One of the most common questions I hear from participants is, “Does your Enneagram Type change over time?”
It’s such a great question! I’m going to explore some of the reasons people might ask this question, as well as what I’ve observed in my years of working with the Enneagram.
Remember when you learned what the word “fate” meant? Fate /fāt/ - the development of events beyond a person's control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power. I have a natural aversion to the idea of fate - that this or that was bound to happen and that there was little if anything that I could do to change the result. I mean, why even try?
Learning your Enneagram type can feel that way. Beyond the initial curiosity, one may feel stuck with habits or traits that you’d like to change or outgrow.
When working on ourselves, we naturally come up with ideas on new ways of being. We might say, “I need to be more assertive in the future,” or “I need to get better at counting the cost before acting.” We get a bit wiser every year as we know what we’re like and what we need to work on.
I get it. We all want to see change and growth in our life. We want to be free of the limitations that we’ve experienced in the past.
Each Enneagram type (and subtype!) has a tailor made pathway of growth. Exploring the insights and resources that the Enneagram offers reveals the path. What I need to grow is different from what you need to grow if we’re different types. The Enneagram is not one size fits all.
The ultimate goal of knowing your Enneagram type is that you disidentify from it. Instead of embracing your type or doubling down on it, you want instead to explore the other possibilities. Our Enneagram type can be a little like the “factory settings.” It identifies our lifelong tendencies and habits. When we bring those into awareness, we can realize that we’re not stuck - we have options.
Ultimately, we hope to transcend our type - that the predictable patterns don’t dominate our behavior. We still feel the internal habits of mind and passions, but we no longer let them translate into our words and actions.
I discovered my type over thirty years ago. I’m convinced that my type isn’t going to change for as long as I live. I had many years of working these habits of being, and if I’m honest with myself, they’re still there. However, each and every week I gain insights about my type and have a deeper understanding. My hope is that I live more consciously and less automatically. I can still feel the pulls and tendencies of my Enneagram type, but it no longer rules me. Our “factory settings” can be reprogrammed.