12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous: Step 6

This series of articles is a PERSONAL perspective/interpretation of The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous began on June 10, 1935 and has helped scores of people around the world obtain and maintain sobriety from drugs and alcohol.

STEP SIX—Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Once we complete and process Step Five of the 12 Steps, we are ready to identify the specific “character defects” that we discovered about ourselves while doing Steps Four and Five. Character defects are parts of ourselves that prevent us from being helpful and present for others in our lives. These character traits are identified and then we become ready to have our “Higher Power” remove these for us. It is believed in Alcoholics Anonymous that human beings themselves cannot successfully “remove” these traits—that a power larger than we are must do that for us. So, in Step Five we ready ourselves for this part of the recovery process of the 12 Steps. It is quite significant that the first sentence in “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” in the chapter on Step Six is “This is the Step that separates the men from the boys.” In other words, we must completely humble ourselves in order to gain a new perspective on ourselves. We are growing up emotionally and “becoming adults”.  Without this humility, the chance that we remain sober and happy is believed to be significantly diminished.


1. Alcoholics Anonymous, Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. 2001.

2. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions; Alcoholics Anonymous Services, Inc. 1952

***NOTE: this article is a personal interpretation of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and is neither endorsed nor approved by Alcoholics Anonymous. ***

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