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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

Willing to Change

“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

Defect<noun> a shortcoming, imperfection, or lack.

Step 6 of the 12-step recovery program is about getting down to the nitty-gritty of what separates us from our higher power, others, and, in many cases, ourselves.

Step 6 does not dictate that we remove all our “defects” of character, as it's not a realistic expectation. The step only says that we become entirely ready, willing if you will, to have these shortcomings removed from our daily thought life and actions.

The critical thing to hold on to with each step is focusing on what might cause us to drink again.

A good friend from the program, Karen, joined Mike and Glenn in the cafe to discuss the importance of a thorough self-awareness exercise. They all agreed that before coming into the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, they felt that they were short and shortcomings and long on life assets.

We posted a list of 194 character defects (in the resource room) identified by one source. That can be used to guide one through this most-important self-knowledge project. This project is complete with an intense effort to properly inventory and align. Meaning that we need assess our character strengths at the same time. And, importantly, one should determine what inherent positive could replace an innate flaw.

We surmise that the call is to be someone we find peace with. It is tough to find harmony if one considers themselves a manipulator, an abuser, argumentative, boastful, a cheat, devious, dishonest, a gossiper, judgmental, lustful, prejudicious, prideful, or selfish, etc.

Conversely, if one perceives themselves and acts by absolutes such as Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love, they move closer to a harmonious existence.

What follows are three “Gets” that could be used to put you in the correct position to improve:

Get Real

One is only as legitimate as they are honest with themselves. This step, similar to Step 4 and step 8, is designed to work best when done thoroughly. Get to a quiet place and self-analyze against any list that works for you. Take the time to ponder what areas of your life you know are defective. One might be more prideful than judgmental, but even a small degree of defect should warrant recognition on the list.

This is not the final grade on one's character. This is a temperature check of where we sit right now. The bottom line is we can't get better until we identify our instincts and behaviors.

Get Meditating

In compiling our list of characteristics, we should ask, “how do these behaviors, or in some cases our thoughts, affect our relationship with others, our higher power, and ourselves?

Stay parked in that quiet place and reach for the feelings associated with the behaviors. Does that behavior make you feel good or bad? Are you proud of it or ashamed of it? Making this connection will help legitimize the list.

Get Changing

Are you entirely ready to change? Change is the order if one genuinely desires to be of maximum service to others. This will most likely make our brains collide. For years we have been taking it easy, free-flowing life and letting it define our character. What we have found is that we desire a better reflection of nature. Most desire to be in tune with their higher power, others, and themselves in a way that is serene and respectful. So this is where you leave the quiet room, go out into the noisy world, and show off your new stuff.

If sobriety maintains itself as our life priority, then living a consistent and congenial life, we must be “willing” to change.




Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from podcast #E7 Step 6 - Karen Joins to Chat about being "Entirely Ready" The podcast dropped on 4/21/2021. Click here to hear the podcast.


Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own


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