Many of us ask ourselves ‘Why do I do things the way I do? How can I shift some things?’
The Enneagram is an assessment system of personality types situated around the enneagram symbol offering profound insights into the way people think, feel, and behave. It lays out distinct personality types and the patterns and habits that characterize them. Its great power lies in the accuracy and depth of the personality descriptions and the transformational path it offers those who wish to grow to reach their fullest potential
It describes three centres of human intelligence, the head, heart, and body, nine interconnected personality types, and 27 subtypes — three versions of each of the nine types, based on whether a person has a predominant drive toward Self-Preservation, Social interaction in groups, or One-to-One bonding. The subtypes offer a more detailed view of the possible manifestations of the human personality, shedding light on our most automatic functioning so we can become more self- aware
1 THE REFORMER
The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic – Ones focus on noticing errors, discerning between right and wrong, and display a reliance on rules and structures
2 THE HELPER
The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive – Two’s focus on gaining approval, relationships, and unconsciously ‘seducing others’ through helpfulness as a way to get their own needs met
3 THE ACHIEVER
The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious – Three’s focus attention on tasks and goals to create an image of success in the eyes of others, they can over identify with their work and wake up to their unconscious masks
4 THE INDIVIDUALIST
The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental – Fours focus attention on their own feelings, the feelings of others, interpersonal connection and disconnection. They seek idealised experiences and often compare themselves to others
5 THE INVESTIGATOR
The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated – Fives believe knowledge is power, like to observe what’s going on around them without getting too emotionally involved, and accumulate information to unconsciously manage anxiety
6 THE LOYALIST
The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious – Six’s focus on thinking of what might go wrong and prepare for that, they have an adaptive strategy centering on detecting threats, and are very loyal
7 THE ENTHUSIAST
The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered – Sevens avoid unpleasant feelings by focussing on the pleasant and reframing negatives to positives, a fear of being trapped in discomfort fuels quick thinking and a reframe focus on future possibilities
8 THE CHALLENGER
The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational – Eight focus their attention on power and control and how it’s wielded, they are typically big picture thinkers
9 THE PEACEMAKER
The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent – Nines focus on others, on what’s going on in the environment, and on avoiding conflict and achieving harmony
We all get trapped in invisible automatic patterns that we don’t see. We take on specific coping strategies early in life to get along with others and get what we need, and these early strategies for dealing with the world around us become fixed and hard to change because they are familiar and comfortable. By shining a light onto our unconscious habits, the Enneagram provides a map to help us wake up to our unconscious (automatic and invisible) repetitive patterns that direct our beliefs, our emotions, and our behaviour so that we can live life more fully.
Discovering your Enneagram type can help you to see more clearly what you think, feel, and do habitually and automatically. By becoming more aware of your unconscious habits, you can expand your capacity to interact with the world in more effective ways, and thus behave more from conscious choice rather than unconscious habit.
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