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Hey there! It’s officially road trip season, and I know a lot of you are anxious to get out there. Maybe some of you are heading for high elevations. Have you ever driven in the mountains with high rock formations, and you see those signs, “Hazard ahead, look out for falling rocks?” This situation can be really dangerous, right? Today, we are talking about the hazards in your life that keep you from getting where you want to go and how the enneagram both defines these hazards, and gives us a road map to work around them.
It’s not the rocks themselves that are dangerous. A rock is just a rock. I like this analogy because it allows us to see the power of perspective. None of our personal hazards are dangerous all on their own, it’s the power and perspective we give them, and the situations we allow to form around them, that make them so dangerous.
Using the enneagram, we can define our hazard through our core number. This will be the trap that you continually find yourself in. The pattern of your core number keeps bringing you back to this self destructive behavior and situation that doesn’t serve you well. The key to getting out of this trap is by connecting with your strength number and the high virtues you have access to through that number.
Let’s look at some examples.
One’s hazard has to do with control. Their key motivation is to be good, also meaning they don’t want to be bad. This might seem over simple, but it is full of complication. They feel like if they can keep out anything labeled as “bad,” they won’t be corrupted by it, therefore keeping them preserved, and good. Are you seeing the blind spot here? This is an impossible feat. No one can be fully good and keep out all wrong.
The road map for type one means connecting to the high side of seven. The virtue one’s need to strive for is sobriety. This is the acceptance of “what is.” Not wanting things to be better, more, or different. There is a peaceful balance here that gets one’s out of their cycle to improve and control. They realize they have control of very little in reality, and there is a gift in understanding that balance.
Two’s hazard is around acceptance and needing to be liked or loved. Doesn’t everyone want to be liked or loved? Well, yes, but none of us hold a candle to the deep need of the type two for this acceptance. They will go beyond boundaries and logic to please others, subconsciously wanting a reciprocal love and helpfulness to come their way. Their challenge is keeping boundaries, and authenticity. Their blind spot lies in overstepping and saying yes to everything and everyone.
The road map for type two means connecting to the high side of type four. Fours might just be the most authentic type on the enneagram. Twos need to key into this as well as the awareness fours have around their own emotions and feelings. They can also connect to the fours ability to have good boundaries based on that genuineness. The best decisions can be made when a two knows how they feel and what is theirs to do.
Three’s hazard is around self-importance and their blind spot has to do with succeeding at all costs. They are efficient and block out feelings to get things done. Just like every number, a strength easily becomes a weakness when it is in excess. Three’s can trend toward workaholism, doing only what will allow them to win or reach their goal.
The road map for type three means leaning into the best qualities of type six. These include: loyalty, steadfastness, faithfulness, and compassion. When type three can let go of their success mask, and pick up truth and loyalty, they will avoid many hazards on their way. Slowing down, is key for threes. Dare I say it: being unproductive is okay! Threes need to learn to sit with feelings, their own, as well as others, allowing them to have both self compassion and compassion for others.
The hazard for type four, is focusing too much on what is missing. Fours are idealistic, and want things to be a certain way. They instantly notice what they don’t have, what they are not, and get stuck in a cycle of comparing and feelings. All the while, fours truly miss out. Life is happening around them, but they can’t seem to get out of their inner world, that tells them they aren’t enough, they need to be more special, more like…
The road map for type four is through the high side of type one. The structure, follow-thru, and dependability of type one lends stability to the type four. Through type one, fours can find clarity, and also a path to get thing done. They move away from comparison syndrome, and into a place of realism and serenity.
The hazard for type five centers around independence, capability, and personal boundaries. These characteristics on their own seem quite positive, but like we’ve said, attributes can easily become unbalanced. This is why we experience hazards in our lives. Fives in particular, become overly guarded and closed off. They want to figure everything out for themselves without allowing for help. This hazard keeps fives from interaction, as well as relying solely on themselves for everything.
