Becoming Ourselves - The Podcast

The Enneagram - A Foundation

January 12, 2022 Season 3 Episode 2
Becoming Ourselves - The Podcast
The Enneagram - A Foundation
Show Notes Transcript

We're diving into a 10-part series on the Enneagram. My absolute favorite tool in coaching because it legit changes lives. I've never found an accellerator of growth like this one and I'm pumped to see how it changes your life too!

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Juli Wenger:

I am so excited about this series because this is the series that could change everything. What am I talking about? We are running the Enneagram series. And I am stoked, y'all. Because this has been a year in the making. This is something that I was thinking about and talking about last winter and saying, wouldn't it be cool if we did something kind of similar to my Enneagram training? Or we actually talked to people who are wired in all of the different type structures, so that people can really understand what is life? Like, as a type five? What is life like, as a type nine? What is life? Like? How do you perceive the world? How do you interact with the world? What are your needs? What are the things that keep you up at night? How could that shift things for us, in terms of our own self awareness, our own understanding our own compassion for both us and other people, this could change your life. And I know that because it changed mine. This is something that landed in my lap about two and a half years ago. And I was in the space of transition. We've talked about this a lot on the podcast before but for those of you who are new, I was in a real estate business, I had been running for nearly 10 years, and I was burnt out, I was tired, I was anxious. I had lost me in the process of trying to measure up to everyone else's expectations, and live into everyone else's stories of what success looked like. I didn't know who I was, I didn't believe that I was enough. I didn't believe that I was worthy. I didn't believe that. I could really find this life that's fired up, fulfilled and free. And as with many things, God essentially hit me on the side of the head, and was like, hey, this thing. It was coming up in podcasts was listening to Andy Stanley's podcast. And he was interviewing this author, he and Morgan Cron. And Ian had written a book called The road back to you. And it was like interesting, and Enneagram came up in a coaching conversation, and it started to come up everywhere. And this was at a point in time where I was spending time with my real estate team, doing tests and assessments to try to figure out as a leader, how could I better communicate with them, empower them, make sure that they were doing the things that were really in their zone of genius, and that would fire them up that would keep them passionate that we keep them engaged, so that we could build a really transformational experience for our clients. So fast forward to Julie learning about this, I had never come across something that was like, Whoa, that is me, to this extent, and what I've seen both in myself and in clients, because this is something that we consistently leverage. The Enneagram is an accelerator of your own self awareness and personal growth, because it gives you this insight into the core of who you are, into your essence, into your identity. And this understanding of what are the things that typically get in the way? And why do you leverage them? What are the things that are stopping you? From stepping forward? What are the things that are keeping you in fear and out of freedom? So we're going to spend a little bit of time today on foundation. So that as we step into the interviews, we don't have to get into the weeds on how does this entire system work? And how is it structured, but we can instead jump into the specifics of type and the specifics of these people's life stories? How does it show up for them? How did understanding it and journeying into it make a difference? And what I'm really excited about with this guest list you're going to just love them is the majority of them have gone through Enneagram training with me. So not only do they understand their experience, but they they're educated enough about it to really speak on it with intelligence. The couple of people that we have coming in that are from outside of that circle. I'm super excited about them both. And they may be from outside my Enneagram training space, but I know that they really understand how it's impacted their life and they really understand how the structure works. So let's jump in. So Enneagram what are we talking about? We're talking about a system of understanding, personality and character structure. Okay, so you've heard probably of a lot of personality assessments, and tests and different systems, things like disk or MBTI. Or there's color tests or there's like, there's a ton. Honestly, if you Google personality tests, you'll come up with about 8000 different things. And so why this one? What I love about it is that the Enneagram doesn't put you in a box, it really looks at you more holistically, there's a lot of different systems out there. And while they have merit and they have benefit to them, oftentimes, they put people into a box, or they look at a very specific part of how they show up or their behavior, but they're not looking at the whole person. And they're not looking at that kind of core essence of