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What is Enneagram? Here’s the #1 Reason Why You Need It Now!

burnoutprevention physicianselfcare physicianwoman self-care womeninmedicine Apr 07, 2023

Have you ever wondered: what is the correlation of Enneagram to my true self?  You're not alone. I can completely relate to your experience, as I too remember asking the questions, among others, as I was beginning to explore who I was within the Enneagram. But once I took an Enneagram assessment, clarity washed over me. Suddenly, things that had always seemed confusing or unclear about who I was, and my behaviors began to make perfect sense. All the “what and whys” I asked about myself became crystal clear. From that moment, I knew myself on a deeper level.

What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram is a personality assessment tool that has gained widespread popularity in recent years due to its ability to help individuals gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their motivations. By gaining a deeper understanding of these underlying factors, we can better understand ourselves and our patterns of behavior, that lead to our personal growth and self-improvement. 

The Enneagram divides people into nine distinct types, each with its own set of motivations, fears, and desires. When you take this test, you'll be asked a series of questions that are designed to help you understand your personality traits and tendencies. Based on your answers, the tool will assign you a type that best fits your personality. What's interesting about the Enneagram is that it goes beyond just identifying your type. It also provides insights into how we interact with the world and others, what motivates us, and what our strengths and weaknesses are. 

If you're curious about the Enneagram and how it can help you understand yourself better, I highly recommend taking a test to discover your type. It's a great starting point for exploring your personality and gaining valuable insights into what makes you tick.

#1 Reason Why Women Physicians Need It

As a woman physician, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to balance everything from my personal life to the demands of my profession. With patient care, administrative tasks, and personal relationships to manage, it can be tough for me to find time for self-reflection and personal growth. And that's where the Enneagram comes in – this tool has helped me achieve self-awareness and personal development.

You might be asking: How can the Enneagram help us, as women physicians, navigate the complexities of our lives and careers? 

The answer is simple. As women physicians, we face a multitude of challenges that can take a toll on our mental and emotional well-being and the Enneagram can help us identify our stressors and triggers as well as provide us with tools to manage them in a healthy way.  By having a deeper understanding of ourselves through the Enneagram, we become more self-aware, compassionate, and effective in all aspects of our lives. But the benefits of the Enneagram go beyond just our professional lives. By understanding our motivations and fears, we can make more intentional choices and cultivate more fulfilling relationships in our personal lives as well.

Connection Between Enneagram and Communication

Understanding your Enneagram type can be a game-changer in improving communication with others, both personally and professionally. Understanding myself through the Enneagram helped me identify my core motivations, fears, and desires - which became key drivers of my communication styles and tendencies. And by recognizing my tendencies, I now understand and communicate better with those around me who may have different communication styles and tendencies.

For example, if you are an Enneagram Type 1 - The Perfectionist, you may find yourself critical of others or overly focused on rules and procedures. Recognizing this tendency can help you adjust your communication style to be more empathetic and open to others' perspectives. Conversely, if you are communicating with a Type 1, understanding their desire for order and structure can help you frame your message in a way that resonates with them and avoids triggering their perfectionist tendencies.

Not sure of your Enneagram Type? Want to learn more? I have devoted an entire season of the Brave Enough Show Podcast to the Enneagram! Listen to Season 7 HERE.

Similarly, knowing the Enneagram types of my colleagues and staff also helped me foster stronger and more collaborative relationships. For example, if I am working with a Type 9 - The Peacemaker, I may notice their reluctance to voice their opinions or ideas in meetings. By recognizing this tendency, I can create a more inclusive and cooperative work environment by proactively seeking out their input and making room for them to share their thoughts and suggestions. 

Since discovering the Enneagram, I have undergone a profound transformation in the way I interact with others. The insights I have gained into my personality type and those around me have given me a powerful tool for improving communication and building stronger relationships. Before I discovered the Enneagram, I was often reactive in my interactions with others. I would respond based on my own biases and assumptions, without considering the unique perspectives and needs of the people around me. This approach often led to misunderstandings, conflicts, and missed opportunities.

However, since diving deep into the Enneagram system and learning about the nine distinct personality types, I have become much more proactive in my interactions. By understanding the core motivations, fears, and desires of myself and others, I can anticipate and adjust my communication style to better suit the situation at hand.

Practical Steps to Apply Enneagram Principles

The Enneagram is an amazing tool for understanding yourself and others and can help us achieve greater personal and professional fulfillment. Here are some practical steps we can take to apply Enneagram principles to our daily life:

Discover Your Enneagram Type

The first step in applying Enneagram principles is to discover your Enneagram type. I always emphasize that understanding one's Enneagram type holds the key to unlocking its power. Remember that it is a crucial step towards achieving greater self-awareness. Through this process, we can begin to understand our core motivations, fears, and behaviors, which can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.

Check out my podcast season 7 of the Brave Enough Show where I describe the 9 types HERE!


