Learning About Myself

As part of a leadership training program in my organization, I took the Enneagram personality assessment. If you're in to that kind of thing, follow the link and learn your type. Because used a paid site, we got in-depth results. Turns out, my score for Type 5 (the Thinker) was only three points higher than my score for 9 (the Peacemaker).

Interestingly, these types have a lot in common: the shared traits with which I most strongly identify are the tendency to withdraw and become isolated and the difficulty connecting with and expressing emotions. Apparently, Nines (which I grudgingly concede I probably am) often have trouble discerning their true type because their identities are so tied to other people.

Anyway, I've found one bit particularly fascinating: for both Fives and Nines, part of the advice for personal growth is regular exercise.

"[Fives] tend to be extremely intense and so high-strung that it's difficult to relax and unwind. Make an effort to learn to calm down in a healthy way... Exercising or using biofeedback techniques will help channel some of your tremendous nervous energy. Meditation, jogging, yoga, and dancing are especially helpful for [Type Fives]."
And for Type Nine: "Exercise frequently to become more aware of your body and emotions... Regular exercise is a healthy form of self-discipline and will increase your awareness of your feelings and other sensations. A body awareness will allow you to concentrate and focus your attention in other areas of your life as well. Exercise is also a good way to get in touch with and release aggression."
I've experienced this. When I was running regularly and eating well, I was so much more aware of my emotions and less overwhelmed by them. I cried more often but felt better. I didn't have the frequent headaches and nausea and fatigue that are probably related to the emotions I've been covering with food and suppressing with hours of television instead of feeling and releasing.

So, maybe part of the reason I'm afraid to get back at it is that I don't know which emotions are going to come up when I do. I'm not giving up, though, so I guess we'll see.

Did you click the link? What's your type? Did the description ring true?

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