Edited on July 25, 2021
These are the original Fourth Step Guides and Work sheets used in the Dallas B., AA Big Book Study, the 4th Step Workshops, and the 12 Step Study Workshops.
If you get these 4th Step Worksheets and Guides else — they are likely not the originals and may have been changed or altered. 🙂
Dallas B., arranged with the Alcohol Addiction Foundation to reproduce and distribute the Official 4th Step Study Guides, provided that we will keep the original work as it is — and they will always be free — to anyone who requests them.
For Integrity: By having THIS website distribute the original work – it’s insured, that what he has passed on to others, will be passed on to others, and that it will not be changed, modified or diluted.
These 4th Step Worksheets and A.A Fourth Study Guides are distilled right out of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
These Guides and Worksheets have been used by thousands of AA’s, NA’s, Al-Anon’s, OA Overeater’s, CA’s, GA’s and other 12 Step Recovery Program Members that use the 12 Steps as instructed in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous.
Get the most out of these A.A. 4th Step Work sheets
You can get the most out of using these 4th Step Worksheets and 4th Step Study Guides, by taking time to read the INSTRUCTIONS that go with them. Included as a download file, below.
There is a difference in an ‘AWAKENING” and an “Understanding.”
I often use an analogy of childbirth. Being pregnant is what you do before childbirth (after you did something else). You ‘know’ you’re pregnant. When you experience the childbirth – you’re no longer pregnant you are now Awakened to the fact of giving birth. You have the Awakening as the result of ‘certain steps’ that preceded the birth. After the childbirth – you finally understand it.
The 12 Steps are the same. Bill Wilson, wrote about feeling reborn, in connection with the 12 Steps. Perhaps he got this reference because of reading the book by Psychologist, William James’, Varieties of Religious Experience.
The 12 Steps are about having a ‘Spiritual Awakening’ as the result of having ‘taken’ these 12 Steps.
During the early 1900’s, William James was conducting intensive research to discover what was behind and what was involved in the numerous mystical experiences of instantaneous healings, prophesy and other ‘seeming out of this world phenomenon’ experienced by religious groups. These radical experiences produced physical and emotional transformations and other psychic phenomenon.
William James became overwhelmingly fascinated in the subject when he discovered groups of Christian preacher’s and Missionaries (in the USA and on other continents) working with hardcore down and out alcoholics on skid row – who were having a reasonably high degree of success in producing conversions and transformations of the alcoholic’s who were often able to walk away from liquor, never drink again, and go on to recreate new and productive lives.
The idea that stuck with William James, was: “How could this Psychological and Psychic experience be better understood and possibly incorporated to be used in the treatment toolset of a practicing Psychologist?”
James, latched on to terms that some of the more experienced preachers were using, such as: born again, rebirth, converts, and conversion.
This also piqued the interest and curiosity of Bill Wilson, who would later go on to found Alcoholics Anonymous and codify this conversion process of transformation into a ‘series of steps.’ I’ve written much about the history of this in depth in other articles and talks on the 12 Steps. For now, we’ll keep our focus on the Fourth Step of the Process.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Back to the ‘childbirth analogy’ – when a woman knows she’s pregnant – it will help the process if she knows that a particular result will follow. (Can I get a laugh? Oh well…)
Just remember that I explained – Knowing, Understanding, and Experiencing are NOT the same. We’re fooling ourselves when we think we can understand psychic or spiritual experiences and psychological transformations – BEFORE we’ve experienced them. The true UNDERSTANDING comes later. For now, you simply proceed with taking the actions – hope the results will be positive — and see what happens AFTER we have our AWAKENING experience in Step 12. We have eight more steps to go after the fourth.
The purpose of taking the 12 Steps — is so that you can experience being happy, joyous, free and comfortable — while sober — as you go out to help other alcoholics and suffering people to find what you have found — that changed you!
Step 4: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
NOTE: Scroll down this page for the links to the 5 worksheets that you can download. (About the middle of this page). You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader for the forms. You can get this free at Adobe.com , for your PC, or download it and install it from Google’s Play Store for your Smartphone or Tablet. IOS users can get it from Adobe.com or from the Apple Apps Store. (As of this editing in July 2021 – there are many apps available for you to view and print out these forms and instructions).
Click on the links and they will open and save or print a copy.
“To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book.” — Forward to the First Edition of the book, Alcoholics Anonymous
There is much more to life than just being physically sober. There is much more to sobriety than having the obsession for alcohol removed. Sober isn’t much fun – unless we can learn to be happy and thriving while sober.
To be happy WHILE sober requires emotional sobriety.
The Fourth Step is ONE of our first action step towards PHYSICAL and EMOTIONAL sobriety.
We are in a process to recreate our lives. In Step 3, We made a decision to give up our old plans for living and to try A.A.’s 12 Step Plan for Living. Step Four is a fact-finding and fact-facing process. We are searching for the “causes and conditions” of our miserable results in life! We want to uncover the truth about ourselves.
We want to discover the attitudes, thoughts, beliefs, fears, actions, behaviors, and the behavior patterns – that have been blocking us and causing us problems and causing our failure.
We want to learn the exact nature our “character defects” and what causes us to do the unacceptable things we do – so that once they are removed – we can acquire and live with new attitudes, thoughts, beliefs, actions and behaviors for our HIGHEST good, and for the HIGHEST good of those with whom we come in contact.
This prepares us to live a life of purpose – where we can be in maximum fit condition to be of service to others.
And, by taking inventory and learning the exact nature of our wrongs – we will be able to recognize when we might be slipping into our old way of life – and headed for new problems, and possibly relapse.
Everything contained in the Fourth Step Inventory Worksheets is directly from the book – Alcoholics Anonymous.
NEW! Be sure to download ALL SIX WORKSHEETS below:
The first one is the 4th Step Guide Instructions page. Read the instructions page first. If you have questions contact Dallas B. here, with the website contact form — and we will be sure that he gets it! You can also contact Dallas B., on Facebook or visit the Step12.com page on Facebook, until we restore our forums on this website.
2. The 4th Step – Resentments worksheet.
3. The 4th Step – Fear’s worksheet
NEW: I’ve decided to include this page as Download Number Six – which will include links in the PDF files to make it easier for you to access them in the future, and easier for you to pass them on to others – if you desire to do so.
6. This page with links to all the forms, too
There is a detailed instruction sheet that goes with the Step 4 Inventory forms, from the workshop. Please read that instruction sheet, follow the instructions, and read all the references in the Big Book mentioned in the instructions, and read the Big Book references on each one of the individual forms.
If someone offers you one that you can type your 4th Step Inventory in it — RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN! The Big Book SPECIFICALLY instructs us use pen and paper to do this! 🙂
NOTE: Is this official A.A. Literature? What is more OFFICIAL — than The Book, Alcoholics Anonymous? 🙂
AA does not endorse ANYONE, not any AA member, and not even endorse an AA Groups or an AA Meetings! That would violate the 12 Traditions — Specifically in regard to Autonomy — as explained in AA Tradition Number 4.