"Your perception of the world around you is not necessarily the same as what is actually occurring."
Why we do what we do? Simply because it makes complete sense to us! More stringent our views, more difficulty we have in accepting others & letting go of our narrowed perspectives. With these specific views about ourselves, life and people; we box ourselves into certain categories. When we are unaware of this aspect, we protect our world view at great cost to our full potential. With awareness of our underlying motives and openness to shift our views, we embrace greater possibilities and liberate ourselves to understand life, people & ourselves from a better, newer and wider perspective. This is like getting hold of a magic wand to understanding ourselves, people and life. There is so much joy in variety. Earlier, familiarity gave me confidence, but now disagreements give me joy because there is an opportunity for me to view things, situation from a different angle, unknown to me. Also, when we don't have control over our gifts due to unawareness of our box, they become our shadows that stop us from blooming into our best selves.
Enneagram (from the Greek words [ennéa, meaning "nine"] and [grámma, meaning something "written" or "drawn"]), is a model of the human psyche which is principally understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types. I have attempted to collate few traits from each style, mostly from good reads on Enneagram so that you can figure out which style you relate to most and accordingly become aware of the fact that your views are skewed and not shared by everyone. Joy lies in being flexible and embracing the gifts of all the other styles and dropping the shadow sides to develop into your fullest potential. So, let's get started.
Gift: Ability to see and work towards perfection.
Shadow: Often notices what's wrong & what needs fixing.
Communication style: Sounds over controlled & restraint.
Emotion: Low-key anger, tight control over their emotions.
Behaviour: Sarcastic & angry out-bursts, problem in delegation.
Gift: Ability to anticipate & tend to someone else's need. Notices people.
Shadow: Lose themselves in the intent of taking care of others.
Communication style: Talk about others.
Emotion: Strong feelings.They aren't acting out of love but making an emotional investment. Engages in emotional blackmail if you don't reward that investment.
Behaviour: Manipulative, operates behind the scene, difficulty in admitting their own needs openly, neediness in their body language, indirect, requires lot of positive affirmations and recognition, gives non-verbal messages.
Gift: Drive to succeed in attaining a goal. Notices what others expect.
Shadow: Competitive striving may rob them of their souls.
Communication style: Language of the role they are playing.
Emotion: Avoid their feelings in the effort to keep up a successful image.
Behaviour: Become workaholics, ruthless, measures success through the eyes of others, claims credit, wants to look good in order to succeed.
Gift: Passion for creativity, emotional depth & a profound desire for authenticity, notices how others feel.
Shadow: Fear of being ordinary.
Communication style: Mood based.
Emotion: Become stuck in melancholy, feel different from others, believing anything good is unavailable.
Behaviour: Conceptual, intuitive, visionary, unrealistic. Getting buy-in for ideas is a problem. A sense of longing is always there.
Gift: Ability to conceptualize & to master knowledge, notices information.
Shadow: Emotionally remote & socially awkward, less attention to their physical side of life.
Communication style: Likely not to talk arising from their desire to keep distance.
Emotion: Hoard emotions, time, energy & thoughts.
Behaviour: Reserved, unworldly, intellectual isolation, stingy with appreciation,hates talking to people below a certain level, loves to debate.
Gift: Loyalty, notices what can go wrong.
Shadow: Questions their inner authority, anxiously anticipate anything that could go wrong.
Communication style: Change thinking & style to match that of the group.
Emotion: Believes world is not a safe place because they feel powerless from inside.
Behaviour: Looks to group for security, often the ones to challenge authority, fear of fear, anxious & self-doubting.
Gift: Positive, energetic and ability to generate ideas.
Shadow: Easily frustrated when things slow down.
Communication style: Love to talk.
Emotion: Out of touch with the more negative portions of reality, avoids sad or painful feelings.
Behaviour: Little tolerance for boredom or discomfort of any kind, habitually over-schedule & fill their lives too full of activity in order not to feel their inner fear.
Gift: Natural confidence & ability to take charge, notices who has what kind of power.
Shadow: Claims power whether others like it or not.
Communication style: Have loud voices.
Emotion: Feels they are larger than life and are driven to excess.
Behaviour: Intimidating, stirs things to spice up, generous if you comply.
Gift: Being calm, easy-going, capable of understanding divergent opinions.
Shadow: Avoid conflict, deadlines, unsettling thoughts.
Communication style: Talk in sagas.
Emotion: Suppressed anger.
Behaviour: Agree with all sides, either achieves consensus or remain inactive, lack assertiveness, appear not to notice but in fact they don't notice themselves.
Have you figured out your box? Are you finding difficulty in acknowledging the shadow side to your gifts? I too found it difficult. But I choose to drop my inhibitions, I choose growth over arrogance. Are you open to drop the ones that aren't serving you and embrace the new ones? The gifts that we admire in others is nothing but our unacknowledged gifts. Acknowledge these and transform into your whole being. I am an Enneagram style 4.
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Life & Organizational Development Coach