who we are, which is really foundational to us creating any kind of change. So the Enneagram gives you perspective on how do you perceive the world? How do you interact with the world? What are your core needs? What are the things you avoid are your core fears, what drives you? And from there, we start to be able to look at what we call self protective patterns, or in some threads of the Enneagram defense mechanisms. What are the things that your ego leverages to keep you safe? And different types of defaults to different things because they have different underlying wiring. Okay, so there's nine basic types. And I'm going to run through them real quick for you. type number one is called the perfectionist, the reformer or I love this new title for them. That came straight from Ian cron, the improver, okay, they have a need to be good, and to have integrity to live the right way. They are an idealistic type, so they see what's possible and they want to achieve it type to the helper, or the befriender, or the compassionate helper. They have a need to be loved and needed. That's our underlying driver. They're typically warm, they're caring, they're empathetic, they're givers. Hands up, that's me. I think y'all know that already. Anyway, type three is often called the performer or the achiever. And they're very success oriented, they're image conscious, they are doers. They have a need to feel valuable and to succeed. type four are often called the individualists or the creative romantics, they have a need to be understood to be special, to be unique and to be different. Type fives are called the investigators or the observers, they have a need to gain knowledge, conserve energy and avoid relying on other people. They need to be competent and capable to understand or perceive. Type six is called the loyalist. They're typically our worst case scenario, thinkers, they're also a voice of reason. They need security, certainty, support and guidance. Their biggest fear is to be without support and guidance. Type sevens, the enthusiast or the visionaries or the optimistic enthusiast, they have a need to be happy. They want to avoid pain or negative feelings, they have a need to be satisfied. Type eights, the challengers are the controllers, they're typically intense and confrontational their protectors, they have a need to be strong and, and avoid being seen as weak or as vulnerable, they need to protect themselves. They also sometimes are defined as having a need to be against their type that's not opposed to conflict. Typically, type nines are called the peacemakers, or the mediators, their need is to avoid conflict and keep inner peace, they have a desire for wholeness. Now, that's super high level. Okay, but just to give you a bit of a feel for what are these nine different lenses of the world that show up? Because here's what I love about this system. It gets all kinds of varied and deep. So it's not like here's your type. And that's it. That's all it's like, no, there's all of these other factors at play all of these other areas you can pull from, and I've read that it's actually more like instead of nine types are 119 based on all the extrapolations and even there, now we are infinite. We're made in the image of a creator who is infinite. So we're not going to wrap up our essence in one of these type structures and be like, Okay, that's it. We're done. You're these five things and off you go. No, it just goes and goes goes, but it gives us insight and it gives us some anchor points to really root into. Okay, so here's where we're going to jump next, just so you have a bit of a sense of how does some of these types relate to each other, there's something called the centers of intelligence. Now, if you're watching memes, and things on social, often they don't do this system justice, because this is actually super powerful and insightful. And this will often be just called the triad or a triad or triads or whatever. But there's a whole bunch of groupings and sets of three within the Enneagram research and literature, and the psychology and the neuroscience neurobiology work that's being done here. So specifically, because if we're going to do this, we're going to get into the weeds a little bit specifically, what we're talking about is called centers of intelligence. So the centers of intelligence, the way that I've heard this, put really beautifully, I think this was Christopher Hitchens said, they highlight our primary ways of perceiving the world, how do we take in the world, and that's through either our thoughts, or emotions or our instincts? So centers of intelligence are essentially like the three brains? And probably you've heard reference to the three brains before. And so this is, essentially how do we live in the world? And how do we perceive ourselves. So there are gut people instinctive types, there are heart, people are feeling types, and there are head people are thinking types. And each of those groups have three of the number types in them. So the gut people, let's start their gut, people experience life through intuitive instincts and tactile engagement with our senses, they engage the world through activity, in an effort to ascertain maintain a sense of control. That's a Christopher hertz quote, too. So the gut triad is typically more anger based. Because within each of the centers of intelligence, there's an emotion that shows up, there's something