I recently took the Enneagram test as part of a company-wide retreat.
I sat across the table from a facilitator as they threw question after question at me. “How do you handle failure?” “Do you walk into a room and know where all of the exits are?” “Do you make lists?”
After 45 minutes of yes, no, and maybe so, I was labeled as Enneagram Type 3: The Achiever.
At first I sat tall as the facilitator read of some of the common qualities. Adaptable. Excelling. Driven. Yes, yes, yes!
But then they read a Enneagram Three’s qualities at their worst. Image-conscious. Success oriented. Workaholic. Competitive.
How do my children and husband see me? As a super-mom doing it all? As a stressed-out, shell of a woman running on empty?
Honestly, life has been a race lately. A race from deadline to deadline, a race from work to home, a race from lunch to dinner, a race from Fridays to Mondays.
And while this fast pace felt normal to me, I realize now that faster isn’t always more efficient or better.
Moving fast doesn’t allow for me to notice when I am overdoing it. It also doesn’t allow for the best version of myself: the adaptable, authentic mom driven towards dreams and goals that can inspire her kids that anything is possible.
Instead, moving fast was creating a gap between what was important to me. My “do more, move faster” mindset was opening the doors ever so slightly to qualities I don’t admire: competitive, covetous, obsessive.
And the end of the retreat, I walked away with insight about myself and the people I communicate with daily. The Enneagram test and resulting discussions broke down barriers and gave everyone new perspective on themselves and the relationships they hold dearest. It was a step in the right direction for the company as a whole.
And truly, it was the right step I needed. It was a sign that said, “slow down, they are watching and learning from you, mom.”