The road map for five’s is through the powerhouse of type eight. This positive move from five to eight allows fives to be direct about how they feel, and ask for what they need. It also activates the doing center for fives, who often stay for long periods of time in the planning, thinking, reminiscing stage. Eights are known for action, as well as their boldness. This brings fives back into balance, and actually helps them connect better with others as they are communicating needs, and desires.
The hazard for sixes has to do with anxiety and over-thinking. Sixes are motivated by security, and tend to spiral into worst-case scenario thinking, or over-thinking in general. A major blind spot for sixes is doubting themselves. This hazard affects every area of their lives and decision making. “But what if…” is constantly just under the surface for sixes. They are always wondering, and planning for everything.
The road map for type six is through the peacemaker- type nine. Going to the high side of nine feels like a soothing remedy to sixes anxious mind. To let go of the worry, and embrace the easy going attitude of type nines is so healing. The “what ifs,” are gone, there is a calm acceptance that everything will be okay. The peacefulness of nine allows sixes to get out of their heads and into their bodies, to feel the reality that 80% of the the things they worry about NEVER happen!
Seven’s hazard is around avoiding feelings, and fear of missing out. The kings of stuffing feelings might just be the type seven. It’s not fun to feel those feelings sometimes, so why not just pretend they aren’t there and distract yourself with something exciting? Yes, sevens fall prey to this unhealthy distraction tactic and many others that allow them to not feel the pain of deep feelings. Another blind spot is around FOMO (fear of missing out). If there is fun to be had, a seven wants to be there no matter how reckless or ill-timed the event may be.
The road map for seven’s is through the high side of type five. This move grounds type seven, and helps them establish healthy boundaries. They stop saying “yes,” to everything, and start considering time to with drawl alone as something to look forward to. The five’s independence, and self-reliance gives seven’s balance, and courage to face some of those hard feelings in their own way.
The hazard for eights, centers around control, as well as anger. This strong body type does not want to be controlled by anyone, and holds anger right at the surface. Eights speak their minds openly without worrying about whose feelings they might hurt. These blind spots mean they are often in conflicts with others, challenging constantly on every side. Their sharp edges are deceptive however, protecting a deeper vulnerable side that just want to love you.
The road map for eights is through the high side of type two: the helper. The positive qualities of twos give the eights needed connection to feelings, compassion, and humility. When Eights access type two, they present softer, considering others opinions, and not challenging as frequently. This awareness helps balance type eight, allowing for the possibility of seeing that vulnerable side.
The hazard for nine is centered around merging, and avoiding conflict. Nines rarely speak their mind, they agree with those they are with, to avoid conflict, when they really might feel differently. This creates a passive aggressive attitude, making problems hard to solve. They desire peace within, and peace outwardly, and will do anything to achieve this. Managing all of this feels impossible to the nine, and they might give up.
The road map for nines is through the confident type three. When nines lean into the decisive type three, they can speak their mind, say what they mean, and feel comfortable doing it. The three energy also helps nines achieve their goals, and get things done. Type three allows nines to realize that some conflict is good and healthy and it won’t kill them.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed talking about our hazards. Remember to lean into your strength number to get out of some of those spirals, you really can do it! You always have access to your strength number!
Live inspired and keep growing!
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Looking for printables for each enneagram type?
Check out the overview printable packet below!
In this series, we have been looking into each enneagram type and their patterns, motivations, and ultimately their chase that keeps them stuck. We all chase after what we think will give us love, acceptance, belonging, or what we think we need. Knowing your enneagram type will help you see the chase you are stuck in, and with practice derail the chase. Let’s look at types 7, 8, and 9 this week.
Type seven is chasing satisfaction and enjoyment. How can I have the most fun? At the same time, sevens are also avoiding pain and repress feelings. Their chase takes them from place to place, always seeking an experience of fulfillment while not going deep enough to feel uncomfortable or vulnerable.
Keeping things light and fun, means sevens have a lot of friends. They also have more experiences and stories than any other number, but this chase can rob type sevens of the depth they don’t even know they desire. While bouncing around from this fun thing to the next, they miss connecting deeply. They’ve moved on before allowing themselves to be seen.