that each group is trying to conquer or avoid or deal with. And forget people, people who dominantly perceive the world through instinct and action. That doesn't mean they don't have access to feeling because they do. And it doesn't mean that you don't have access to thinking because they do. We all have all three, but there's one that is more dominant than the other. And I love that because it's like there's body intelligence, there's emotional intelligence. And as a western world society, we often don't give as much credit to instinct and to feeling as we do to thought and logic. So type eight, nine and one. These are the types that fall within the gut triad, the types that are more action, more instinct more intuition driven. Okay, so type eights, the controllers, the challengers, they're an outward focused energy. So they externalize anger, they push it out, they dominate it. And they have that desire for control control over it. Type nine are peacemakers. They're like, No, I don't do angry, they try to broker it out to other people, they bury it. But it tends to come out, kind of leaks out. Anger leaks. So we get this passive aggressive streak that sometimes shows up. And then type ones, they take the anger and they pointed at themselves. It's been said that they seek to bring balance to their world by correcting the anger. And they typically have a very strong inner critic, because that anger is pointed at themselves first, before it starts to go out to other people. And we'll talk about that more when we actually get into the interviews. All three of these types are driven by a desire for justice. They are justice and integrity driven, full stop. Now, if we jump into heart people, as a comparison, people who feel their way through life, who lean into emotional intelligence, they are driven by sadness, or shame. It kind of depends on which tradition of the Enneagram so there's a bunch of different schools of thought on this and groups that are studying it and institutions and training schools and all of that. But traditionally, we had seen more that they're driven by shame, but there's an underlying sadness there and we're seeing that come up more and more and more because all types are susceptible to shame. Everyone's susceptible to shame. Don't even get me started on Bernie brown work right now. But let's just lean into shame and or sadness. Okay. They have this need to avoid feeling shame and feeling sadness. Type two, three and four. This is our heart types. Type twos take their feelings and they push them out. They want to be loved for who they are. They feel like they need to be needed. And they need to be helpful because that's how they learned that they get love and are worthy of love. Okay, type threes, their next door neighbor, they take their feeling energy and they bury it. So we're starting to see a theme here type eights and type twos outward energy, type three and type nine, let's just burry that emotion, we don't go there. And they guess what type four is pointed at themselves. There's a consistency in all the triads and we have one type that's outward energy that pushes out. There's one type that's very inward energy that takes their energy and they focus it at themselves. And then there's one that's like, Nah, I don't, I don't do that. I don't got time for that. I don't want it. It's not calm, whatever the motivation is. So type threes. They disconnect from their emotions or like, no, but they're worried that they're more admired than love Do they have a need to be valuable, and need to feel like they're accomplishing and achieving things because they attach to the sense of you are what you do. And you're only worthy when you're achieving when you're doing when you're measuring up to typically society standards. type four, by contrast, is the most emotionally driven emotionally aware emotionally just emotional, of the feeling types. They take their feelings and they focus inward. And they worry that no one will be able to love or accept them, they have a need to be unique and different. All three of these heart types are driven by a desire for significance. And I mean, this almost like threw me on the floor when I read it because I'm a heart type. That heart types teeter between the compulsion for connection with others and comparison with others to validate their own self worth. If you identify as a feeler just play that back, because oh my goodness, if that doesn't hit you, you might be three Emmy nominee. Joking. Okay. Onwards, let's talk about the head triad a little bit. So head people, fives, sixes and sevens. And yes, I know, this is a fire hose episode, okay, but I want to give you some context to just hang in with me. Head people are driven by fear, okay, or anxiety, I like to reference it and frame it as anxiety because it's forward facing. And that's what anxiety is. It's forward facing fear. Okay, so. So type five is a type that externalizes they have the energy out, they try to move fear outside of themselves, and they analyze to predict the future based on research and understanding. Okay, they're looking at, can I know enough? Because they need to be competent and capable. Okay, can I know enough that I can say with certainty what is going to happen? And then I'll speak up. And then I'll move. Type six, they take that fear, and they pointed at themselves are on constant alert. And there's some work that's been done that