The Enneagram of Personality, or as you and I might know it, the Enneagram test, is a model of the human mind in which nine interconnected personality types are understood:
1. The Perfectionist: principled, determined, idealistic
2. The Helper: people-pleasing, selfless, willing
3. The Performer: driven, image-conscious, outshining
4. The Individualist: emotional, withdrawn, creative
5. The Investigator: discerning, reserved, innovative
6. The Loyalist: anxious, responsible, apprehensive
7. The Enthusiast: free-spirited, adaptable, dispersed
8. The Challenger: self-confident, confrontational, decisive
9. The Peacemaker: approachable, susceptible, comforting
As I said before, there are nine different types of the Enneagram, one of which we naturally gravitate towards and use in childhood to cope and feel safe. The most common way to determine your type is to google a free online test. However, I found that the most effective way to conclude your type is to read. The book I read is titled "The Road Back To You" by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. This book is better than any other Enneagram discovery method because of the intention of their writing; it is the approachable and fathomable way of retrieving Enneagram wisdom. Cron is a retired pastor who felt something holding him back in his career, as though he was running out of gas. He went to a trusted friend named Brother Dave, a monk, who had him take the Enneagram.
This personality test is different from the Myers Briggs, Disc Assessment, and the Winslow Personality Profile because of how accurate it is in describing how human beings are wired, why we think the way that we do, and the reasons behind our behaviors. Its main purpose is development and formation, to give you clarity and perception about who you are. The Enneagram calls you out on your biggest weaknesses and gives you a path to transformation. Most personality tests just tell you why you are this way, but the Enneagram is all about growth as an individual and how to flourish in your self-discovery.
The Enneagram changed my life for so many reasons. My entire life, I felt as though I was set apart and misunderstood by everyone. As I was reading and conducting research on my enneagram, type 4, I had never before felt so understood and seen in my life. Some of the personality traits of a four that left me feeling accepted were:
Growing up, I never felt as though I belonged anywhere.
I always feel as though there is something very important that is lacking in me.
I enjoy the feeling of melancholy, and when people try to make me feel better, they don't understand that I am not sad.
Many people misunderstand me, and it is very discouraging.
I come up with creative ideas often, making them come to life is difficult.
As I read these personality traits, I lost my breath as I began to, for once, feel like someone else understood me. The hardest part about reading your type is confronting your weaknesses. Fours tend to make themselves the victim in a situation and find themselves inadequate when comparing themselves to others, which leads further down this path. Reading about the things you need to improve is hard. It takes so much humility to be able to admit that you're wrong, and you need to be better for those around you and for yourself.
Self-discovery can look different for everyone, and the journey can be difficult due to a lack of perception. However, I can say with full assurance that the Enneagram is the biggest step I took while on this path. I encourage anyone and everyone to take this test and begin their path to transformation.