Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose. ~ Wayne Dyer
What is our special key to freedom? One size does not fit all, but the Enneagram can enlighten us about what our unique key to freedom is about. In this 2nd part of the 3-part series, you can read reflections on keys to freedom for enneatypes 4, 5, and 6.
For type Fours, freedom comes from giving up their chronic comparisons of themselves with others about big items and small ones, such as what someone is wearing or the tone of their voice. Most Fours are aware that they do this, yet many are not tuned into to the frequency or impact of this ongoing way of interacting with others and their environment. Through these invidious comparisons, Fours most often feel less than or inferior, but sometimes Fours feel superior to the other person. And sometimes, Fours feel both “not-good-enough” and “better than” the other person. How free can you be if your attention and energy is spent in this way? In addition, when you constantly reference and compare yourself to other people and your default mode is to feel deficient in relation to them, you end up with a self-induced loss of self-worth.
Key to freedom | Freedom for Fours comes in the form of freedom from envy, which is the name for this continuous comparing with the result being feeling not as good as and then wanting what the other person is perceived as having. Fours can actually free themselves by first noticing each time you engage in these comparisons, as well as the patterns or factors that ignite this comparing behavior. After you are more attuned to the frequency, duration and patterns of your comparisons, then try this: starting with the smaller comparisons first. Each time you compare yourself to others, instead of feeling deficient or, in some cases, superior, simply stay with what you are comparing yourself to, and breathe rhythmically. Now, instead of focusing on yourself and your feelings, focus on the other person’s quality or attribute and allow appreciation or gratitude to arise in you for that exact thing in the other person you have noticed. After you have become adept at allowing gratitude or appreciation for these smaller areas of caparisons, move to the larger areas, the areas where you feel strong feelings of deficiency or superiority. Make all of the above your daily practice.
For type Fives, freedom is the freedom to be expansive, to be as big as you really are, and to be free to engage in the world whenever you want to do so in a spontaneous way. This is a tall order for Fives, who keep themselves self-contained and beholden to themselves. Believing that moving out toward others is energetically draining and/or an intrusion on others, Fives pretty much keep to themselves. Believing that sharing information about themselves is a violation of their personal privacy, Fives share very little with others unless there is a high level of trust. Believing that to talk about their talents or accomplishments is bragging, Fives rarely share such information and, as a result, they do not get acknowledged or utilized for all of their abilities. For all of the above reasons and more, fives keep themselves smaller than they really are. In fact, many Fives don’t even know themselves how big they are.
Key to freedom | Fives first need to figure out how big they want or are willing to be. If they want to keep themselves smaller than they are, there are keys to freedom, but these will not be used. However, should a Five be willing to explore freedom, the main key is to allow yourself to engage and explore your feelings in real time, not after you have felt them and are alone. Making a commitment to doing this, starting first with a coach and someone you really trust and then expanding outward from there will open all remaining doors. When you do the above, you will find that you can access your feelings more easily, that you can find the words to express them to others, and that others will most often respond affirmatively to you when you do so. Fears of being judged or rejected will diminish and you will find a freedom to express yourself in an increasing number of ways.
For type Sixes, freedom always comes down to the ability to feel certain and safe inside yourself. This is true whether you are self-preservation subtype Six, who constantly second-guesses everything, a social subtype Six, who continuously wants to clearly define the boundaries of what’s OK and not OK to do, or a one-to-one Six, who acts brave and courageous in almost all circumstances, thereby temporarily masking the inner fear that is omnipresent.
Key to freedom | Telling a Six there is nothing to be afraid of rarely if ever works. Telling themselves there is nothing to fear works less well. So what are the keys to freedom? For self-preservation subtype Sixes, the key is to gradually put away their self-doubt as a way to feel safe. For social subtype Sixes, the key to freedom is to gradually relinquish their reliance on rules and on trying to determine what authorities want from them to feel safe. And for one-to-one Sixes, the key to freedom is to gradually put down their armor and shows of strength. What happens when each of these areas is relaxed and even released? The opportunity to examine one’s fears, release them and move toward freedom.
Stay tuned for part 3 in this series!
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. firstname.lastname@example.org