Updated: 6 days ago
Understanding the Personality Types
“Why can’t I stop doing what I know I shouldn’t and why can’t I consistently do what I know I should?”
“I don’t know why I just said that.”
“Please forgive what I did; that wasn’t me.”
Have you ever said or thought any of these things? ME TOO. I have great news for you. There is a tool that helps us understand who we are, why we do what we do, and see the light of positive change at the end of our tunnel of learned, habitual behavior.
We are all so different, yet we are connected by a shared human experience. The Enneagram is a sacred map that traces nine paths of human nature; nine ways that we cope with the incorrect beliefs that we learned from trauma, and nine ways that we yearn to reconnect to who we truly are.
We all rest somewhere in near one of these types, borrowing from those to the left and the right on our quest to avoid pain and seek love. Each type has specific needs, fears and concerns. Within each type are even more unique priorities and interests, called sub-types. Add to that geography, culture, and DNA and you get a true vision o of the vast, beautiful and colorful world that we live in!
The journey to transformation, to reconnecting with the very specific good that we are to contribute to the world, begins with self-observation. Self-observation then grows to become self-awareness, and then we move into the contemplative adventure of transformation!
This is so helpful when we face challenges. Understanding how we see problems and what motivates our mental patterns, emotions and decisions when we experience challenges can lead us to more peaceful and quick resolutions.
Knowing what we need in relationships and understanding the needs of our families, friends, partners, and colleagues can be so helpful in completing the tasks of being engaged in a life together.
Developing an accurate and specific vocabulary of your needs can help maximize downtime, rest, and vacations and charge that battery more effectively.
I was recently on a working vacation (is there even such a thing) with my husband, daughter, and some extended family. Because of my work with my personality type, I knew to communicate that my travel style is "slow-motion". I move quickly and get a lot done when I'm "on" so when I am "off" I tend to take tender care of myself through gentle movement and limited activity.
Knowing this and communicating it ahead of time prevented a clash of personality when some members of the group wanted to hit the ground running in the morning and come home with the moon. We made arrangements for them to do that while I rested, and we happily intersected at meals. What a harmonious way to align energy!
I want to give that gift of harmony, alignment, and contentment to as many people as possible. I teach the Enneagram as a tool in a larger curriculum I've developed, called Confusion to Clarity, to help professional artists, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders go from confusion to clarity and leverage their true selves for their success.
Here is a brief snapshot of each personality type:
Ones show us how to live with goodness and with an upright moral code. Imperfection and wrong are sources of frustration for them. They are action-oriented, sensible, discerning, and pragmatic. Their obsession with perfection creates an unattainable standard, and they judge themselves and others harshly and fear external criticism.
Twos demonstrate empathy and love in the world. They teach us to be giving of ourselves, kind, and meet the needs of others unconditionally. They experience a deep shame when it comes to their own needs and puts others first. They eventually experience hostility when others don’t meet their needs as they meet others’.
Threes model truth and honesty in the world. Quietly competitive, their high achieving is an example of possibility and hope. They can become over-identified with what they do and confuse their value with the rate of success of their work.
Fours can speak to the beauty and significance of everyone and everything in the world. They are self-aware, creative, and intuitive. They can experience a deep sense of longing and envy that causes them to withdraw, experience dark moods, and assume that no one understands them.
Fives provide wisdom and understanding to the rest of us. They have a deep curiosity about why things are the way they are. They consistently delve deeply into things and often test the truth of most assumptions for themselves. Their attentive focus to detail can be a source of self-defeating problems that distract them from their real-life challenges.
Sixes can maintain relationships, are loyal, and work in community. They are strong and resilient and play a supportive role, and when they do work against leadership, it is often to bring in better-equipped leadership. They experience fear in the form of anxiety and be trapped in their own self-doubting and lack of self-reliance.
Sevens are upbeat, energetic, and spontaneous. They can be charismatic and engaging and pursue pleasure with cheerful persistence. Sevens are afraid to be trapped in their pain and constantly brush off the past to focus on what’s next and can become overindulgent and harmed by the consequences of their overdoing it.
Eights are the protectors and the champions of the underdog. They are substantial and full of life and can be powerful advocates. They can also become unnecessary adversaries, using conflict to understand intentions and build intimacy.
Nines have a gift for being reassuring, calming, and non-judgmental. Their adaptability can become self-forgetting passivity, and they may become angry at their needs taking a backseat to everyone else's.
Did you see yourself and someone you love clearly in the above descriptions?
If you want to work together to learn more about your type and how you can go from seeing glimpses of who you are at your core to living from your core, click here.