Choose Your Story
Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we'll ever do. -- Brené Brown
My full time job is a Purchasing Manager at an aircraft component manufacturer. The environment there is getting more and more toxic. It hasn't been tolerable for quite some time because of one coworker in particular, the increasingly ridiculous demands of customers, and the inability of our vendors to continue to follow through. We are at a loss as to what to do about our coworker who has somehow convinced the owner that she can do no wrong. She even makes up new procedures that everyone but her has to follow. So it's understandable that stress is overwhelming my life.
The stress I'm experiencing actually plays into my Enneagram results. The assessment puts me at a type 9. According to Karen Fritz, Evolutionary Coach, I'm a 6 at the core but have slipped to 9 because of stress. So, what's the difference between these types?
Type 9s have an "other focused" style of attention. They get along with others to avoid creating conflict and stay comfortable. 9s tend to blend in with their environment. They unconsciously forget themselves, losing contact with their inner selves (including emotions, instincts, and animal impulses). They can see all sides of an issue finding common ground so 9s are found to be likeable, pleasant, and easy to be around. They're prone to procrastination and indecision.
Type 6s are kind of doomsday preppers, strategizing and preparing for when things go wrong. They're always thinking about ways to feel safe, staying watchful and alert. 6s crave authority but can be suspicious of or rebellious against actual authority. Once you gain the trust of a 6 they're thoughtful and loyal to you. While 6s are hard workers they get caught up in procrastination, indecision, and fear. They can suffer from anxiety related to their fear but don't necessarily know the source. 6s are great critical thinkers but get stuck in doubt or over analyzing the situation.
9s vs 6s
Both 9s and 6s are loyal, caring and supportive people who procrastinate. They want to avoid conflict and being in the spotlight. Both tend to be self-effacing and humble.
9s merge with others and trust easily while 6s stand back with suspicion until they gather enough info to ascertain someone's trustworthy. Because 9s go along to get along they're easily distracted from their own agenda but 6s remain alert in their focus on potential threats. 9s make good mediators as they're able to see different points of view while 6s question and counter whatever view is put forward. 6s can be anti-authoritarian whereas 9s will externally go along and cooperate with authority.
Enneagram and Me
I find myself relating to the Self Preservation subtype for both 9s and 6s. My attention is focused on issues related to survival and material security.
As a 9 I'm more connected to physical comforts and routine, focusing on everyday things rather than abstract. I find joy in doing things like eating, reading, watching TV, sleeping, and working. My need for protection and wellbeing merges with the satisfaction of concrete needs, substituting my sense of being in comfort and routine rather than risking conflict or overstimulation. I find hands on experiences easier to deal with rather than theory, or just reading the instructions. Alone time helps me to relax and feel grounded. While I'm loving, I don't always feel that I'm loved.
As a 6, I aim to be warm, friendly, and trustworthy. My insecurities cause me to focus on relationships to feel safer. I seek to be in a sort of utopia - a warm, protected place without enemies. My disposition is generally pleasant as I'm usually in a good mood. Because of uncertainty I often have difficulties making decisions. I don't see the world as black and white but instead see it as a fuzzy grey. Externally I feel heart-centered but feel head-centered internally.
There's so much detail in books like The Complete Enneagram that it can be overwhelming. I'm owning my story by reading up on just my Enneagram types (rather than all of them) to better understand myself in order to feel worth it.
Have you taken an Enneagram assessment? If so, what's your type?
Based upon my observations and thoughts this week, I will
STOP forgetting myself to more easily go along with the wishes and wills of others.
START learning to feel, manage, and let go of fear.
CONTINUE getting out of my head and into my body.