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What use is the Enneagram? How can it help me?

The Enneagram can be extremely useful to everyone as a source of self-knowledge because it acts as a kind of “mirror” to reveal features of our personality that normally are invisible to us. Most of the time, people function habitually, as if on “automatic pilot,” according to the pattern of their basic personality type. Usually this allows people to get along well enough in their lives, but when their normal routines break down or the stresses of their lives increase too much, their normal way of coping also tends to break down or become dysfunctional. Seeing clearly what our habitual patterns are—seeing what we are doing and why we are doing it, and at what cost to ourselves and others—holds the key to our liberation. By knowing your type correctly, you are able to see yourself—to “catch yourself in the act”—as you move throughout the day. With this increased self-awareness, you are also able to avoid reacting in negative and potentially dangerous ways.

Once real balance has been restored to the personality structure, the Enneagram can help us to orient ourselves to the higher spiritual and psychological qualities that each type has in abundance. Thus, at its highest, the Enneagram invites us to look deeply into the mystery of our true identity. It reveals that we are not our personality, but something more—a spiritual being who has lost contact with his or her true nature. Living out of this realization shifts completely how we see ourselves, others, and the world, bringing liberation, freedom, and joy.

Next: How can I learn which personality type I am?

Previous: Where did the Enneagram come from?

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