Fighting the Unhealthy 9 in Me

Sloth. That is how my personality is depicted according to the Enneagram and to be honest I have never felt more comfortable with any assessment ever.

When I first learned about the enneagram it was like so many things clicked. I understood so much more about the ways I was wired! Some realizations were good …

  • It explained why I’ve been told my whole life that I’m a good listener and people shared stuff with me that they had never told anyone.
  • It explained why I was great at mission trips – easy going, adaptable, and not high maintenance.
  • It explained why I tend to be easy going, go with the flow, and not really buck the system or have strong opinions that might divide a group.

But some realizations were not so good.

  • It explained why I would blow off a work day to go see my nieces without even a second thought.
  • It explained why I felt satisfied (at least for a while) in jobs that I basically fell into, as opposed to going out and pursuing dreams.
  • It explained why I felt a lack of energy and drive and envied it when I saw it in other people.

Armed with this new information of what my tendencies were based on my type, I made it a goal to take this knowledge of the enneagram and USE it to better my life, instead of allowing it to only serve as comedic humor as I scroll through Instagram, nodding along and chuckling at how spot on this assessment it. One of the beauties of figuring out who we are to deeper levels is that we have the ability to recognize our weaknesses and put our energy into developing new strengths.

My twin sister, a perfectionist 1, reads a ton about resting and creating margin. When I borrowed books from her that she swore had changed her life, I found that they did not have the same effect on me. I do not need to be told to rest… it just comes naturally for me. :) I need to read about disciplines, habits, and stories that inspire me to make things happen. She doesn’t need to be encouraged to be ambitious… it comes naturally for her.

Realizing this has been huge for me! It not only helps me to not waste time on books that may have been bestsellers and life changing for others, but it has helped me to narrow my focus to what it is that I actually need to grow in. Which brings me to one of my goals for this year…

“Cultivate ‘successful person’ qualities”.
Yep… thats really one of my goals. Smartified, right?

My thought here is that just because 9’s aren’t typically the picture of success like a 1 or 3 might be, doesn’t mean that I can’t be successful. That may sound obvious, but along the way, I convinced myself that I just wasn’t the type of person to be “successful”.

So I decided that this was the year I would find success. And to do that I would need to fight the unhealthy 9 in me. The 9 that is lazy and has no energy. The 9 that always steps to the side to let others shine. The 9 that buries their own dreams, because it seems like too much work or cause your too busy helping others build their dreams.

What I finally realized was that just because it takes a little more for me to be motivated, doesn’t mean it’s not possible. That is what I want you to get from this if you’ve ever felt stifled after learning your Enneagram type (or any personality type for that matter).

You are not stuck where you are. I want to encourage you to embrace the strengths of your type and let it build your confidence that there are unique and special qualities you have that the world needs… and use them to serve the world. But I also want you to recognize your weakness and determine to make some steps to overcome them!

Come back Wednesday when I share one book and method that has shifted a lot in me and how I’m using it  helped to develop those “successful person” qualities! 

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  • As a fellow 9, I am so thankful for this post & encouraged to think about I can refine my personal unhealthy 9 tendencies. I don’t know too much about my Engram other than “peace maker” but what you just wrote resonated with me.

  • Hi Natalie, this is my first post reading of yours, it’s absolutely awesome. I’m a type 9 as well. This article is from May last year, I need help locating the post where you said “ Come back Wednesday when I share one book and method that has shifted a lot in me and how I’m using it helped to develop those “successful person” qualities! “
    Thanks a million,