This episode is a little different than the norm, but it was so fun! Natasha shares so much about what the enneagram is, how it works, and what it might mean for you. Best of all, we dive deep on how you can use the enneagram for self-care in order better care for yourself and your needs.
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Natasha’s Enneagram Start
Natasha Smith is an Enneagram Coach. She’s also a mom of 3, and is a multi-passionate entrepreneur. She’s a 6 with a 7 wing, and she loves to talk all things enneagram! (I think I’m a 7!)
She shares that the enneagram is an ancient wisdom system. Even though it’s gotten popular in recent years, it’s definitely not new! In a way, it’s a personality typing system. Beyond that, however, it helps you understand WHY you do what you do. Rather than just telling you characteristics that you have, the enneagram reveals underlying motives that can help you in all areas of your life. The enneagram for self-care makes perfect sense!
About three years ago, Natasha looked in the mirror and realized she just didn’t feel like herself anymore. She sought out a counselor, and shared she wanted to grow and change. Here, she was introduced to the enneagram. She took the test…and got the 3 result.
Since she wasn’t feeling it, she went back and dug in deeper. After a lot of reading, studying, and test taking, she realized that it wasn’t going to work unless she took the test from the perspective of why she did what she did. (She kept getting a 3 result that didn’t resonate, and she realized she was answering the questions based on what she wanted to be true, instead of giving her truest answers.) Some of those answers were really impacted by her anxiety, which she recognized later as she began using the enneagram for self-care.
Recognizing Anxiety (And her true type!)
Natasha had dealt with anxiety her whole life, but she’d never recognized it. She called it other things, and refused to consider it was something that might affect her. After all, anxiety was debilitating and sounded awful!
But when she read the 6 Type, she got completely overwhelmed. That was her.
She felt so understood and seen, and realized that if others felt that way and were able to live full, strong lives, she could too. That’s what compelled her to start using the enneagram as a coaching tool for other women who were also seeking transformation!
The ability to be present with yourself and your type is key to being able to connect with your full self.
Natasha Shares About Being a Six
Sixes can be wishy-washy. They tend to work through a lot of “worst case scenarios”, and anticipate the absolute worst outcomes at all times.
Natasha shared she didn’t even realize this was something she did until she became more self-aware. Her detailed, instant thoughts were so negative and consuming; she realized they were showing up in all areas of her life.
Finding her type helped Natasha recognize that she did struggle with anxiety. It also showed her the ways the was coping with it: becoming a workaholic, doing too much, and avoiding these feelings.
She realized that she needed to slow down and allow herself to feel things. She practiced trusting that she could be safe, and that the people she loved could be safe as well. Noticing her default programming, and the way it kicked in throughout her day, was the self-awareness she needed to be able to be present in her daily life.
Increasing her mindfulness and becoming more aware were powerful ways of tuning in to her reactions and responses throughout the day. In fact, her family quickly noticed the change as well. She was able to be calmer, more present, and less prone to thinking negatively.
Part of embracing your enneagram type is to observe yourself without judgment, and to have grace for yourself as you discover more about who you are. Practicing this way allows you to truly use the enneagram for self-care; it’s a loving, gentle tool!
Many women use food restrictions or emotional eating as a way of controlling or avoiding what’s really happening in their lives. It would be interesting to know more about how various enneagram types engage with the diet industry (and with intuitive eating)!
Should I take the test?
Natasha recommends holding enneagram test results loosely. The enneagram is a journey, and the point is to find yourself as you learn more about yourself. If you take the test and the results don’t really connect with you, it’s okay to take it again (and again)! Learn more about the numbers, and see if there are any that do resonate.
Like her, you may end up with the wrong number — and that’s okay! She advises that you take a look at your top three numbers, and learn more about them.
You’ll also want to think about WHY you do things. For instance, if you walk into a room and can easily identify what people may want or need, ask why? Is it to be loved? To gain attention? To get approval? Thinking about your motivations can help you get more accurate test results, as the enneagram truly emphasizes the underlying motivations you may have.
Intuitive Eating & Your Enneagram Type
Underlying motivations are highly important for eating practices too! Natasha shares that a lot of 9’s can struggle with either overeating, or being really restrictive. Because 9’s tend to sort of “fall asleep” to themselves, they aren’t always present in their bodies. They also tend to avoid conflict, and may eat to avoid problems.
8’s tends to have a lot of energy and passion towards things, which can lead to overeating as well. They may also eat more to deal with the stress of constant leadership exceptions.
1’s and 3’s are most likely to tend towards restriction. For 1’s, they often don’t want to look “bad”, and since overeating is often categorized as a “bad thing”, they will want to avoid it. For 3’s, being overweight can conflict with their desire to appear good in other’s eyes.
Your type can contribute to how you cope, as well as how you think about food and your body. But it can also have a positive impact! Using the enneagram for self-care is a powerful way to listen to your body’s needs and care for yourself.
(If you’re a 7, listen in to this part! I asked Natasha some specific questions on my type and she shared some great info.)
The Enneagram Types (A Quick Glance)
Ones & Threes
1’s are the perfectionists and 3’s tend to want to appear successful. A negative body image can lead to sense of moral failure or general unraveling. There’s this idea that if your body doesn’t look a certain way, that you’ve failed.
2’s are helpers who do a lot for others. They also tend to struggle with self-love, which impacts their body image. It can be hard for a 2 to truly feel that they are fully enough as they are, and they often look to others to increase their own self-worth.
4’s are often melancholy. They’re more creative, and they like to feel their feelings. However, they can also get stuck in those feelings and start to wonder what’s “missing” inside of themselves. Because of this, 4’s can get drawn into negative self-talk and self-criticism. They often feel “less than” if something in their lives is lacking.
5’s are analytical. They don’t often dress flashy, and may tend towards letting themselves go because outward appearance just doesn’t bother them.
With the 6’s, they tend to go back and forth. They’re doing great, then they aren’t. They’re following a plan, then they’re not. They are often in a battle with themselves, and that can translate to how they feel about their bodies.
7’s are often very active. They like to experience new things, but can sometimes get stuck in letting themselves go when they aren’t in a good place. Otherwise, they tend to be active and want to work on themselves and take things to the next level.
As strong leaders, 8’s can sometimes struggle with imposter syndrome. This can lead to a fixation with what’s wrong, and other negative thoughts about the self. Although they can be assertive and bold, they also refrain from being fully vulnerable and tend to turn inward when help is needed.
Since they have a need to numb themselves out at times, 9’s can struggle to know what they feel, and can even tend to feel nothing. They’ll just let go, and whatever goes, goes.
(It might be interesting to learn your number and then listening in to the episode on checking your beliefs!)
The Enneagram is a Tool!
Since each type has a distinct path of growth, knowing your type can help you understand how to get back on track. It’s a great tool to have in your toolbox if you’re on the journey towards being your highest self!
If you take a test, remember to explore the results and make sure it resonates with you. Learn more about the types, and be open to learning more about your own inner motivations. If your desire is to use the enneagram for self-care, you’ll want to do this in a loving way that works for you.
Want more info? The Enneagram Institute has a great test for about $12; it has a lot of questions, so you do have to really sit down and take it like a true test. TrueSelf.io includes images on their free test, which makes it quick and easy. (It’s not quite as in depth, but it’s a great starting point!) You can always with Natasha as well – she’s on IG as @radiantlyflourish.