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JOEL MARK WITT: Hey, it’s Joel Mark Witt and Antonia Dodge from Personality Hacker, along with our friend and guest, Beatrice Chestnut, who has developed a program with us called ‘The Enneagram Roadmap’ here at Personality Hacker. Very excited about this program. We’ve been doing the short series, and this is our last video in that short series, just talking through the program, talking through the Enneagram system in general, and in this video, we want to go into some of the personal growth applications of the Enneagram, like, “What does this mean for your life?” If you’re watching right now, you’re excited about the program, you’re interested in the program, you’re like, “I want to invest in this. I want to invest in myself. What will it do for me?” might be a question you’re asking, and let’s go into that a little bit.
Beatrice, do you have a story maybe from yourself, something that was really impactful from learning the system from something you applied in the system to your own life that really changed your growth path and changed how you show up to the world?
BEATRICE: Yes. Many stories about that. I’ll try to choose just one.
JOEL MARK WITT: Okay.
BEATRICE: I think that Enneagram is an excellent guide for self-observation and self-exploration. The way I often put it is like when you say you want to work on yourself, you want to get better at something, you want to improve your life, you want to be happy or whatever it is, where do you start? How do you know what to work on? How do you enter into a deeper understanding of yourself, and your challenges, and your strengths? For me, when I learned the Enneagram, one of the things that highlighted for me is, “How disconnected I was from myself?” Right?
When I first learned it, that was the first step on my path was I needed to get back in touch with my feelings, my needs. One time, I was in a women’s group. This was when I had moved back to California after graduate school, and I started working in a restaurant. It turned out, some of my fellow waitresses were interested in personal growth, so we found the therapist who did women’s groups, and we did women’s groups, and one day, the therapist turned to me and she said, “So, what do you need from the group today?” When she asked the question, I thought, “How do I answer that?”, and I went inside and I got nothing.
It was like there was nothing there. There was no clue, no answer to her question at all. It was almost like a real moment of existential anxiety, and luckily, I had just begotten really deeply into the Enneagram right before that, and so what I realized with the help of the Enneagram is I was experiencing my disconnection to myself. I was recognizing that I didn’t know what I needed, that if you ask me, “What do you need right now?”, I would have no clue, and if you don’t know what you need, how can you move forward? How can you make decisions and just be connected to what your basic needs and wants are? That was a huge eye-opening experience for me, and the Enneagram then helped me in many different ways seeing why I wasn’t connected, why I didn’t know what I was feeling and needing.
Basically, it was my attention was so focused on the outside. My survival, it felt like came from, “If other people like me, I’m okay. If other people approve of me, I’m okay”, so I was constantly monitoring, reading the outside world and the people around me to figure out like, “How are you receiving me? How are you liking me? What do you think of me?”
As a result, my attention was so focused on the outside and it wasn’t focused on my internal experience at all, and so that was again the beginning of a journey of learning to get in touch with my feelings, learning to get in touch with what I needed, I would have as a mantra like, “What do I need right now?”, and so now, many years later, I usually do know what I need, and I’ve very much often know what I’m feeling and I couldn’t be with my feelings, and manage them and not be overwhelmed by them or not repress them, so I think first and foremost, the Enneagram is a really helpful guide or map to help you see yourself more clearly. It helps highlight patterns that you may not be seeing partly just because you’ve done them so much. You’re so in them. You’re like the air you breathe, you don’t recognize what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, so I would say that’s the first example is just from myself and how much it helped me just to start to see where I was, what I wasn’t doing, and how I wasn’t connected to myself in a really basic way.
JOEL MARK WITT: Yeah.
