Find Your Why
The Integrative Enneagram Assessment
What Is An
Enneagram Personality Test?
Tracing its origins to multiple ancient spiritual traditions, including Sufism, Judaism, and medieval Christianity, the Enneagram charts nine distinct but interconnected personality archetypes. Each of these archetypes is associated with certain motivations, defense mechanisms, and fears that lend a deeper comprehension of not only who we are, but how that influences what we do and why we do it. Modern adaptations of the Enneagram, such as the Integrative Enneagram (iEQ9) merge contemporary psychological research with ancient spiritual wisdom.
Getting the most from the iEQ9
Head Heart Body
Undergoing the Integrative Enneagram (iEQ9) Assessment alone can be tremendously enlightening — you'll learn your Enneagram Type, Subtype, Center of Intelligence (Head, Heart, or Body), Triadic Style, Level of Self Mastery, and current Stress and Strains. But a certified Enneagram Practitioner will help you fully interpret and understand your report and apply those insights to affect maximum, transformative change. Life and mindset coach Christina Yates empowers clients to be their best selves using proven tools such as iEQ9 to provide a path toward personal and professional betterment.
As a life coach, she looks to bring that same sense of peace and permanency to her clients' personal and professional lives. To that end, she strongly believes in digging deep and doing the work, getting down to the foundations of the authentic self in order to uproot negative thought patterns and build lasting structure, meaning, and purpose. A Certified International Federation Coach and Certified Enneagram Practitioner, she has over 130 hours of coaching experience to her name — and countless more as a mother and as a leader in her company, church, and community.
Can you change your personality?
By Megan Biffi | 6 November 2022 | 10 min
Have you ever wondered if your personality stays the same throughout your lifetime? Whether an individual's personality type can change over time has been a source of much heated debate since Carl Jung's original work on personality types. When introduced to the Enneagram, people often reflect on the idea that they had hoped to have been another Enneagram Type, for example saying "I would be so much happier if I was an Enneagram 7," and as a result, try to change themselves. This is partly due to a belief that their personality type isn't good enough. While personality is a relatively broad term that encompasses many aspects of who we are, essentially it defines us and how we interact with the world. For example, when we talk about someone having a good personality, or a boring personality, what we are actually referring to is the type of behaviour they exhibit. While there are numerous theories about what personality really is and how our basic personality traits are first shaped by experiences early in our lives, researchers generally agree that your personality becomes fixed in youth and the fundamentals do not change. Carl Jung's theory teaches us that individuals have an innate urge to grow and have everything they need within themselves to become healthy, effective individuals. Jung theorised that the first half of our lives is spent confirming and using our strongest preferences. The second half of our lives is spent developing lesser-used, type-related functions to add balance and depth to life. This essentially means that while the fundamentals of our personality are set early in life, the way in which we express that personality can change. If this was not the case, then there would be no point to learning and development initiatives or coaching, after all! In the Integrative Enneagram, we measure and reflect a diverse set of personality factors, some of which are enduring and do not change over time and some that are more changeable. It is important for clients and coaches to understand which should or should not be expected to change. What Should Not Change CORE TYPE: In line with the general consensus among personality theorists that our personality tends to stay stable over time, teachers of the Enneagram will also attest to the idea that once you find your home base or main point of reference within the Enneagram framework, your point of resonance or Type usually remains stable throughout your life. An Enneagram Type 9 cannot make themselves into an Enneagram Type 8, as hard as they might wish and try. Should your type change, chances are that you were mistyped to begin with. However, while your point of resonance or Type usually remains stable throughout your life, you are reminded that you are not your Type but you have resonance with your Type. In other words, your Type is not a limiting box, but a reference point for developing insight into what motivates and drives your behaviour. It is the starting point from which we explore and access further self-awareness, development, and growth. Fundamental to the teachings of the Enneagram is the theory of movement along the lines and wings around the circumference of the Enneagram. At a high level of integration, one moves towards the centre of the Enneagram, able to 'play' in the wings and the lines of stretch and release, holding your core type more lightly and fluidly. This tends to moderate the core motivations, behaviours, themes, and fears of an individual's main Enneagram type significantly and individuals at high integration may be more challenging to type definitively. We experience this movement as manifesting and experiencing the characteristics of other Enneagram personality types. So, over time, we work towards being able to 'step into' other Types