A Shift in Focus: Thriving as an Enneagram Type 4


I’m still going to work on de-cluttering my closet but there’s a more compelling issue I want to focus on for the next 30-days which has to do with self-growth and feeling more joy and freedom.

My coach suggested that, based on what is working and not working in my life, the Enneagram would be a good tool to help me move forward.

I did some work with the Enneagram a few years ago and I know I’m a type 4. Enneagram Type 4’s are the proverbial “tormented artistes.” We believe we are chronic misfits and doomed to always be stuck on the outside looking in. We also may believe our superior sense of aesthetics and our brilliance will never be properly appreciated by the rest of the world.


4’s tend to struggle with envy. We’re constantly comparing ourselves and always find ourselves lacking. We also tend to see what’s missing rather than what’s good.

All of the above are generalizations. There are subtypes and differences, For example, some 4’s consider themselves bohos and don’t even attempt to co-exist in the conventional world. I’ve always been the type who has artistic, unconventional leanings but stifles those urges in order to achieve what most people define as success.

The thing is, no matter how hard I tried, my inner freak always leaked out and would “get in my way.” Going along to succeed has never been something I’ve done well and I’ve tended to leave work situations pretty ungracefully.

This is why I haven’t rushed into a new work situation or tried to develop my business. I want to first feel more solid about who I am and what I really want so I make better choices and avoid some of the thinking that gets me in trouble.

For this reason, I’m going to devote the next 30 days to learning about the “gotchas” that tend to get me into trouble as a Type 4 and start using my Type 4 tendencies as gifts rather than liabilities.

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