My name is Moriah Conant and I blog over at www.thelordismyteacher.com.
I am 21 years old and currently residing in the very frigid Pennsylvania. In May of 2017, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Counseling. I work full-time as a Therapeutic Support Staff helping kids that have emotional, behavioral, or mental needs.
Exciting changes are coming my way! I'll be moving to California in the fall (more about this later in the post).
Laura is doing a series on the Enneagram and asked me to share some of my experience with the Enneagram as a Type One.
My introduction to the Enneagram was through my friend Katie (www.katiecarper.com). Katie posted on Instagram about “The Road Back to You” and the impact that the Enneagram had on her and her marriage. I am a nerd, and enthusiastic about learning as much as I can about the field of psychology so I dove into the Enneagram.
I took this online Enneagram assessment - http://www.exploreyourtype.com/details and found out that I am Type One. I read "The Road Back to You" and learned a lot more about the way that I function. This post will cover some of the things I’ve learned about myself, and some aspects of myself that I am working on. Other people who identify as Type Ones may see themselves in some of these areas as well.
Type One: What does that mean?
People who are Type One are typically categorized as perfectionists. We’re focused on the details. Perfectionists don’t rest well because there are always things to fix. I walk into a room and instantly I see everything that I would change. Enneagram Type Ones have a lot of self-discipline (don’t worry, I’ll talk about the inner critic in a little bit). Type Ones always see the ways we can improve, and try to help others better themselves as well. We do love and care a lot, but sometimes our love comes out sounding like criticism.
When I saw that result I was like, you don’t have to tell me that twice! Even before learning about the Enneagram I was aware of my need to address my perfectionism. For most of my life, I was ruled by a compulsion to achieve perfection. This way of living motivated me in some ways but also destroyed my self-confidence in many areas.
The Enneagram better helps me to understand my strengths and weaknesses so that I can grow into a healthier person.
As mentioned above, I struggle with perfectionism. As the cliche goes, being a perfectionist is my greatest strength and weakness. I am highly detail oriented, true to my word, and loyal. If I promise to do something it will get done. HOWEVER, if I am afraid of not being able to complete something perfectly I will procrastinate. Liiiiike on this post. For almost two months I've been 'working on' this post and there are two small paragraphs done.
Perfectionism motivates me to succeed. For the most part, I get good grades, finish tasks, participate in organizations and extracurriculars. I’m moving to California in the fall to start a doctor of psychology program. I am driven to do well and cannot wait to learn more about a field that I love.
But there are some downsides to my perfectionist side.
The Dark Side of Perfectionism
I am my own worst enemy. My inner critic is harsh and ALWAYS TALKING. I would pay so much money to anyone who could get that ugly voice to permanently shut up.
Anything I complete can be better. And I know the specific ways that I can improve. My inner critic rips me to shreds, telling me that if only I had made those improvements I would be worthy of love. That same internal voice tells me to hides my mistakes and failures. I hear lies that no one would love me if they really knew me, seeing every part of me. Being a perfectionist or a recovering perfectionist means that every time I mess up my mistakes are glaringly obvious to me.
Two and a half years ago I sat across from a new mentor who said, “you sound really angry about these things that are going on in your life”. I was really taken aback at the suggestion! Growing up I never allowed myself to feel or express ugly emotions. I repressed problems and heartache and unhappiness. Anger is an ‘ugly emotion’ in my mind. ‘Good girls’ aren’t angry. You suck it up and move on.
Me, an internal processor, thought about this suggestion for a few days. Introspection showed me that I really was angry and hurting. And repressed anger only grows resentment. Events out of my control make me angry but if I don’t deal with my emotions I’ll only become a bitter old lady.
Areas of Growth
To wrap up this whirlwind of information that I have tossed your way I want to share three big ways to grow for both me and my fellow ones.
- Feel and express emotions: If I only ever have my pleasant face on I won’t contribute anything useful to the world. I can be angry and sad and hurt and lonely and happy and confused and proud and loving. I need my confusion and dissenting opinions to push for change. My vulnerability and brokenness are critical for healthy relationships.
- Give myself grace: I’m still trying to remember that it is okay to make mistakes. This post does not have to be perfect. It’s okay if I forget to write my degree on my paperwork and it has to be signed again. The important part of failing is to get back up again and learn.
- Trusting others: Be vulnerable. Admit when I make mistakes. Believe the people who are close to me when they say that they love me. Be all in relationships even though I will get hurt and people might leave.
This post is not comprehensive by any means. The is a small sliver of what I have learned and your experience with the Enneagram will be different. If you are interested in hearing more of what I’ve learned from the Enneagram, click over to www.thelordismyteacher.com and sign up for my email list to get new posts straight to your inbox.
Thanks for sticking with me,