Are you a Three, constantly thinking about how you are being perceived? Or are you a Four, constantly feeling different from other people? Understanding the Enneagram and your mindset can transform your life. This is how the Enneagram works.
Discover the Nine Mindsets
Firstly, the Enneagram describes nine different mindsets. One’s “The Reformers” tend to have an intense focus on problem-solving. Enneagram Two’s “The Helpers” feel they must focus on the needs of other people before themselves.
Your Mindset describes your outlook on life. You can feel that you have to act or be a certain way. If you fail to do so, you may feel anger or shame or even fear. Your Enneagram type has little to do with what you ideally want your life to be.
You may have hidden talents and values that you ignore because you are trying to fit in a certain role in life. Your anxiety may keep you from pursuing a certain lifestyle even if it would make you a happier person. That is why it is so interesting to study the Enneagram. By understanding your own patterns, you can change your life.
What is the Enneagram?
All types have a relationship to each other and there are unique patterns between all nine types.
What are the Enneagram types and how does the Enneagram work?
One “The Reformer”
Firstly, the Reformer tends to focus on problems and flaws in the world or in themselves. This can trigger frustration, as nothing lives up to your expectations for what things “should be”
Two “The Helper”
Secondly, Twos are primarily concerned with being liked. You seek appreciation and so they tend to focus on what other people like or want.
Three “The Performer”
Thirdly, the three is often very focused on how other people see them. You want to be well liked and so have a fixation with your image and appearance.
Four “The Individualist”
The Four tends to struggle to fit in. You often feel different from other people and like you have no clear place or role in the world. You have a fixation with what is different or weird about them.
Five “The Sage”
Fives are fixated with what they do not understand or cannot explain. Your focus is on mysteries and paradoxes.
Six “The Planner”
The Six is most focused on being prepared. You do not want to be caught off guard and so they want to anticipate any eventuality.
Seven “The Explorer”
Sevens have a fixation with what is next. Your fear is to miss out on an opportunity or possibility. You are often in a rush.
Eight “The Challenger”
The Eight enneagram is fixated with overcoming challenges and obstacles. You tend to see dragons to slay in every room you enter.
The Three Instincts
The instincts are an addition to the Enneagram that expands from nine to now twelve different mindsets.
The Self-preservation Instinct
The primary fixation of this type is survival and stability. To protect what you have.
The Social Instinct
The focus of this instinct is on maintaining your connection to the tribe.
The Sexual Instinct
This instinct leads to a fixation on intimate and deep relationships.
Finding your Enneagram Type
How can you know which Enneagram type is your strongest?
- Importantly, your Enneagram should reflect a pattern you’ve had for a longer time in your life. In most people, one’s core Enneagram is visible already early in life.
- However, your Enneagram is not how you rationalise your behaviour. There is a difference between why you say you do something and why you do something. For example, you may say you are doing something “to be nice” but really, you may have a very different core motivation.
- Most people have 1-3 Enneagrams that match their behaviour and motivations well. That means, you can relate strongly to both 5, 9 and 2 and less to the other types.
Take the Enneagram test if you haven’t already!
What is your mindset?
Leave a comment and share how you see the world. What has been important in your life since your childhood?