What is the Enneagram, and why is it changing so many people's lives?Sep 21, 2021
(By Eldad Ben-Moshe)
❤ Hey there Better Lifers!
What is the Enneagram, and why is it changing so many people's lives?
I mean, how does that happen?
What is it about the Enneagram that is so powerful and so successful in changing people's lives?
That is a question I get asked a ton because I've been using the Enneagram for myself and for my clients since 2005, and the Enneagram is one of the main tools and maybe even the main tool that I use in my coaching practice.
I can't tell you enough about what an asset it is to me as a person and as a coach,
with both my personal and my professional life,
to have such high knowledge and accurate knowledge about Enneagram,
to have the incredible map that it gives me into our psyche and our personality.
This is not my full online course or non-online, in-person course. This is a taste. So there's only so much I can dive into - even in an online course there's only so much I can dive into.
But the important thing is that here, in the Enneagram Blueprint series, I'm going to give you the essential blueprint of the nine types. It will be a quick description of each type, and it is going to be beautiful.
So with that intro, let's dive into that question:
A deeper understanding of the Enneagram -
and how is it so beneficial to all of us?
The Enneagram is a dynamic, accurate, powerful model of the human psyche and personality.
So that's a big fancy title, but what does that really mean?
Nine personality types - but what does that mean?
A common understanding of almost anyone who ever heard about Enneagram is
that the Enneagram describes nine personality types.
But what does that really mean?
How is that helpful to us?
So the basic understanding that lies underneath that is that
the Enneagram actually describes nine points of view,
about the world, about yourself and about how to survive and thrive in the world.
So in that sense,
it is actually describing nine defense mechanisms,
which is how we can relate to our personalities to an extent.
Nine defense mechanisms, nine strategies of how to survive and thrive in this world.
So in a way, the Enneagram speaks of nine lenses that color everything you experience, feel, think, see all of your life.
It's like you have these lenses on you that you're not even aware of.
Let's say they are green,
and then you see a world that is green.
Now someone else will have blue lenses, and they'll see a blue world.
And that would affect them differently than if they would have seen a green world.
So that's a starting point to understand,
what does it really mean that we have different personalities?
We have different ways,
different lenses from which we see the world and give meaning to everything
we see and experience and that creates different reactions in us emotionally,
and this creates different actions.
So this also helps us understand why we and others act in certain ways.
If you look at it through this understanding of the lenses, you can also understand that
this causes almost all our conflicts, fights, relationship issues, disagreements,
probably even wars on a global scale because we see, think,
understand and feel things differently because we have different lenses.
We filter everything through different lenses.
We don't have the same experience.
You and I will look at the same flower, I'll think it's ugly, you'll think it's beautiful.
The flower is the same flower, but our experience is completely different and sometimes even opposite.
So once you can understand each other's lenses on your own,
you can have a better, deeper understanding of what's really happening
in your life and in each and every situation.
Now, we said the Enneagram talks about nine personality types
which are basically nine points of view.
Each point of view gives birth to an entire personality,
which is the way we deal with the world, or in other words - our defense mechanism.
This is how we try to gain what we want to gain, avoid what we fear.
And the deeper you go into the core of it,
you understand that it is how we try to survive in this world.
Because eventually what we really, really need,
our core need is what we believe is essential for our survival.
That would be the strongest need you'll have.
And the thing you are trying to avoid the most
is the thing that you believe threatens your survival the most.
So this is in fact, not just about what kind of music I'd like most,
which is a fun game to play,
but if you take it deeper,
it goes all the way to your core fear, your core needs, your survival triggers and instincts.
And that's why it's so powerful.
It changes our lives.
Because if you can understand that,
and if you can understand how to use that knowledge in practical ways in your life,
you can create a dramatic change in your life in practically every aspect of your life.
Including things that have to do with other people,
things that trigger you about other people, and that can transform your relationship.
It can save your relationships - friends and significant others and kids and all that.
Everything can change.
So another way to say that is that we're talking about an unconscious automatic mechanism, that runs your life day in and day out as long as you're not aware and present.
Now, awareness and presence are the keys here.
Because if I am aware and I'm present and I'm conscious in this very moment,
I can override this autopilot, this automatic mechanism that drives my life.