theorizes that type six is actually have a more sensitive alarm system, like neurobiologically, they have a more sensitive alarm system. And they focus on preventing threat preventing danger through contingency planning, which means they have a superpower around looking at what could go wrong and being a voice of reason. But anything that's over done, and this is where we're going to go when we talk about defense mechanisms. Everything that we do to keep ourselves safe, has value to a point. And there are ways that we can leverage that thing as a personal superpower. But when we over do it, it can take us out, okay, and that's what often happens. Now type seven, they take their fear, and they're like, No, I'm not doing that. Because they want wholeness, and they want joy and they want to avoid negative feelings. They're just like, No, I'm going to go live in Neverland. It's like Peter Pan, okay. They just create their own world of positive experiences and avoidance and options and like, I'll just avoid fear. So they try to keep access to opportunity. So that they have variety so that they have freedom, okay, now, here's what you need to know. There's a few caveats that I want to throw in here. Number one, all types are equal. And often when we look at type I'll get this question. all the time when I'm training on this stuff, Julie, what if I don't want to be my type? Can I change my type? Can I be more like another type? What if I don't want it? Okay, you are made with purpose on purpose for purpose and all types are necessary. All types are valued. No type is better than another one. There's a lot of societal pressure, for example, to be more extroverted. And not all of us are wired to be exceptionally extroverted or extroverted at all. I sit firmly on the ambivert part of the continuum, okay, right in the middle, barely on the extrovert side. And I swear as I get older, and I'm married to an introvert, I just like closer and closer to the middle. But it's also a releasing of the expectation that society places on us to be a certain way. So there's that there's need for all types, there's value for all types. All types have I like to call it kryptonite and superpowers? Because I don't like some of the old language in some of the Enneagram literature because it's very like old school churchy. And while I love Jesus over here, I don't love old school churchy language because it just anyway. Also, as we're going through this process, if you don't know how you're wired, you're probably going to be tempted to go take a test. Right? Okay. So here's what you need to know about tests. They're not all created equal. Okay? You cannot be more than one type dominantly because there are tests out there. And they'll give you a percentage match with a whole bunch of different types. And people go like, Oh, I'm a two and I'm a nine. And I'm like, no, no, no, you're not. That's not how this works. So I want to be real clear on this. You can't be multiple types. I'm sorry, that'd be really cool. There's this really cool theory about how you can have a dominant type in each of the centers of intelligence. And I think there's like some interesting stuff to that. But it's like, no, we don't have anything conclusive there. But what we do know is that we all have a dominant type, we can touch on and pull from a bunch of other places, okay, but we have a dominant type, it doesn't change. There's a lot that supports that we are either born into it, or we are born predisposed to it. As a believer in Christ, I think that we are prebuilt and predestined. And it's not a matter of what type are we going to be, it's a matter of how much do we attach to the personality structure that we wrap around ourselves, okay, because that's what personality is personality is a collection of coping mechanisms. Depending on what happens to us in life, when we're young, we will attach to different coping mechanisms to different degrees, and then that will affect behaviorally how we show up in the world. So I could get like, all fired up about that, but we're just gonna leave that there. So tests are not always accurate, like 75 to 85% accurate, depending on the quality of the test and the level of your self awareness. Now, if you want to do one, here are my two recommendations for paid tests. Okay, number one, I think it's like $12, might be 12. American, I don't know if it's Canadian, to my Canadian listeners, whatever. But, but it's called the ready, R H, e ti. So reseau, Hudson, Enneagram Type Indicator, okay, it is solid, I have had a lot of clients use it. I have never seen someone Miss type. Using that test. Now. It's one that gives you percentages. And it'll give you your top three kind of separated out and it will tell you what it thinks you are. Now it is your responsibility to go about confirming that because what we don't want is to go live into something that's not actually us and you know yourself better than the testers. So that one is really good. I've seen a couple people really like struggle with, okay, am I this type or this type, and they're both rated really high. And it takes us some time and some exploration to really get there. I'm here for you if that's something that you need some support with. And we have the tools to really narrow that down. So just know that but just because it gives you a whole bunch of percentage matches does not mean that you're a whole bunch of things. The