If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing.

The key thing to me is I am letting God remove all things which we have admitted to being objectionable. In the 4th step is where the list comes from. I also recognized that God will know more than I and he can have any others he deems fit to take. Oh the unrecognized stuff was an intresting list. This step is about willingness.

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Postby gunner48 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:25 pm

Let's see if I can put this in words:

Step 6: 1. Did I review what I have already done?
2. DID I thank God from the bottom of our heart that I know him better.
3. Did I Carefully read the first 5 proposals asking if I have omitted anything.
4. Is my work solid so far?
5. Are the stones properly in place?
6. Have I skimped on the cement put into my foundation?
7. Have I tried to make mortar without sand?
8. Is my willingness indispensable?
9. Am I now ready to have (GOD REMOVE) from me all the things which "I" have admitted are objectionable
10.Can HE now take them all
11. If I still cling to something I will not let go of, Did I ask GOD for the willingness.

Next my responsibility is to stop doing the things I KNOW are wrong for me to do. I identified them in step 4 and 5. Things I said were objectionable. If they are wrong then I can not justify doing them. The things on my step 4 in column 2 are the things I have to stop doing to people. If it's wrong for you to treat me in that way then it is absolutely wrong for me to do these things to others. Examples
1. telling a lie
2. stealing
3. being cussed at
4. drulling over a woman
5. avoiding people
the list can go on and on.

Over the years I have found that what I thought was a Asset early on was one of my biggest liabilities and vise versa . God will determine what is needing of change. I simply start living by my own Moral convictions.

If I am really ready I do step seven which to me is the completion of the third step prayer.
1. Am I ready for God to have All of me?
2. Am I ready for God to remove from me Every single defect of character "WHICH STAND IN THE WAY OF MY USEFULNESS to him and my FELLOWs" See I haven't asked for all of my defects of character to be removed here only the ones that interfer with my usefulness to others
3. Have I asked to be granted Strength

I hope I haven't confused you

Peace and Love Gunner

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Postby Dallas » Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:51 am

Whenever I'm thinking or acting in terms of me is me... it's my character defect. :lol:

And, the unfortunate thing of doing -- is that I learn how to do -- after I've done what I did. :wink:

After I completed all 12 Steps, and had the Awakening that comes about as a result of "doing all 12 Steps"... I went back to review what I had done and learned about "how to do it"... with a new understanding and a new enlightenment of "what to do next."

Here is an example: After I finished all 12 Steps and had the Awakening, one day I was studying more about Step 3. And, I discovered that everything I needed to know was in the info in Step 3, pages 60-63.

Example: Where do all my wrongs and character defects come from? "they arise out of my Self."

Well. What the heck did that mean? For me, it could only mean one thing, and I didn't know that there was two choices. :lol:

1. Either I'm all bad and everything that comes out of me is bad. (which is what I once believed)


2. My Self is not really me. :lol:

Meaning: My Self... is not who and what I thought I was. I am more than just me. I am more than the "Self" that I think I am, and I'm not the Self that I was thinking I was.

In other words... "me" is mine and "my self" is my self. That's an example of where my thinking was in error.

My conscious thoughts about me... separate me... from you. Conscious separation. That's my Ego. My ego is what my head thinks is me. And, as a result of living my life with my Ego in charge... I was always looking out for me and my best interest... because you... were you and not me... so, sometimes you got in my way, or you didn't do the things that I thought you should do, and when you did do them, you didn't do them like I thought you should have done them. :lol:

So, either you were out to get me, or I was out to get you. Why? Because the early bird gets the worm. I've got to be first so that I can win, or get the most, or even struggle to get whatever I get, before you get it! :lol:

Conscious separation. That's the source of all my character defects.

