Faith

Know Thyself

After discussing The Enneagram personality assessment with a student, I decided to give it a try for myself. I took BOTH the short and the extended version of the test, and the same result came up – Type Six, Wing 5.

Of course, I had no idea what that meant (and you probably don’t either, unless you’ve taken the assessment yourself). Basically, the Enneagram identifies NINE personality types. The assessment matches you with your dominant personality type. The wing is the adjacent personality type that you most overlap with (because no one is 100% one personality type).

Type Six, identified as “The Loyalist,” is described as “Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious” and highly prone to anxiety and self-doubt. Yup. Check

The Enneagram Institute describes Type 6 further by saying, “The reason Sixes are so loyal to others is that they do not want to be abandoned and left without support—their Basic Fear. Thus, the central issue for type Six is a failure of self-confidence.” Yup. Check.

Finally, Type 6 is summed up in this way, “They are both strong and weak, fearful and courageous, trusting and distrusting, defenders and provokers, sweet and sour, aggressive and passive, bullies and weaklings, on the defensive and on the offensive, thinkers and doers, group people and soloists, believers and doubters, cooperative and obstructionistic, tender and mean, generous and petty—and on and on. It is the contradictory picture that is the characteristic “fingerprint” of Sixes, the fact that they are a bundle of opposites.”

So, I am walking contradiction. (I knew that).

Once someone is in my circle, I will fight to the end for them.

Betrayals hit extra hard because they not only rattle my sense of security, but betrayals also cause self-doubt and anxiety.

Type 5 is described as “The Investigator,” continually questioning and searching. Both of these types are deep thinkers and notably insecure about themselves, producing constant anxiety.

YIKES.

At the same time, these personality types are committed to their believes and community, and are strong innovators and problem-solvers. These personality types cooperate well with others and find comfort in trustworthy “authorities,” giving feedback and insight into decisions.

Several circumstances recently have shown just how accurate this description is. I tend to panic when my security is threatened, and I freeze when I have to make big decisions because I don’t trust myself to make the right decision. I hold on to failures, and I am highly critical of myself.

But what do I do now? I can’t change my personality. I don’t want to be riddled with anxiety and insecurity for the rest of my life, either.

While I’ve never doubted the necessity of personal Bible study, reading about my personality type and tendencies has significantly reinforced my need to study and understand the authority of Scripture actively. By rooting myself in God’s Word, by letting that be the dominant authority in my life, I can find relief from the pressure of figuring it out on my own, and from the fear of making a mistake. If God’s standard defines what I trust, what I believe, what I defend, and how I act, I can find safety and security. Because that standard never changes.

Maybe, being a little insecure about my own ability is actually a strength. Maybe the best “self-affirmation” is submitting to the authority of God’s Word.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

– Proverbs 3:5-7 ESV

For reference:

https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-descriptions

https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-6

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