These satisfaction seekers will never truly be satisfied if they stay on this chase. They are quick to re-frame things positively, which can be a great skill. However, sevens do this so quickly and seamlessly, it can feel like they are experiencing an alternate reality. Instead of feeling the pain of disappointment or heartbreak, they want to brush those feelings away seeing only a good side. But we need to disappointments to help us grow and heartbreak forms strength.
Sevens often thrive on anticipating future events so much so, that they forget to be in the present. Being in the moment will take conscious effort and practice for sevens, but will pay off.
Repeating the words “be here now,” as a sort of mantra, can help ground sevens to the moment they are in. When distractions come and ideas that are more exciting that what is going on in the present, repeat the mantra. It will mean so much to the people you are with to have your full attention and awareness.
This simple shift is a powerful tool in derailing your chase and bringing more meaning and satisfaction back to your life.
Enneagram type seven probably has the biggest imagination of all the types. This means they need places they can use this massive idea factory stored in their brains. Using their creativity regularly helps sevens feel what they cannot express, stay grounded, and adds the satisfaction to life that they crave.
It will look different for each individual, of course. Some sevens may love music and play many instruments, others might be very artistic and enjoy drawing, painting and creating. The key here is to define a time and place for this creativity to come alive, and keep to it.
Maybe its every Sunday night in the garage… a set aside time and place for freedom (a type seven’s favorite word) and imagination to run wild.
This might be the most challenging for type seven, who on the outside wants others to think of them as easy going and fun loving. But what about their deeper side? Beneath all that silly, happy-party person is a deep thinker. Someone with great and fantastical ideas, and someone afraid to get hurt.
You don’t have to let everyone see your deeper side, but choose one or two close friends who you can share everything with. They will help you develop your repressed feeling center by being a safe place for you to express yourself. This is vital for derailing your chase, and worth every painful minute of practice.
Type eight is chasing justice and independence. Eights are big power players. But more than wanting control, they just don’t want to be controlled. They highly value their independence, as well as protecting the people they love. Their chase becomes dangerous when they are willing to hurt others to remain in charge of their own destiny.
An eight’s boldness can allow them to be vengeful, self-centered, and intensely domineering. They see the world in black and white, right and wrong and will go after anyone challenging them. Under this warrior of a personality, lies a softer side, hidden and protected from possible betrayal (an eights biggest fear).
Since eights have a stance of deflecting and being on the defense, it is hard to break through. Many times, all that is needed is a deep breath and a reality check. Some questions to ask yourself:
What do I know for sure?
Is it possible I am in the wrong?
Have my words or actions been hurtful?
Eights think and act so quickly that they can miss what is happening in the moment. Often times, they have moved on without taking time for valuable reflection. A simple pause and check in time, can be very helpful for type eight.
Putting the defenses down will allow for awareness and growth. New perspective can be enlightening for eights who are used to seeing things only one way.
Eights fear being betrayed, and rarely take the risk of deep relationship. It is important for eights to have one or two people with whom they can show their deepest parts. Being vulnerable with these few people will allow that softness to develop and stop the chase of protection in its tracks.
Choose a time once a week to share personal things with your person. This gives you accountability to stick to this development that is needed to derail your chase. Maybe you meet for coffee and answer these questions:
What has made me feel out of control this week?
What has made me feel loved?
Was there a moment when I noticed myself saying or doing something that unintentionally hurt someone this week?
These sample questions are a good place to start to give you something tangible to work with. Bringing up feelings and being aware of the way your dominance affects others are huge steps of growth. This is the beginning, and the person you choose to come along on the journey with you wants to support you and walk along side you as you grow.
Nines are chasing peace. This peace they seek is both inner peace and outer peace. Their chase often looks like avoiding conflict in an effort to protect their peace, or find it.
Like the other types, this seems like a good goal on the surface. Who couldn’t use more peace? But the danger of the type nine’s chase is the constant need for no conflict. They will avoid doing things, and spending time with people altogether to keep conflict at bay and remain in peace.
