Hey friends! Its been a while since I actually took the time to sit down and write out how I feel. Actually if I’m being honest, I’ve slightly been running away from the way that I feel, so I typically put more on my plate so that I can keep doing and ultimately push away the feelings I’m having. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the enneagram or not, but I am pretty much obsessed with it. Okay, maybe obsessed is too strong a word. But what I can tell you is that after multiple enneagram tests, the enevitable is true… i am whole heartedly, 100 percent an enneagram 3. Even when I looked over the numbers and read through their descriptions, I pretty much knew that I was a 3, before taking the test. But whats even more crazy to me is that one of the tests I took- this was a WAY longer test that what many people take- had some insider information at the end and I will never forget reading it and thinking… ” Yes. This explains so much.”
You see, the section that hit home to me was that as a 3 I feel like I have to be doing something in this world, or helping others in some way, or working hard and making things happen, to be worthy. Even if you just do a google search, you’ll find that the basic fear of the Enneagram Type 3 is failure and worthlessness. We hold on to a subconscious belief that in order to be worthy, we must succeed, or at least be perceived as successful. And I don’t know at what age I began to feel this way, but I know that “being successful” or ” looking successful” has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
You see, another thing you should probably know about me is the fact that I’m a first born. So as the first born, I’m the leader, the guninea pig, and an achiever, and while i’m sure my parents didn’t mean to compare my siblings to me, It most definitely happened. I always wanted to do my best and while, I know I was proud of myself in the moments I had achieved something, I desired to make my parents and others proud of me. I worked hard, got good grades, and excelled in music, and it felt good! When I’d work hard studying for a test or practicing for a performance and I was able to kill it, it made me feel incredible and I loved the attention I would receive. As I entered college it was the same, work hard and achieve the next milestone and then the next milestone… make others proud, and be proud of yourself for doing so. For the purpose of this blog post, I’m gonna skip ahead a tad. Move forward to after college and after my masters degree- which I was so dang proud of myself for, btw- to landing my big girl job as a teacher.
I struggled with what success looked like as a teacher, and honestly I still do. I struggled with not having the next thing to achieve. There were many times I thought…” I’m a teacher now and that was the job I had been working towards and now it’s here and then what? Is this it? How do I get to the next achievement or success within teaching?” My whole life had been set up in this way and I struggled a lot at the beginning and even do still today, if i’m being honest. I had looked at success as making the good grades, working hard and achieving the degree I wanted, pushing myself to be better so I could get the chair I wanted in symphony, and make my parents and other proud of me. But after teaching for 7 years now, and going through many emotional rollar coasters, having dealt with a pretty crazy depression a couple years ago, and constantly pushing myself to achieve more and more, I am in a place where I no longer even know what I desire or even how to define success in my life.
So I’ve come to the quesion of: what does success even mean to me now and what do I want out of life? Like I mentioned earlier, I’m an enneagram 3 and the first born, so when I think of success, I very much think about the achievement side and the physical successes as working hard, getting higher degrees, or more acclaim, having a job or a position that others admire or look up to. But the more I think about that, the more I realize how much pride is in the achieving if my main goal in achieving it is to receive some recognition or for others to look up to me and put me on a pedistool. Ouch.. its seriously tough to think about, but this is what I need. And when I ultimately strip away everything, I see that I struggle with pride and allowing myself to be busy for the sake of being busy. I always felt like If I was super busy, then it made me more successful or more people would admire me, or think that I was important. But this stems from me putting my identity in everything else… in my career, in my hard work and accomplishments, but not God. Me wanting to be efficient, work hard, serve others, make others feel important and believed in, and do all the things, has been a good distraction away from dealing with my inner thoughts and feelings, and ultimately allowing God to work because I’m fearful about what He may say or want of me. I’ve allowed my emotional , connective, and creative side to be supressed for so long, to just get the job done, and I think I’m finally at a place to recognize it and begin moving forward.
I’m not sure why I felt in my heart I should write this, but if it helps even 1 other person know that they aren’t alone in feeling this way, then I guess I did my job. Getting this off my chest has been theraputic for me and while I have no ideas the things that God will reveal as I begin opening up and looking at why I am the way I am, I am excited for the journey. I know that God created me the way I am for a purpose and I want to step into my enneagram 3 with a bigger and bolder passion and purpose than ever before. He has a plan for every path and choice I’ve taken and if you need to hear those words, turn it back around for yourself.
I found this absolutely beautiful quote and I think I’ll leave you with this thought. Please feel free to respond if you’re dealing with something similar or if this hit a spot with you.
This journey you are about to take will not be everything you want, but it will be everything you need. You are going to learn so much about yourself and who you are inside. You will grow in ways you never thought possible and strengthen muscels you never knew you had. You will find peace within your own skin and discover magic in the world all around you. You will meet people who are kindred spirits and you will meet people who are simply not meant for your story. Youre going to be so great. My lovely friend, take the first step. Even if you’re scared, even if you don’t know what you’re about to go through, even if you don’t think you can, take the first step. Do it for you.”– Walk the Earth