What’s The Enneagram?
To watch a replay of Finding the Heart of Who You Are Through The Enneagram (Elle’s Masterclass!) Click Here.
You may have heard of it because of its increasing popularity, but up until a couple of years ago, I had no idea what it was. Maybe a fancy way to send a digital telegram?
As I researched, I came to understand that the Enneagram is an ancient explanation of the nine different natures of people. The Enneagram teaches that we are all part of each of the nine styles, and each of us is born with one dominant style which frames our perspective on everything—and I mean everything.
It totally fascinates me. In addition to learning about my own type, I’m learning about my husband’s type and my friends’ types. I’m deciphering my kids’ types. I’ve even found myself wondering if my dogs have Enneagram types. (I’m pretty sure I have a two on my hands. He is hopelessly friendly, and can emotionally manipulate us when treats are involved. But I digress!)
Most recently, I became certified as an enneagram coach for both individual and team leadership development through The Enneagram in Business and am pursuing more training through the Narrative tradition.
As much as your style dictates the way you interact with the world, determining your type can be tricky. There are many tests online, but in taking those free assessments my results varied. Actually, tests are only proven to be 65% accurate. A lot of mistyping out there—I was actually mistyped for two years!
If you are interested in deciphering your own Enneagram type, I am offering free typing sessions! Click here to schedule a call with me to book your session.
And if you’re here to learn more about the enneagram, here’s what I think is most powerful about it:
1. It identifies core motivations.
I’ve taken every personality test out there —Myers Briggs, the Kolbe, DISC, you name it. But this was different. Those other tests (although I find them super helpful and interesting) tended to put me into a box with a label. You are a D, INFJ, PDQ. While it doesn’t sound any more revolutionary to be categorized as an Enneagram number, the Enneagram isn’t just about strengths or habits—it is a holistic tool to help you understand what drives you, your instincts, your triggers and your fixations. All those things lead to your unique perspective, attitude and even levels of joy.
If you’re not sure what type you are, instead of taking an online quiz, schedule a free typing session with me by going to this link!
2. It allows you to see your blindspots.
Through the Enneagram assessment, I have learned that I am low at being a peacemaker and that I can tend to be over-responsible for others. I also learned that I need to lighten up and have more fun.
As an Enneagram Four, I realized that longing for an ideal is part of how I’m wired, and sometimes, I need to commit to a plan and say “this is for now, not forever.”
By showing us our blind spots, the enneagram can teach us to lean into the characteristics of other numbers and to become more balanced.
3. It opens the door for self-compassion.
Even though every type has its rough edges, there is freedom in knowing more about the uniquely-designed person you were made to be. There is nothing missing or something wrong with who you are!
Whatever your style, whether you’re the perfectionist, the loyalist, the achiever, the peacemaker, the individualist, or the challenger, you are just as you should be. Not sure which type you are? Schedule a free typing session with me here!
4. It opens pathways of empathy.
As you gain awareness of all the styles, you can better empathize and communicate with the people around you. When we learn to love ourselves as we are, we can love others for who they are, too.
Often, when we’re irritated with someone, we’re irritated because their dominant style is different from ours. For example, my style is to grip the steering wheel more tightly and to be agitated when my son is running late for the bus; my son’s style is to close his eyes and rest on our frantic drive to his stop. As an Enneagram Four, I see what’s missing, while as an Enneagram 2, my husband sees the best in others.
There’s nothing wrong with our differences, and no one style is better than another. While our dominant tendencies may butt heads, the goal is to better understand each other and to use our differences to build each other in a beautiful way.
5. It’s a tool for growth.
Beyond shining a light on blind spots and creating more empathy (for ourselves and for others!) the best part of the Enneagram is that it allows us to expand into the superpowers of our type—and to tip the scales back toward balance in the areas where we may have become too extreme.
I recently made a commitment to painting regularly, and I now intentionally create crazy mess in my life to free myself up from waiting for the “ideal” time or situation. I purposefully strive for joy and frivolity. My house is a wreck like it has never been before, and I am painting abstract mixed media art with abandon.
Will you join me?
A journey into self-awareness and self-actualization can be both challenging and relieving, but we are called to bring our best self forth. The only way to do that is to let the cracks show and drag ourselves through the fire.
One of my favorite quotes is by Erma Bombeck: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’”
Using everything God gives you doesn’t just mean sharing your talents with the world—it means going to the core of who you are, having compassion for yourself and others, and growing into the most whole version of YOU.
While it feels vulnerable and unsteady to unzip your skin of protection and let your true self step out, we are all a work of art in progress. I encourage you to take that step with me.
Click here to schedule a call with me for a free Enneagram Typing Session where I will ask you questions and help you navigate to figure out your own Enneagram Type!