Big Book Fear List

Big Book Fear List pages 67-68( and the 4th step grid from page 65)


On our grudge list we set opposite each name our injuries. Was it our self-esteem, our security, our ambitions, our personal, or sex relations, which had been interfered with?

We were usually as definite as this example:

I'm resentful at:     The Cause            Affects my:Mr. Brown         His attention to my      Sex relations
                     wife.                 Self-esteem (fear)
                  Told my wife of my       Sex relations
                     mistress.             Self-esteem (fear)
                  Brown may get my job     Security
                    at the office.         Self-esteem (fear)Mrs. Jones        She's a nut -- she       Personal relation-
                     snubbed me.  She         ship. Self-esteem
                     committed her hus-       (fear)
                     band for drinking.
                     He's my friend
                     She's a gossip.My employer       Unreasonable -- Unjust   Self-esteem (fear)
                      -- Overbearing --       Security.
                     Threatens to fire
                     me for my drinking
                     and padding my
                     expense account.My wife           Misunderstands and       Pride -- Personal
                     nags.  Likes Brown.      sex relations --
                     Wants house put in       Security (fear)
                     her name. 

We went back through our lives. Nothing counted but thoroughness and honesty. When we were finished we considered it carefully. The first thing apparent was that this world and its people were often quite wrong.


pg. 67-68 fear list starts here:

Notice that the word “fear” is bracketed alongside the difficulties with Mr. Brown, Mrs. Jones, the employer, and the wife.This short word (fear) somehow touches about every aspect of our lives. It was an evil and corroding thread; the fabric of our existence was shot through with it. It set in motion trains of circumstances which brought us misfortune we felt we didn’t deserve. But did not we, ourselves, set the ball rolling? Sometimes we think fear ought to be classed with stealing. It seems to cause more trouble.


We reviewed our fears thoroughly. We put them on paper, even though we had no resentment in connection with them.

We asked ourselves why we had them. Wasn’t it because self-reliance failed us? Self-reliance was good as far as it went, but it didn’t go far enough. Some of us once had great self-confidence, but it didn’t fully solve the fear problem, or any other. When it made us cocky, it was worse.


Perhaps there is a better way – we think so. For we are now on a different basis; the basis of trusting and relying upon God. We trust infinite God rather than our finite selves. We are in the world to play the role He assigns. Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity.


We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator. We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness. Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust their God. We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do. We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At once, we commence to outgrow fear.

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