I keep a running list of possible blog topics on my phone. When it’s time to pick there is typically one shouting out at me. This month however I could not decide between a handful of topics. I decided to ask my social media followers to vote on a topic. It came down to a close race between family budgeting tips and the enneagram. I am not quite ready to give budgeting advice so I am going to share with you my enneagram journey so far.
You may be wondering, the enna-what-now? Simply put, the enneagram is a personality test. But in truth, it is so much more than that!
I know what you are thinking. I thought the same thing when I first heard about the enneagram. I was a communications major and I spent time working in corporate America, the last thing I needed or wanted was another personality test. I had already taken them all (the letters, the animals, the colors) and this test wasn’t going to tell me anything new.
But, I was wrong.
What makes the enneagram different is that it does not just focus on the behavior aspect of your personality, it focuses on your core motivations. On Annie F. Downs’ latest podcast she gave this example: each enneagram number could be stranded in an elevator and could all end up behaving in the same way. The difference would be WHY each number acted the way they did.
So first, let’s find out what enneagram number you are. Click here for a free enneagram test. I suggest taking the classical enneagram test and seriously take your time! Do not blow through it like those old Cosmo quizzes. This is way more important than which Kardashian sister you are most like. Also, be honest with yourself. Don’t give the answers you wish were true or you think others believe to be true about you. I actually went back and changed some answers when I decided to be painfully honest with myself.
Another way to discover your enneagram number is by reading, “The Road Back To You” by Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile. They say your number chapter is the cringiest to read, but that is also a good sign that it is in fact you.
When I first took the enneagram test and was given the diagnosis of a six all I could see were these words: anxious, suspicious, defensive, evasive, indecisive, reactive, defiant, rebellious. My goodness those words were not me at all. I promptly sent the description to my husband and my sister along with my disgust. I knew this new test was poppycock. They both read the type description and slowly, carefully looked up from their phones. The look they gave me was all I needed to know that I needed to read the description again. They were both lovingly trying to tell me that it was spot on.
From The Ennegram Institute: sixes are the most loyal to their friends and to their beliefs. They will “go down with the ship” and hang on to relationships of all kinds far longer than most other types. From Brush and Barley: I am very trustworthy but others must earn mine.
All excruciatingly true.
Next, I heard that Annie was doing a series called “EnneaSummer” on her podcast where she interviewed a male and female of each number. Let me tell you, I was SO anxious to listen to the six podcast that I put it off until after all the other numbers. When I finally got up the courage to listen, I was in tears within minutes.
Enneagram coach Beth McCord explained that some numbers have an inner critic but that sixes have an entire “internal committee.” She said that sixes constantly live in a state of yellow or warning. Being that we are always on yellow, it’s easy for us to seemingly blink into red at a moment’s notice. Also, the only people who truly ever get to see us on code green or relaxed is typically our family or a very small group of people.
Some mantras I have adapted since listening to the podcast are: the future is God’s territory! It is not mine to obsess over or try to control. Also: how big is my God? Bigger than whatever I am currently worrying about! I also really loved this idea: journal about the things that make you anxious and what really ends up happening. I have found so many times that reality is not nearly as scary as my internal committee claims it will be. Reflecting on those moments makes it easier to calm the fears next time.
On Annie’s episode with the sixes the male guest talked about how sometimes he just needs to stop and ask his wife, “do you still love me?” I know that to other numbers that seems so strange. But it used to happen all the time in my house. A six’s biggest fear is to be without support and security. As you can imagine it is no easy task to be in close relationship with a six. To those that do it and do it well, thank you from the bottom of this nervous heart. Nowadays, it is my husband who will just sometimes stop to say, “I didn’t stop loving you today.” He really is the most perfect helper for me! No really, he is a type 2 and he’s all mine. It’s amazing how God worked that out.
It was also my helper husband who said, “God is the healthiest version of all the numbers.” As you dive deeper into the enneagram you learn that there are wings, subtypes, centers, and levels of healthiness. This is one of my favorite things about the enneagram. It is not just about knowing your personality and moving on. It’s about a deep sense of self awareness that will ultimately lead to a deeper sense of self love. It’s about being the healthiest version of yourself and helping others along the way.
So now it’s your turn, what is your enneagram number and how does it make you feel?
To my fellow sixes, let’s go change the world!
XO – Olivia