I have now been a doctor for about 8 years, with a a year off in between.
I went through vigorous study in medical school and then a rigorous career of hectic work hours. Much of the time I would be working huge days and studying on the side. In the stress of work and life, looking back I can see I lived my life on autopilot emotionally in many ways during that time for pure survival. I would race from one goal to the next, putting little value on who I was as person, and the character I was developing.
I went through life completely unaware of why I reacted and responded the way I did, and what was motivating the decisions I made.
I was on autopilot.
In the last two years I have been going through the deepest of awakenings. I have discovered some things through an abrupt career realignment and some tough life events that made me stop and take a good hard look at myself.
Over the last two years I have learned so many things. However, one of the most significantly impacting lessons I have learned is this:
The importance of self-awareness.
I learned the only way to truly self-develop, to grow as a person and in character, was to become self-aware.
In fact I have discovered that my ability to grow as a person is directly proportional to the level of which I am self-aware. How can you change what you don’t know?
My ability to celebrate my own unique strengths and destiny and steer clear from unhealthy comparison is my discovery into who I am and what makes me tick. The attributes of my personality.
I have realised this, my ability to grow as a person, as a leader and as a saint, is proportional to the level that I am willing and intentional about realising growth areas in myself and actively addressing them and positioning myself to grow in those areas.
The great thing is, it’s not just me. Read this.
The Importance of Self Awareness
There was a study that was done at Cornel. It was a fascinating study of 72 CEO’s who each earned from 50 million to 5 billion dollars each.
Research showed the key number on predictor of success was Self-awareness.
It was shown that self awareness in leaders gave them the tools which enabled the emotional intelligence to know what motivated their decisions and the way they would lead and relate to people and the world around them.
Self awareness allows one the capacity to understand and self-regulate our inner world
Brother Dave who is a wise, celebrated monk from the book I am reading called ‘the road back to you’ puts it like this.
“What we don’t know about ourselves can and will hurt us, not to mention others.”
As long as we stay in the dark about how we see the world and the beliefs that have shaped who we are we are limiting ourselves from growing to our full capacity.
We will continue to go through life on autopilot, which can lead to acting in ways that hurt and confuse ourselves and everyone around us and we will not even realise that we are doing it.
As each and every one of us are leaders, we actually cannot afford to do this. Because lacking a self awareness or a desire to develop it will not only affect us and our families but the people we are leading and under our care.
Let me introduce you to some resources on the Enneagram
The first would be the Enneagram Institute. Having a look at this website was super helpful. It had a lot of information on the different types. Of course take everything with a grain of salt as I am not sure that they are Christian. I chose not to get too caught up in the arrows or bogged down in the negativity of the types.
Second was the Book, “Road back to you.” By Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. It is absolutely fantastic, and I highly recommend it. You can get it on kindle and it is an easy read and deeply enlightening. The way he Frames up the Enneagram is very insightful as he is a Christian and used to be a pastor. I definitely recommend reading it.
Finally the three podcasts that I listened to over and over that deeply helped me are below.
These are from a podcast called ‘Building a Story Brand’ With Donald Miller. If you listen to the podcast and link back to the website he also has materials that you can print out which are things that you can go through with your team.
- #42: Ian Cron—Can the Enneagram Make You a More Effective Leader?
- #124: Ian Cron—The Do’s and Don’ts of Leading Each Enneagram Type
- #125: Ian Cron—How the Enneagram Can Make You a More Effective Leader
This printout on leading each Enneagram type is super helpful.
Here is a printout to do with your team on Enneagram.
One last note on how to approach the Enneagram
I think it is useful to remember that the Enneagram is a tool. It is an imprecise model to help describe personality.
In the words of George Box:
“All models are wrong but some are useful.”
It is not infallible or inerrant. It is not the Bible. And it certainly is not the be all and end all of Christian Spirituality.
At the best it is an imprecise model of personality.
But I have found it very useful. In fact I have found it more than useful. I have found it life changing and deeply awakening.
If after you look into it you do not, that’s okay too. Shelve it and maybe you will re-look at it one day.
Ultimately I want to use the Enneagram as:
One tool to help deepen my love and understanding of myself, my love for God and my love for others.
That is the lens in which I want you to see the Enneagram.
The use of the Enneagram is ultimately for Self-understanding. To help to understand ourselves. Second to that we can use the Enneagram to help understand others.
I hope you find this fascinating at the least but I think that perhaps you too may find it incredibly enlightening to you and those around you.
I would LOVE to know your thoughts.
You are deeply loved and richly cherished.
Dr Christine Greenwood
Reign in Life
I would also LOVE to hear what personality type/types you are. Comment below!
P.S have you read Four ways to hold a victorious mindset.