After taking my fifth step with my sponsor, It took me only five minutes to take steps six and seven by following the directions in the Big Book. I felt cleaner inside from the unburdening of my fifth step, but, even after repeating the seventh step prayer with as much sincerity I could muster, I quickly realized I had every single one of the character defects that I had five minutes earlier. I realized later on that God removes my defects on His schedule not mine.
So if God does all the work, what can I do to "work" steps six and seven? It's taken me a while to realize that six and seven are not about doing anything, but about becoming aware of the truth about myself and continuously demonstrating the willingness to be changed.
It says in the book that after a time a person's alcoholic life seems normal to them. I would not have quit drinking, if I had not become sick and tired of the un-manageability alcohol was causing my life. The same is true of my character defects. Most of them seem normal to me. Until I am able to be consciously aware of the damage caused by a character defect, there is no chance that I will be ready to give it up. And if I am not ready, there is no chance God will remove it.
I "work" six and seven by identifying my defects through 10th step inventory. I try to recall the times during the day that I lost my peace of mind. Since my peace of mind is directly related to my happiness, it follows that anything that causes me to lose my peace of mind, even for a moment, is causing damage to my life. So it is the constant process of identifying the defect, and becoming sick and tired of the same fear based reactions to the people and events over and over again.