and access their unique perspectives and gifts. While, in effect, it may seem from time to time that we have become another personality type, we are still ourselves at the Core Type level. What MAY Change, Slowly and Over Time Personality psychologists who study large populations have found that, indeed, shifts in personality do take place over time. There are some shifts that are common to many people and seem to have to do with the general effects of getting older. During the process of long-term personal transformation, be it through learning and development initiatives or coaching, you should experience certain changes. It should be emphasised, however, that the goal of this process is not to change who you are but to rather add balance and depth to your life. The iEQ9 Questionnaire measures an individual's instincts, Centers of expression, and level of integration. These are the key areas that people are coached on and where you are more likely to see incremental changes in the balance and healthy expression of these elements over a long period of time. INSTINCTS: One of the areas in which you could see change over time and with development, is in the balance of your instinct stacking. Enneagram teachers have identified three 'instincts', self-preservation (SP), one-on-one (SX), and social (SO), and we each apply these in a 'stack' which includes all three instincts in varying measures. Your 'stack' includes your dominant instinct at the top, your less-developed instinct in the middle, and your least-developed or repressed at the bottom. Enneagram theory says that we develop our particular stack in childhood and that it remains mostly stable throughout our lives, though it can shift during times of dramatic change. Although we all have natural inclinations that tend to govern our behaviour, we also have the opportunity to develop each instinct more fully; this is where further change can be experienced. We also find that the third or neglected instinct may represent a weakness for clients, and coaching may focus on balancing a skewed stack by connecting more positively to the third instinct and balancing out the dominant. While the balance of the three instincts may change, it is unlikely that you would switch from one Subtype to another unless your scores for those two instincts were very close to begin with. In this scenario, you would have had almost equal access to both instincts, and may represent aspects of both Subtypes quite clearly as a result, and so rather than 'changing', you would be switching emphasis subtly. CENTRES OF EXPRESSION: Another area where you could see change would be in the balance of your Centers of Expression stack. The Centers of Expression are behavioural and are determined by how we interact with others. We all have the ability to act, feel, and think but the energy and focus of our interactions may lead to others experiencing us as more of a thinker, more emotional, or a doer. From a growth and development perspective, the centre that we most exhibit is often out of balance or unhealthy in its expression in relation to the other centres. Coaching commonly works to calm an over-expressed Center and invigorate an under-expressed Center, changing the balance over time. For example, a client with little access to their Feeling Center might become more able to connect to their emotions, changing this result over time. LEVELS OF INTEGRATION: Even though your core Type remains constant, one of the areas in which you would want to see change would be your level of integration. Levels of Integration or Levels of Development refer to the degree of self-mastery individuals have achieved in their personal development journeys in life. As a time-bound measure, it can change as you invest in your personal growth, as well as how your circumstances become more or less challenging. Integration is not fixed and you may move between high and low integration behaviours depending on context, development and self-awareness over time More Short-term Measures STRAIN PROFILE: The iEQ9 Questionnaire also includes a Strain Profile which reflects your subjective experience of the amount of stress you are experiencing in your present environment, work and home situation, health, and relationships. It is a snapshot that is specific to the time you completed the iEQ9 Questionnaire and can be expected to change quickly - possibly even months - if you make significant changes in your life and your stressors increase or decrease. Many clients consciously seek coaching to change their strain profile, so a positive change in this area is often a cause for celebration. Summing Up We have learned that we humans have a natural desire to grow and develop. Better yet, we have everything that we need within ourselves to become healthy, effective individuals. While the majority of us spend the early stages of our lives discovering and leveraging the strongest parts of our personality, many of us spend the remainder of our lives developing the lesser-used parts to bring balance to and create depth in our lives. When we want to, it is entirely possible to change certain aspects of our personality, though generally not our dominant traits. This also holds true in the world of the Enneagram: while we have one core personality type, through movement along the lines and wings around the circumference of the Enneagram, we are able to transcend our Type and manifest characteristics of other Types. Thus, although we are likely to have one dominant personality type throughout our lifetime, we may experience the patterns of all nine Enneagram personality types. CREATE BALANCE, START GROWING
What’s so Motivating about ‘Motivation’?
