Step 4 Inventory Formats

img_6412Step 4 Inventory Formats

This past week, we began reading The 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous. The book listed several methods for doing a 4th Step inventory.

As we have discussed, there is no one right way of doing a personal inventory. The most important thing is TO DO something. More will be revealed.

Personally, I have discovered over time that each method has its strengths. If I want to keep growing along spiritual lines, I need to strengthen my all spiritual muscles. If I keep doing the same exercise, I will be strong in that area, but not necessarily strengthen the other parts of me.

core character defects

Here is a list of some of the questions listed in the book on the characteristic of pride and fear. There are more questions on resentment, but, I do not have the time to copy them all before we meet on Sunday. Fortunately, they are in the book!

Are we power-hungry?

Do we enjoy controlling others?

In what ways have we tried to control our spouses, parents, brothers or sisters, children, friends, employers, colleagues, teachers, or others?

Do we manipulate people?

Do we intimidate them?

Have we been jealously possessive of a mate or friend?

How do we react when we don’t get our way?

How do we react when people disagree with us?

Are we in tolerant of differences?

Do we try to smooth stormy waters or are we troublemakers?

Have we insisted on being the center of attention?

Have we acted offensively just to be noticed?

Are we afraid that we won’t be recognized or respected or loved?

Do we fear that we won’t get our share or that we won’t be listened to?

Do we push to be first in line?

How has prideful self-centeredness caused us to act?

Are we status-seekers?

How much money, time and energy have we spent trying to impress or show ourselves better than others?

Are we snobs?

Do we pay more attentions to “VIPs” than to “ordinary” people?

Have we sought to put people down or put them in their place?

Have we repeatedly belittled anyone?

Have we sought to put people down or put them in their place?

Have we repeatedly belittled anyone?

Have we ever played a mean trick on anyone?

Have we condemned others for things we’re also guilty of? Are we hypocrites, even as we denounce the hypocrisy of others?

Have we deliberately defamed anyone?

Do we indulge in gossip ourselves or listen to and enjoy the gossip of others?

Are we oversensitive, quick to take offense at what people say to us?

Or, do we laugh everything off, pretending nothing hurts us?

Are we selfish, letting our own desires govern us while we ignore the needs of others?

Have we spent money our families needed in order to feed our illness or gratify our other desires?

Have we been unavailable to our children or our mates when they needed us?

Or do we let the needs of others govern us while we ignore our own? Do we take on other people’s responsibilities, doing for them the things they should be doing for themselves?

Are we willing to claim responsibility for the problems we’ve caused, or have we tried to shift the blame to others? When have we rationalized our misbehavior?

Are we bigoted? Have we ever denied anyone fair treatment because of race, religion, politics, gender or disability? Do we tell ethnic, racist, or sexist jokes? If not, are we afraid to say that we do not enjoy such “humor”?

Can we admit our mistakes and acknowledge that others are sometimes right? Are we teachable or complacent?

Do we accept our own failing and those of others as natural, or do we criticize, condemn, and complain?

Are we people-pleasers? Do we need everybody to like us, so much so that we make it our goal to find out what people want and give it to them no matter what the cost to ourselves? Are we afraid to say no to others?

Are we defiant, either openly or secretly? What is our attitude toward laws, rules and people have legitimate authority over us?

Fear: list the people, places, and things that have caused us to fear. Then we look at other ways fear has affected us.

Are we anxious about the future? How much of our time do we spend worrying?

Are we afraid of people? Do we isolate ourselves from our friends or society?

Are we afraid to reach out to new people? Have we held back from others, waiting for them to come to us?

Do we repeatedly get into relationships with the kind of people who mentally or physically abuse us?

Are we afraid to end existing relationships which are destructive or inappropriate for us?

Have we delayed seeking new jobs or careers, held back by worry and fear?

Are we so afraid of change that we remain in situations that are not good for us?

Are we afraid to express ourselves, to tell others how we feel?

Are we so afraid of conflict that we accept abuse rather than risk asserting ourselves?

What has fear held us back from taking other actions we should have pursued? Have we stood by and allowed another person to be hurt when we could have done something to prevent it? Did we ever let another person get blamed or punished for something we did?

Have we ever abandoned a person we had a responsibility to help?

These questions are just examples. It is possible to use any questions that describe the many aspects of each character defect.

As with everything, take what you want and leave the rest behind.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Sunday!

In love and service,




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