To say life is somewhat of a bummer these days would be a severe understatement. Although we’re starting to get back to normal in Germany, our new reality is laced with insecurity and fragility. Each of us is designed to handle this challenge differently. Some of us will panic the moment we open our eyes and spend the day on the verge of catatonia, while others will be able to compartmentalize the unease and push forward by using various coping mechanisms. I bet you know which approach you naturally lean toward, but have you actively thought about how you’re dealing? Do you know why you’re reacting in the way you are? Or if your strategy is working for you?
In this moment, it’s vital to have the self-awareness to know how to answer these questions. Enter: The Enneagram. This Personality Typing system is unique among many, as it provides insights into our deepest patterns of thinking and behavior; it clarifies our motivations and values, our decision-making and coping methods, and how we see and want to be seen. It lets us rediscover our true character by simplifying the complexities of humankind into nine distinct Types. Once we identify the Type with which we’re most closely aligned, we start understanding why we feel and behave the way we do. It gives us the “why” for the “why?!”.
As a Coach, I’ve witnessed the freedom and self-acceptance that emerges in clients who come to view their procrastination or resentment or loneliness in a new light, once I’ve explained a bit more about the intricacies of their Personality Type. This could come in the form of reminding the 2 that asserting her needs will not make her less lovable, or informing the 7 of why he feels such intense boredom and deprivation when his typical outlets aren’t available. Each Type has unique values, desires, and fears which subconsciously motivate them to follow certain paths and take specific actions. Do you know what drives you? If you’re living in line with your Type’s overarching goal, your superpower is activated and the results leave you feeling fulfilled. But if you’re separated from your driving force, you’re living disconnected from what truly gives you energy and meaning.
During the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to be aware of your “why”, since the dramatic changes we’ve experienced have catalyzed strong thoughts and reactions. However, it’s also crucial to know your “what to do with it”. Identifying your Type will help you know where (and where not) to look for meaning, how to release and regulate your emotions, and how and when to assert your truth. It will reveal what your version of a balanced, healthy life looks like and give you permission to live as your authentic, imperfect self.
Keep in mind that knowing this information doesn’t give you a blanket excuse to behave poorly. The key is to use it to recognize your limitations, magnify your strengths, and continuously get better at acting in line with what’s best for you and others. However, if you remain your human self and do some silly things, it also authorizes you to skip the guilt-trip and move on constructively.
If you haven’t had your moment of revelation yet, perhaps it’s time. Find joy in your unique perspective. Remove any shame or confusion about how you’ve responded to the crisis. Discover the freedom of moving through life with confidence in who you are. Get in touch for a free initial session to explore your place on the Enneagram.
If you’re interested in discovering more about the Enneagram, you can find general information here: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com. Please also have a look at the table I’ve created. It can serve as an introduction to the nine Types and be a useful tool in learning where you fit on the Enneagram. Of course, the most beneficial method for identifying your Type is for us to meet virtually or in-person!