Sunday, March 1, 2020

Learning About Enneagrams

I have been delving into the world of Enneagram types. 

I had been hearing about “Enneagram” and had no idea what it was. Then people started asking me what my number was. So, I finally took the test - without much knowledge of what it was all about. I got my results, proceeded to read about that number, and could relate to much of it.

But then, after I told my family my number,  I was told by my girls, that that was not who I was at all. That I was a different number. And I pushed back HARD on what they told me I was.

So I dug deeper.

And you know what? They ended up being right.
One thing I will say about the Enneagram, is that it makes you face your “junk.” And that’s not easy. But the thing is - even if you’re in denial about who you are? Other people see you that way, anyways. Our own mindset and framework don’t change how others view us.

For me, I was focusing so much on the negatives of my number, that I overlooked all of the really powerful parts of who I was. Parts, that in a healthy way of living, overshadow and outplay the negatives.

And let’s face it - we all have negatives to our numbers, anyways, don’t we? For some of us, we struggle with pride. Others, envy. And others anxiety. It doesn’t mean that THAT struggle is who we are. And that’s exactly what I was pushing back on. I immediately thought that my struggle, was what everyone saw me as. And you know what? It only proved my number in a deeper way!

I’m still learning a lot about the Enneagram. I usually don’t dive this deeply into personality tests - but this one encompasses so much more, and it focuses a lot on “motivation.” 

Identifying your type; your strengths and weaknesses, can really help you trouble-shoot your own trouble spots and weak areas. It can help you set new boundaries for yourself in your weak areas, and actually, feel freer to simply be how God created you. It can also help you as you work with others. To understand them, and have them - better understand you.

I have never encountered a more impactful analysis of our personalities.

If you are now curious, and have not taken the Enneagram test, here are a couple of words of advice.

  1. Take the test. That’ fine. But then QUESTION the test. So many people test wrong. Listen to podcasts, read summaries of the different types, and focus on the core sin and weakness. For that will probably nail you down quicker than anything else. 

2. We don’t ALL relate to everything about every type. Mine said something I was emphatic that I wasn’t. And I learned that that is because I am in a healthy living version of my type. (That’s a good thing!) But, also, that that part I hated IS a part of me - and can become a BIG part if I’m not careful. So knowing that potential exists, is a really powerful thing for me, to help me not get to an unhealthy spot. 

There will be some characteristics of each number, that aren’t you; because we all live with our bents a little bit differently. So know that not every facet of a number, will resonate with you.

3. Do a lot of research over time. I heard someone say that the type you push back against the most in your spirit - is probably the one you are.

4. Let it BETTER you. Don’t just focus on your negatives. But truly let it better you to learn how to handle those things that trigger you in your life. Let it help you implement ways to help keep you in a healthy form of your number, instead of an unhealthy version of it.

Each one of you is so unique and special. Each Enneagram has something amazing and different to bring to the table. 

Whatever number you end up being - embrace your number, Know that every number and every person is uniquely gifted, special, and valuable. 

Live in your strengths. They are a gift.

And, happy learning.

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