I am an Enneagram type three.
To some, this has no meaning. But to others, it gives a deep insight into who I am.
For those who don’t understand what I’m talking about, the Enneagram is a personality test which separates people into one of nine distinct personality types.
According to its founders, Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson, “At its core, the Enneagram helps us to see ourselves at a deeper, more objective level and can be of invaluable assistance on our path to self-knowledge.”
And not only has the Enneagram helped me understand more about who I am, but it has also helped me figure out how to love myself.
If you know me, you would know that I’m a textbook type three, otherwise known as “the achiever.”
Threes are known to be ambitious, competitive, self-driven, image-orientated, and often workaholics (I can attest).
As a three, my most basic desire is to feel valuable and worthwhile. My most basic fear is to be worthless.
The desire of feeling valuable often spurs me to ambitiously chase after my goals (which often involves me being “the best” — whatever that means).
At the moment, I’m in the process of transition. In two months, I’ll leave Goshen College and enter into the next phase of my life.
As graduation quickly approaches, I am currently hung up on the fact that I need to graduate with a job. And not just any job, but specifically a position as a reporter for a newspaper in central Pennsylvania.
In my success-obsessed mind, a job can be equated to happiness.
At times, it feels as if my world might combust if I don’t find my ideal job before Dec. 12.
But guess what? If I don’t get a job before the end of this semester, the world will not collapse.
Dr. Barb Meyer, of Goshen Family Physicians, and I briefly spoke about Enneagrams and self-care during an interview for my article, “Healthy living at Goshen College: a guide” on page 3.
In our interview, I said that finding the Enneagram has helped me understand myself better. But maybe even more importantly, the Enneagram has been beneficial in my journey of self-love.
With my understanding of myself as a type three, I am now able to better understand my motivations for my behaviors. I am desperately searching for a job because I want to feel successful, accomplished and impressive.
And with that understanding, I’m able to give myself grace and space to breathe.
If I don’t graduate with a job offer it doesn’t mean that I’m worthless. It just simply means that I don’t have a job yet. And it doesn’t mean I won’t ever get a job.
An affirmation I’ve found to be helpful as a three is: “I now affirm that I have value regardless of my achievements.”
I invite you to take the Enneagram test if you haven’t already; who knows what you might learn about yourself.