other one that's really good is called the IE Q nine. Now it's like 75 Canadian and I think 60 or something American and there's a more expensive one that is really cool. It's really insightful. It gives you one type that's it full stop. Tears you I have seen one person ever miss type ever and they were not super self aware. So those are both really great options, but grain assaulted, okay, because they might be Right, but they might not. And it's really important if you're going to use this as a foundation for understanding yourself, and accelerating your growth journey. Because this accelerates journeys, like nothing I've seen, which is why I use it all the time, that you have the right foundation, you don't want to build on someone else's foundation. More caveat, don't type other people. For the love of God, just don't do it. I know you want to, I know you want to type your spouse, I know you want to type your team. I know you want to type your kids for the love of God, don't just stop it. Stop it. But Julie, stop it. Okay. It's a very personal process. And as you go through exploring this with me and with our incredible guests, you're going to see that behaviorally, there can be a ton of similarities between one type and another. There can be overlaps, that make one type look like another type. Let me give you a real example. real life example. One of the guys who I did one of my Enneagram training courses with, he really struggled with, am I a six, which some of my tests say that I am, or am I an eight, because he was very much a worst case scenario thinker, he is very much a loyalist. He was someone who was always like voice of reason was always planning was always trying to keep everybody safe around him, take care of them, that kind of thing. But behaviorally, he looked a lot like an eight, that challenger that aggressive energy, that protective energy, very integrity driven his like, I'm just so confused. And we talked about it and was like, you know, there's this thing. And we're going to get into more weeds right now. So just pay attention. There's this thing called subtypes within each type, and this is one of the things that makes nine types extrapolate out to about 118, there are these subtypes. And each type has three subtypes. And the subtypes are the same. There's a social subtype, there's a one to one connection subtype, and there's a self preservation subtype. And how those present within each different type structure varies, okay? So you can have people who are all type sixes that look very, very different behaviorally, but their core need is still that they need authority and guidance. And they're still looking at how do I prevent things from going wrong. And I said to him, Well, there's a subtype of that actually looks like an eight. Because this version of six, instead of moving away from fear, moving away from danger, they believe that they need to conquer it, to get past it, they need to attack it, to move past it. It's a counter type. It's kind of like a backwards type almost, if you will. And we talked about this, he was like, That's me, I totally am a sex. He had this clarity moment, this lightbulb moment, but you know, no credit to me, because I just got to be a conduit of the information. I didn't do the research. But you know, after going to all of these different training, seminars and workshops and things and trying to figure it out, he finally had the clarity. And this is where I love that the Enneagram doesn't put you in a box. So sometimes all that to say sometimes it's tough to nail down your type. But if you're looking at other people, and you're trying to type them, you might say, Oh, this person's totally an eight because they show up as really aggressive. But they're actually a six, or they're actually a two, or they're actually something else. So be very cautious. This is not something that we want to push on to other people. This is something we use to focus on us first. Now can we get curious about how other people might be wired? Can we test out different methods of communication to try to empower them? Set them up for success? Absolutely. But don't go saying to people and I totally did this to my husband when I was new so I'll just like out myself there was like honey, you were an eight. And often we can play our spouses but not always okay. And I totally just like box him in there. What if I was wrong? What if I was wrong? And he went about life saying, Okay, well, if that's me, then maybe I can, you know, chalk up my behavior to a certain underlying pattern or me That's not actually accurate, like that can do more damage than good. So don't type all people around, you don't type anybody around, you just focus on you. This is a great tool for self compassion. It's a great tool for understanding others and having compassion for others, which is really important right now. It's really important right now, especially as we're like, into this Omicron. Anyway, okay, a couple more things that we're going to touch on in terms of foundation. So number one is wings. Okay, I know, you're just like, there's this weird circle, and it looks like some crazy witchcraft thing. It's not, it's just a circle of wines. And okay, I love Jesus. And this is actually something that for me, reflects, and I've read this, I didn't come up with this, but reflects the characteristics of God, and His creativity and just the perfection of all