ANTONIA DODGE: I think for myself, one of the major “Ah-huhs” that I had in my own personal development journey came through even though … Again, I’m a Myers-Briggs enthusiast, and a lot of my growth and development has been through an understanding of Myers-Briggs, but one of my possibly the biggest “Ah-huh” I’ve ever had in development happened through an understanding of the Enneagram three sexual subtype. I have always … When I was a teenager, I started struggling with body dysmorphic disorder, and it was a story that clunged me through my late teens, through my 20’s, into my early 30’s, and it was something that was such a massive deal for me, and I always felt so shallow, like, “Why am I so fixated on how I look? Why is that such a big deal to me? Why do I have all this stuff around it?”
I’m limiting my own options and my choices in life based on whether or not I think I’m attractive enough to enter a room, or anytime something bad happened to me, I assumed it was because I wasn’t good-looking enough, and that was the challenge, and if I reflected, I thought, “Man, that is a really shallow way to experience the world, but does it mean that it let go of me?”
ANTONIA DODGE: When I discovered that Enneagram three sexual subtypes have a tendency to over-rely on beauty and be fixated by beauty, and be fixated by their attractiveness and their seductive quality, and then I patterned that. I grew up in a family where my brother was old enough to feel like an adult to me. He was nine years older than me, so he felt like an adult, and in retrospect, I realized that a lot of the things he said about me and himself and our family were just teenage angsty things to say, but when I was a little kid, I thought of him as an adult with adult opinions, and he would just off the cuff say these things like, “Oh, yeah. We come from a really ugly family”, or “We come from a really unattractive family”. He would just make these statements about how unattractive we were as a family, and that experience attached with the natural fixation fused together to create the story was that I had this disorder and that I was never attractive enough.
When I realized that, it’s almost intrinsic wiring for three sexual subtypes to be very focused on beauty as almost like a calling card, and then the personal experience of being told by somebody I thought had an adult mind, that reflected back, because as a three, I was looking for out of world feedback to let me know what’s going on in the world.
ANTONIA DODGE: I’m not really consulting myself. I’m consulting their feedback of the image that I’m giving to the world, and so this feedback got fused in with the natural fixation, and turned into this full-blown disorder.
BEATRICE: Right. Yeah.
ANTONIA DODGE: When I put those connections together, what was nice about it is like what you’ve mentioned in a previous video, once you have language around it, it’s like you can observe it from a little bit of a distance, like it’s not so cloying to you.
JOEL MARK WITT: Yeah.
ANTONIA DODGE: You can just go, “Okay, so this is what’s going on. Now, I have language for it. Now, I recognize I’m hardwired to thinking this way to some extent”, and also, combining it with my own personal experiences, that somebody else that was a three sexual subtype may never have experienced.
ANTONIA DODGE: They may have never had anybody insinuate that they came from an ugly family or whatever, and dooming it. They might have gotten very positive experiences, and so they would more have to get through this idea of being over-reliant on their looks. Maybe that is the thing that they have to figure out, but for me, it was being over-reliant on the story of my looks, but I think they’re both the same thing. It’s like, “What is the story of your particular subtype and how is it manifesting in you?”, which will be different, but as soon as I traced mine back, all of it made total sense.
ANTONIA DODGE: I was like, “Okay. Now, I realized why the story exist, and now I realized that it was almost inevitable with all of those nodes in the system working that way.”
BEATRICE: Right. Right.
ANTONIA DODGE: Now, all I have to do is I have to filet out, “Okay. He was a teenager. He didn’t know what he was talking about”. I mean, he was just making observations probably more about himself than he was about me, and I absorbed it as a little kid going, “Oh, this must be how reality works”.
BEATRICE: Right. Right.
ANTONIA DODGE: What I need to do is I need to let go of the feedback of the image I’m projecting. I have to rely more on my take.
ANTONIA DODGE: As a three, I need to be more self-reliant on my opinion about myself and let go of all the narratives and stories that have been given to me through feedback of the world, that that’s their experience and they’re allowed to have it, but they’re not necessarily like representatives of the universe coming and giving me this piece of empirical information.
BEATRICE: Right. Right.
