My own positive intention toward growth often means taking a good hard look at areas where I’m weak. And I like to think about those weaker areas as “places to strengthen over time.” This way, I can maintain a positive outlook while acknowledging the need for growth.
I’ve been told that mental health resides in the ability to stand firmly within the paradox: “I am perfect as I am” and simultaneously, “I must grow and change.” If you take these two concepts and allow them to stand side by side, you can believe in yourself, in your abilities and in your own innate goodness, while understanding there is plenty of room for improvement.
Part of my personal mission is to find tools that speak to that paradox, tools that will help me celebrate who I am while motivating me to become healthier and stronger. One tool is the Enneagram Personality Test. This test can be helpful if you use it loosely, as a quick identifier and motivator. It can also be helpful if you use it thoughtfully, committing to it and learning from it in a deeper way.
What it does
The Enneagram Personality Test is a forced choice test that asks questions designed to help you discover your overriding personality traits. Those traits point to a recurring theme in your life, a routine way of approaching the world, and that approach generally falls into one of nine categories or types.
You’ll find a brief description of those nine types here.
How is the Enneagram Personality Test different
The test does a nice job of pointing out your strengths, what you’re good at and how those qualities show up in positive ways in your life. Alongside cheering your good qualities, the Enneagram shows the shadow side, ways in which your routine way of approaching the world might present problems or trouble in your personal and professional life.
That’s part of what I like about this test. It provides an acknowledgment of one’s own darkness without putting out or obscuring the power and strength of one’s own light.
Ways to use it
The Enneagram can be used any number of ways: to provide self-awareness; to see those around you more clearly; to improve work performance or to enhance love relationships.
If you’re interested to know more, you’ll find an online version of the test here. Some excellent books, The Enneagram in Love and Work, by Helen Palmer, and The Essential Enneagram, by Doctors David Daniels and Virginia Price, are available if you want to delve more deeply.
The Enneagram will help you learn about yourself and how to bring a few of those shadows into the light. And we could all use more light in our quest for growth.