-A lesson learned from Enneagram 6s
Why don’t I trust myself? There are few experiences so frustrating as seeing a work situation or relationship go south and thinking, “I knew that was going to happen”. Many of us struggle with trusting ourselves and there are as many answers as to why that is as there are different people on earth. For one type of person though, the Enneagram 6, a particular set of challenges plague them in this area.
The theory goes that somewhere during their development, the 6 learned that they don’t have the inner resources they need to deal with the problems in their world- a world that can be an unsafe and scary place. The 6 then learns to go outside themselves to get what they need to handle life. This becomes their core coping strategy when issues come up.
It is important to note that this strategy in and of itself is not a bad thing- like the root of much dysfunction it is a strength overused. By depending so much on outside information and influence, they neglect the richest source of information available to them- their own judgment. Ironically, 6s can often have the most well developed judgment of all of us because of how many different sources of information they bring together when making a decision, and how carefully they consider everything. Yet the tragedy is they tend to believe in that judgment the least of all of us. This is because they underestimate their own inner knowing. The way forward- trust your inner knowing.
In fairness, some may read that and think, “ok, how am I supposed to know what inner knowing is”? The simple answer is, you will know with practice. Remember, this is not your core coping strategy so it is likely a weaker muscle for you. Stick with it and it will get stronger. Here’s how to get started.
When faced with a decision:
- Go inward and trust your inner knowing. You have all the knowledge and answers you need to make this decision, the only challenge is to trust what you already know. If some deep uneasiness is troubling you- pay attention. Collect information from how your body, mind, and heart are feeling.
- Choose. If necessary, go back to #1. Make the decision- and not deciding is a decision! Sometimes it can help to really consider what you are choosing by not choosing- for example if you are in a bad relationship, by doing nothing you choose to continue and condone the destructive relationship. Be real with yourself here, and be brave. You can do it.
It sounds simple, but that is really all there is to it! I’ll leave you with a final word of encouragement, from friendly Dr. Benjamin Spock- “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”