Eliminating Limiting Beliefs in the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 Step groups

- 36 Tips
for working the
12 Steps

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Step 5 Can Be Scary!

Step 5 Admitted to God, to ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Step 5 is where we stop hiding and begin to take responsibility for our actions. When you wrote your 4th Step you were, in a sense, admitting to God and yourself, the wrongs you did to yourself and others while you were practicing your addiction.

Although most people focus on how they are going to tell someone else their inventory, admitting our defects, character flaws, wrongs, and problems to the God of our understanding and to ourselves is equally important.  

To yourself and God

One way to consciously admit these things to your Higher Power is to re-read your inventory in a truly prayerful or meditative manner. Sit quietly and, without making yourself feel wrong, offer up a prayer in your own fashion, maybe saying something like: "Dear Goddess, here's my inventory," then reading it either aloud or silently. When you're finished close with some sort of thank you for the process and your own courage.

Now, take another look at what you've written own it. If you find yourself trying to justify any portion or blame it on another, just stop and take responsibility. The goal is not to feel badly about yourself but simply to recognize that you are the one who did those things. Know that you're in a process of change and move on.

Yes, share your inventory with someone

Next, you'll want to read your inventory out loud to someone. Yes, read it all. Your sponsor is a likely candidate and is probably very familiar with the process. But there can be good reasons to choose someone else. You want to be sure you trust the person you choose to hold your inventory in total confidence. Sometimes a Priest is a better selection; sometimes a pastor, minister or other religious leader.

This inventory story should be true

I once heard a fellow state he took a bus to the far side of town, and, after getting on another bus and going clear to the back, he read his inventory to his startled seat mate. He then jumped off the bus and made his way home. When he went to his regular meeting that night, who should be in the front row but the person he had shared his inventory with.

I have no idea if this story is true I hope it is! The point, of course, is to get it done, no matter how you have to do it.

The 5th Step is scary, but it's one of the most powerful actions we can take toward becoming Powerfully Recovered.

Love, peace and abundance,


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