Nov 17, 2019

Paying Attention

Pay Attention to What you Pay Attention to: Instict, Heart, Head Enneagram Coach

Our heart longs for peace, and conflict or struggle is always involved in getting to that peace. 

We each have a basic response to emotional struggle, one we deal with over and over. That response is deep within us—we aren’t always aware we’re responding in a patterned way.

We can easily be blind to what’s within us. We don’t have Inside Out the movie for each individual, up on the silver screen showing us what’s going on! (And really, praise God we don’t!)

We need to develop self-awareness, and that is the work of the Enneagram. If you are interested in discovering the Enneagram number you identify with the most, paying attention to what you pay attention to is the place to start.

There are many entry points into the Enneagram. One is the Centers of Intelligence: Instinct, Feeling, and Thinking.

We all have and use these three centers of intelligence, but there is a dominant intelligence we have developed into the most influential player on our team. And that MVP wants to respond to emotional struggle the same way every time. Looking at that response can help you identify your dominant Enneagram type.

Quickly, the Enneagram identifies nine different ways of seeing the world based on core motivations. The ways of seeing are numbered one through 9. Settling on your Enneagram number isn’t a quick study. There are some good inventories that can help you down the path, but they can only take you so far. You’re more complicated than a multiple-choice test or a range!

Enneagram Intelligence Center Triads

So how do you find your type? I got you, friend! 

I’ve painted a few pictures for you about the centers of intelligence, to help you notice what you notice. A bit of, “You may be in this group if…”

There are groupings of three numbers each, called Triads, that can help you narrow. The Centers of Intelligence Triad each have three numbers that share a common emotional struggle and a common desire.

Centers of Intelligence Triads

Instinctive Center—Gut Triad: 8s, 9s, 1s

This triad responds to the emotional struggle of anger and desires justice and respect.

You may be in this triad if…

Enneagram Body Gut Center Triad 8s.9s.1s. Struggle Anger

You find yourself immediately moving, physically or mentally, in a situation.

Justice and What Is Right is very important to you.

You want to stand up for those who feel overlooked or marginalized.

You want to stand up for accuracy and ethics.

You move intensely toward OR away from the struggle.

You never want to be angry OR anger/passion is your go-to emotion.

Your intuition drives your actions OR you have trouble prioritizing how to act first.

Feeling Center—Heart Triad: 2s, 3s, 4s

This triad responds to the emotional struggle of shame and desires significant identity and validation.

You may be in this triad if…

Enneagram Heart Center Triad 2s.3s.4s. Struggle Shame

How you feel drives your actions OR you limit your emotions from blocking your accomplishments.

You are thinking about how you or others feel much of the time.

You feel deeply, either your emotions or others.

You can read a room and know whom you should impress.

You can read a room and know the emotional temperature of the group and individuals.

You want to be the Most or the Only: the most caring, the most successful, or unique.

Thinking Center—Head Triad: 5s, 6s, 7s

This triad responds to the emotional struggle of fear and desires security and safety.

You may be in this triad if…

Enneagram Head Center Triad 5s.6s.7s. Struggle Fear

How you think drives your actions.

You think about a situation first and respond first with your thoughts.

You think you can never know enough, prepare enough, or experience enough.

You think about your emotions more than feel them.

You think, prepare, and plan all the time.

You see all the possibilities.

You sometimes struggle to act because then it means saying no to an option

OR you have to prepare for all the alternatives.

Start paying attention to these ideas in your life. How do you think, feel, and behave throughout the day? Pay attention to what you’re paying attention to: your gut, your heart, or your head? You need all of them, but who’s your MVP?

See other ways to pay attention in discovering your Enneagram number: Interpersonal Coping Styles and Managing Expectations.

Let’s talk about Enneagram Coaching! Learn more about finding your number and schedule a free consultation.



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