How does conscious separation manifest itself? It does this in terms of "thinking about my Self" and that causes me to be self-ish. Self-seeking. I want it done my way. Self-centered. It's all about me.... the world and everything that goes on... "goes on around me" at the center of the world. That means I'm Ego-(self identity)-tistical - (what I think are the facts). My ego is in charge of "my perception of life" because it's in charge of me and mine.... because it is "who I think I am."... when I'm thinking in terms of "I am". :lol:

That's when I get angry or resentful. "You didn't do it FOR me you did it FOR YOU! :lol: And, it hurt or harmed me.... so I'm going to step on your toes because you stepped on my toes! :lol:

In Step 3, it reads "we thought well before taking this Step". I thought what I thought -- when I took Step 3, and after my thinking was changed at Step 12, I could see what I was supposed to be thinking well about in Step 3! :lol:

So, then, when I looked at Step Six... what I later learned about Step Six, was not the same thing that I knew about Step Six when I took Step Six...

What I learned later was what I learned later. I was acting on faith. I didn't really know what or how to do it -- until after I did it. So, I did what was in front of me, the way that I did it, and I discovered that it got me to where I got to -- and it worked.

If I were where you are, in my questions about my character defects for Step Six, I would go back and read pages 61-63 and "think well" on those things, and those experiences that Bill writes about... and ask myself "in what way do I do that?"

Make a list of all those things that you discover in the info for Step 3, and title the list as "What needs to change about me?"

Then, you'll know what you are asking "God to remove" from you, in Step Six... (that is, in case you want to know it before you take Step Six).

Self is not the problem. The problem is "the Thinking About Self"... and the Thinking About Self... is where I found the root to all my problems and character defects.

Self-ish, as it's used in our book is not about "being a Scrooge or Tightwad". :lol: It's about thinking about "me". (Meaning, you thinking about you. And, doing things based upon "because you is you and me is me"). Conscious separation. :lol:

I hope that helps in your discovery.


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Postby Toast » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:06 pm

Hi, Step 6.

Page 45 of the BB tells us were powerless people, 'lack of power, that was our dilemma'. So all my defects of character were 'routes to power'. All my cheating, conning, telling lies, my grandiosity, pride, lust, character assassinations etc gave me a feeling of power over people i feared would find me out. :?

And if you lived like i lived then this is where the need to take a drink came from, i simply had to do something to silence my racing brain that was fired by my troubled conscience. But once we get humble and live the life god intended us to live there's no need for us to behave that way. These things we thought were assets when we drank become a hinderance to a sober minder person so we must get rid of them or else we'll go back to drink. :twisted:

Thats why rigorous honesty is a must for us alcoholics, we cant do anything that troubles our conscience or we may need a drink to give us ' that sense of ease and comfort' that eludes us when we live like that. :roll:

And the number 1 defect that stops us giving the rest up is our grandiosity. We cling to this false image of ourselves and dream one day we'll sort it all out our own way without the using the programme and any one who wronged us better watch out because secretly we're waiting on the day we can contribute in no small way to their downfall. Also we'd spent so many years building a phoney image of ourselves we'd rather pursue this course of action 'into the gates of insanity or death' before we'd give it up.( BB p30)

Way back when i started drinking i had a few bad points and lots of good ones. Unfortunately if your like me and like it says on p30 of the BB are made 'bodily and mentally different from my fellows' taking booze was like putting Miracle Grow on my bad points, they just got bigger and bigger as time went on until that was all i had left. In the end i was a defect looking for a character, i simpy had nothing good going for me at all. :shock:

One of the many spiritual awakenings i've had was when i came to realise all these defects weren't the real me, some were always just under the surface but as i got sicker i acquired the rest along the way to allow me to justify my ever increasing drinking. If i'd never had the need to drink then i would never have behaved that way. All this crazy behaviour was really a symptom of my illness ,especially my grandiosity, that kept me delusional for years in AA. :wink:

Sadly I've met many alcoholics that are willing to die to be proved right rather than live and be proved wrong. Please dont let it happen to you :lol:

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Postby ~Jools~ » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:12 am

Good stuff, Toast, thanx :)

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Postby Toast » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:38 am

Hi Jools,

Just glad someone got something out of it. :D

Not had much f2f meetings lately, getting jumpy again, best sort that tonight! :shock:

Stay close :lol:

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Postby timebomb72 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:01 pm

My sponsor always says "just pray to have the things about you that you dont like, detest, are frustrated about and are holding you back...pray for those to be removed". Worked for me..seems to keep it pretty simple

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