These topics contain resources to help you complete your 4th step. The inventory sheets contain questions taken from the Big Book, pages 63 to 71, that help us review our resentments, fears, and harms done to others. It is suggested that you download the inventory sheets, read the Book Book, chapter 5, How it Works, and work with your sponsor to make a searching and fearless inventory.
Download 4th Step Sheets (Word)
Download 4th Step Sheets (PDF)
Download Guide to Writing Columns 3 and 5 (Word)
Download Guide to Writing columns 3 and 5 (PDF)
Using the Big Book Method to Write Your Fourth Step
Here are brief steps to help you get started. It's best to work with your sponsor as you write your 4th step. Read chapter 5, How it Works in the Big Book, and read Step 4 in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
How to review resentments
- Download the 4th step inventory sheets.
- Start with the sheet, "Review of Resentments".
- Work your way down column one, "I am resentful at" listing people, institutions, or principles with whom I am angry.
- When you can't think of anymore parties to list in column 1, move on to column 2, the cause.
- Beside each name, ask yourself what the person in column 1 did to make you angry.
- After you complete all the causes in column 2, then move on to column 3
- Next to each resentment, list in column 3 the part of your self that is affected or threatened. Download the guide to columns 3 and 5. Was it your instincts for society, security, or sex that were threatened?
- If society instinct, be specific: Which one of these was threatened: Companionship, Prestige, Self-esteem, Pride, Personal relationships, Ambitions?
- If it was your security instinct, which one of these were affected? Material, Emotional, Ambitions?
- If the sex instinct was threatened, was it your Acceptable sex instinct, Hidden sex instinct, or Ambitions?
- In column 4, write down your part. What did you do, if anything, to set the ball in motion or cause this person to treat you this way? Be as honest and self-searching as you can.
- In column 5, write opposite each resentment where you have been selfish, self-seeking, dishonest, inconsiderate, or fearful. Download and consult the guide to columns 3 and 5 for examples of these character defects.
How to review fears
- Start with the sheet, "Review of Fears".
- Work down column one and list "people, institutions, or principles with whom I am fearful."
- In column, write a few words about to answer these questions: "What are they going to do to me? Am I perhaps going to jail? Am I going to lose something with material value? Am I going to lose face? Will it result in divorce? Will it destroy as personal relationship? Might I lose my job?"
- In column 3, for each fear, list the part of self which is affected. Was it my self-esteem, my security, my ambitions, my personal or sex relations that have been threatened? See the help for help for column 3.
- In column 4, answer this question: What did I do, if anything, to set the ball rolling, and set in motion trains of circumstances, which have led to my being in the position to have the fear?
- In column 5, write where you have been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, or frightened, inconsiderate? Which of these character defects caused me to do what I did, or cause me to want to hold on to the old fear, even though I may have done nothing to cause it?
How to review sexual harms and other harms
- Start with the sheet, "Review of Our Own Sex Conduct", or "Review of Harms Other than Sexual"
- In column 1, write down all the names of who you hurt.
- In column 2, write down what you did to hurt each person.
- In column 3, write down which part of self caused me to do what I did? Was it caused by the social instinct, the security instinct, or the sex instinct?
- In cokumn 4, write down if I did this to arouse jealousy, anger, suspicion, bitterness, desire to retaliate? What should I have done instead?
- In column 5, write down where you have been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened, inconsiderate? Which of these character defects caused me to do what I did to harm another?
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