The Enneagram is more than a personality test. It identifies your strengths and weaknesses, while analyzing the best way for you to adapt to situations throughout your life.
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WHAT’S YOUR ENNEAGRAM TYPE?
I’ve always been hesitant to jump in on the trends. I’ll get there, but I want to do it on my own terms. I also get bored easily, and bounce from one creative idea to the next. I tend to procrastinate, but I always complete the project. I’m usually “fashionably late” but enjoy bringing humor to the group. I like to think I’m optimistic and encouraging to others. Sometimes I get bogged down by my own emotions, and get energized from time spent alone.
Why is this?
You may have your own list of things you recognize in yourself (your strengths and weaknesses, personality traits, tendencies) or you may have no idea what your inclinations are.
The Enneagram is a popular system that really began centuries ago, but became “trendy” a few years back. It is more than a personality test, in that it doesn’t just tell you what your tendencies are, but analyzes how you adapt to stress, and how you thrive. It digs deep into what makes you who you are and gives advice on how to deal with your ups and downs, and where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
What I enjoyed about “The Road Back to You” is it is specifically written for Christian readers and connects your “type” to your spirituality. It addresses what pitfalls (or sins) you are most prone to, and what your spiritual gifts are.
THE 9 TYPES ON THE ENNEAGRAM
I’ll bet you’re wondering what type you are! Here’s a very basic overview of the 9 Enneagram types:
1. THE PERFECTIONIST
“Ethical, dedicated and reliable, they are motivated by a desire to live the right way, improve the world, and avoid fault and blame”
2. THE HELPER
“Warm, caring and giving, they are motivated by a need to be loved and needed, and to avoid acknowledging their own needs.”
3. THE PERFORMER
“Success-oriented, image-conscious and wired for productivity, they are motivated by a need to be (or appear to be) successful and avoid failure.”
4. THE ROMANTIC
“Creative, sensitive and moody, they are motivated by a need to be understood, experience their oversized feelings and avoid being ordinary.”
5. THE INVESTIGATOR
“Analytical, detached and private, they are motivated by a need to gain knowledge, conserve energy and avoid relying on others.”
6. THE LOYALIST
“Committed, practical and witty, they are worst-case-scenario thinkers who are motivated by fear and the need for security.”
7. THE ENTHUSIAST
“Fun, spontaneous and adventurous, they are motivated by a need to be happy, to plan stimulating experiences and to avoid pain.”
8. THE CHALLENGER
“Commanding, intense and confrontational, they are motivated by a need to be strong and avoid feeling weak or vulnerable.”
9. THE PEACEMAKER
“Pleasant, laid back and accommodating, they are motivated by a need to keep the peace, merge with others and avoid conflict.”
WHAT ARE MY OWN TENDENCIES?
I was most surprised that I could pinpoint almost everyone in my life immediately to their type as I was reading their section, but couldn’t identify what my dominant type was! Quickly, I began to recognize my friends and family in these pages and understand why they are the way they are. I gained compassion and insight reading what they struggle with and got excited when I noticed their strengths. The Enneagram is also a great tool for relationships!
As I was reading, here are a few tendencies I recognized in myself (and maybe you will too!):
- “I don’t enjoy big social gatherings as much as a quiet evening at home with the ones I love.” (9)
- “I think it is my responsibility to leave the world better than I found it.” (5)
- “I’d rather lead than follow any day.” (3)
- “I like my home to feel like a safe and welcoming place for my family and others.” (2)
- “I trust myself. That means I think about things for awhile and then I make my own decisions.” (5)
- “It helps me to have things in some kind of order.” (6)
- “I tend to procrastinate.” (9)
- “I notice immediately when things are wrong or out of place.” (1)
- “Almost everything can be more fun and entertaining with a little effort.” (7)
- “I am anxious to overcome misunderstandings in a relationship.” (2)
- “I don’t like it when people slow me down.” (3)
- “I’m very sensitive to criticism, and it takes me awhile to get over it.” (4)
- “I need time alone.” (5)
- “I’m either an artist or highly creative.” (4)
- “I find it hard to stop thinking about the things I am worried about.” (6)
- “I quickly get bored with the same routine and like to try new things.” (7)
NOW WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS KNOWLEDGE?
In addition to giving you insight into what type you are, it details what it looks like to be the healthy, average and unhealthy version of this type. It pinpoints your bad habits, and give advice on how to grow as a person according to your Enneagram type. Each chapter ends with 10 suggestions for you to implement right away.
You may identify with your type right away, or you may need to dig a little further (like me) to understand what makes you the way you are. However, just being able to recognize myself among the pages (good and bad) was very helpful into recognizing areas where I need to grow, and what’s holding me back.
Here are a few things I am challenging myself with since reading “The Road Back to You”:
- “Resist the urge to fall back on passive-aggressive behaviors like procrastination and avoidance.” (9)
- “Be aware of how you receive criticism from others, and try to accept it without being defensive.” (1)
- “Take an inventory of who and what gets sacrificed while you’re frantically racing to cross the finish line first–spouse, kids, health, friendships. (3)
- “When the past calls, let it go to voicemail. It has nothing new to say to you.” (4)
- “Allow your feelings to arise naturally and experience them in the present moment, and then you can let them go.” (5)
- “Learn to recognize the difference between legitimate fear and free-floating anxiety, and ascribe different values to them.” (6)
ORDER “THE ROAD BACK TO YOU”
Since reading this book, I’ve really been motivated to look into other personality tests to learn more about myself. I recommend this book as the perfect starting place for anyone interested in self-improvement. You can order it here:
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…
Now that you’ve learned your “type”, it’s time to set some goals! You can grab my printable Goal Setting Workbook here:
For more posts like this, check out:
- What I Learned About Simplifying from “The Year of Less”
- My Favorite Tools for Goal Setting
- What I Learned About Being Present from “Meditation and Mindfulness”
- 10 Spiritual Goals to Have and How to Work Toward Them
- What I Learned About Goal Setting from “Girl, Stop Apologizing”
You’ve got this!
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