Development tips

Topic of the month | being in reality

We are all “fake” or false in some respects and don’t even know this, particularly when our enneatype structure distorts our reality. Here are some of the ways:

Enneagram Ones | false perfection
As Ones pursue perfection – at least as they understand it in daily life – they perceive that so much is not as it should be and so they must make it right. But this notion is the opposite of what true perfection is and what reality is. In other words, in reality and true perfection, what is is. It is the acceptance of this reality that is actually perfection in its finest form. Learn to accept what is.

Enneagram Twos | false abundance
Twos live in a false reality where resources are never-ending, people are all good until they are not, and the disappointment of not living in this embellished reality of false abundance is huge. People disappoint, resources dry up, and people suffer. Learn to live in a more balanced reality: good and bad simultaneously; joy and suffering as part of a complete whole; and reverence for each resource provided and used.

Enneagram Threes | false image
Threes live in a world of false images – for example, their own image, other people’s images, what they should want rather than what they do want, and how they think they should act rather than how they would behave if they were more spontaneous. At the same time, many Threes crave truth and honesty, and one way of understanding this is that they thirst for what they don’t have. Learn to be more honest with yourself first and then others. Find your heart’s desire.

Enneagram Fours | false connection
Fours so deeply desire the deepest level of connection with themselves and others that they can mistake intensity for connection. In addition, Fours define connection as primarily emotional, rather than physical or mental, which are two additional and equally viable ways of establishing connection. With an unnecessarily narrow path to connection, no wonder Fours both crave and feel deprived of it. Find multiple ways of connecting and also learn to trust that what goes away – nothing is permanent – comes around in another form.

Enneagram Fives | false scarcity

Fives live in a reality of false scarcity, the idea that there is not and will not be enough to go around. With this belief in mind, Fives keep themselves in an autonomous state, rarely relying on outside resources and conserving their own energy. The belief, then, becomes a self-fulfilling reality. No wonder Fives become depleted and drained. Fives can try to change this mind-set, but that is difficult. Try a change of behavior instead, by relying on others more and asking on occasion for what is needed. Small steps lead to bigger ones.

Enneagram Sixes | false complexity
Sixes may not want to hear this, but the world is not nearly so complex as they might think. What if the world is simpler, yet equally – and differently – meaningful and profound. The idea is not to believe all your thoughts, just believe some of them. Which ones? Believe the ideas that are simpler but not simplistic, profound yet powerful, and self-supporting rather than self-limiting.

Enneagram Sevens | false freedom
Sevens want no constraints so they can feel free. They want every option available so they can feel free. They want no one to reign them in or to say no to them so they can feel free. They want to do whatever they want whenever they want so they can feel free. What if this isn’t freedom at all, but false freedom? What if freedom is the ability to choose a course and stay committed to it, out of choice and freedom?

Enneagram Eights | false strength
Eights know a lot about strength; it is what they rely on most. However, Eights define strength as toughness and certitude at all times, and almost never letting your guard down or showing any vulnerability, even to those with whom they are close. Real strength, however, comes from being vulnerable, working with those areas that might need development – such as hurt and grief – and allowing others to be in support. True strength is achieved through strength and vulnerability and strength through vulnerability. Try it!

Enneagram Nines | false humility

Nines appear humble. However, some Nines are truly humble and others are not. Their humility may actually be self-deprecation, but it can also be masked ambition or ambition thwarted. It can be personal and social power unacknowledged or unused. Nines, to avoid false humility, can step into themselves, stand tall, and speak with their deepest voice. All will hear.

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