Brad’s Perspective: Step 6

I’ve completed Step 6 a few times. At first, I thought it would be easy, but I was wrong.

The Step reads: “We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

It’s difficult to share about Step 6 without first mentioning the preceding Steps. By the time a person gets to Step 6, they should have a framework for what their Higher Power is through working Steps 2, 3 and 5; and would have built some trust with themselves and cultivated honesty with Steps 4 through 5. These elements are foundational to Step 6.

To truly understand what a Step is asking us to do, I break it down. The words are the most perfectly created. So let’s break down Step 6.

  • “We”: each Step starts with the word “we,” which speaks to the fact that I am not alone.
  • “Entirely ready”: this means I need to look at my faith and trust. Without those, I won’t be ready at all.
  • “To have God”: this defines what I have faith and trust in – my Higher Power. I’ve come this far and I trust God, which has gotten me to this point in my recovery.
  • “Remove all”: shows that I want to be free of these things that I have been shackled to for so long.
  • “Defects of character”: this is the new part of the Steps that’s different from all of the others that came before. It asks me to take a surgical looks at my “defects of character” because there are many. I just have to ask my Higher Power to “remove all” of them.

I found Step 6 challenging because I come from a family which has a history of working in the trades. To us, something with a “defect” is meant to be thrown in the garbage. If you have a defective part, you discard it because it is of no use.

However, in the context of the 12-steps, a defect just means that a part of me is not working as it should. Knowing and acknowledging this allows me to focus on that specific area of my life so that I can work toward having all areas run more smoothly.

Our Step working guide in Narcotics Anonymous (NA) hones in on our assets. While we look at our “defects,” we also focus on the aspects of our character that are working. The more I work the program, the more assets I develop and the more comfortable I am asking for my “defects” to be removed.

Every so often – like a car that needs to get its oil changed – I need to go and bring myself to the metaphorical mechanic and give myself a four-point inspection. The 12-step program is a maintenance program. If I do proper maintenance, I am not going to break down.

About the Authors

Members of Renascent's alumni community carry the message by sharing their experiences and perspectives on addiction and recovery. To contribute your alumni perspective, please email