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I want to shout this, so all enneagram lovers can hear, “The 9 Enneagram types are not based on what we do.” Maybe you’ll join me 🙂

Whenever I see someone struggling with mistyping, it always comes back to this critical teaching: The Enneagram is not based on what we do but is based on why we do what we do.

All nine types can do the same things, but their Enneagram is the reason behind what they’re doing.

“I think I’m a 2 because I love helping people,” is an example of this common confusion. Helping people is a behavior; it’s something we do.

To find the type we need to ask, “Why are we driven to help?”

All 9 types can love helping people, and all 9 are driven by a different reason to help.

The reason is the Enneagram.

When the Enneagram Coaches I certify get this, their ability to help others goes to the next level.

But here’s the catch: How many of us know why we do what we do?

Why does a 9 avoid? Why does a 1 struggle to relax on Saturdays? Why does a 4 spend energy searching for the right word to describe a feeling? Why does a 7 not say, “yes” to the party invite?

Now we start digging deeper into the real gold, the “aha, I see it now,” level of enneagram coaching.

And isn’t this one of the most incredible gifts the Enneagram brings us? Insight into our reasons.

Why is this triggering me? Why can’t I let this go?

That’s what our clients want to know.

When we study the Enneagram in this way, we peel back many layers. We don’t get stuck on the surface. Our coaching gains profound depth.

I chose the InnerLifeSkills Personality Pearl metaphor to remind us of this critical teaching. The reason for the existence of a Pearl can’t be seen from the outside surface; we have to look deeper for a hidden reason. The grain of sand that irritates the oyster causes the creature to coat the irritant with layers upon layers of mother of Pearl until eventually, a beautiful Pearl is formed.

The why behind the Pearl is the grain of sand.

Our beautiful Personality Pearls are formed around an inner struggle and stress. They are protective.

If you want to understand the Enneagram and not memorize lists of keywords if you want to avoid mistyping confusion, focus on the grain of sand. Focus on understanding why each of the nine types forms in the first place, on why we do what we do.

If I know why you do what you do, I gain compassion. We heal relationships this way.

When we understand the Enneagram pearls, we know how to motivate people because we see what makes people tick. We are less likely to judge behavior without remembering the hidden reason for the behavior. Our personal and spiritual growth deepens because now we see why we do what we do, and with this understanding, we gain the power to change.

The key to each type’s growth also resides in the grain of sand in the personality Pearl.

When red pearls (8 9 1) heal and understand their inner resistance, they grow to higher expressions. When blue pearls (5 6 7) collapse the inner dividing, and when green pearls (2 3 4) transform masking, they heal.

Resistance, dividing, and masking are three keywords that give us profound insights into not only the reason for the three triads’ behavior but also focus areas for growth. They are answers.

Why can a low-functioning 3 cut corners? Answer – masking. Why can a low functioning 1 get stressed about a skewed picture on the wall? Answer – resistance. Why can a low-functioning 5 sit on the side? Answer – dividing.

There is more to the grain of sand than these 3 keywords, but hopefully, you get the idea.

I want you to empower and enlighten using the enneagram.

So remember to look deeper than the surface. Mastery of the Enneagram personality system lies in understanding why we do what we do.

Keep coaching with wisdom

Enneagram Coach 9 types