September 2, 2019


Let me just preface this with the fact that I am not an expert at the Enneagram--just a fan! With a summer break came the opportunity to dive into tons of Enneagram podcasts, books, and the like and it's been so much fun to learn more about myself and those around me--and I also kinda had to jump on the bandwagon just to see what all the hype was about, too!

1. Everyone sees things through different colored lenses. I think I heard Ian Morgan Cron say this on his podcast, Typology, and it has quickly become a message I retell myself when someone says something I don't understand, know, or agree with. It's always a good thing to remember that we're all wired a little differently and that our experiences have shaped our perspectives as well.

2. Conflict is okay. And disagreeing with others is okay, too. Oof, this is a hard one for me. As a Nine, my natural tendency is to merge and avoid conflict whenever possible. From the outside, it looks like someone who is indecisive and easygoing. From the inside, it often looks like going with the flow, even if I don't agree with the popular opinion. Why do I do that, you ask? Because for me, avoidance is easier than disagreement, or a potential disturbance of "peace." But avoidance is not the answer.

3. Your presence and voice matter. People want to hear your stories, your struggles, and your opinions. You are safe to speak up. You are loved for having different opinions. And you are accepted to be who God created you to be. 

4.  You are safe to express yourself/your emotions. One of the lies I bought into early on in life is that I had to be okay all the time. But as I tell the kids in my class, it's okay to not be okay. And that's true for adults (including fellow believers!) as well.

5. Make time to check in with yourself. Sometimes in the midst of the busyness of life, I get stuck in my "doing" mode, where I get so focused on my work or my relationships that I forget about myself. Prioritizing myself has never been easy so I've been working on just being more aware of how I feel and where I'm at on a day-to-day basis but also on a seasonal and yearly basis as well.

6. We have healthy and not-so-healthy pathways. The Enneagram's paths of integration and disintegration (or healthy and unhealthy pathways) has really helped me stay in check with myself and continue to show me when I'm starting to get stressed (for a Nine, that would mainly be anxiety/worry) and when I'm growing/thriving, too (when I'm energized and confident).

7. Stop being so stubborn. Apparently Nines are the most stubborn type--and well, I can't argue with that statement. My stubbornness may not be loud, but I do know how to stick my feet in the mud quite well. The best part about the Enneagram is that it calls out your good and not so great habits and helps keep me in check.

8. There's always more to learn. It's been so fascinating for me to continue to learn more about myself and those around me through the Enneagram--and this personality typing system constantly reminds me there's SO much more for me to learn!

9. You are more than a number. I often catch myself trying to fit into a mold of a textbook Nine, like when a teacher calls you "quiet" and you end up in a self-fulfilling prophecy and subconsciously act quieter from then on out. So while I'm a huge fan of the Enneagram, I also have to remember that I'm not just a number, I'm a person uniquely created by God...and as cheesy as it is for me to say this, the same goes to you!

So tell me, what's YOUR number? Are you a fan of the Enneagram? Or another personality typing system?

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© IN ITS TIMEMaira Gall