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  • Study the Enneagram at home everyday with our ONLINE COURSES
    'The 9 Personality Types' is a complete introduction to the Enneagram. This 12-hr audio course also includes a 100-page guidebook, containing 4 transformative workbooks
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What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram is the map of consciousness that underpins all aspects of your life. It illuminates the nine ways of being in the world...

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What is it for?

The Enneagram equips us with the tools to bring about profound change within ourselves and our lives, bringing us into balance and giving us...

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Is this for me?

Through the Enneagram we discover and understand our true selves, and see our negative patterns clearly without self-criticism or ego...

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Veronica's Blog

Enneagram Resolutions

by Veronica Croft

Resolutions

At this time of the year we find a lot in the media about New Year’s resolutions that have once again gone by the board - just a few short days or weeks after January 1st.

Most of us start the new year with determination to finally make some changes  . .  . lose that persistent stone, meditate more, give up smoking, be nicer to our spouse, bring our drinking back to moderate levels, give up sweet things, spend less, get more exercise,  get our paperwork in order . . .

It seems so easy to make these resolutions during the holidays and while we are still eating/ drinking/smoking all we want. But when ‘real life’ gets in the way, resolve weakens and most people go back to their old ways.

The Enneagram can really help

If this pattern seems familiar to you then perhaps it's time to use the Enneagram to help.

Many of our ‘worst’ habits are a result of our personality type. Instead of beating up on yourself for not keeping that resolution perhaps it’s time to consider why you do (or don’t do) that persistent thing. Why do you eat/drink/smoke too much? Why do you avoid the paperwork, get irritable about the little things he/she does, buy things you don’t really need?

Of-course, to get to the bottom of why you have to be quite honest with yourself. Self-honesty can be hard – but it’s much easier if you tackle it within the context of what the Enneagram tells you about your own personality patterns.

Most of the patterns we want to break are actually the ways in which we repeatedly (and mostly unconsciously) try to avoid feeling our negative responses to life. Each of us has emotional stuff that is triggered by difficult situations and we often feel that there is nothing we can do about the way we respond.

The Good News

Those repetitive patterns you find yourself slipping into are fairly typical – even ‘normal’ - for your personality type when stressed or unhappy. When you understand why you behave the way you do – and the Enneagram is what makes true self-understanding possible – it is much easier to break these patterns without having any bad feelings about yourself.

Here are just a few examples of patterns we see in the types:

Ones want to keep their environment under control and can get very irritated and frustrated by anyone who does not do things ‘the right way’.

Twos often have a difficult relationship with food if there is not enough love in their lives, so they eat to fill that inner void.

Threes can spend far too much money on things that they don’t really want but that will impress others.

Fours often excuse overspending by convincing themselves ‘they deserve it’ because they just aren’t getting the life they want.

Fives are often not very tuned into their bodily needs because of too much cerebral activity, so can have weight problems as a result of poor diet and lack of exercise.

Sixes can smoke or eat a lot in order to damp down their persistent anxiety.

Sevens can find getting through a quiet evening at home difficult without plenty of alcohol because when daytime activity stops the uncomfortable emotions they have avoided all day (via activity) start surfacing.

Eights, in their desire to be dominant and in control, often rub others up the wrong way and have little compassion for those who get upset.

Nines can use food or nicotine as a way of stuffing down their strong emotions

n.b. These patterns are not exclusive to type but are very commonly found in the type specified.

Every one of these patterns is an expression of some of the negative traits of the type. One of the main reasons for working with the Enneagram is to observe, acknowledge and own our negative stuff without self-criticism. It is not, however, an excuse to continue doing whatever you know you need to stop - the Enneagram is about growth, not stuckness!!

By gently observing your negative responses to challenges and acknowledging how ‘predictable’ this pattern is for your personality type, you can start to make different choices instead of going down the same old route. (Have a look at the well known poem below – it's message is important for us all.) When we understand why we do what we do we are much more likely to make the changes we want, not instantly perhaps but steadily and successfully.

Each time you find yourself slipping back into that old pattern, take a moment and ask yourself – What am I trying to avoid feeling? How does that relate to the normal negative patterns of my type? What does that tell me about the work I need to do regarding that aspect of myself? Could I make a different choice this time? What else could I do to lift myself out of the negative into the positive?

               Forget New Year’s resolutions – make an Enneagram resolution!

“I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes me a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in. It's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault. I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.”

Portia Nelson

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Veronica Croft B.Sc Dip.Ed


Veronica is an Enneagram consultant, teacher and published author. She is a natural communicator, a ‘people person’, whose passion is to empower others to rise above what holds them back.

For more than 25 years she has been working with people to help them understand their own patterns of thought, reaction and behaviour so that they may bring peace and harmony into their relationships and to live their lives as an expression of their true potential.

She works with her son Chris teaching her pioneering course The Enneagram Programme which has changed the lives of thousands of people from all walks of life.

Veronica has 30 years experience in public speaking and gives introductory talks about the Enneagram at many events and meetings around the country.


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