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  • Writer's picturekellysarlocoaching

What the F*ck Is the Enneagram?

Great question!


The Enneagram is an incredible ancient personality type system that provides invaluable insight into the unconscious motivators of human behaviour.


Each personality type (or number) has a distinct unconscious motivator- like a lens through which they see the world. And each number profiles both the strengths and weaknesses associated with them.


Knowing your type gives you a somewhat grainy snapshot of your life to help you better understand why you do what you do or think and perceive the way you do.


At a first glance, there are 9 types. Essentially those 9 personality types develop in childhood when we experience a perceived threat to our environment or our needs. Your type can develop out of many factors such as Trauma, prolonged stress and family dynamics, to name a few.


Upon deeper examination, the Enneagram teaches us that all 9 types have 3 separate subtypes that give us an even clearer picture of what we unconsciously fixate or focus on. These fixations can be used in healthy, average or unhealthy ways.


The Enneagram teaches us about the ways in which we abandon our ‘True Self’ and adapt our personality in order to get our needs met- love, acceptance, survival -in childhood.


The idea is that although these adaptive measures served to be incredibly useful at the time, as we’ve grown, very few of us go back to that belief system or those survival mechanisms and challenge them with the new knowledge and tools we acquire throughout life.


So, we tend to operate in adulthood from the same unconscious space that we did when we were young and incapable of meeting our own needs. This can be the unhealthy or ‘disintegrated’ self.


Unlike any other personality test, the Enneagram also provides a growth strategy for each type or number. By applying these growth strategies, we can better integrate ourselves into a whole human being- someone who embodies the best of all 9 types.


So, why do I work with the Enneagram?


Knowing your type indicates how you perceive or show up in the world. This can potentially cause hurdles in communication when two different types (and even subtypes) are conversing. We can avoid or troubleshoot these hurdles more easily when we have the self-awareness of our type.


By knowing your type, the Enneagram provides a quick synopsis of how someone from each type prefers to:

  • communicate

  • receive feedback

  • be held accountable

  • be challenged

While the Enneagram gives you a better understanding of who you are, this information also allows coaches to better connect with and support our clients toward even greater growth and self-love.


Cheers from a Type 1,


Kelly


PS. If you know your type, let me know in the comments below along with the thing you love most about your type and one thing you're working on about your type!



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