12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous: Step 7

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 SEVEN—Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

The key to Step Seven is humility. Of course, the underlying spiritual principle of all of the 12 Steps is humility. But, this particular step is specifically concerned with humility. And, in “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” humility is defined as “the desire to seek and do God’s will.” Through praying for and practicing humility we are able to allow God –or our Higher Power—to remove our shortcomings. It is believed by many that our character defects are at the core of our problems as alcoholics and are what “drive” our drinking. Specifically, most of us discover that fear is the central character defect. “The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear…” the “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” tells us. Fear that we’ll lose something we already have or fear that we won’t get something that we want. This fear can create a great deal of pain for us and many of us drink to drown out this feeling. Through working hard on Steps Six and Seven of the 12 Steps, we’re able to stay sober and become more helpful and productive in our lives.


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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