Reflections | Enneagram Seven
The enneagram is everywhere and I’m not complaining about it’s bold appearance throughout 2018. While it’s been around for decades or longer it’s clearly been more present during 2018 than ever before in my lifetime. Even though I’m done binging it in a lot of ways it’s warmly welcomed healthily throughout my life, my thoughts and my heightened self-awareness. Because I’ve spent so much time posting about it both in my timeline as well as talking through some of my discoveries or thoughts on my stories on Instagram I thought it appropriate to share with you my overall feelings on the system.
I think what has happened is a lot of people are becoming fixated on a number, their number. Many of you have messaged me saying that you don’t think you can be this number because you also relate with this other number. Or you explain that you agree with most parts but not all of the attributes so it couldn’t be you. Please, remember that you are an individual and this is not the end all be all. This is a personality test and while I believe it to ring true and to be incredibly more specific than any other test I’ve taken, you are you and all that makes you who you are cannot be shoved into one tiny slice of a 9 piece pie. You are unique. You have wonderful qualities and struggles that are individual to you and while it’s comforting to understand that there are others that are similar to you, it doesn’t mean that every little thing about your number IS you.
I went head first. I dug in. I listened. I cried. I called people and asked questions. I journaled. I prayed. The Enneagram actually really made a lot of gapping holes make sense for me. I think it brought healing in a spaces where I never understood why this was that way or that was this way. It made me feel less lonely in places that I wouldn’t have identified as that but when I heard that some of the deepest parts of me were shared with others, in fact hundreds of thousands of others, I think I felt relief. For example, the over thinking.
I - over - think - everything.
I remember one time my uncle looked at me and said, “You just need to turn your brain off, Honey. Your poor mind.” I remember thinking wow, what a thought. Who can do that? Can we do that? How do we do that? Even my dreams are full of thoughts that are tucked deep into my conscious.
I’m a seven and sevens are in the thinking triad. Let me rewind. The enneagram is made up of nine numbers. Each of those nine numbers belong to one of three sections referred to as a triad. 8-9-1 belong to a triad called the Instinctive Section, 2-3-4 belong to the Feeling Section and 5-6-7 belong to the Thinking Section. When anyone is in stress we gravitate toward a different number’s personality type and when we’re in health we go to yet another. The sevens are the anomaly of the enneagram; in that we never cross over to the Feeling section. Not in health, not as an average seven and not in stress. We’re the only number that doesn’t touch feeling naturally. Friends! This means I’m 100% always in my head. ALWAYS IN MY HEAD. Knowing this made me feel less odd for always thinking through everything sixteen different ways to the sun.
Traditionally speaking sevens are fun, as in- the most fun. We’re always planning, always doing, always in the middle of the next thing while in the midst of the present thing, we’re the life of the party, the great story teller, the one that’s leading the jump off of the cliff and usually there are others right behind us. We’re the ones that make really good jokes to lighten the mood when heavy. I learned a lot about my habits throughout the podcasts and books and chatting with other people.
And then something happened in me, I started to feel obligated to being on- again. You see, I used to always be going and doing, on on on … and so much fun. I didn’t offer heavy conversation and not because it wasn’t in me but because it wasn’t the roll given me. People didn’t create space for the depth with me, if experienced I often had to force it on them and it would’ve only been with a trusted few. And I noticed it in groups, so I eliminated space for it. However, while all of this enneagram stuff was unfolding in 2018 for my mind, for my heart, I realized I was starting to play into that habits of a seven and not because it came naturally anymore because I thought it was my role. I suddenly realized WHERE the shift happened within certain friendships in the past and it was so very clearly based on the fact that for the past several years I’ve dug into the homework of self awareness and improvement. While I’ve been cleaning out the cobwebs of activity to avoid pain and I’ve strived to grow I’ve kind of let go of some of the performing for others and in that relationships changed. Checking back into that to fulfill the seven mantra suddenly felt inauthentic an I realized that because that’s the fun part of us, the part that people loved I was clicking back in. And then I stopped. I took a pause and asked myself why I was checking back into unhealthy habits? Because the Ennegram surge is telling people that’s what I provide? And so I took a step back from the ins and outs of the assessment?
Candidly put 2018’s been the most trying year of my life and there has been a lot of space to click back into those whole habits. People ask how I do so much so I know this might all seem silly to someone who isn’t me but I know I’m not back to distributing yes’ to everyone that asks for one and I know that I’m being careful with my schedule as best I can. While it’s been so eye-opening and it’s offered understanding to myself and so many relationships i my life, there is also peace in knowing that while I do have capacity for a lot more movement and activity than others that I don’t need it like I was did. And that just because this is an incredibly identifying tool that holds gobs of truth, I don’t need to feed into the roles that have built up so much of my life.
I encourage everyone to take the Enneagram. I think it’s a gift but more than anything it’s like a little owners manual of who we are generally and then we get to do homework not to fall into the habits and traits that the numbers identify but to become healthier versions of ourselves and to be more aware of what our default behavior is and how to continue to be better.
Some people don’t like self work. Some people really don’t like self-help books, therapy or counseling. But what I’m saying is that if we plug in to who we are and what makes us who we are and we choose to be informed our downfalls it creates a breeding ground for the goodness that we want in our lives. I’m digging into who I am and what makes me Karen Mitchell so that I can become healthier, so that I can give more to my own children and to my marriage.
I think the enneagram is wonderful.
I think you should take it and share the details of it with the ones you love.
I think you should do homework to try and become the best version of yourself.
It’s a good think to think and to feel and to pair it with one another.
You can learn more about how the Enneagram works here.
Let me know what you think about it all… I wan to know.