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The Work (Byron Katie) | Heart center types

This second blog in a three-part series of provocative techniques help us examine our firmly-held beliefs and assumptions. The Work by Byron Katie is a powerful and clarifying way to do this. This approach can be used with Enneagram types from all three Centers of Intelligence; this blog uses the Heart Center types 2, 3 and 4 as examples.

1. Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to question 3.)
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?

Please note that whether you are guiding someone else through this process or doing it yourself, it is essential that you allow the time, space and silence to reflect and answer the questions and write them down. If you guiding another, feel free to ask probing questions such as “is there anything else?” after questions 3 and 4. You can learn much more about The Work and the more elaborate process by going to Byron Katie’s website; click here.

Here are examples of beliefs from each of the Heart Center types to take through The Work. Or, you can use your own beliefs.

Common beliefs for Twos
“I have to make myself useful to others.”
“I must make myself indispensable.”
“You are more important than I am.”
“I am not enough without other people in my life.”
“If I connect with you, you’ll want to connect with me, and I’ll be validated.”
“I can’t count on others; it’s all up to me.”
“Others’ needs must always be met before mine.”
“It’s not okay to do things for myself.”
“I can’t be separate and independent and be loved and connected simultaneously.”
“Putting myself first is always selfish.”

Common beliefs for Threes
“I’m never successful enough.”
“I have to work really hard and make it look effortless.”
“Failure is not an option.”
“I am what I do.”
“I must produce and achieve to be valued and validated.”
“I must always fulfill my roles and meet others’ expectations.”
“I am lost without goals and plans.”
“I can’t share all of what I think and feel.”

Common beliefs for Fours
“I am lacking, deficient, flawed, and missing something.”
“I am never good enough.”
“I am not worthy of being loved or valued.”
“I am just different and always will be.”
“No one can or will ever understand me.”
“I am destined to go it alone in this life.”
“If I get what others have, I’ll feel complete.”
“People always leave me.”

Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of seven best-selling Enneagram-business books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs for professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications, and is past-president of the International Enneagram Association. Visit her website: TheEnneagramInBusiness.com. ginger@theenneagraminbusiness.com

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