things. So just let that go. But there's a lot of terminology here. So wings, if you look at the Enneagram circle, and you can't see one on the podcast, because we're not video obviously. So go like search for an Enneagram circle, E N, N, E, A, G, Ra M, for those of you that want to go do that right now. Okay, and on each side of a number, let's just play with type two, because that's me, okay, I'm an easy example. On each side of type two was another number one and three, easy peasy. Those are what we call my wings. So I have my core character structure, I have my cord lens of the world, my way of perceiving the world, my drivers, my triggers, my kryptonite is my superpowers, all my core type two stuff. Okay, on either side of me, these types that are directly beside me, I can reach into those types. And I can leverage some of their perspective of the world, I can leverage some of their coping mechanisms, I can leverage some of their superpowers, my ability to achieve and my drive to execute, I pull a lot of that from type three, my need to prove my worthiness, I also pull a lot of that from type three, my ability to walk into a room and see all of the things that could get fixed or tweaked or like made better about it, or to look at a process or to look at a system. There's a perfectionism piece there, that comes largely from type one. So there are things that are like, it's like salt and pepper, your personality. Okay, that's my favorite analogy that I've heard over the years. I think that was an Ian cron thing, too. So obviously, he's one of my favorites, go read his book. So that's wings. And we'll get into that with more context as we do interviews, okay. Otherwise, there's also within your core character structure, there's this literature around behaviorally, here's what each type looks like when they're in a really healthy space, a kind of neutral or average space and an unhealthy space. Now, this is super useful, because it gives us a sense of how are we doing? How's our mindset? How's our emotional and mental health? what's showing up for us? What are we reaching for and striving for to be better to be healthier? What shows up for us then, so it gives us a really good gauge of where are we at, and we're not going to spend all of our time every day in the same space, it's kind of a moving continuum. And really helpful from a self awareness perspective. With that, we also have these lines that run within the diagram, and connect each type to another type. So if you're looking at type two, you'll see that there are lines within the circle to type four and to type eight. So type four is called the growth number. And type eight is called the stress resource number. Now, things are changing a little bit within the Enneagram community, because for a long time, it was like a one is negative and you pull bad stuff from it, and the other one is positive. And that's where you go when you're in really good space. But honestly, we can pull good and bad things from both spaces. Personally, I find when I'm unhealthy, when I get to that really low level, like I'm not doing good space, and they start to get into flipping my lid where we go prefrontal cortex is offline and go into fight flight and freeze, I start to take on aspects of both type four and type eight, type four when they're not healthy. They start to go into victim mode, and I picked some of that up type eight when they're not healthy, go into micromanaging. They go into aggressive they go into anger, what other people so I start like yelling at my kids, okay. So there's those two aspects But on the positive side, and this was a part of what made so much sense to me when I started studying this thing was, when I'm really healthy, I get creative. I start singing and songwriting. And the creativity is something that shows up really strongly within type four, they have this superpower of being able to see the beauty in the world. And when I need it, I can pull from eight, a whole lot of fire, a whole lot of protective instinct, a whole lot of passion, a whole lot of intensity. So from both spaces, there are both positives and negatives that we have access to. And where I think there might still be a little bit of play to this theory of one is a little more positive, one's a little more negative, I definitely see more eight and myself and I'm stressed out more for myself when I'm in growth space. And let's just pay attention to it be curious. Okay. So that's stress. That's growth spaces. That's wings that covers healthy, unhealthy and average. We've talked a little bit about testing, not typing other people. We've talked about core type structure. So let's leave that there. And let's jump into next week. Our first conversation, we're starting with type one. I am super excited to have Tony Yeoman coming on to the podcast next week to talk about his experience of understanding learning about Enneagram initially, and how that has shaped his journey of becoming himself. So make sure you tune in next week and catch my conversation with Tony. Like I said, we have a phenomenal lineup of all of the different types that are going to hit the podcast over the next nine weeks. I would love it if you will share this with your community, because this is an opportunity for us to all develop understanding and compassion and self awareness. And like I said at the beginning it could change your life. All my love and Virtual hugs