ANTONIA DODGE: Once I started letting go of that piece and started going, “Oh, so there must be something to this hardwire to look for beauty thing”, and it’s an appreciation of beauty in the world, and it’s an appreciation of the intimacy that happens when people are attracted to each other, so focus on the intimacy piece, not on the shallow pieces, like just kind of the having language for all of this, basically I felt like I woke up for the first time.
BEATRICE: Right. Yes. Right. Right.
ANTONIA DODGE: It was just like a, “Okay. Now, I get what’s going on”, and –
BEATRICE: Right. Yeah. It’s so clear.
ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah.
ANTONIA DODGE: Exactly.
BEATRICE: There are so many dimensions to it, because threes are chameleons, and they identify with what’s going on in the environment, and so to get a message that you’re in an ugly family … You know what I mean? It’s so clear how that operates that you identified with that almost or identified with it, but the most important piece of your story I want to highlight is how you judged yourself for being superficial. I think oftentimes, when we start observing ourselves, we see something about ourselves we don’t like or we think is bad, and just we judge ourselves, and it actually makes the whole project of self-development 10 times harder. What I like about the Enneagram is it shows you your highlights, these patterns that you’re focused on physical attractiveness because you needed to be.
On some level, that was what you learned was your survival strategy or your way of getting something that you needed, and so it’s about having compassion for what’s going on beneath the need of the different types, and finding that … Like telling your story in a whole different way from a level of compassion and understanding, instead of judgment or like you’re saying, the ideas that get stuck in our head about who we are. Yeah.
ANTONIA DODGE: When you mentioned that in a previous video that you had the Enneagram 2 had a component of manipulation, and you said, “Oh, I don’t like that. That doesn’t sound very good”, but then you traced it back like I’m trying to get my need met, and I’m maybe not as good at directly addressing it, but that’s really what it is.
JOEL MARK WITT: Yeah.
ANTONIA DODGE: It’s about getting needs met.
ANTONIA DODGE: For me, the shallowness was actually I crave intimacy. I love intimate relationships.
ANTONIA DODGE: I love getting really deep down when sharing inner pieces of me and having somebody else share the inner pieces of them as well, and oftentimes, we associate intimacy with full-blown attraction, like we have to be super attractive to –
BEATRICE: Right. Right.
ANTONIA DODGE: We don’t have to be, but attraction is a venue to intimacy, and so when I was able to no longer conflate the two, when I was able to set with them and go, “It’s really …”
BEATRICE: Right. Yes.
ANTONIA DODGE: I mean, the beauty piece is like it’s just a part of the package, but really, what’s going on is my desire for intimacy and how do I meet that need? How do I make sure the intimacy?
ANTONIA DODGE: Then, as soon as I was able to do that and figure out how to create intimate relationships, and I did that through some work around being radically honest and making sure that I was representing myself in an accurate way, not in a way that would be a chameleon to other people because that’s not the path to intimacy-
BEATRICE: Right, which by the way is the high side of three. Right? That’s exactly the work of a three is radical honesty and recognizing who you are is the most beautiful thing of all.
ANTONIA DODGE: Exactly, and so then, I was able to get to my end goal of intimacy, and the rest of it just like, it wasn’t necessary anymore.
ANTONIA DODGE: It just became irrelevant.
BEATRICE: Yeah. Beautiful.
ANTONIA DODGE: I think for me, being a Myers-Briggs enthusiast and being somebody who really recommends going through like a deep dive understanding of a Myers-Briggs type, I will fully acknowledge that it was actually the Enneagram that helped me let go of one of my biggest challenges, so again, I’m an enthusiast for the Enneagram system because I’ve experienced the power of the self-awareness that comes through this system.
JOEL MARK WITT: Yeah.
BEATRICE: I also appreciate how open you are to the Enneagram given that you’re an expert in the Myers-Briggs. I think some people get so focused on what they know really well and what they’re really good at, that they don’t have a lot of openness to other ways and other paths, and so I really want to appreciate that about you.
ANTONIA DODGE: Thank you. We call ourselves ‘Tools’ and ‘Agnostics’. Like whatever tool works, that’s the one that I like.
