Fear: the final frontier
This week, I had several people contact me with questions about doing a fear inventory. Since Step 12 and carrying the message is also about sponsoring others through the steps, I thought I would take this time to go over how to do the fear inventory.
Personal experience and opinions on how to do the fear inventory:
Currently, most people do the multiple column inventory for Step 4 which includes 3 types of inventories: resentments, fears and sex. In the Back to Basics method, only one inventory sheet is used and it includes resentments, fears and harms.
In my personal experience, although the multiple column inventory can be very enlightening, it can also be very overwhelming and confusing. For this reason, I prefer the Back to Basics Assets and Liabilities format when doing the steps for the first time.
I believe that as addicts, we need to learn how to keep it simple and experience the immediate relief that comes from doing the steps initially as quickly as possible. Our 4th step inventory is not meant to be exhaustive. It is to teach us how to practice Steps 10, 11 and 12 on a daily basis.
If we are practicing prayer and meditation and doing a daily inventory, more will be revealed. We are on a journey not a destination. We do not graduate from working a program of recovery. All we are given is a daily reprieve, contingent on our spiritual condition.
However, the questions that I received this week were on doing the more intensive multiple column fear inventory. And, when I did the BBA fear inventory, it was one of the most powerful spiritual experiences that I had in program.
When doing any inventory, bring God into the process and share it with another person. The mind of an addict is a dangerous place. When you go into a dangerous neighborhood, bring your protection: God and another person. We cannot work this program alone.
Definition of Fear: the lack of faith and trust in God. Most often occurring as the direct result of trying to exercise your self will to control an outcome or the results of a situation, which is out of your control, although your ego doesn’t think so. Fear is another way of describing the “dis-ease” of the ego which results in an unpleasant sensation, real or imagined, of anxiety, dismay, worry, alarm, foreboding, dread, trepidation, fright, horror or panic. Fears occur as the direct result of the ego not getting its way and the individual’s resultant refusal to accept situations as they truly are.
Fear Inventory Form:
|List your current fears||Why do I have this fear?||Where was my trust and reliance? Did you feel you could handle the situation as you saw it?||Was it because self- reliance fails me? Did relying on me work?||What should we now rely upon if not ourselves? How would this fear be different if I would trust and rely on God?||When I experience this fear, what would God have me BE?|
Fear Inventory Process:
List your current fears, which may or may not be connected to the resentments. Also, consider the opposite of the fear.
Fear of being……..
For each fear and its opposite, ask yourself:
Why do I have this fear? The justification that you tell yourself for having the fear is usually another underlying fear. Look for the underlying fear.
Write down the next fear, until you get to the core fear.
Do this for each fear on your list, until you notice that you are repeating yourself. Once you get down to your core fears, you should have a list of 3-5 fears.
Did you feel you could handle the situation as you saw it?
Where was my trust and reliance? Was I placing my trust and reliance on infinite God or finite me?
Was it because self- reliance fails me? Did relying on me work?
What should we now rely upon if not ourselves?
How would this fear be different if I would trust and rely on God? What can I do instead?
If I had trusted and relied on God, I would have…..
When I experience this fear, what would God have me BE? (Not what He would have us DO but what He would have us BE. We must go deeper than just changing our actions, because, who we are and what motivates us will drive our thoughts and actions.
For your list of 3-5 fears, some people find the following questions helpful:
What is the fear? Where and when did I first experience this fear?
What do you fear you will not receive?
What are you afraid will or will not happen?
What do I do to avoid it? How did self-reliance fail me with this fear?
What did I do to try to overcome this fear?
What can I do instead? If I had trusted and relied on God, I would have…..
When I experience this fear, what would God have me BE?
Expanded Step 4 Worksheets Sponsorship Guide
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