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Enneagram Styles and Authenticity


This blog was inspired by Ruth Landis’s insights about Authenticity. You can read about how each of us, based on our Enneagram styles, can be in a state of Authenticity, which is really about allowing us to be fully ourselves.

Whether you are a leader, coach, consultant, trainer, parent, or friend, Authenticity enables us to be truly ourselves at the deepest level. Ruth Landis is a Senior Member of the Enneagram in Business Network at TheEnneagramInBusiness.com.

Authenticity Insights

Authenticity is being at ease with oneself and an honest acceptance of who we really are. It is self-awareness without self-consciousness. It is a freedom from self-editing: I am not too little or too much ­– I am. I do not need to try to be more or less than what I am in this moment. Authenticity is being truly comfortable in your own skin. Today, catch yourself trying to be or responding in a way that does not feel true to your core, and make a more authentic choice. If you feel like skipping down the street, do it.  If you feel like being silly, be silly.  Feel the freedom of authentic response.

Authenticity and Enneagram Styles

I’ve added the following to help us understand how our Enneagram styles can block our capacity to be in Authenticity and how we can allow ourselves to be more fully in a state of realness.

Enneagram Style One

Obstacle to Authenticity: Restricting your own responses to those that seem well-mannered, appropriate, and polite

How to Be in Authenticity: To accept yourself, all of who you are, including your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors

Hint: Focus first on acknowledging your anger and resentment, examining its true causes

Enneagram Style Two

Obstacle to AuthenticityBeing so dependent or responsive to the reactions of others for a sense of self-worth that you constrain yourself from being truly authentic

How to Be in Authenticity:  To become less inflated or deflated based on how others respond to you 

Hint: Focus first on being less elated or inflated when you get a positive response; this will lessen the deflation from a negative reaction

Enneagram Style Three

Obstacle to Authenticity: Identifying so strongly with the image or series of images you create so that others will respect you; this includes even having an image of no image!

How to Be in Authenticity: To acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, realizing that what you do is not truly who you are at a deeper level

Hint: Focus first on your anxiety and sadness, accepting and experiencing these feelings as part of being human; then, share some of your deeper feelings with others

Enneagram Style Four

Obstacle to Authenticity: Believing that because you value authenticity and express yourself at a deeper and more complex level than other people, that you are actually being authentic

How to Be in Authenticity:  To go beneath your image of being authentic to a deeper and truer authenticity

Hint: Focus first on the ways in which you create an interior pendulum in which you either feel inferior or superior to others; examine how you do this and what purpose it serves, then stop doing this and experience your more authentic sense of self

Enneagram Style Five

Obstacle to Authenticity: Not sharing who you really are with others, but this starts with not knowing fully yourself who you are in a more integrated way

How to Be in Authenticity:  To explore yourself more fully without disconnecting from your emotions and actual experience and then be willing to share this with others

Hint: Focus first on experiencing your true feelings in real time rather than experiencing some of them later

Enneagram Style Six

Obstacle to AuthenticityDoubting yourself to such a degree that your true strength is invisible and engaging in risky behavior as an avoidance of feelings of fear

How to Be in Authenticity: To be calm, clear, and grounded as a way to trust yourself to be able to respond effectively to whatever comes your way

Hint: Focus first on grounding yourself physically through activities such as martial art, yoga, and breathing; instead of acting on your desire to take risks, use these impulses as a cue to ground yourself instead

Enneagram Style Seven

Obstacle to AuthenticityAvoiding 50% of life – the painful and uncomfortable

How to Be in Authenticity:  To stay focused on activities, people, projects, and especially your own internal sensations and responses

Hint: Focus first on acknowledging and fully experiencing feelings, particularly pain, sorrow and anxiety, and feelings of discomfort; stay focused on your inner experience instead of distracting yourself by external stimuli

Enneagram Style Eight

Obstacle to AuthenticityBeing so big, bold, and strong without acknowledging your vulnerability and weakness

How to Be in Authenticity: To be open, vulnerable, and innocent

Hint: Focus first on what you are feeling when you have an impulse to take charge or take action

Enneagram Style Nine

Obstacle to Authenticity: Not acknowledging or honoring your own opinions, desires, and feelings

How to Be in Authenticity: To be clear, steadfast, expressive, and true to yourself

Hint: Focus on awakening your body reactions; sensations, truth that needs to be said, and feelings that need to be experienced and expressed

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