I was "in the Fellowship" for a little over two years and had heard all kinds of horrible things about Step Four before I finally found someone who could show me how to actually take it, and almost nothing I had previously heard about it turned out to be true! For example:
"First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure." ("A.A.", the book, page 64)
That does *not* say anything whatsoever about searching out our flaws to see what miserable wretches we had been. No, it only says what it says:
"We searched out the flaws ... which caused our failure."
Having failed at life as I had, and now as part of beginning a new manner of living, doing a little troubleshooting by first discovering my personal defects made complete sense.
However, that is not even where Step Four actually begins! Rather, it begins with a look at mere manifestations or "symptoms" of our flaws, and we are soon given the antidote we need to begin getting over drinking even yet before later on seeing our actual defects.
If you would like to see how exciting Step Four can actually be, I will gladly help you with it, and with precisely this in mind:
"We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free." (page 133)
He did not give us this program to increase or compound our misery!