Day 1: Taking the Struggle Out of Life


This week I’m focusing on using self-observation to more clearly see where I tend to self-sabotage and get in my own way.

To begin, however, I want to write about the natural strengths persons who are Enneagram type 4s. My reason is so often I dwell on what I’m struggling with and it can begin feeling pretty heavy after a while. It feels like a good idea to begin with looking at what’s right.

The Gifts of Enneagram Type 4s

I’ve slightly paraphrased these from The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge by Beatrice Chestnut.

The natural strengths of Type Fours include:

  • We have a large capacity for emotional sensitivity and depth.
  • Our ability to sense what is going on between people on the emotional level.
  • We have a natural feel for aesthetics and creativity. Although it would be wrong to think that all Fours are artists or all artists are Fours, we do have an artistic impulse that enables us to see and respond to the poetry in life, and to highlight for others the way everyday experiences can be viewed and communicated in creative and even transcendent ways.
  • An idealistic and romantic sensibility.
  • We are relatively unafraid of intense feelings, (and we) value the expression of authentic emotion.
  • We can support others with great care, respect, and sensitivity when they are experiencing painful emotions. Our regular contact with our own emotional terrain gives us a lot of comfort and strength in being with intense feelings and empowering others to feel and accept their emotions.
  • We are highly empathic and can see the beauty and power in painful feelings that (most people) other types habitually avoid.
  • The “superpower” is that we are naturally emotionally intuitive.

The key phrases that pop out for me are:

  • Comfort level with our own emotions and those of others.
  • Respect, even a love for authentic emotions.
  • Empathy and intuition for other people’s emotional experiences.
  • A love for aesthetics: for beauty.
  • Communicating experience in creative even transcendent ways.

What is interesting for me is how reluctant I’ve been to own these gifts and by not accepting my gifts, I’ve created a lot of struggle and difficulties for myself.

So I think if I were to accomplish only one thing in the next 30-days it will be to begin to genuinely feel appreciation for these gifts. I’ve spent so many years complaining about how no one appreciates my gifts and I can’t make money doing what I love but how can I expect anyone else to appreciate what I offer if I, myself, am so convinced that I bring to the table isn’t all that useful?

This isn’t about bragging or being arrogant by the way. It’s about gratitude and appreciation and love. It’s about “being” not “telling.”

I’m going to spend some time today, playing with possibilities for cultivating appreciation in ways that are fun and creative.

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Filed under Appreciation, Enneagram Type 4, Work and Joy

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