Step 6: Twelve Step Program

A note on language: At Renascent we help people recover from substance use addiction and integrate 12-Step facilitation into our programming. We recognize that the substances our clients are recovering from and the 12-Step groups they connect with may vary. Throughout our website you may see general terms relating to the 12 Steps as we are inclusive of all recovery programs, including AA, CA, and OA.

We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Step 6 is about acknowledging and accepting that in order to continue in your Road to Recovery you will need to be willing to accept help from a higher power. This step can only take place after you have had an honest conversation with yourself about your past behaviour and have already participated in the past steps. 

Step 6 explained 


During your recovery journey, you may find yourself wondering how you can take part in this step in a way that is best for you. As you go through the 12 Steps, it is important to understand that it is a process. And that due to this, you may have to do this step several times.

Step 6 starts with you and your willingness to address the problem areas in your life, and any negative patterns. It is important to acknowledge that this takes more than having a list or an outline of things that have been impacting your life, and others negatively. This step is about acknowledging your character defects. It is about being able to not only acknowledge, but let go of what has been holding you back in order to move forward. When you are practicing this step, it can be helpful to centre yourself with humility. In doing so, you can acknowledge the harm you have caused without excusing your habits and behaviours. 

How to let go of character defects with Step 6

It is normal to experience some resistance during this step. It can be overwhelming to confront habits and behaviours of your character. However, it is an important part of your recovery journey.

Sometimes, people can resist addressing their character defects, and are unwilling to acknowledge how these defects have not only affected themselves but also those around them. Often, there can be shame and embarrassment involved when looking back at past behaviour, and any mistakes that may have caused harm. 

A Renascent alumni Andrew talked about his past experience with Step 6. Andrew expressed that during his experience with the steps, and as he approached Step 6 he realized his defects of character had been causing himself and the people around him pain. He also discusses how because of this step, he is able to acknowledge, surrender and put into action his willingness to grow towards the person he wants to be. This is a person that is able to show love, tolerance, and kindness. 

Another Renascent alumni is Tammie. She says, “I am ENTIRELY ready to be a better person, to love and serve others to the best of my ability.” Tammie talks about how some character defects were difficult to let go of since they were part of her for so long. Yet, part of what brought her comfort was the thought that she would be ok when she let go of her defects of character that weren’t serving her. She let go, and gave her trust to a higher power, knowing that she would be guided, and would never be alone.

Increasing awareness with Step 6 

When you participate in Step 6, it opens up the opportunity to increase your awareness of yourself, and to be honest about any fear you may experience when letting go of your attachment to your character defects. 

How Renascent Helps

Renascent deeply understands that unique individual journey that is necessary for you. We are here to support you and guide you to define what your recovery means to you. Your Road to Recovery starts here. 

About the Authors

Renascent Staff
The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.