How to Know Yourself

enneagram figure with numbers from one to nine concerning the nine described types of personality around a rainbow gradient sphere  vector illustration on white background

We all can benefit from understanding personalities.

One of our themes on this blog is Personality Predicaments. Once you learn your personality type or your number on the Enneagram you will begin with an awakening, then the work begins.

So many of life’s troubles could be eliminated if we just recognized that each of us is distinctly different and it is okay. Many of our disappointments,our anger and jealousies could be avoided by understanding personalities.

As I’ve studied this topic for many years I’ve found the Enneagram to have the great depth and be spiritually helpful.  With a history of centuries, the Enneagram is arguably the oldest human development system on the planet. The goal is to not simply know your type but to transcend it. The Enneagram is a tool that can help you do this. It’s just a tool. “The core truth that the Enneagram conveys to us is that we are much more than our personality.” We are our essence, a God-given, God-breathed individual with unique qualities.

As stated by Helen Palmer in The Enneagram, Understanding Yourself and the Others in Your Life, “The teaching can help us to recognize our own type and how to cope with our issues; understand our work associates, lovers, family, and friends; and to appreciate the predisposition that each type has for higher human capacities such as empathy, omniscience, and love.”

I was first trained by Sister Lois Dideon at The Cenacle in Houston. I listened to Suzanne Stabile’s discs and attended her workshop, “Know Your Number” in Dallas. I also attended a workshop in Houston. And I’ve read several books on the Enneagram. Even so, my knowledge is still limited. I do know that it has been very helpful in identifying my motivations and the shadowlands of my nature that I can learn from. Most personality profiles give us enough information to identify our general natures, the Enneagram shows us “how to observe and let go of troublesome habits and reactions and how to work with the motivations of each type” as Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson put it in The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

People have given different names to the nine points on the circle. It doesn’t matter the name. Should you choose to look into this you are in for a journey inward that will have an impact on your life outward.

Types according to Riso and Hudson

  1. The Reformer
  2. The Helper
  3. The Achiever
  4. The Individualist
  5. The Investigator
  6. The Loyalist
  7. The Enthusiast
  8. The Challenger
  9. The Peacemaker

Types according to Helen Palmer

  1. The Perfectionist
  2. The Giver
  3. The Performer
  4. The Tragic Romantic
  5. The Observer
  6. The Devil’s Advocate
  7. The Epicure
  8. The Boss
  9. The Mediator

Gail Cawley Showalter
   I raised three children as a single mother before I remarried. I have experienced the potholes, pests, and perils of being the single head-of-household. As an educator in regular and special education for twenty years I know a great deal about child development and how to handle kids. I am the founder of SMORE for Women, a nonprofit whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. I'm a Certified Professional Coach and my stories have been published in several books and magazines. My book, Living Learning Loving is available on Amazon.

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