The Importance of Step 4 of the 12 Steps

Working a 12-Step Program: The Importance of a Fourth Step

Working a 12-Step program can be incredibly beneficial to your recovery journey. It offers a lot of room for you to grow as a person. The Twelve Steps provide a foundation on that you can base so much of your life.

For simplicity, we will focus on the original Twelve Steps developed for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). However, the Twelve Steps have seen so much success in recovery that they have been applied to other forms of addiction. For example, there is a 12-Step program for narcotic use, co-dependency, and many more.

What Are the Twelve Steps?

While there are many different 12-Step programs, they all run off a similar set of fundamentals. Those fundamentals involve control and giving up that control to a higher power so you can be free of the stresses that lead to substance use. It is also about mindfulness and accountability for your actions.

The Twelve Steps of AA are:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable
  2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
  3. We decided to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when doing so would injure them or others
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs.

For this article, we will be focusing on the fourth step specifically. This is because the fourth step has a lot to offer; you can learn about yourself and how you interact with others.

Working a 12-Step Program: Why Is the Fourth Step So Important?

The purpose of step 4 is to provide the first action step of the program, which is why it’s so important. That means that it is the first step where you have to do something physically.

The importance of this step is that it is the first step where you have to look at yourself and the actions that you have taken. This can be very intimidating for many people, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems. Taking an inventory is just taking the time to examine yourself, what you’ve done, who you’ve interacted with, and any addictive behaviors you can identify.

Things to Keep in Mind

When taking an inventory of yourself, there are a few things that you want to keep in mind. The most important thing is to not dwell on all the good or all the bad things you have done. You are human, which means things are not black and white.

The proper way to do this is by taking a personal inventory and acknowledging your resentments. This can be resentment toward treatment, your actions, loved ones, and other things. Once you find those resentments you harbor, you can start addressing your part in them. This is when you accept that not all situations are other people’s fault and that you may even play a role in them.

Another thing to remember is that your fourth step does not have to be perfect your first time. The Twelve Steps are not a straight line; they are a circle. Once you complete the last step, you start over. This means that you will be doing many fourth steps, and with each one, you will be looking at yourself from a different perspective meaning your inventory will look different.

Lastly, honesty is critical. If you are not honest with yourself, the exercise is pointless. Honestly, looking at yourself can be difficult, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you will become with it. Remember that the point of the Twelve Steps isn’t to judge yourself, but instead to provide you with emotional and spiritual growth.

How Healing Pines Uses the Twelve Steps

At Healing Pines Recovery, you won’t be working just a 12-Step program. Instead, you will be using essential elements for the programs mixed with holistic treatment to create one of the best treatment plans available. The combining of the Twelve Steps and holistic treatments means treating not only the mind but the body as well. That is why we can give you the best opportunity to start your recovery off right at Healing Pines Recovery.

The fourth is a major part of the Twelve Steps that many people struggle with. The Fourth Step is taking a personal inventory of ourselves.

This means turning our focus inwards and exploring the positive and negative qualities we have. At times, we can get overwhelmed by all the negative qualities that we feel we possess. Learning how to manage those feelings can be a necessary step toward a healthy and successful recovery.

Our expert team at Healing Pines Recovery is here to help you control your emotions. As soon as you exit detox, if you identify as male and are seeking professional care for addiction or substance abuse disorder, call Healing Pines Recovery today at (720) 575-2621.

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