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Knowing Your Number

Everyone's journey to discovering their number (or "type") is different. Some people do get it right away but if you don't, stick with it. (When I first started reading about the Enneagram I thought I was a Seven for sure, turns out I'm a Five.) Online tests are an ok place to start your Enneagram journey but are really not sufficient and can easily lead to mistyping. Taking an online test simply gives you a snapshot in time and we are not always honest with ourselves as we answer. Also, and most importantly, the Enneagram is about motivation not just behavior, and this is hard to measure in an online test.


What's really needed is knowledge about the types through reading and workshops. In fact the Enneagram was taught orally for much of its history and there is something really helpful and powerful about hearing all 9 types taught together in one setting. If you would rather start with a book, there are many out there but the best primer is The Road Back to You by Suzanne Stabile and Ian Cron. 

If you don't get it right away, what's needed next is to engage is honest and sustained self-observation over time and in different contexts. This allows you to reflect on not just what you do, but why you do the things you do. Again, the Enneagram is ALL about motivation and not just behavior.

It's helpful to reflect on how you think, feel, and act at home, this is not always the case but usually we let down our guards a bit more at home where we feel safe. It's also a good idea to ask others how they experience you, especially people that care enough about you to tell you the truth. This can be really vulnerable but also really helpful.

And one last thing, if you really love your number you have probably mistyped! 

Here is what Enneagram teachers Don Riso and Russ Hudson say about knowing your number, “When you find your number, even if it takes a while, waves of relief and embarrassment, of elation and chagrin, are likely to sweep over you. Things that you have always known unconsciously about yourself will suddenly become clear, and life patterns will emerge. You can be sure that when this happens, you have identified you type correctly."

A word of caution: 

The Enneagram is for YOU. It's a fantastic tool but it can easily be turned into something that can actually hurt your relationships. If you start typing all the people around you, you will not be using it for what it was intended, which is personal growth. In addition, you will very likely mistype people because you are not in their heads. There is a very good chance that you could be wrong about their type, but even if you are right, you will put them in a box and start to treating them a certain way. The Enneagram is for YOU. 

I'm excited that you are beginning your Enneagram journey!

Please let me know how I can help you along the way. 

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