I love personality assessments in the same way that some people love tarot card readings: they give me a bird’s eye view of myself, and they provide explanation to as to who I am when sometimes who I am feels crazy. I have a few friends who are obsessed with the enneagram, constantly referring to themselves as a number to explain away their quirks– “Well, I’m a four, so you know I’m a crier.” I didn’t understand the hype until I learned more about this test. It’s not just another assessment that assigns you a personality profile and says, “Welp, this is you…good luck” the enneagram indicates where your motivations lie and offers you a window into what that looks like when it’s working well, and what happens when you fall off the wagon. Most importantly, it identifies areas for growth and introspection that can help you along your way.
I took the test and I’m a solid six. The Loyalist it is called. Steadfast, values long-term relationships and order, incredibly risk averse. In fact, the marker of a six is someone who is so wary of danger, they base their lives around strategizing ways to avoid it.
Gulp. Reacting is pretty much all I think about. So yeah, I’d say I’m a six.
Being a six sounds pretty lame. Sixes seem paranoid and unable to have fun–inflexible in an ever-changing world. I don’t really want to be a six.
Because if I’m honest I spend an exorbitant amount of time and energy worrying about money and thereby safety. Am I contributing to our family enough? How many more projects do I need to take on to be sure I can pay myself three years from now? What happens if I get audited? These kinds of thoughts rule the domain of my days and they heavily contribute to the way I make decisions. Fear. Scarcity. Overthinking. A whole other life lived inside my own head.
The problem with being risk averse is that when you aim for what you know, you’ll get in return what you know. When you only strive to do the things you know you can do, or that you’ve already done before, you never get to do anything new. You never get to achieve. You never get to dream. Being mindful of risk creates an atmosphere that feels safe, but what happens when you realize that you’re meant for more than just safe?
Being mindful of risk creates an atmosphere that feels safe, but what happens when you realize that you’re meant for more than just safe?
This is where I am today. Someone who is trying simultaneously to make peace with who she is, to stop trying to change herself to be something else AND someone who knows it’s time to stretch herself beyond the comfortable world she’s created. Can you come home to yourself and tear down the walls of your house as the same time?
I worry too much not because I’m eccentric but because I care. I worry about the future not because I enjoy wading in pools of anxiety, but because I have big dreams that require ample planning to back them up. I lean on others not out of codependence but out of a deep love for community and friendship. It’s easy as a six to see all the behaviors I lean on as flaws, things to be corrected and remedied with enough reading, counseling, and negative self talk. But sometimes I wonder how much further I could fly if I stopped seeing who I am as a problem, and started seeing myself as uniquely powerful through the person God has made me to be.
We can’t change who we are, but we can absolutely change how we treat the person we are becoming.
New head shots are courtesy of the amazing Paige Overturf