By Megan Biffi | 25 July 2019 | 7 min
Whether browsing a bookstore or the internet it might seem like every Tom, Dick, and Harriet is promoting a book about motivation - or becoming a motivational speaker. But why the sudden interest? Is it because we are not fully aware of what motivates us? Or others? Motivation energises us; it gives us purpose, and guides and directs our behaviour towards a goal or specific need. Motivation fuels our desire to achieve goals. If we are motivated, we are driven to be successful and to fulfil our true potential. Something that is motivational is (1) energising and activates behaviour; (2) directive as it guides you towards satisfying a goal or a specific need (for example, being afraid motivates you to run away from danger or being hungry motivates you to eat); (3) helpful in guiding us to persist in our behaviour until we reach our goal or meet our need; and (4) variable in strength as some things can be highly motivating, others less so. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation There are two types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is when you are motivated towards taking action that might not be rewarding in itself but lead to a reward or goal . As an example, working overtime and showing initiative at work in an attempt to earn an increase in pay, earn a bonus, earn time off from work, or even earn a promotion. Intrinsic motivation is when you are motivated towards taking action or engaging in activities that are themselves rewarding. In other words, it is internal . It refers to being personally motivated or having a personal desire towards a particular goal . For example, producing high-quality work, overcoming a challenge, or interacting with members of a team that you trust and like. Another example of intrinsic motivation would be helping others because it makes you feel good. When extrinsic and intrinsic motivators clash – i.e. when a job rewards someone for working against their personal values, individuals typically experience higher levels of stress, discomfort, and anxiety. Why is motivation so important? We may not always be able to control the extrinsic motivators in our environment. Therefore, we may be better off striving to understand and work with intrinsic motivations - both our own and other people’s. What makes us get out of bed in the morning? What is our ‘why’? People who are intrinsically motivated gain a great deal of enjoyment and satisfaction from what they do, and also tend to work harder and more creatively. How, then, do we go about understanding our own and others’ intrinsic motivations? The Enneagram and motivation The Enneagram very directly references the idea of intrinsic motivation, revealing our inner motivations and addressing what motivates and drives human behaviour. As a framework, the Enneagram points to and brings into sharp, clear focus nine different ways of looking at the world. It allows us to see how each worldview impacts the way we bring our unique thoughts, feelings, and behaviours to any situation. This framework goes beyond the superficial aspects of behaviour and delves into the often-secret, unconscious, or underlying motivations that give us a look at ‘why’ people do what they do. The Enneagram emphasises that we are all different and have different motivators. If this is the case, it becomes crucial to understand ourselves and others better. To discover what motivates them and us, and find the right balance between extrinsic and intrinsic motivators so we can motivate and energise ourselves (and others) successfully. What motivates and energises the Nine Enneagram Types?
Change your Story – Change your Life
By Anna-Rosa le Roux | 11 April 2019 | 10 min
Throughout the ages, humanity has been fascinated by stories. From the very early days of humankind, we have gathered around campfires and told stories to pass knowledge and wisdom from generation to generation. In our modern world, this fascination with narrative knowledge is still deeply ingrained and present in our everyday lives - in the media, in our relationships, in our workplaces, in our families and our spiritual practices. Storytelling offers additional lenses through which to see ourselves. It is by telling and expanding our stories that we change our lives! Narrative Coaching explores the human practice of making meaning through stories. The Center of Narrative Coaching and Design defines the technique as follows: "Narrative coaching is a mindful, experiential, and holistic approach that helps people shift their stories about themselves, others, and life itself to create new possibilities and new results." Central to the above definition, some key elements that link strongly to the Enneagram as a tool support a Narrative Coaching approach. We see that Narrative Coaching is not only about our own story, but also about the stories that we tell ourselves about other people and the world and our experience of it. The Narrative Coaching approach draws our attention to the fact that we each carry within us a story about the world and how it is, and therefore how we need to be. This is the ‘fixated’ or problem story, but there are other, more positive narratives that could open up new possibilities. The ‘Fixated’ or Problem