Discovering one's Enneagram type can be done in a variety of ways. Self-reflection is an excellent starting point. This involves introspection, looking back at one's life experiences, and analyzing patterns of behavior and thought. This can be a challenging process, as it requires honesty and vulnerability with oneself. However, it can also be incredibly rewarding, as it can lead to a deeper understanding of one's inner self.

Another great way to discover your Enneagram is through working with an Enneagram coach. Coaches that can provide personalized guidance and support, as well as more accurate assessments of your type. I found it so helpful to have a coach, and in 2019, I became certified as an Enneagram coach myself.

Interested in coaching or one of my Enneagram retreats? Contact me HERE.

Embrace Your Strengths

Each Enneagram type has strengths and weaknesses. Once you know your type, you can focus on embracing your strengths and using them to achieve greater fulfillment. 

For instance, if you are an Enneagram Type 9 - The Peacemaker, you may possess an innate ability to bring people together and resolve conflicts. By recognizing and embracing this strength, you can become a more effective leader and team player. In your personal life, you may excel in creating harmony within your relationships by mediating conflicts and finding common ground between opposing views. You may also have a natural talent for empathy and understanding others' perspectives, which can further enhance your relationships.

However, every Enneagram type also has its own set of weaknesses that can hinder personal growth and success. For Type 9s, these weaknesses may include difficulty asserting themselves, avoiding conflict, and struggling to prioritize their own needs. By understanding these tendencies and actively working to overcome them, Type 9s can continue to grow and develop into their fullest potential.

Recognize Your Blind Spots

While each Enneagram type has its strengths, it also has blind spots and areas for growth that can hinder personal and professional fulfillment.

For example, if you are an Enneagram Type 3 - The Achiever, you may be highly focused on external success and recognition. While this drive can lead to great achievements and accomplishments, it can also come at the cost of neglecting your personal growth and relationships. By recognizing this tendency, you can begin to cultivate more internal sources of fulfillment, such as personal growth and meaningful relationships.

One way to overcome this blind spot is by shifting our focus from external success to personal growth. This can involve setting personal goals that align with our values and interests, rather than simply chasing after external validation. We can also prioritize building meaningful relationships, which can provide a sense of connection and purpose beyond external achievements.

Practice Self-Reflection

The Enneagram is an incredible tool for self-awareness, but it's not enough to simply know your Enneagram type. Taking time each day to reflect on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can help us gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our Enneagram type. By identifying patterns and areas for growth, we can begin to work on cultivating new habits and behaviors that align with our values.

Self-reflection can also help us develop greater self-compassion and acceptance. By recognizing that we all have blind spots and areas for growth, we can begin to approach ourselves and others with greater empathy and understanding. This can help us build more authentic and meaningful relationships, as we become more aware of our tendencies and work to overcome them.

Incorporating self-reflection into our daily routine doesn't have to be complicated. It can be as simple as taking a few minutes each day to journal or meditate on our thoughts and feelings. I loved to set aside time for reflection during a daily walk, yoga practice, or other activity that allows me to be present with myself.

If you are looking for amazing ways to do self-reflection, my Breathing Room Course can help you connect, listen to yourself, and understand beliefs in the essence of who is in control of your time. 

Cultivate Compassion for Others

When we understand the Enneagram types of the people around us, we can begin to appreciate their unique strengths and challenges. This helps us approach others with more empathy and understanding, even when we may not agree with their perspectives or behaviors.

Cultivating compassion for others is a powerful way to improve our relationships and communication, both in our personal and professional life. When we approach others with empathy and understanding, we create a more positive and supportive environment, one that encourages growth and connection.

In a professional context, understanding the Enneagram types of our colleagues can help us work more effectively as a team. By appreciating each other's strengths and blind spots, we can work together to achieve common goals and build a more productive and harmonious workplace. In our personal lives, the Enneagram can help us deepen our relationships and create more meaningful connections with others. When we understand the motivations and perspectives of those around us, we can communicate more effectively, resolve conflicts more quickly, and build stronger bonds with those we love.

If you're seeking ways to practice cultivating compassion, I highly recommend joining me in The Brave Enough Retreat for Women Physicians. This retreat is designed to help women physicians cultivate self-compassion and compassion for others, while also providing a supportive community to connect with. During the retreat, you will learn various tools and techniques for practicing self-compassion, including mindfulness practices and self-reflection exercises. These practices will help you become more aware of your inner dialogue and develop a more compassionate and supportive relationship with yourself. You will also learn your Enneagram type!

Enneagram is All You Need

Life can be challenging, and it's normal to feel confused or uncertain about who we are and how we want to live our lives. But in those moments of questioning, it's important to remember that the power to know yourself better and become the person you long to be is already within you.

The Enneagram is a powerful tool that can help you on this journey of self-discovery. Trust in the Enneagram and its ability to guide you toward a greater understanding of yourself, your behaviors, and your approach to life.

So, sister, when you're feeling lost or unsure, trust in the Enneagram and its ability to guide you toward greater self-awareness. Believe in yourself - you have the power to become the person you want to be. With the Enneagram as your guide, you've got this!

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