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Enneagram Styles and Balance

Gerry Fathauer has written this beautiful Insight Activity on Balance as a way to begin the New Year. Gerry, a Senior Member of the Enneagram in Business Network (EIBN), has a gift of the “word,” as you can read in the Insight below.

Balance is essential to our well-being and to being at choice, yet it can be an elusive quality in our hurried lives. Finding our center – our ground of being – is essential to being balanced. When we are balanced, our way of seeing the world is on a more even keel. We are better able to cope and be the person we want to be.

When our lives are balanced, we are better able to live in joy. Not just balance among family, spouse, work and play, but also balance in our perspective on life. Like the tightrope walker whose life depends on balance, so, too, our lives depend on our ability to maintain balance: to have a steady perspective. When the tightrope walker wavers, the horizon tilts dangerously, as does the tightrope walker’s perspective. Balance is essential to having an even-keeled perspective. Without balance, we lose track of the horizon – our fixed point of reference – and our perspective is easily distorted … adding additional distortion to that of ennea-type.

What causes you to lose balance? Do you have a practice that helps you regain your balance? Are you able to return to your ground of being in the very moment the tightrope sways out from under you and your perspective goes awry?

We have greater access to balance when we are centered in our ground of being. From this place, the world no longer shifts and turns; our perspective is steady and true. Our ability to choose is clean and clear. Your being in balance is a gift, not only to yourself, but also to others. What a great way to start the New Year!

How can we each fall off balance? Let us count the 9 different ways! You can read about this on the blog I have written, inspired by Gerry’s Insight Activity.

How Ones can be thrown off balance

  • Feeling, fearing, perceiving a mistake has occurred or is looming
  • Not dealing with own anger and resentment, then becoming overly upset with someone who has done something minor (or not done anything at all), and feeling remorseful and guilty for becoming so angry at this person
  • Being criticized, either by oneself, another respected individual, or both

How Twos can be thrown off balance

  • Someone they care about (or want some sort of relationship with) moving away or avoiding them for reasons unknown
  • Putting themselves first, with the impact of not doing something for someone else, and experiencing angst and guilt as a result
  • Being in a social or business situation in which no one responds to them

How Threes can be thrown off balance

  • Having goals changed on them by an outside factor or individual
  • Not knowing what they want to do, thus being disoriented by virtue of having no goals
  • Being in a situation where they have to discuss their strong emotional reactions in depth

How Fours can be thrown off balance

  • Feeling strong, shifting emotions and not understanding them
  • Perceiving themselves as being rejected by anyone, but particularly someone who they care about
  • Wanting to manifest their dreams, but not knowing how to do so

How Fives can be thrown off balance

  • Someone standing too close for too long
  • Having to put out energy and effort while they are already feeling depleted
  • Being expected to share personal information when they are not clear why this matters or what will be done with it

How Sixes can be thrown off balance

  • An authority figure acting precipitously or in a way that could harm them, others they care about, or ideas/causes that matter to them
  • Perceived high-risk situations that take them by surprise
  • Any type of outside pressure to do something when they do not feel prepared to do so

How Sevens can be thrown off balance

  • Someone or something bursting their bubble of enthusiasm
  • Feeling trapped or cornered in any way
  • Someone treating them as if they should not be taken seriously

How Eights can be thrown off balance

  • Another standing up to them without any backing down
  • Feeling highly vulnerable and not being able to muster the strength to hide this
  • Feeling exhausted and depleted

How Nines can be thrown off balance

  • Pressure or a demand to do something, particularly something they don’t want to do
  • Having to be in the midst of irresolvable conflict among others for any extended period of time
  • Feeling angry but not being willing to express it
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