Personal development begins by discovering your personality style. In some ways you notice that you are totally unique because your story is solely yours. But you find that you share features with other human beings and this makes you a part of a community of people who share your inner workings. At first it is exciting, maybe funny, then a little disturbing and then, fascinating. You notice that something that has always been an asset is also an obstacle to your growth. You might also notice how you get caught up in your personality style in ways that were never apparent before. You see your reactivity (buttons being pushed) as just that, without your choice or intention. You begin to notice what is outmoded and no longer useful. Although this self-awareness is useful, it is not an end in itself. As you sharpen your inner observer, you become aware of the moments just before you make automatic responses. These are critical moments in time, pauses that allow you to decide how you want to authentically respond to life.
As well as showing how you get into traps of your own making, the Enneagram also points to the gifts and resources of your style. You start to see the connection between the driving energy and the mature self. Although the Enneagram is presented here as a psychological system, it provides a blueprint for spiritual development as well. You can begin to see what it is that gets in the way of your full expression of your being. Beneath this personality style is an authentic, essential self.
Learning about all the styles and hearing the logic of each world view, leads to understanding and compassion for all points of view. You will recognize each type within yourself to some degree. You then increase your understanding of why you have been drawn to some people and repelled by others. It becomes much easier to deal effectively with others when you can appreciate their perspective.
"Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
Viktor E. Frankl