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Ones | Here are some thoughts that shape Ones and become joy limiters: Why aren’t others more prepared, organized, and responsible? What is going wrong here? What do I need to do to improve things? Did I handle this situation correctly; did I do it with highest integrity?

Why not think something else instead: I’m allowed to make mistakes and so are others. Let me find all the things that are going well and all the beauty in every situation? I handle the situation the best I can at that moment, and that’s part of the beauty of being human.

Twos | Here are some thoughts that shape Twos and become joy limiters: Who is that person? What can I do to make that person feel more comfortable, happier, etc.? What looks different about that person and how can I comment on this to make them feel good? What can I say or do to establish, reestablish, or heighten this relationship; if I can’t, I‘m not such a good person.

Why not think something else instead: What do I need right now? Let me focus on myself so that I matter to me as much as others matter. Let the other person take 50% responsibility for this relationship; reciprocity in relationships is essential.

Threes | Here are some thoughts that shape Threes and become joy limiters: I’m only as good as my last performance or accomplishment; I have to keep doing something to prove my value? How can I work something I know or I’ve done into the conversation to impress others? What I’m saying is sort of true or true enough; there are many ways to be truthful.

Why not think something else instead: It’s who I am, not what I do that makes me of value to myself and others. Let me just relax and enjoy this person or conversation; I don’t need to impress. I can and must be truthful with myself first and foremost before I can be truthful with someone else; I want this.

Fours | Here are some thoughts that shape Fours and become joy limiters: I want to be happy, but this isn’t what I was looking for or how I imagined it. Feeling sad is not such a bad thing; it’s a good thing…at least I feel, which is better than nothing. If only I had made other choices in my life, my life would be so much better.

Why not think something else instead: I’m searching for me and me is more than good enough! I can also feel happy, thrilled and joyful, and I am so much more than only my feelings. I’ve made some really wonderful choices in my life such as….

Fives | Here are some thoughts that shape Fives and become joy limiters: If I give what they ask, they always want more, and I’ll end up entirely depleted. Where are they coming from, and what do they want from me? Let’s just keep everything simple and reasonable; let’s just do it my way with no surprises.

Why not think something else instead: I am fully empowered to give what I truly feel like giving, and there is enough of everything to go around. I can handle whatever happens so I can be open to whatever happens; spontaneity is good! Complex and non-rational would add some fun and pleasure in my life.

Sixes | Here are some thoughts that shape Sixes and become joy limiters: How do I know I can trust anything or anyone – me, you, the situation, my assessment of situations, my impulses? What is your authority to tell me that or to do that? Is this person a potential ally or a threat? How can I avoid inadvertently provoking this person?

Why not think something else instead: I can trust myself to know, to decide and to act. I have an abundance of deep personal power that I know I can use wisely. Sit back and enjoy the movie of life; I am not the producer, director or main actor!

Sevens | Here are some thoughts that shape Sevens and become joy limiters: I got the point; it’s not new; what’s next; I can’t tolerate boredom and have to stay stimulated? Everything has to stay positive. It will be great, just wait and see. Don’t drag me down with negativity. Let’s move on, someone will fix it.

Why not think something else instead: I need to hear this fully; something important will emerge. I can stay still and go inside to explore my inner landscape. I have the focus, capability, and will to resolve anything and to take it to completion.

Eights | Here are some thoughts that shape Eights and become joy limiters: If I’m happy or joyous for too long, I open myself to danger. I need to figure out who is in charge here so I can determine if I need to take control. I have to sense if a person is honest and trustworthy or if they are putting on a front.

Why not think something else instead: I deserve peace, joy and contentment; I can relax. I can sit back, breathe, and let someone else drive the car; nothing will fall apart. Let me be open to all things.

Nines | Here are some thoughts that shape Nines and become joy limiters: It doesn’t matter, I don’t matter, and it’s not that important anyway. I’ll listen to what others all have to say first and then take my pick of position, if I pick at all. When I agree with others even if I don’t really feel that way, they like me and I don’t create conflict.

Why not think something else instead: I matter. What I want really matters, and I can express this. When I say yes but don’t really agree, I don’t respect myself and my self-respect is more important than keeping the peace.

Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of five 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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