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Alcoholics Anonymous Personal Inventory Materials

SCA derives from the first twelve-step recovery program, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and many key concepts of the SCA Program are modeled on the principles and workings of the AA Program.

This section considers the Fourth Step process from the point of view of Alcoholics Anonymous as the original twelve-step program, and specifically the outline provided in the AA Big Book for taking this Step.

Step 4: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

It provides AA texts on the subject, and AA-style practical charts, outlines and materials that serve to simplify and make clear the process that the AA Big Book describes in the accompanying words.

There are many guides with varying suggestions for how to take the Fourth Step, but this basic, original AA approach is often helpful to members as they contemplate how they might go about doing a personal inventory.

The charts can be downloaded, copied and used for working the Fourth Step, or as part of working the Fourth Step. Equally, after a Fourth Step has been completed, the same materials can be used for working the Tenth Step.

Step 10: “Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

The section concludes with a chart of a Daily Inventory checklist related to Steps 10 and 11, and is immediately followed by an extract on the Daily Meditation practices associated with Steps 10 and 11 set out in writing, as they are covered in the AA Big Book.

Lastly, under the heading Character Defects & Program Principles, there is an alternative and fuller version of the above-mentioned Daily Inventory checklist in electronic form, which can be printed and downloaded for use.

Step 4 – Introduction

From the AA Big Book, Chapter 5 – “How It Works,” pages 63 to 64:

“Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first step of which is a personal housecleaning, which many of us had never attempted. Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and 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.

Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory. This was Step Four.  A business which takes no regular inventory usually goes broke. Taking commercial inventory is a fact-finding and a fact-facing process. It is an effort to discover the truth about the stock-in-trade. One object is to disclose damaged or unsalable goods, to get rid of them promptly and without regret. If the owner of the business is to be successful, he cannot fool himself about values.

We did exactly the same thing with our lives. We took stock honestly. 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.”

Click on the panel headings to reach the additional resources and read the documents.