Values motivate our choices. I value wisdom which means I own a library worth of books, spend a couple of hours a day reading, listening to podcast when I exercise, and attend webinars every chance I get. My oldest son values peace which translates to taking the back roads instead of the highways, listening to classical music not rock and roll, taking long walks on the golf course not spin class, and spending evenings watching the sunset not the news. My youngest son values strength which always look like intensity and might -- intensity on vacation, in a conversation, or at work; might in the vehicles he drives, the way he delivers information, and how he plays games. It can even look like intimidation but always for the purpose of protecting someone he loves. Our values shape our choices.
When our values are discounted or in some way threatened we begin to feel vulnerable. Since I value wisdom, the place I feel vulnerable is ridicule. I do not want to feel or look foolish. I’m motivated to be competent. Sounds good, right? I mean, what could be wrong with that? The problem comes when I begin to overcompensate. I decide I can never look foolish, ever. The best way to accomplish that objective is to hang out with fools. I will definitely be the wisest one in the room and never be ridiculed. My value has been so distorted, I have painted myself into a corner I never wanted to be in. Obviously, if I am in a room full of fools, I look like a fool.
I learned all of this about myself through the Enneagram. The Enneagram Typology takes our values and vulnerabilities and breaks them down into nine different personality types. The Enneagram doesn’t put us in a box. It tells us about the box we are already in and how to get out of it. If you are interested in exploring the Enneagram, read Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. This book is easy to understand, helpful, and humorous. Or if you don’t have time to read a book and would like some answers sooner rather than later, join me in a free workshop hosted by Plaid for Women on August 26th.