Their chase can also look like not engaging in life. Hard conversations and tasks will get put off. They’ll do that later. Involving themselves might jeopardize the peace status… so its better just to let things go.
Nines also shut down how they really feel in honor of perceived peace. They become people pleasers, agreeing to do whatever is asked of them. They want to please who they are with and go along with the plan, but may have no intention of actually doing it.
I like this word picture of thinking of conflict like a bridge for nines. The bridge is the place where the hard thing has to happen, but once you cross it there is beauty on the other side. Nines tend to want to stay on the safe side for as long as possible, but in this case… the grass really can be greener on the other side.
Embracing conflict may be the hardest thing you ever do. Remind yourself that you can do it. You can cross that bridge, and you will be happy you did. Think of what beauty lies on the other side, that should be your focus. All you have to do is walk over there.
When this is realized, big doors begin to open for type nine. It won’t be easy, but positive self-talk can keep nines moving in the right direction. Remind yourself that you have handled conflict before, and that you can do it again. The peace you want is on the other side of the bridge.
Nines often get lost merging with those around them and don’t take the time and energy to figure out what they actually want. Getting out of this cycle is a tough one, but it begins by awareness.
Notice when you are agreeing because its easier to merge than voice your opinion. Ask yourself, what do I want? What is my opinion? This practice will help you get a handle on how much you follow the wants and desires of others, and give you a starting place to find your own voice.
The next step, is saying how you feel and stating what you believe. Sometimes that will mean saying, no. Other times that will mean you have to cross that bridge of conflict to be heard and to resolve a differing opinion. You are worth it. What you have to say matters and your beliefs deserve to be heard.
Want an overview of all nine types?
As always, Thank you for reading! I hope you have enjoyed this series of each enneagram type and their chase and some tools to derail those chases!
Last week, we started this series on what we are chasing after. These distractions and subconscious patterns can really take us down paths we never meant to go on. This week, “What are you chasing: types 4,5, and 6?” will focus on these three types, their chase, and tools to help each type derail this seemingly endless chase.
For each enneagram number, the chase looks very different. When we are unaware, our chase can not only control us, but continue long after it should have run its course. However, if we are willing to go deeper beyond the surface level, we can discover:
why we are chasing
what we are chasing
we can find the healthier path to get what we really want out of life
The first step to understanding your chase is to identify it. What is it you are after? Why are you on this path? Is this the best way to get what you want and be who you want to be? What are your core motivations? Are you being honest with yourself? What parts of yourself have you been ignoring? Have you been putting feelings aside, skipping over taking time to think through things? Or maybe you get stuck in thinking and feelings, and never quite get around to doing.
These important questions can really help you pinpoint what is going on with you. Pay attention to what comes up when you ponder these thoughts and ideas.
Let’s jump in and take a look at enneagram type four. The chase of the four centers around authenticity, belonging, and being unique. At first glance, these strivings seem harmless, even dare I say, beautiful? When there are healthy boundaries around these longings they can be lovely, but notice the words striving, and longing…
Type four’s chase turns dangerous when they are striving after authenticity, belonging, and being unique. This becomes a distraction and they miss the beauty they could be embracing that is happening all around them. They feel they are missing out in a big way. While they are stuck in their feelings of missing out… here comes the irony, they actually miss out on life.
This can be a great re-set for fours. Changing their environment, particularly if they can find a beautiful place to hike or take in nature. The outdoors have a deep healing capability and can reach fours in a way that is very unique.
This also takes the focus off of comparing with others and what they might be missing out on. The real challenge for fours is to stay out of their own minds while out on the walk. If this is a struggle, bring along inspiring music. Make a playlist of songs that lift your mood and help you focus on positivity.
To get out of their chase, fours can reach out to others to connect. Fours are particularly good at seeing others and accepting whatever is real in the moment. This can be used in a positive way to derail their chase and also help a friend.
Finding someone who is in worse shape than you, and connecting with them or even celebrating them will work like a tonic to your soul. Join in, and their will be no room for comparison or feelings of not belonging. Spend time with these people that love you for your authentic self, this will fill you up like nothing else.
