Welcome to the Ashes to Wings podcast, where we tell stories of overcomers, and give you tips and tricks to living a fuller, more embodied life, here's your host, Jenni O'Connor.
Hey friends! Welcome to Ashes to Wings. In my book, Rituals for Feminine Power, I talk about knowing yourself. I can almost hear you saying, “Uh... Jenni... I think I know myself.” But bear with me.
I’m not just talking about those addictive social media quizzes where you see which character from Friends you’re most like, or what kind of potato you are. But truly knowing what makes you tick... what lights you up, what angers you, what hurts you, what makes you feel comfortable and at peace. It’s also helpful to know how you react under stress, so you can recognize and change unhealthy patterns.
The test I use most with my coaching clients is the Enneagram test. My issue with many personality tests is they label you as a category, and then people use that as an excuse to behave badly. Similar to me saying, “Well I have pride issues because I’m a Leo.” Instead of using your personality traits as an excuse, the enneagram system shines a light on areas you need to improve, and encourages you to do so.
There are nine numbers in the enneagram chart, listed in a circle. Each person is a combination of two numbers... her main number, and her wing. Your wing will be a number next to your main number... with nine circling back around to be next to one. While the main number is the predominant side of your personality, your wing covers the subtle nuances of that personality. For example, I’m a three wing two. My main number, a three, is called The Performer. We’re known for being achievers. We want to collect all the trophies and ribbons, and are very competitive. We’re driven and ambitious, and are often entrepreneurs. We love the spotlight, and love nice things. Sort of our shadow side is we can have an ego, and be too focused on spending money on material things. My wing, a two, brings a bit of balance to this. Two’s are known for wanting to help everyone. Good-natured and caring, twos will go out of their way to nurture and care for the people around them.
The Enneagram chart will also tell you how you act when you’re relaxed, and how you act when you’re stressed out. For example, when threes like me are stressed out, we take on negative traits of nines... we’re lazy and avoidant. When we’re relaxed, we take on positive traits of sixes... committed, practical, and witty.
To give you a quick rundown of the numbers:
~ Type One: The Perfectionist. Ethical, dedicated, and reliable, they are motivated by a desire to live the right way, improve the world, and avoid fault and blame.
~ Type Two: The Helper. Warm, caring, and giving, they are motivated by a need to be loved and needed, and to avoid acknowledging their own needs.
~ Type Three: The Performer.Success-oriented, image-conscious, and wired for productivity, they are motivated by a need to be (or appear to be) successful and to avoid failure.
~ Type Four: The Romantic. Creative, sensitive, and moody, they are motivated by a need to be understood, experience their oversized feelings, and avoid being ordinary.
~ Type Five: The Investigator.Analytical, detached, and private, they are motivated by a need to gain knowledge, conserve energy, and avoid relying on others.
~ Type Six: The Loyalist. Committed, practical, and witty, they are worst-case-scenario thinkers who are motivated by fear and the need for security.
~ Type Seven: The Enthusiast. Fun, spontaneous, and adventurous, they are motivated by a need to be happy, to plan stimulating experiences, and to avoid pain.
~ Type 8: The Challenger. Commanding, intense, and confrontational, they are motivated by a need to be strong and avoid feeling weak or vulnerable.
~ Type 9: The Peacemaker. Pleasant, laid back, and accommodating, they are motivated by a need to keep the peace, merge with others, and avoid conflict.
Do any of these sound like you? If you don’t already know your number, go to my website to take a free test. You can find it under the Gifts tab, or go directly to the page at jennioconnor.com/enneagram
If you’re looking for a book on the subject, I highly recommend the book, “The Road Back To You” by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. They break down each type in detail, and even go into how your type interacts in different relationships like work and parenting. You may find yourself shocked at how accurately your number lines up with who you are as a person. And once you know where you are, you know how you can grow.
I’d love to hear what your number is, and what attributes resonate most for you! Make sure you let me know by responding on our social media. See you next time!
Thanks for listening. The best way to learn is to teach someone else. So take one thing you learned today and share it with a friend. Find Jenni on Instagram at the_Jenni_O'Connor and online at JenniOConnor.com. Subscribe for new episodes. Until next time, rise above