After being around for a long time, the Enneagram has gained a resurgence in popularity mostly due to social networks, popular books and podcasts, and word of mouth. While this is good because the ancient personality tool is getting exposure, it can also be detrimental. Lots of folks think they’ve “done the Enneagram” when they really haven’t.
For them “doing the Enneagram’ means taking a free online quiz, laughing and chatting about the results with friends and family, and then going on with their lives the same as before. Don’t get me wrong—I’m all for fun and sharing insights about ourselves with others.
But these folks have not “done the Enneagram.”
Not until you let its lessons sink in, look at yourself with courage, and take some steps to grow can you really say you’re doing the Enneagram. The former approach is just trendy, faddy entertainment.
Each of the nine Enneagram types offer powerful strengths, but also limiting shortfalls. Growth using the Enneagram includes being aware of how you live out your type—strengths and shortfalls—and then maximizing your strengths and minimizing your shortfalls.
After all, the Enneagram is not the end, it’s the means. Remember, the Enneagram is but a tool. The real end is not the tool itself. Instead, the end is growth, increased productivity, more satisfying relationships, higher quality of life, etc.—whatever is important to you.
The Enneagram can help get you there, but the Enneagram is not where you end up ultimately. That place is up to you with the tools you use.
If you choose to learn from the Enneagram, it has awesome lessons to bestow. For example, as a Type 9, my tendency is to hold back my opinion, go with the flow, and let others make decisions for me. But through my Enneagram journey, I’m getting more comfortable speaking up when something matters to me, not getting lost in the flow, and taking deliberate actions. I wouldn’t want to be without this tool.
Like I said, all nine types have powerful strengths and limiting shortfalls. Both strengths and shortfalls offer opportunities for growth in maximizing strengths and minimizing shortfalls. But it takes effort. You’re not going to stumble into growth by chance. No, growth is something you must go after.
To help with your growth, we’ve created a list of growth practices for each type. For example, the Type 1's core drive is "to perfect." Some helpful growth practices are:
We’ve provided three practices for each type, plus left space for you to come up with your own. (After all, you know yourself best.) So, select your growth practices, then share your journey with others who can encourage you on your way.
May you really do the Enneagram.