I can make conscious choices that are even contradictory to this automatic mechanism.
The automatic mechanism is the default that runs my life.
But if I cultivate awareness and presence,
I can make different choices and I can start having more ownership of my life
and driving the car of my life as opposed to that automatic pilot doing all the work for me.
This might sound nice until you see the prices you pay,
which is another thing the Enneagram helps us do.
Once you experience and see the prices you pay for this automatic survival strategy
and how actually it creates more danger than safety,
you will want to make different choices.
But the key is not to take away and nullify the strategy,
but to balance it.
Because there are gifts and pitfalls in every strategy,
it's actually two sides of the same coin.
If you overuse the gifts,
it becomes problematic.
And what we want to do if we use the Enneagram wisely
is not to strip you out of your survival mechanism,
but to balance it so that you can have the benefits and less of the pitfalls,
maybe even none of them.
So that unconscious automatic mechanism,
it makes your choices, it decides what you'll be afraid of, it decides what you'll be attracted to.
Again remember, even more so when we're getting to the core
because it sits on the belief of what will make you safe and what will bring you danger.
So once you have that belief in place,
the automatic mechanism will operate according to that.
And so it makes these choices for you.
What are you afraid of and what you'll be attracted to based on your beliefs.
It also decides what you believe you need,
and what you think you must avoid at all costs.
It decides what you value,
what your automatic focus is, what you will see, even if you're not aware of it.
You have an automatic focus that makes you see certain things.
And another person in the same situation or in the same room will see other things that you haven't noticed at all and vice versa because you have different automatic focus.
And that's part of that survival mechanism of that personality.
That's part of what Enneagram helps us learn about ourselves and others.
It also helps you understand what you're doing to get loved,
even if eventually you can see that that strategy drives people away from you
as opposed to helping them love you.
So that's really interesting to see when you get to that point.
And of course, it's critical because if you understand that your safety mechanism
actually brings danger,
and your love attempts, the things you do to try and get love -
keeps people away from you,
you'll start making other choices and you'll get different results in your life,
which is part of how the Enneagram is so powerful in changing our lives.
The automatic mechanism that runs your life also manages how you communicate with others.
So that's responsible for a lot of your fights, a lot of your crises,
a lot of your hardest times in your life.
A lot of time it has to do with our significant others or the people closest to us,
whoever they'll be.
Our relationships definitely are affected by the way we habitually act in the world.
We want to think that everything we do is conscious, but to be honest?
The extreme majority of the time,
and even more so when you get to things that trigger you,
our responses and actions are...
An automatic pattern.
An automatic mechanism rises up and does the work,
responds and relates and reacts on auto-pilot, base on our personalities programming.
And this is why many times I use the Enneagram to show the sabotaging parts,
the things that sabotage your life, not just the thing that helps you thrive,
because it's all there in your Enneagram type, and if you want to call it a map of personality, it's all there.
That knowledge is there.
The Enneagram also helps us see how you experience things,
what meaning you give to things and basically to anything that happens. Right?
How you perceive things,
how do things affect us emotionally,
and why the same thing will affect me emotionally in a very extreme way,
and to another person, they brush it off their shoulder.
It doesn't affect them at all.
How can that be?
Well, that's because we have different lenses, different personality types,
different defense mechanisms, different survival mechanisms.
So basically, that mechanism literally runs and sabotages, or to use a less delicate word - sometimes destroys your life, without you even knowing it.
That's why it's so important to know your ins and outs -
in that case, through your Enneagram type.
Avoiding a huge misunderstanding: Not just nine types.
When I'm talking about what the Enneagram is,
I want to also be, even though it's just an intro,
I want to give you a way to avoid a certain misunderstanding about the Enneagram.
The Enneagram is a dynamic system, right?
It's not just the nine types.
Yes, there are only nine types.
They're not 10, they're not 1000.
But the system doesn't end there.
There are arrows, wings, centers, instincts, levels of development, tritypes and on and on and on it goes.
Human beings are complex.
We're not flat, our personality, our psyche, we're not flat.
So any model that will be flat will not be successful in describing what's going on,
and even more so in helping us make a change.
More than that, no one is one thing all the time.