Type five is chasing knowledge and capability. The more they can know and the more they can do independently, the more confident and safe the type five feels. A thirst for knowledge and skills seems like something to be admired, so what is the danger? Just like all other numbers, this becomes the type five’s obsession and closes them off from growth.
The chase of knowledge can turn into walls for the type five, keeping others out and also keeping the five from taking action. Their chase keeps them distracted by what seems good, but inevitably keeps them away from what they really need: connection. Learning, planning, and acquiring knowledge are all good things, but they can keep the type five from doing what needs done, and being with others.
Not what you expected… right? Fives are really good at staying inside their comfort zones, and building up walls of protection. The problem is, you can’t grow inside those walls. Do something at least once a week that is uncomfortable for you. This will break up those patterns that keep you from growing.
It doesn’t have to be something huge and scary. Choose something small every week (you can even research ideas first)! For example:
Talk to someone you wouldn’t normally talk to.
Go somewhere you don’t want to go with a friend (at the last minute)!
Stay at an outing an half an hour after you feel like leaving.
These are small ideas, but you will feel yourself making the effort and that is where the change begins to happen. Your awareness that these are hard things for you, will begin a new pattern of growth and change inside you.
I know. Another shocker! This is quite the opposite of a type five’s instincts. Usually I say, trust your instincts, follow the voice inside you, but part of the struggle here is too much researching and too little action. Fives want to know that they are completely capable before beginning, but this just isn’t realistic. Be okay with knowing a little, and jumping in anyway.
It’s okay to leap before you have all the answers. You are allowed to make mistakes, you will still be highly respected and highly valued. In fact, getting going on what you’ve meant to get going on, will have a surprising effect on you. You will find that once you’re out there doing, you’re good at it. And it will feel good inside! Even the things you didn’t research… no one else will know but you.
The type six is chasing safety and security. They ask all the questions, and seek after the things that make them feel most safe. Sixes are searching for situations where they can be prepared and have the most control. This chase can easily turn sour with over-vigilance and anxiety. It is impossible to control anything, and no one can be prepared for everything.
This simple reality keeps the type six digging themselves in a deep hole. They want nothing more than a predictable life, but life is always unpredictable. This stresses them out, so they double down and try harder to be more prepared. And the chase goes on and on…
The journal focus for type six needs to be: what things have I done that have went well for me? Sixes often forget that they have experience making good decisions and that things have gone well for them in the past. With every new doubt and dilemma, they feel anxiety rise up, full of what ifs.
Journaling positive outcomes will help reinforce the fact that sixes make good decisions. Since they tend to doubt themselves, this is a perfect “derailing practice” for them. With consistency, this journaling focus will help type six develop confidence, and come to realize that they can trust their decisions and their instincts.
Type six can walk circles around a decision with fear leading the chase. What if this happens, what if that happens, what would I do if… and on and on anxiety and doubt will go.
What if you just did it scared?
This is what true courage is after all, and the virtue of the type six. This means that it’s possible. That you can do things that you don’t think you can do. And when you do things that are hard and scary, they make you stronger and courageous!
It might help to talk things all the way through. We know that the type six verbally processes and processes in real time, the moment happening right now. Choose someone who is willing to listen to do this. Talk out all your worst case scenarios and take them all the way to the end.
Usually, you will find that even in your talking it through version of the scenario, things turned out okay. And even if the worst happened, you have someone there willing to support you.
As you are becoming more self-aware and making efforts to grow, be kind to yourself. It’s hard to make changes, and it’s best if you don’t do it alone. Let someone know that you are on the journey, maybe they can join you and you can lighten each others load.
Remember that it is a journey. It takes time to notice your chase, practice to pause and pivot towards healthy choices, and to turn these into habits. It really is a life long effort, and one that is worth pursuing for yourself and all the people you love.
Thank you for reading!
It is my hope that these words have brought you some inspiration.
Blessings, peace, and joy to you on your journey!