By Sam Borrett
One very accurate and organic observation methodology is The Enneagram. It can be used with incredible accuracy to describe nine essential personality types or operating styles, within which there are a myriad number of ways people demonstrate the basic patterns. These core types define the way people’s chief characteristics inhibit their choices, life options and connection to what we call their essence or true nature.
At its most simplistic, it is a study of the nine chief personality types with the understanding that each type in its most fluid form moves to two of the other types under differing circumstances and is flavoured usually by the type or point adjacent to it on this mysterious diagram. This triangulated version of personality is also referred to as “The Law of Three.”
Once we become aware of our basic operating type we can unravel questions such as:
• When is it beneficial to surrender to our emotions and when is it better to observe them from afar?
• When does it pay to stay in a relationship or is it healthier to get out?
• When is it good to stay with something and when is it intelligent to seek new possibilities?
• When is it wise to work with the intellect and when should we give in to our feelings?
• Is it wise to analyse something too much or is it more fruitful to just make a decision and do something?
• When is it better to be a hedonist and when is it better to look for intimacy? Can we combine both?
• In what circumstances should we be outspoken and when should we back down?
• At what stage should we look at a new career and when should we stay and consolidate our position?
• When should we consider more physical activities and when should we seek intellectual or artistic stimulation? Is there a conflict?
• is it possible to have security and spontaneity peacefully co-existing in our life?
• Can we lead our existing life if we do not like our work?
• When is a good time to take a long break from work? When is it essential and when is it overdue?
It will help if we are prepared to look at the more hidden aspects of our personalities otherwise the task of unravelling our hidden potential will be impossible. Most of us would like to go from point A to point B in some sort of improvement spiral. It is an appealing idea but not very helpful.
Below we represent certain chief characteristics as portrayed by this System. A sure-fire way to find out what characteristics are holding us back is to ask our friends, colleagues and family who are usually all too happy to point out to us some of our less appealing personal traits.
There are different perspectives to ascertain your predominant type and I will list below nine questions, which relate specifically to the nine types and precisely in that order:
1. You have an endless stream of judging thoughts, and are constantly comparing yourself to others.
2. You are socially ambitious and attracted to powerful people, offering them your help in return for their attention and protection.
3. It is important that you present an image of success to others, regardless of how you might be feeling inside.
4. You feel impatient with ordinary life, and are fascinated by the extraordinary, the dramatic and tragic.
5. At parties you tend to be quiet and invisible, preferring not to interact or participate.
6. You are very aware or your own feelings, and the feelings of others, and you are suspicious of people’s hidden intentions towards you.
7. You tend to avoid deep, emotional contact, preferring fun activities, pleasant talking and doing many things at once.
8. You enjoy being powerful and never let people take advantage of you, and you respect these qualities in others.
9. It is difficult for you to maintain a personal point of view, but you are easily able to recognise and support another’s position
What we are trying to accomplish in this fashion is to really use the mirror of our relationships as a method to get clearer on who we are and why we have been operating in ways that have been destructive or harmful to others and ourselves.
If we can observe our habits and qualities constructively and without judging them it will be easier to watch them disappear. The more we fight some habit the more difficult it will be to let go of it. Ask any smoker! What is even worse is winning over some bad habit through force and not understanding as this only pushes that habit down and another one quickly surfaces. This fact is well known to any person who has genuinely tried to give up some habit or compulsion they feel does not serve them anymore. It is also well known by behavioural psychologists who work with addictions.
You could call the chief characteristics of each type addictions of some sort, but the good news is that by watching them with some acceptance, they lose their power over us. As these so-called negative characteristics begin to lose their hold over us we notice a quite obvious shift in our relationships with others and ourselves.
There was a recent survey in the USA of 733 multi-millionaires about the reasons for their success. The top five answers were being honest with all people, being well disciplined, getting along with people, having a supportive spouse and working harder than others.
Many of these qualities represent some of the virtues of certain types, so with increased awareness of your potential and your weaknesses, intelligence commences taking the upper hand and opportunities and creative solutions are seen more easily.
About the author
Sam was born in Sydney, Australia where he completed his education as a lawyer. Later, he was trained in India as a Bioenergetics Therapist, Meditation Leader, Neo-Reichian Bodyworker, Facilitator, Hypnotherapist and Practitioner of Rebalancing.
He now works with Life Constellations, Quest of the Soul and Family Constellations helping people find their flame. He spent many years in India and his life was moulded at an early age by the works of Gurdjieff, inspired by Yogananda and etched in fire by Osho.
Sam now lives in Byron Bay with his partner Agar and travels regularly doing workshops devoted to triggering change in people’s lives. He shares his insights freely, in a direct, practical and humorous way to lighten the load and expose the path less travelled.
Sam Borrett http://mentoring4change.com/
Article Source: Self-Knowledge – Does it Give You a Better Life?