This is where we also get to understand the importance of who you are learning from.
I'm definitely not the only one that says that.
But as the Enneagram becomes more and more popular,
there are a lot of misconceptions about that.
And there are a lot of people who are teaching and explaining it in ways that are not true and not accurate.
I'm not perfect.
I'll always make mistakes in my life including, you know, Enneagram stuff.
But some people know some things better than others.
So I want you to understand that no one is one thing all their life.
So yes, you'll have one Enneagram type that will be your main type all your life that will not change.
But you're not this boxed thing.
I am a type nine in Enneagram, and that's it.
No. First of all, you are not your type.
And second, the main type is just the beginning.
It is the entry point, just the tip of the iceberg.
It's kind of like a house with nine rooms,
and you spend time in all the rooms.
Room number one, number two, number three, the kitchen, the living room, the bedroom.
But there are rooms you spend more time in and rooms you spend less time in.
And there are defense strategies and mechanisms that you use more
and some that you use less.
And there is one room that you spend most of your time in.
That is the dominant central room that you spend the most time in your life.
That's the main defense mechanism, the main personality pattern that you run.
So that's your core type.
So, yes, there is a certain type that is our core type,
but that's not the end of it.
Yes, there are nine types, not twelve.
But there are tons of combinations and factors and things.
And you're sometimes in this room and sometimes in that room.
And you can put a thousand people of type seven in a room,
and you'll have a thousand different people because we are different in many ways.
Because I'm an individual, you're an individual, but also because,
you know, one seven will have an eight wing and one will have a six wing and they'll have different levels of development and different instincts and different tritypes.
What I'm saying is that there are not nine boxes of how everybody is and that's it.
That's not what we're talking about.
Understand your personality, strengths, and challenges in life - and how we relate to ourselves, others, and our world.
The Enneagram is a complex dynamic model,
that helps you understand your personality, strengths, and challenges.
It helps you examine how you relate to yourself, to others, and the world.
And with all that, we take all of these and see,
I gave a lot of pointers on why is it useful and how is it affecting our lives, and why is it important.
But if we start to narrow it down to the basics -
it helps you fulfill your full potential.
It helps you avoid your habitual traps.
It helps you get more of the benefits and the gifts of your type and less of the pitfalls.
Things like, "I can't believe I did that again."
Or "Why does this keep happening to me?"
Or "Why do I always do this even though I already know it always brings me into trouble?"
So the Enneagram helps with all this and so much more.
A lot of my success as the coach goes to a good understanding of what the Enneagram really is,
and how it affects our life and how to implement it in my own life and the lives of others.
And on and on it goes.
There's a spiritual aspect of the Enneagram as well.
A journey of self-discovery that helps you change your life.
But the bottom line of it is that the Enneagram is a journey
of self-discovery that helps you change your life.
It's super practical if you choose to make it so.
You can get stuck in the "diagnosis" part, you know - what type am I - and that's okay.
That will help you.
But if you take it to the practice, it's kind of like understanding,
okay, I have a headache - and now what do I do with that?
If you take it to the practical level.
You'll see that this journey of self-discovery is extremely transformational,
and that's one of the things that separates Enneagram from many other modalities.
Properly used or with the right knowledge or the right help,
you can use that not just to understand yourself and others, but also to make extremely beneficial changes in your life.
So it's a journey of self-discovery that can transform your life if you choose to.
And that is only the beginning, my friend.
That is only the beginning.
We're gonna have so many more conversations and blog posts and videos and online courses about the Enneagram.
Keep following us.
I'm Eldad Ben- Moshe of Better Life Awareness Center.
We're going to have loads of fun and loads of life-changing tips,
tricks, wisdom information, practices, you name it.
Go to our website, go to our social media.
We'll have a blast.
We'll help you have a happier, better, more awakened life.
That's what I'm all about here and I'll see you soon.
Your next video is the video about type 1 of the Enneagram - The Critical Reformer.
Bye for now.
To your better life,
with tons of 💖
Founder, Teacher, and Coach
Better Life Awareness Center
If you are curious, let's talk about it.
You can share some comments, write me an email, or even join E-School™, our Enneagram school at betterlifeawareness.com/eschool - we'll be happy to see you there.