Creating Control Among Chaos with the Enneagram

As the election and the conclusion of 2020 draw near, so many of us are struggling to find a sense of control in the middle of the chaos that this year has become. During a year where the majority of us had no choice but to be at home with our thoughts during quarantine, it has offered an opportunity for deeper self reflection. And in this space, therein also lies the opportunity for a deeper understanding of what you can control - and where the source of this control resides: within.

Although we may not be able to control a global pandemic, social unrest, and an election (though we can all try by voting!), we can control our reactions, emotional state, and resilience. While leading a joyful, mindful, and balanced life can accomplish internal control, it also requires practice and resources. One resource that I have found useful is the Enneagram. Understanding my Enneagram type allowed me to recognize how I best gain and maintain inner control.

What is an Enneagram?

The Enneagram is a system of personality types named after its structure below.



Enneagrams are designated by numbers one through nine. While each person can only have one Enneagram type, it is possible to embody aspects of all of the numbers. You can take the original test (or a free one) and receive a result that details your number alignment. You might be skeptical about how a number can tell you anything about yourself, but I was amazed at how true the results of my test felt to me. As a result, I do feel the Enneagram is a useful tool to better understand myself and engage with others.


The Enneagram and Living a JMB Life

Enneagram results list prominent traits of each number and explain fears, desires, motivations, instincts, and more. I have found that one of the most important steps in working toward living a joyful, mindful, and balanced life is being self-aware. Recognizing and understanding yourself, your reactions, and your thought processes is crucial for self-awareness. The Enneagram can reveal some things we do or think, but are not consciously aware of. This is what makes the Enneagram such a helpful tool to navigate life, interpersonal relationships, and introspection.

I am an Enneagram Type 7 - the Enthusiastic Visionary. As a 7, I have a natural tendency to focus on what brings joy, happiness and pleasure in life and generally have an attitude of gratitude and optimistic focus forward. Sharing the perspectives and tools that have helped me work through the challenges in my life in the hope that someone else will benefit from them is something that I love focusing my energy and attention upon. So, starting JMB Living is truly a great fit in my life.

My quest for new experiences and forward momentum as a Type 7 can sometimes present a challenge in my mindful living journey. I can easily lose interest in things and if something no longer holds the same excitement it once did, I could easily “move on” before fully appreciating a situation or learning all the lessons that may be present for me within it. By knowing and acknowledging this natural tendency, I can remind myself to dig deeper to find the resolve to stick with something when I find myself becoming bored.  

I also find it easier to be present with joy than to experience pain or suffering. This is where a practice of yoga and mindfulness has helped me so very, very much over the years and I am ever so grateful for the practice, as it helped me “breathe through” and be present during some very tough and painful experiences. 

Another area that can be a challenge for a Type 7 (self included) is in recognizing the tendency to assume I know what other people are going to say. Sadly, I am also quick to criticize others for this same fault. Recognizing this tendency, I need to strive to focus on slowing down my desire to jump in and comment in an effort to be more open to listening and understanding from the other person’s perspective as opposed to solely my own viewpoint. I’ll be honest, that the skill of mindful listening is something that I need to continue to actively and intentionally practice on an ongoing basis.

The wealth of personal information that the Enneagram provides lends to how your number relates to your conflict responses, behaviors from childhood, and how you process emotion. I recommend applying your Enneagram results when examining your lifestyle and behavior to look for areas for improvement and personal wells of solace. We can gain control in our lives by understanding these aspects of ourselves and using this understanding to control how we navigate through the chaos of external conflicts.

JMB Living for Your Enneagram

Now that you know how to use the Enneagram to have a JMB life, on the flip side you can also find out how JMB Living can work with your Enneagram! The planner journal that we are launching in the next few weeks has so many facets that you will find there is an aspect of it that caters to each Enneagram type. I have had so many questions over the last few weeks about the journal, I thought it might be fun to explore what is inside in this manner. Scroll to your number and see how the JMB Living Journal can work for your type.


Enneagram type - The Reformer 

Planners are already essentials for ones and the JMB Living Journal has all the normal functionality you would expect to find in a planner. There is sufficient planning space for your daily schedules, yet you will also find prompts that are organized and structured, guiding you to explore the facets of yourself you may be tempted to overlook with your focus on facts, precision and clarity.


Enneagram type - Helper

Being a giver can take a lot of emotional energy and overpower individual needs at times, so a two can benefit from the JMB Living Journal by taking time everyday to themself to journal and reflect about their own emotions and experiences. Additionally, if you are a two, you would benefit from the prompt for a daily commitment to self-care. This can encompass a wide variety of actions from simply taking a walk or remembering to drink sufficient water, to a reminder to yourself that sometimes allowing others to do things for themselves is okay and even beneficial.


Enneagram type -Achiever

Threes are success-oriented and focused and the JMB Living Journal has a holistic approach that can cater to the needs of an attentive three. Each week, the journal features a new mindfulness challenge prompt that exercises a three’s natural drive. The journal also has prompts and shares ideas that can help encourage balance in the life of a three, as they may have a tendency to overstretch or work too much.


Enneagram type -Individualist

Fours feel very deeply, and the JMB Living Journal provides a space for those emotions to be expressed. The prompts encouraging a daily recognition of beauty noticed and what brought joy, will be appreciated by people like fours who seek meaning, depth and authenticity. It will also provide daily space within the journal to foster their expressive nature and emotional intelligence.


Enneagram type -Investigator

The individualistic personality of a five needs an outlet that encourages recognizing and sharing their emotions instead of conceding to their isolating nature. The JMB Living Journal is practical and helpful in the everyday planning and organization a five would prefer. And the mindfulness challenges and prompts will allow a five to indulge their emotions and introspective nature in a healthy way.


Enneagram type - Loyalist

The desire to feel secure and protected is a driving factor for a six. They are cautious and focus on preparing for what could go wrong. The planner functionality within the JMB Living Journal will be helpful for a six to build sufficient structure into their daily life to help them gain confidence and feel in control. Making daily lists of gratitude and abundance, as well as working with affirmations can also foster self confidence and the feelings of security desired by a six .

Enneagram type - Enthusiast

Sevens are dreamers and the JMB Living Journal has a tangible dream steps feature that facilitates the completion of dreams by prompting relevant questions and steps on how to maintain momentum for your specific dreams. Sevens will also be drawn to the inspiring images, quotes, poems and short stories that are sprinkled throughout the journal.

Enneagram type - Challenger

Eights need no encouragement to say (or write) what they think, but the JMB Living Journal has a habit tracker that eights can use to evaluate their practices and efficacy in work, relationships, and internally. The desire to protect oneself and be in control of the course of their life is crucial to an eight. A regular practice of mindful living facilitated by the weekly challenges and daily prompts can help an eight prepare for and breathe through the circumstances in life beyond their control.


Enneagram type - Peacemaker

Being an empath can be tiring and as peace-makers, nines need a safe space to vent and manage their own feelings. The JMB Living Journal’s writing spaces and prompts are a built-in check for nines to feel their own emotions.

No matter where you are on your mindful living journey, having tools and resources all in one place to plan, reflect and explore your inner world can help you make sense of how you respond to the outside world from your source of power that is within.


The Enneagram

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