Somehow, I developed a great number of "personal concerns" when I was a kid that carried over into adulthood. I was concerned that you didn't like me so I became a people-pleaser, the class clown. I was concerned that I didn't have enough "stuff" so I stole my friend's ball point pen and cheated on my expense accounts. I was concerned that you would abandon me so I manipulated and controlled you. I was concerned that I didn't "measure up" so I lied to you about where I had gone and what I had done. And on and on...
Each little fear and insecurity sprouted a character defect that grew above the surface and became a part of my "personality." I didn't set out to be a liar, a cheat and a thief. It happened naturally over time. All I ever wanted was to be comfortable in my own skin. I just didn't know any other way to go about it.
Little by little by applying the principles of our program to my daily life to the best of my ability, my belief and trust in my Higher Power has grown. As my reliance on God has increased, my concern about myself has decreased. Many of my character defects have fallen away of their own accord -- no longer needed. The roots of other "defenses" remain deeply imbedded, but these too will disappear once I fully realize that they are no longer serving me.
I think it was Bob Dylan who said "successful livin' is daily dyin'"