The Importance of Taking an Inventory

Last Updated: Mar 8th 2023

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

The Importance of Taking an Inventory

When’s the last time you took a personal inventory?

Personal inventories are staples of the 12-step program, but even if you don’t identify with this program, you can still benefit from a frank, candid assessment of yourself.

A personal inventory provides insight into yourself; it offers you encouragement as you see the areas in which you have grown; and it challenges you with new areas for growth and development.

However, what exactly does a personal inventory entail? It all boils down to honesty—honesty with yourself. During this time of honest reflection, you might consider some of the following questions:

  • What is your current life position? Do you think you are in a good place, or are you not where you had hoped to be?
  • What do you have going for you right now? What is in your “plus” column? Think about relationships, friends, work, hobbies that give you satisfaction—anything.
  • What do you lack? What would you put in your “minus” column?
  • What are some of your dreams and goals? What is standing between you and meeting those goals?
  • What are some of the personal or moral failings that have led you to experience trouble, or that have kept you from reaching your goals? This is the hardest one to answer, but it is critically important.
  • How has addiction affected you, and the people around you?
  • What are some traits or characteristics that strengthen you in your recovery?

In order to make progress in your addiction recovery—or for that matter in your life—you have to be honest about who you are and where you stand. That is not always a pleasant experience, but it is a necessary one—and it may help point you down the road to further recovery. Consider taking a personal inventory today.

Have you completed this step? Share your experience with us!

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.