About a year and a half ago I was struggling with the dead space that filled my nights. Too tired to read, no attention span to get lost in a binge worthy show and no bandwidth to be with people, I found myself scrolling social media. The ‘connection’ I found in social media helped me to feel not so isolated in the evening darkness. It doesn’t take much time on social media, however, to feel the comparison and jealously game kick in. It was becoming clear I needed a new interest to capture my attention.
I was talking this dilemma through with a good friend when she suggested I study the Enneagram. I dismissed it pretty quickly. It sounded weird and I didn’t want to study anything, especially at night when my brain capacity was non existent.
Weeks passed and I, like many of you I’m sure, kept hearing the buzz over Enneagram. I found myself in some conversations that felt like we were on the set of Divergent.
“I’m a 4 with a 5 wing but I identify with my 3 wing too.”
“I can tell I’m stressed because I’ve moved into my 8 tendencies.”
“It makes so much sense that as a 7 that I would be fearful of feeling stuck.”
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But I was over feeling like an outsider and I wanted in so I decided to take the test. I paid $12 for this official report but there are other great options that are free (like this test or this one).
There are nine different personality types on the Enneagram and extensive information to dig into. Each personality type, numbers 1-9, has things that motivate them or drive certain fear based behaviors. The different types have unique strengths and gifts that we all need to lean on and lean into. There is so much discovery through the Enneagram lens, for ourselves but also for others and how we can best love and support them.
After you establish your number, you can learn about your ‘wing’. Your wing is the number above or below your Enneagram number. For example, you could be a 3 with a 2 wing or a 6 with a 7 wing. Your wing can only be the number on either side your core Enneagram number.
One of the things I really love about the Enneagram is the movement within it. Each core number has a number they move toward when they are unhealthy and stressed out and a different number they shift to in health. If you think about your own life, when you are frustrated your mood and tendencies shift, right? Do you become short and blunt? Quiet and secluded? Melancholy and moody? What about when you are mentally healthy and in a good place, do you become spontaneous and more light hearted? More self aware? Or aware of others and their needs? Everyone shifts and knowing your behavior in good and bad situations is not only helpful for you to recognize but also your friends, family or significant other.
The Enneagram has hands down been the greatest tool I’ve found to help understand myself. It’s helped me feel understood when I hear others that are wired like me and how they process the world. I’ve learned grace and understanding. I’ve learned about the parts I’m proud of but also the parts of me that need some work. I’ve learned about my unique talents and strengths as well as the areas I’m most likely to struggle.
I am a proud Enneagram 1 with a 9 wing. As an ‘Improver’ or ‘Reformer’ personality type, I’ve learned that I’m a doer with high standards and ideals. I can struggle with perfectionism, resentment and being impatient. The 1 personality type has a very heavy inner critic. This was the most freeing discovery I made in my Enneagram research. I have a loud inner voice that critiques me all day long and points out where I’ve fallen short. This voice gets loud at night especially when I’m reviewing my day. Learning that this inner critic was not my own conscious or truth has allowed me to turn down the volume and write a new narrative. You can imagine the freedom this has allowed me and what a major shift soon followed. Awareness is key and the Enneagram has gifted me that.
The ‘Improver’ quality has been one of favorite self discoveries through the Enneagram, which I believe to be my personal superpower. I can help unpack complicated things and spot patterns or areas of improvement and help coach though. The Win the Day Coaching program was born from this superpower I discovered. The first week of the 8 week program we talk about Enneagram as it sets the lane and tone for the client moving forward on their path of self discovery. My passion is to help others know they are wildly talented and extraordinary. It’s incredibly rewarding to witness people gain clarity and confidence as they pursue the best version of themselves.
If you’ve got questions about coaching or the Enneagram, let me know. It’s quite possibly my favorite thing to talk about. I’d encourage you to take the test and start the path of understanding yourself. And of course I have to ask, can I have your number?!
P.S. If you are looking to know more about the Enneagram and your number check out this book or this podcast for starters! There’s some great Instagram accounts to learn from as well like this, this or this one!