BEATRICE: Yeah. Yeah. That’s great.
JOEL MARK WITT: I want to highlight that it could be very easy to hear some of the stories that we’re talking about in this video and say, “Okay”. Like you’re watching, you might be saying to yourself, “Okay. I see. This is a healing tool. This is a tool to ‘Fix your problems’ or get over stuff.” I think it’s also a tool of inspiration and permission. For myself, finding out that I was a social six was very inspiring to me. It’s very empowering because a lot of the things that I was gravitating toward or desiring in my life, for some reason, I had a lot of permission blocks around them. I was giving myself some resistances to that and realizing that this is part of my natural wiring in a positive way, in a powerful, proactive, permission-focused way, getting myself permission to go, “Oh, the things I’m desiring, that’s actually part of how I’m wired”.
BEATRICE: Yeah. Right.
JOEL MARK WITT: “That’s some of the things that I show up to the world the best at”, and it’s not always about the negative stuff.
JOEL MARK WITT: I think that could be very easy to take away oftentimes in the language.
JOEL MARK WITT: It’s used around Enneagram. I think the impression could be that it’s just a tool for healing or for fixing something, or getting out of a bad situation or getting past your –
BEATRICE: Right. There’s something wrong with you.
JOEL MARK WITT: Exactly.
BEATRICE: Yeah. Yeah.
JOEL MARK WITT: I think it can really be a tool for inspiration and permission and pushing you forward as well to give you a path, a chart of the exciting things that you’re already naturally wired to do, which I found really powerful from the system.
BEATRICE: Yeah. Yeah. Right.
JOEL MARK WITT: I think regardless if you’re watching for more of a personal growth and like a healing aspect or a personal growth from a, “Where can I go next?” aspect, I think it has all of those elements in it, and I think in the program, Beatrice, you really do a good job of going through a lot of that, the challenges that come up by each of the subtypes, the 27 subtypes, but you also give a path of inspiration and permission for, and here’s what it looks like.
JOEL MARK WITT: A mature growth path for this type, so once you discover your type, you can get excited about all the potential to unlock in yourself, which gets me excited.
BEATRICE: Right. Right. Right. Right. Yeah. It’s so funny.
It is a bit of a good news, bad news story when you find your type. There’s a little bit of bad news of like, “This is the ego game that I’m caught up, and this is how I get my own way”. However, there’s a lot of good news. The good news is is that it highlights your strengths and what you are doing really well that you could do more of or even more consciously, but it also highlights that you’re not just your personality. You’re much more than that.
You’ve got all this higher potential. You’ve got a bigger self that you may not be manifesting or even aware that is possible for you, and that’s why I tell the acorn story in The Enneagram Roadmap, which is a little story about … It’s just a funny parable about how the acorn visits this acorn colony that live at the foot of this oak tree, and basically brings the news like, “We’re that. We’re the oak tree”, and they all think he’s crazy. They’re like, “Why are we that? How would we become that oak tree?”
He says, “It has something to do with going into the ground and letting your shell crack open”, and so the idea is it’s a little bit painful to see yourself and be really honest with yourself. It’s a little bit painful to focus on some of the dark side or the shadow aspects, but once you do and you allow yourself to really experience, have the experience of growing out of that, the sky is the limit. You really are able to be all of who you can be in a way that some people never dream is possible for them. I love that you’re bringing out the inspirational part to me because for me, that’s very much what it is. I’ve grown so much with it, and I also like how both of you are really highlighting the subtype level, that that’s not just the type that gives you insight about yourself.