Story We use the concept of the ‘problem story’ to refer to the one that keeps us stuck in a limited, problem-centric state. We tell ourselves certain things about ourselves and how we see the world, and how we must be in the world. This story is not necessarily the whole version of the truth nor does it necessarily represent the richness we contain as unique human beings. In the Enneagram world, our story is informed by our Type’s worldview and the core fears that we hold. To be able to function and survive in this self-created reality, we tell ourselves how we ‘need to be’ or how we ‘should’ be in our self-talk. This becomes our core motivation and the foundation of the story we tell ourselves. This story becomes a fixation if it is the only lens that we use to relate to the world. Enneagram 1 - Strict Perfectionist The story that Ennea 1s’ tell themselves is that the world is imperfect and they need to work towards improving it and themselves too - they must make the world a better place. This story drives the Ennea 1’s motivation to be good, right or perfect. They value being a good person and as a result, self-control, integrity and quality are important to them. They strive for perfection and appreciate standards and structure. Ennea 1s’ problem story may lead them to believe that unless they are good, right or perfect, they are a bad person. Enneagram 2 - Considerate Helper Ennea 2s’ story tells them that people depend on them for help and that they only have value when they are liked, needed and loving. This story drives their core motivation to be liked and appreciated and they invest in being kind, generous and self-sacrificing. Ennea 2s’ problem story drives them to offer support and attention to others, by reinforcing the belief that if they are not giving, helpful and generous enough, they are unlovable. Enneagram 3 - Competitive Achiever A typical story in Ennea 3s’ self-talk is that the world values winners and so they must avoid failure at all costs. This drives their core motivation to succeed, outshine others and be the best. Their story emphasises achievement, so results and image are important to them. Ennea 3s’ problem story tells them that if they are not successful and valuable, then they are worthless. Enneagram 4 - Intense Creative Ennea 4s’ story is all about how they compare with others, and how they are missing something and need to strive for their true identity. This drives their core motivation to be unique and authentic, valuing individualism, feelings, self-expression and purpose. Romantic at heart, they appreciate beauty and creating meaning for themselves and others. Ennea 4s’ problem story reinforces their fear that if they are not making a difference or being true to themselves, they are ordinary. Enneagram 5 - Quiet Specialist Ennea 5s’ story tells them that the world is a place that invades their privacy with overwhelming demands, so they need to protect their resources and energy. This drives their core motivation to understand and make sense of the world around them and to conserve resources and knowledge. Ennea 5s’ problem story reinforces their sense that they are, in fact, not knowledgeable enough and will be unable to meet the demands of others. Enneagram 6 - Loyal Sceptic An Ennea 6s story communicates that the world is a threatening and unsafe place, so they need to test and question people and things to feel more secure. This drives their core motivation to be safe, prepared, responsible and alert at all times. Ennea 6s value security and belonging, and as a result, kindness, loyalty and trust are important to them. Ennea 6s’ problem story reinforces that if they are not cautious and don’t protect themselves, they will be unprepared, without support and guidance, and incapable of surviving on their own. Enneagram 7 - Enthusiastic Visionary Ennea 7s’ story tells them that the world is full of exciting possibilities, ideas and experiences and they need to explore as much as possible. This drives their core motivation to experience life to the fullest and avoid pain, taking opportunities as they present themselves. Ennea 7s’ problem story reinforces the belief that if they are not moving forward and experiencing what is next, they will be limited and trapped in discomfort. Enneagram 8 - Active Controller Ennea 8s’ tell themselves the story that the world is a tough and unjust place in which only the strong survive, and good things happen to those who take control. This drives their core motivation to be strong and avoid vulnerability. Valuing control, they love rising to challenges and embody a need for justice, which enables them to protect others. Ennea 8s’ problem story reinforces their fear that when they are not in control, they are vulnerable to be harmed or controlled by others. Enneagram 9 - Adaptive Peacemaker Ennea 9s’ story tells them that the world is not a harmonious place where they can fully assert themselves and that people need to treat each other with respect. This drives their core motivation to be in harmony with the world and to be understanding, accommodating and accepting. Ennea 9s’ problem story reinforces that if they do not keep the balance, they will be in conflict, discomfort and separated from others. From the above stories for each