Do you know what the Enneagram is? Have you heard people talking about it? And are you curious to learn more about yourself? If you read my most recent blog posts, the enneagram shouldn’t be totally unfamiliar to you by now. If you haven’t, then you might like to know more about a book I recently read called The Road Back To You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery and written by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile.
In a nutshell, the Enneagram is a self-development tool whose purpose is to increase and expand your consciousness about who you are. It gives you a description of what motivates you and what holds you back from becoming the best version of yourself. I strongly believe that an unexamined self is the root cause of alienation and problems such as addictive and violent behaviours. Knowing yourself increases self-awareness which in turn allows us to correct perceptions and behaviours that are not aligned or healthy.
According to the Enneagram, there are nine personality types or styles and we tend to assume one of them in childhood. This doesn’t mean we can’t share strengths and weakness with other personality types. The beauty of the enneagram is that you can discovery your tendencies and then learn about the other personality styles as well and develop the qualities you think you need in order to become your best version. For instances, I’m a Four with characteristics that are more prominent in Fives. I become a Two when I’m too overwhelmed or overdriven, and a One when I have my ducks aligned in a row.
I learnt a lot about the Enneagram thanks to Ian and Suzanne’s book. It’s the first book I read on it and I’m glad I stumbled upon it. It offers an holistic approach to the enneagram and it posits great emphasis on its spiritual purpose. It’s not a full handbook on the Enneagram, but it gives you the essential knowledge you need to start thinking about who you are in a different perspective and how you can challenge yourself to improve and become more integrated within yourself. I’m truly amazed and impressed by the Enneagram and its purpose. It really has helped me to see and correct many unhealthy behaviours, thoughts and even feelings about myself and my relationship with others.
In this book, you will find a brief introduction to the Enneagram and more information on how you can find your personality style. You will also find a chapter for each personality or enneagram number in which you will learn more about them and find useful tips to overcome your weaknesses and maximize your strengths. You will learn how each personality type links to others in the enneagram and how there are different levels of ‘healthiness’ within each one of them. This knowledge was actually what made the greatest difference for me as I learnt I need to temper my emotional intensity and learn that my feelings don’t define my worth.
I also loved Ian and Suzanne’s message on using the Enneagram to develop compassion and greater understanding between people. I honestly believe this is a wonderful tool to promote personal growth, reduce conflict and build stronger social connections. I have personally benefited from learning about the enneagram and my personality type and I want to keep building on that knowledge so that I can move myself out of my own way and walk a path towards my goals that is more peaceful and of less suffering. This implies that I acknowledge my blind spots and that I’m willing to overcome them with the help of tools such as the Enneagram.
All in all, if you are new to this topic and you are a self-development geek, I think this book is for you. If you want to have a light read and gain a brief overview on the Enneagram, The Road Back To You definitely delivers what you are looking for!