It’s not who you are

 

And remember, it’s not who you are.

When I worked at a clinic a little while back, one of my co-workers would say this to clients after they did the enneagram test. (We used the test so we wouldn’t overlook some possible core issues for the clients.) He would say it mostly to pique their curiosity, to counter their tendency to take the results as who they are, and also because it’s accurate.

When I find my enneagram types according to an online test, in what way is it who I am? The results do hint at how I cope with core issues from my childhood.

And in what way is it not who I am?

It’s not who I am because the test may give different results depending on when I do it and which situation(s) I have in mind when I answer the questions. So in a limited enneagram context, the results may not be who I (always) am.

It’s not who I am because I am a whole human being and the enneagram types only touch upon aspects of who I am and how I am in the world. (What it does address is partly how I typically cope with core wounds from childhood.)

I am not destined by what the test points to. Yes, I may have those dynamics in me and tend to use those coping mechanisms, but when I become aware of it, and when I find more healing for the core issues behind it, I can relate to these dynamics in me more consciously. I may find myself living differently.

Beyond the human, there is what I am. That which any experience, including what the enneagram types point to, happens within and as. In this context, I am also not limited to any enneagram type or any label at all.

And this goes for any personality test, any label, any role we have in society. It’s not who we are. It may or may not be accurate in a conventional sense. And as who (human self) and what (Big Mind) we are, we are far more, different, and not defined by it.

So what enneagram types am I? When I do the tests, my most prominent ones tend to be 9 and 1. Peacemaker and perfectionist. When I grew up, I was taught to avoid conflict (peacemaker) and that doing things well was safe (perfectionist). So by seeking peace and perfection, I can avoid conflict (which I am scared of) and also failing or being disapproved of (which I am also scared of). These types suggest that if I want to work on core emotional issues, I may do well to address conflict avoidance and fear of being unloved or disapproved of, and the early childhood situations where I learned this.

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Initial notes….

  • it’s not who you are
    • when worked at a clinic
      • where we use the Enneagram for new clients to get a rough idea of what to work on, or at least not leave out,
      • one of my co-workers would always say to the clients, after they had looked at their results, it’s not who you are
      • in what way is it true?
    • who we are
      • as who we are, this human being, it’s true
      • the test may give different results depending on when we take it and what situations we keep in mind when answering the questions
      • we are a lot more than what the test points to
      • we are not destined by it, especially when we relate to it more intentionally (in a sense, can choose how to relate to it)
    • what we are
      • as what we are, that which all experience happens within and as, it’s true
    • and goes for a lot more than the enneagram
      • any personality test, any label, role in society,
      • it’s not who we are
    • ….

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