Enneagram Type, we see that there is real power in these self-told narratives. Each story is anchored in core beliefs about the world that we take for granted, and in turn these stories are validated and supported by our observations and interactions as we move through our lives. If we are fixated on our particular story, we don’t realise the impact of our self-limiting beliefs on our own lives and those around us. We tell ourselves that “this is just the way things are” and remain committed to our stories, rather than opening up to alternative interpretations of the world and therefore, to growth. Challenging our Story When we commit to a coaching journey, we set the scene to transform our current stories actively. As we become more aware of the stories that we have been telling ourselves, we begin to gain perspective and notice how we may have been limiting our reality. We begin to shift towards a more open perspective and commit to the task of challenging our stories as we strive to practise different behaviours. “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are”-Brené Brown The objective of challenging our story is to address the beliefs, practices, and assumptions that limit us. We can equate this process to one where we ‘wake up from sleep’ and begin to escape our fixations, enabling us to explore more possibilities. As we reflect on the stories that inform our identity, we realise that the problem story is not the whole truth about our lives. We become more open to exploring alternative stories that reflect a more holistic sense of ourselves, to tell a fuller version of the story of who we really are. The Virtues of our Type The alternative to our fixated problem stories often lies in the virtues of our Type, which remind us to take a broader perspective on the world. Enneagram 1 - Strict Perfectionist When Ennea 1s accept the world as it is with serenity, instead of standing against it, they no longer need to correct everything. When this happens, critical anger no longer has a place and they become open to whatever presents itself, allowing themselves to be at peace. Enneagram 2 - Considerate Helper When Ennea 2s learn to acknowledge their limits and recognise that they are not indispensable to other people, their pride gives way to humility. As a result, Ennea 2s are able to establish healthy boundaries and give love as needed. Enneagram 3 - Competitive Achiever When Ennea 3s are hopeful that they will be accepted for who they are, their self-deceit and the image they present to the world give way to truth and self-acceptance. As a result, Ennea 3s’ drive to appear competent and successful at all costs becomes unnecessary. Enneagram 4 - Intense Creative When Ennea 4s are able to see the positive and negative in equal measure, they stop envying others and approach life with equanimity, taking life as it comes without personalising or reacting to situations. As a result, their fundamental belief that other people have it better gives way to true authentic engagement. Enneagram 5 - Quiet Specialist When Ennea 5s detach from their need to be self-sufficient and isolated, they appreciate that they can better understand the world by participating in it. Taking in only what is necessary, they learn to trust that they can replenish their resources, particularly time and space. Enneagram 6 - Loyal Sceptic When Ennea 6s step into courage and faith, they recognise that their safety and security fears are largely self-conceived. No longer inhibited by their story, they begin to question their fears and assumptions, acting without deferring to the rules or ideologies of others. Enneagram 7 - Enthusiastic Visionary When Ennea 7s’ gluttonous hunger for stimulation is tempered by sobriety, they no longer fear limitation. Moderating themselves by slowing down and anchoring themselves in the here and now, they experience more quality of life and true joy. Enneagram 8 - Active Controller When Ennea 8s let go of their fear of being controlled, they become more open-hearted. In a state of innocence, they appreciate and experience life without judgement or expectation, neutralising their drive for excess and power. Enneagram 9 - Adaptive Peacemaker When Ennea 9s embrace right action, they move out of inertia to discover their own intention and purpose and act on it. By discovering what they really believe and acting on what they authentically think and feel, they begin living for themselves. Unpacking these stories, we allow ourselves to experiment with different reality filters and look at our issues and challenges with fresh eyes. Ultimately, this shift will indicate that we are no longer putting others and ourselves in boxes. “Narrative practices seek to rehumanize the world through the telling, re-telling and witnessing of the multiple stories of our lived experience – stories that we have interpreted and stories that we are knowledgeable about.” -Chené Swart, Re-Authoring the World Our ability to develop and acknowledge these richer, healthier and more authentic stories about ourselves enables us to experience happier and more fulfilling lives. By working with our story and its limitations through the Enneagram, we can transform ourselves and support a more holistic way of being and thinking in the world.