The subtype gives you even more fine-tuned information about how to use it. For me, for instance, I as a psychotherapist, I’ve worked with a lot of type 4 clients, and I love working with fours, and I think fours are often misunderstood exactly because they can focus a little bit on what’s missing, focus on what they’re lacking, feel a sense of inner deficiency, and the funny thing about fours is that what’s in their shadow is actually what’s great about them, and their path is really about allowing themselves to be happier. Once I found the subtype level, I was able to work with my fours and even deeper, better way because I was able to see that different fours need different things, so my self-preservation four clients are holding their feelings in and trying not to be a burden on the people around them, and putting on a happy face, even if that’s not the way they’re feeling inside, and tapping things out, and proving themselves, and so it helped me see that I needed to help them see that they’re already working really hard, they can share more vulnerability with others, they don’t always have to put on a happy face, they can lighten up on themselves and let themselves have fun. For the social fours that are more caught up in suffering, that something totally different is needed. They over-identify with difficult feelings and with a sense of inferiority, so for them, it’s about taking action in the world and owning their positive qualities, and then acting so that they can get feedback about that.
Then, the sexual four again, it’s something else. It’s about how they externalize their sense of deficiency, so it can feel like the outside world isn’t meeting my needs, and they can get caught up in anger and getting demanding like, “You need to meet my need”, and they can be competitive, and so owning their positive qualities helps them do something in a different way, and it’s not again for them about taking action. It can be about allowing themselves to really feel their pain, whereas the social fours, feeling their pain too much. Right? It’s really an interesting piece, and I’m so glad in the Enneagram Roadmap that we gave ourselves the room to talk about all aspects of the system and especially how to use the different aspects of the system to really grow and observe yourself.
JOEL MARK WITT: Yeah. One of the things when we sat down with you is we said, “Take as much time as you need as we shoot this program, as we record it to get into the depth that you feel is appropriate for each of the subtypes to understand, to grow, to see the blind spots, to see the potential as we spend a lot of time going into each of the 27 subtypes and particularly breaking them down to a lot of the fundamental levels”. You’ve got graphics, charts, graphics, a lot of study aids and helps throughout the entire program that I think is very beneficial for people, and we spend a lot of time and we put a lot of effort as we created this. You actually flew to our studios. We shot this together with you. I mean, we’re not in the videos with you, but we shot it with you, so we made sure that we got all of that aspect in the program itself, which I think is a very powerful program.
BEATRICE: Yeah. Yeah.
JOEL MARK WITT: I’d love for you watching to invest in yourself, invest in the program and be a part of this experience with us.
ANTONIA DODGE: These videos to some extent mirror the program. We started out with this video series with a history of the Enneagram, and that’s one of the things that we talk about or Beatrice talks about I’m more depth is the history and some of the overview about the symbol itself, how the symbol, like you said, a sacred geometry. You mentioned that in a previous video that it’s sacred geometry, and she breaks down the symbol of the circle, and the symbol of the triangle, and the symbol of the different arrow paths, and just really goes into the history of it, as well as what all of that means, and then we do an overview of the centers, and the types, and a deep dive into the 27 types or 27 subtypes, and then we enter the space of growth, and Beatrice talks about the growth overview of using the wings, and the growth overview of using the arrow, the different arrow –
JOEL MARK WITT: Line movements.
ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah, the movements of the Enneagram and how it’s actually quite a dynamic system, and then takes what you’ve learned about the growth path piece, and then mirrors and couples it with the 27 subtypes, and so then you get a really comprehensive experience of going through each of the subtypes and how to utilize it for growth and development.
ANTONIA DODGE: That’s just a gross overview of what you find in this program.
JOEL MARK WITT: Beatrice, what would you … Somebody watching right now, they’re watching us … Paint me a picture. What would you love to see somebody experience? They go ahead and invest in this program, they go through the entire thing, they start to understand it and start to apply it in their lives.
JOEL MARK WITT: Paint me a picture of the outcome you’d love to see for somebody.
