Have you ever imagined creating more happiness and balance in your life?
Do you know what would motivate you to do so? About three years ago, I recognized repeat patterns that were no longer providing me satisfaction, and I knew it was time to change.
My goal was simple: stop doing things I no longer wanted to do.
I don’t remember how I was introduced to the Enneagram and the iEQ9 assessment, but I’m so thankful I was. This simple assessment and its results were an eye-opening “moment of truth” that transformed my thinking and provided a whole new, expansive growth trajectory. The Enneagram is an invaluable personality map for understanding habitual patterns essential for greater self-awareness.
What sets it apart is that it uncovers core motivation – why we behave the way we do.
The iEQ9 assessment looks at significant psychodynamics that appears above and below our conscious levels. It looks at what’s behind our personality and ego. There are guiding ideas that define and drive each Enneagram Type, specifically its idealized self-image, worldview, motivation, and focus of attention. There is also the Type’s sore points and distortions that keep them stuck. These include their fixations, vulnerability (aka fear), and vices. In turn, our defensive system keeps us trapped in our fixations with blind spots and triggers.
By creating awareness and acceptance of our defense mechanisms, we can begin to realize when they emerge and stop the repeat patterns that aren’t serving us well.
Within the Enneagram framework, our integration and growth path are shown through corresponding lines and wings. It’s by balancing how we feel, think, and act, that we can tap into our best-self and align with our intrinsic virtues and values.
As an Enneagram Core Type Two, my motivation stems from the need to be liked and appreciated.
As such, my self-worth depends on whether others like or value me. As someone who prides herself on being independent, I was slightly shocked to see this in me. Regardless, it was true. My upbringing trained me to assess and adapt to others. Being sensitive to my surroundings and the well-being of others, I’d adjust my approach. For example, this included me telling people what they wanted to hear or behaving how they expected me to in return for praise, appreciation, or gratitude.
Another notable feature of the Enneagram is around each Type’s instinctual goals, which are:
- Self-Preservation: Primary concern for survival and safety.
- One-to-One: Intensity of experience with specific people focusing on the quality and status of relationships.
- Social Instinct: Being part of the herd, centering on belonging, recognition, and relationships to social groups.
When coupled with your Core Type, it creates a Subtype and distinctiveness within each Type.
This is why two people with the same Type can seem considerably unalike, not taking into account their cultural traits, childhood, and environmental circumstances. It was diving into my Subtype, Self-Preservation, that helped me understand why I felt and behaved the way I did. Some of the most challenging work for me has been noticing where I’ve made others responsible for my happiness and blaming them when I wasn’t. I also understood it was fine not to be okay. I could be upfront when I was upset and did not like my predicament instead of reframing the situation with a positive outlook.
Awareness is the first step to freedom.
Coupled with the desire to change, it propels you into action. By taking small steps, I strengthened my resiliency, learned how to say no, and became okay with disappointing others. In essence, I reclaimed my power versus handing it off to the care of others. In doing so, I created space to see things from a different perspective. I’m able to take a more objective stance and let go of things that would have troubled me in the past.
These are just a few profound examples of how the Enneagram has transformed my life, outside of affirming my Type’s strengths, and positive facets. What’s most compelling is how much I changed in such a short time from my learnings. Less than a year ago, I would be anxious to plan and get to the next place, thing, or idea. Now, I’m enjoying the thrill of unraveling, observing, and being open to what is—knowing that with each instance, I am reshaping, rebuilding, and becoming a better me.
It’s unbelievable how the wisdom of the Enneagram has created new possibilities for me. What’s even more exhilarating is that education has just begun. Now, as a certified iEQ9 Enneagram practitioner, I’m delighted to be able to offer the same opportunity to you. Join me on this journey of self-discovery to uncover what’s holding you back and activate your best.