Enneagram 9: The Peacemaking Sloth

It seems like everyone is talking about the Enneagram these days.  No. Just me? No way. I can’t imagine. Yet, if you’re not up to speed, the Enneagram is a system for classifying personality types.

 I grew up in a home where my mother loved to figure people out.  As a teen, it was not uncommon for me to have a friend over and Mom would subject them to a personality test.  In fact, when first started dating my now husband, Drew, he was given an assessment so she could “better understand my boyfriend”.  I’m so glad he didn’t run for the hills! It may speak to his aversion to personality tests or personality discussions of any type to this day.  In my mother’s defense, understanding someone’s temperament, what motivates them and their greatest fears is helpful. Maybe not necessary on a second date, but helpful.

I recently read several books on the Enneagram and took a few tests. I have the results.  I’m officially a 9, the Peacemaker, on the Enneagram. When I read about the Peacemaker is resonates with me so much it has brought me to tears.  The feeling of “other people feel this way; it’s not just me” is enough to well my eyes with salty liquid.

There are a few things I’ve learned about myself and now that I’m aware of them, there are some things I’ve done to compensate for the “negative” tendencies.  The deadly sin of the 9 is slothfulness.  That highly resonates with me.  I am not internally motivated at all.  In fact, just watching people that are highly motivated { I see you Enneagram 3s. You Achievers you} makes me want to take a nap.

I do have dreams and ideas in me!  We all do. However, I can easily quit or give up on them if left to my “deadly sin”. 

 Here are 3 things I’ve done to compensate for my lazy-like inclinations.

Get Started!  I will let something I don’t want to do hang over my head for way too long and dread it.  Days, weeks, months, even years, yes, years may go by before I will accomplish something I’ve set out to do. If I will just BEGIN, I typically get into the process and then have a hard time stopping.  

For over 14 years I was a portrait photographer.  I loved my job! I especially loved the editing process. Sometimes editing a session still felt like work when compared to shopping, napping or lunch with a friend. I could easily find things to postpone sitting down and getting to work.  I learned that if I would just GET STARTED I would enjoy the process, actually have a hard time stopping and would complete the work. Sometimes getting started needs an incentive!

External Motivators!  Implementing an external reward isn’t only helpful for toddlers you want to smile for a photo. It can also benefit a 40-something trying to get her laundry completed for the week.  I’ve been known to tell myself if I complete a certain task I can watch the next episode of the show I’m currently watching.  

I’ve also been known to give myself consequence for not completing something I have set out to do.  Recently I’ve really wanted to restrict the sugar I eat in an effort to become healthier.  I decided I’d give up all processed sugars for 30 days. If I cheated with even one itty bitty little bite I’d have to start over at day one. Starting over was NOT something I wanted to do and it helped motivate me to a successful go 30 days free of sugar.

Now, if you’re thinking, “I could not give up sugar for 30 days souly on my own willpower.” I hear you.  I often have to have a safetynet to assist me with my goals of that nature.  

Accountability.  Enter my accountability partners.  It’s a group of girls all of whom are working at becoming our best selves and we keep each other in check! If you’d like more information on that topic, be sure to click on the box at the bottom of this post and enter your email address.  All the details will be sent to your inbox. However, the gist of an accountability group is that I have built-in deadlines and weekly check in points to help keep me motivated. And when I want to cheat or quit I have a group of girls that cheer me on to success.

We all have weaknesses. Recognize them.  Know you aren’t alone. And work to improve them. It helps to make you a better human.  Becoming better makes you feel empowered and it’s contagious. Work on becoming the best version of yourself and watch it catch on!

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