BEATRICE: Right. I would love to see … What I’ve seen when other people, when I’ve seen different people in my life and that I’ve encountered as a therapist, encountered the Enneagram, and that is just an enormous amount of new insights, an exciting amount of new information about themselves first and foremost, about like a brand new window into why they do the things they do and what they need to do to work on, to be happier, but also, and I think this just comes with the Enneagram, a lot of insight into the people around them, a lot of insight into, “Oh my gosh. That’s why my father does what he does”, or “That’s why my spouse does what he does”, and a lot of new understanding and a awareness that now, there’s a lot to this, that there’s more where that came from, and so just a real awakening to what’s possible for them and how they can very easily in some ways gain a lot of information about themselves that’s really, really actionable in their lives, and so to make whatever change they want to make, new insight, new inspiration, actionable information with which to face whatever challenge they might be facing, do whatever they might needed to do to be … Whatever it is.
Be less anxious, be happier, be more fulfilled, get out of the job they don’t like and find something, a new career, find a relationship, whatever challenge they might be facing, a lot of it and new window into why they might be doing what they’re doing and how they can do things differently if they choose to and if they want to do the work.
JOEL MARK WITT: Yeah. I just want to highlight again. I said this in a previous video, but I want to highlight that you didn’t just sit on your couch for years and think up a bunch of stuff esoterically or theoretically. I mean, you have done a lot of theoretical work, and you’ve pushed some of the ideas little further on the work you’ve done, but what I love about the approach you’ve taken is this comes from practical helping people experience.
BEATRICE: Right. Right.
JOEL MARK WITT: You’ve been a therapist for years, you’ve coached people, you’ve worked with people one-on-one, and even in different group dynamics, you’ve consulted with businesses, so you’ve taken a lot of these Enneagram concepts that sometimes seem esoteric to people, especially if they’re just starting out, and you’ve helped people apply them in their lives, and then you’ve gotten the real-world case study feedback to go, “Okay. How can that be calibrated better?”, and you’ve done it over and over and over again, which I believe brings a level of expertise, thoughtfulness, and pragmatism to the entire system that if you’re watching and you decide to invest in this, I think it’s going to benefit you a lot.
BEATRICE: Right. Right. Right.
JOEL MARK WITT: I think you’re going to go through this and realize the wisdom from years of Beatrice doing this comes out in the program and comes out in the recommendations. It comes out in the type descriptions. All of the stuff that has been put into this, yeah, this isn’t just a several day shoot in the studio. This is a life work of Beatrice that she’s poured into this program that you’re going to get when you invest in it that I think is just incredibly powerful, so thank you for that.
BEATRICE: Thanks. Thanks.
JOEL MARK WITT: I think that’s really part of the secret sauce of it.
ANTONIA DODGE: I would agree.
BEATRICE: Right. Right. Right. I think for me, one of the things that’s important to know is that I learned the Enneagram before I went to school to study psychology, so when I was studying psychology and learning all the different theories that you learned about how personality develops, about human psychology, I saw the Enneagram in everything I studied, and so I think it’s also one of the reasons why I wrote my first book, is I wanted both just people seeking growth and also therapists and coaches out there to have more information about the Enneagram coming from someone who has worked with a lot of people, but who also has learned to see psychology through the lens of the Enneagram which is in a way a grand theory that a lot of different psychologies can fit into, and I’ve done work where I’ve mapped the inner triangle of the Enneagram and the three centers to existing three-stage theories of psychological development, which I talk about in Enneagram Roadmap as a way of bringing psychology and the Enneagram together so that we can have more insights into again, “Oh, that’s why I’m doing what I do. That’s where it comes from in my history and my biography”, and it really helps you put the pieces of the puzzle together in a way that can really help you gain a lot of new inner direction for anything you might want to do.
JOEL MARK WITT: Right. Thank you for putting this together and for being part of the program.
ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah, and thank you for being in the series of videos, and we hope that it’s helped you if you are deciding or determining whether or not the Enneagram Roadmap is right for you. We hope that the series of videos has helped solidify your decision to invest in yourself and to invest in the Enneagram Roadmap. I hope to see you on the other side, and thank you very much for giving us your time and attention, and we’ll see you on the other side in the Enneagram Roadmap.