Resolutions that are True to Your Type
By Megan Biffi | 24 January 2019 | 8 min
The start of a new year is often considered a time of reflection and renewal, goal setting and resolution making. Many people see this time as an opportunity to reflect and plan a roadmap to our best selves, following the tradition of setting resolutions to create change in our lives. But according to research, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. So why do a staggering 92% of us fail to achieve our goals? The research reveals that when setting goals and resolutions, we tend to believe that all we need to do is simply re-shuffle our habits – for example, setting goals to get in shape by saying “ I’ll just go to the gym more.” Or, resolving to improve your general mood by saying “This year is the year I finally WILL start getting more sleep.”If we are honest with ourselves, this ‘habit shuffling’ is a way of avoiding real change. It turns out that when it comes to creating real change, why you do something (motivation) matters more than what you do (behaviour). While it is perfectly natural to want to re-shape our habits, what we should be focusing on is on real change and therefore, exploring what drives us. So we suggest that, instead of this superficial level of change, you make this the year that you connect to your true identity and figure out what you REALLY want for 2019. Using the Enneagram as a roadmap for realising your true potential This powerful tool can help transform your life by revealing who you really are and what really motivates you to create lasting positive shifts in your life. Not only can the Enneagram therefore help you set resolutions that you can achieve – it can set you on a path to deep personal growth in the process. Here are some tips for crafting resolutions for each Enneagram Type: Enneagram 1 - Strict Perfectionist Motivated by the need to be good and right, Enneagram Ones do not reserve their resolutions only for the beginning of a new year – they constantly strive to be a good person. Their appreciation of self-control, integrity and quality are important in making and sticking to resolutions, and their ability to set standards and structure tasks may give them clarity. As a consequence, however, their resolutions may be geared towards being extremely self-disciplined and consistently striving for perfection. Ones may tend to over-amplify their already self-disciplined nature, striving always for 100% or more and leaving them with minimal time to relax. In setting a resolution, Ones may benefit from putting some time aside to unwind and let loose, be it laughing every day, practising deep breathing, cooking a meal with a loved one (without following a recipe!) or dancing and singing along to music that you like. Letting your hair down and relaxing, even to a small extent, can provide you with perspective, fun and balance in your life Enneagram 2 - Considerate Helper Being liked and appreciated is what motivates Enneagram Twos. This makes them the most ‘other-orientated’ of all the types. Their resolutions may focus on how they can be more available, generous and supportive of others, build their relationships or strive to make the world more loving. In order to feel loved and connected to themselves, Twos try to be of service to others. Their inner critic tells them anything other than placing all of their attention on others would be selfish, so Twos find it very difficult to focus on their own needs and desires. To make matters worse, when Twos do set a resolution, following through can prove difficult, as they are easily distracted by the needs and priorities of others, often overriding their desire to meet their own resolutions. Therefore, when setting a resolution as a Two, practice turning toward yourself—including YOUR needs, YOUR feelings, and YOUR desires, to see a deeper truth. Enneagram 3 - Competitive Achiever Enneagram Threes strive for success and value achievement. As a result, they are motivated and energised by setting goals and resolutions. They are fired up by being seen as successful and avoid failure at all costs. Image is important to them and they are motivated by their need to outshine others and be the best, suggesting that they may find it easy to achieve resolutions that put them in competition with others. As a Three, when setting a resolution, you may be tempted to aim for a goal that would allow you to appear accomplished and successful to others, but in doing so, you may lose sight of your own desires. Rather, when setting a resolution, unplug yourself from the external world (including your phone and social media) and give yourself time to consult your heart. This could include focusing on yourself and making space for solo time, going into nature, walking on the beach, hiking up a mountain, an early morning swim or indulging yourself by taking a mindful daily shower. This will allow you to look within and discover what will truly bring meaning and value to your life, rather than seeking validation from others. Enneagram 4 - Intense Creative Enneagram Fours thrive on being unique and authentic, and are likely to avoid the more typical New Year’s Resolutions. They value their individualism; self-expression is important to them, suggesting that their resolutions are likely to be linked to a deep sense of purpose or a desire to change the world. They are romantics at heart and likely to imagine creating something of extraordinary meaning for themselves and others, but they may lack the self-discipline needed to bring those dreams to fruition. When setting resolutions, including pragmatic considerations of planning and organisation can help breathe life into your dreams. As part of your imagining and envisioning, break down the steps and discipline required. This could include committing to a schedule, plan or calendar in an effort to help you finish tasks and share your gifts with the world. Enneagram 5 - Quiet Specialist Enneagram Fives are motivated