Home | Blog | Enneagram Styles and Holding On

Enneagram Styles and Holding On

Gerry Fathauer has written a compelling Insight Activity on Holding On. Gerry is a Senior Member of the Enneagram in Business Network (EIBN) and has remarkable insight into the process of using the Enneagram for self-development and healing.When we hold on to anything, energy cannot move through us. We get stuck in our preferences and our ideas of what we think we want and the ideals we think we must live by. Holding on, consciously or unconsciously, stops our energy and assures a limited perspective.

Holding on to what we want is something we all do, whether it’s a house, our stuff in that house, a desired business outcome, or the hunt for the ideal partner. Holding on can permeate every aspect of our lives, almost without our awareness, yet doing so colors our perspective, limits our options, and may even sow seeds of disappointment.

How freeing it would be, if each time we’re aware of holding on, we simply add “or not”! This single, simple pivot of awareness, the suggestion of “or not,” frees us energetically. Musing about “or not” opens us to new possibilities.

Think about something you hold on to, a desired outcome, perhaps, such as being awarded a contract. Does your holding on to the desired outcome of getting the contract serve you, or does it limit you?  What happens if your awareness becomes “I must be awarded this contract, or not”? Once you become aware of something you hold on to, practice following that thought with “or not.” What happens when you do this?

Holding on to what we think we want stifles us energetically and invites dissatisfaction with life in the present moment.

So what is it we each, by Enneagram style, “hold on to,” why, and what do we need to do to “let go”? In this Blog, which I have written in response to Gerry’s Insight Activity, you can find out! 

Enneagram Ones
Holding on to: being right, not making mistakes, being in control, maintaining their structured lives, and harboring built-up resentments 
Why: to maintain their sense of self as the person who is righteous, responsible, and faultless 
Letting go of: the belief that everything must be perfectly ordered and executed 

Enneagram Twos
Holding on to: being thoughtful, responsive, unselfish, considerate, without need, and slights when others have wronged them in some way – i.e., taking them for granted, accused them of malintent, acted in disparaging ways 
Why: to maintain their sense of self as a person who is so good that they consistently put others above themselves 
Letting go of: the belief that their only value comes from how much they do for other people 

Enneagram Threes
Holding on to: being competent, resourceful, goal-driven, effective, successful, and confident, but also under-expressed sadness, anxiety, and anger 
Why: to maintain their sense of self as a person who can make whatever they want happen through their goal orientation, intense focus, and personal drive 
Letting go of: the belief that they must follow societal (or social-referent group) standards of success to feel good about themselves 

Enneagram Fours
Holding on to: being different from everyone, feeling slighted on a consistent basis, and identifying with their shifting emotional states, but also an idyllic “dream-world” in which everyone feels the deepest sense of beauty and interconnectivity 
Why: to maintain their sense of self as person who is unique and separated from others because they have chosen to be that way, which makes them feel in control of their feelings of existential deficiency 
Letting go of: the belief that there is something wrong with them that is not wrong with others 

Enneagram Fives
Holding on to: being autonomous, needing very little privacy, and consuming limited space and resources, as well as under-explored feelings and needs 
Why: to maintain their sense of self as a person who does not need to rely on anyone or anything other than themselves 
Letting go of: the belief of false scarcity (of energy, resources, and more)

Enneagram Sixes
Holding on to: being the object of harm by the environment and/or others, having to be the person who raises difficult issues, and not being able to trust others, particularly those in positions of strong influence or authority 
Why: to maintain their sense of self as a person who understands the risks and uncertainty involved with being in the world and who can overcome this through their minds 
Letting go of: the belief that true authority resides outside themselves 

Enneagram Sevens
Holding on to: being fun-loving, pleasure-oriented, completely free, and their unalterable right to avoid restrictions or painful experiences 
Why: to maintain their sense of self as a person who lives in a world where anything is possible and there are no limits unless we create them 
Letting go of: the belief that freedom means having no limits 

Enneagram Eights
Holding on to: being in command and control, not showing weakness or vulnerability, avenging wrongs done by others, being so strong that they can protect anyone of their choosing, and can move mountains through their extraordinary will, energy, and power 
Letting go of: the belief that they have to be strong and big at all times and under all circumstances 

Enneagram Nines
Holding on to: being in positive resonance with others around them, not asserting or expressing themselves directly, and believing that they don’t really matter as much as others 
Why: to maintain their sense of self as a person who can bring reconciliation to disruption, rapport to discord, and agreement where there is misunderstanding and/or disrespect 
Letting go of: the belief that the way they matter is to not matter

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tom
8 years ago

It took me a while to realize how valuable Gerry Fathauer’s article is. Before his article, explaining to my executive coaching clients how they hold on to their type reactivity was helpful, but did not always to resonate with them. Most of my coaching clients are also golfers. (The stereotype of golfing executives seems to hold true in this case.) It is well known in golf that over gripping a club will result in a shorter shot. In Fathauer’s words, “When we hold on to anything, energy cannot move through us.” Now, I explain how holding on and blocking energy… Read more »

1
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
X