The Art of Enneagram: A reflection on how personality types can influence one’s creative process.

I am a 6. The day I realized this felt a lot like waking up in the morning and splashing my face with cold water. There is something shocking about it, startling, in fact, but I felt very alive and very seen.

The Enneagram is a personality assessment taking schools and businesses by storm. According to the Enneagram Institute, it is composed of nine types which include the Reformer, the Helper, the Achiever, the Individualist, the Investigator, the Loyalist, the Enthusiast, the Challenger, and the Peacemaker.

The numbers, according to the Enneagram Institute, present a dominant personality type. These types may be further broken down into two wings– areas of one’s personality that may blend into another dominant personality. For example, my personality type, 6, has two wings– 9 and 3. Under stress, 6’s are likely to take on the unhealthy qualities of a 3, which is why I had mistyped myself for a while as a 3. Others, however, in their healthy and unhealthy states, may have qualities of two dominant personalities, and they would have a consistent wing.

Knowing my Enneagram type has helped me to learn more about myself and to appreciate my own individuality in the good and the bad.

6’s are referred to as the loyalists, because they tend to be the most loyal of the personality types. They are extremely loyal to their friends and also to their beliefs– ready to defend either on a second’s notice.

6’s, however, tend to be slow to trust others. They are the most sensitive to fear of the personality types and are often anxious and cautious individuals (The Enneagram Institute).

Because of the Enneagram, I have a more honest view of myself. As individuals, it can be hard to notice our own flaws. The Enneagram assists in identifying weaker points in a dominant type, but also strengths. As I am more aware of my tendency to be overly cautious, I challenge myself to extend the benefit of the doubt to situations. I also have begun to learn to use my cautious nature to my own benefit by learning to trust my own decisions and judgements, as I am likely to proceed with caution and make thorough efforts to do the best I can within a situation.

Likewise, the Enneagram is useful for identifying strengths. Being more aware of my tendency to be very loyal, I value what I have to offer to my friendships and to causes that I believe in.

The Enneagram is a great personality test that helps individuals learn about themselves, expounding on their strengths and improving their weaknesses. It is a form of self-expression, which is the very definition of art itself.

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