by the need to understand, so their resolutions may focus on their desire to learn something new – a research project, a new course they want to do or spending more time reading books, for example. Fives focus on conserving resources, figuring things out and gathering enough knowledge before they act, and so while they might get excited about learning new skills, putting knowledge into practice is often their stumbling block. They appreciate privacy and strive for independence, regularly withdrawing into their minds or behind closed doors and may benefit from an ‘accountability buddy’ to encourage them to follow through. When setting a resolution as a Five, allow yourself to be spontaneous and let yourself go. Dive straight into something, even if that means that you have not understood it completely or have not quite thought everything through yet. You can always make adjustments as you go along – the main thing is to get started! Enneagram 6 - Loyal Sceptic Seen as highly responsible and trustworthy, Enneagram Sixes are motivated by the need to be safe and belong. They value security and belonging, and as a result, kindness, loyalty and trust are important to them. They strive to be responsible and appreciate being prepared and alert at all times. They tend to take into consideration all sides of an issue and as a result often struggle to come to a resolution. They are likely to consult a ‘committee’ – either their own internal perspectives or by asking other people for input. Sixes can be negative and form pessimistic resolutions and may benefit from resolutions that help them get in touch with their inner guidance and trust more. Sixes may find it easy to generate ideas but harder to commit to goals and to feel ready to launch and follow through, feeling especially tempted to back out if it threatens their sense of security. When setting a resolution as a Six, clear and calm your thoughts and cultivate a quiet mind, rather than operating in a reactive mode. In this way, you will not feel completely flooded and overwhelmed by concerns of security, but instead will open up to creating a resolution that you can truly dedicate yourself to. Enneagram 7 - Enthusiastic Visionary Enneagram Sevens love a fresh start and may be energised by the idea of starting something new. They are optimistic and love planning, often preferring to live in the future rather than in the present. Sevens want to experience life to the fullest and avoid pain, so their resolutions are likely to be positive and future-orientated, rather than requiring them to face up to some of the tough personal work they may have been avoiding. They thrive on having many experiences planned, so if one experience doesn’t feel satisfying, they can jump into another. But, as many of us know, quantity is not the same as quality. While as a Seven, there is no doubt that you are likely to craft a list of resolutions with lightning speed, rather use this year to practice slowing down. Slow down, look back at the year that has passed and revel in the experiences you have had and the resolutions you achieved, celebrate and enjoy the sense of satisfaction from completion. Looking forward, focus on a single, powerful resolution rather than planning for busyness! Enneagram 8 - Active Controller Enneagram Eights are motivated by their need to be strong and avoid vulnerability. Eights value control. Described as movers and shakers, Eights know just how to make things happen. Often, however, they unconsciously, tend to turn the tables in their favour, so they come out on top. Perhaps Eights need to realise that some aspects of achieving their resolution may not be in their control. It’s okay – go for it anyway! As an Eight, therefore, your task is to remember others when making your resolutions and take into consideration how your actions might affect those around you. Instead of pushing others aside as you go for your vision, consciously choose to empower others. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone to choose areas where you will NOT lead, instead sharing your own vulnerability and uncertainty and creating space for others to support you. Enneagram 9 - Adaptive Peacemaker With a need to be settled and in harmony with the world, Enneagram Nines value being understanding, accommodating and accepting. They strive for a peaceful existence and appreciate stability, so they may prefer to avoid making resolutions that might result in disruptive changes or conflict. It stands to reason then that Nines want to keep the balance and the way they typically do this is by retreating into a ‘happy place’ in their minds, avoiding change. As a Nine, try something different this year when making resolutions. Be willing to feel uncomfortable while you let yourself really spend time thinking about what is not going well in your life. Choose one area that is impacting you and take decisive action rather than detaching from the problem. Challenge yourself to do just one thing, every day, that moves you towards a clearly defined goal; once you begin making change, stick to it even when the going gets tough! Out with the old, in with the new Some people find setting and following through on resolutions and personal changes easy, while others find it difficult. The Enneagram is a map that helps us understand ourselves, revealing how our behaviour relates to inner motivation, including how we set intentions (and in this case, resolutions) and follow through on them. Using the Enneagram, we can take a good, hard look at who we are, explore our unconscious motivations, and take conscious action to rid ourselves of the things that are keeping us stuck, and affirm the things that will move us forward to where we want to go. REFERENCES Norcross, J. C., Mrykalo, M. S., & Blagys, M. D. (2002). Auld lang Syne: Success predictors, change processes, and self‐reported outcomes of New Year's resolvers and nonresolvers. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58(4), 397-405.