Getting Behind the Mask

  • Journey To Inner Wisdom

Categories: Enneagram , Journey Coaching , Life Coach , Life Coaching , Transitions to Transformation Program

In today’s world, this phrase has a double meaning! Not only do we hide behind our mask or persona – our personality, but over the last three years, we have had the added feature of a physical mask during the pandemic.

I don’t know about you, but taking off the physical mask in public places was a bit unnerving for me. It felt like I had removed a layer of protection not only from potential illness but somehow a barrier between another person and me. It really brought home the power of our personality as a mask. Taking off the physical mask left me feeling vulnerable. So too, does going behind our personality mask cause us to feel vulnerable?

Our personality is developed as a protection against threat, pain, or discomfort. We need to have our personalities. It is important and necessary and is our roadmap to maneuvering in our perceived world. However, we can also hide behind our personalities. How, then, do we get behind the mask?

I have found the Enneagram a great tool to get behind my personality and delve into some personal growth and development. I haven’t always liked what the Enneagram has revealed about me, but I work at being curious rather than judging myself when I am doing my self-awareness work.

People often categorize the Enneagram as a personality test similar to the Myers-Briggs, DISC, Keirsey Temperament Sorter, and True Colors, to name a few. All of these, including the Enneagram, give us insight into our personality. They answer the what of our personality.

The Enneagram goes beyond our personality to the why and how of our personality.
Personality or persona is a social mask that we create to protect us or conceal us from the world, pain, and hurt. It also keeps us from being vulnerable.

The Enneagram takes us behind the mask to our essence. The Enneagram becomes a road map where we begin to uncover our beliefs, blind spots, and shadows to break through into the magic of our essence. It is a tool that promotes self-awareness and personal growth. It can shed light on how we work, play, and interact in our relationships and illuminate family dynamics.

A word of warning, it is not enough to just take the Enneagram test if you are looking to go deeper. It takes some exploring, whether reading, workshops, retreats, etc., to get the full benefit of knowing what your Ennea type means. Otherwise, it becomes a misuse of the tool – a mere parlour game, which does a disservice to the richness that can be gained from working with the Enneagram.

Some participants voiced their concern that they don’t want to be put into a box. Well, we are already in a box, and the Enneagram is a tool to assist us in getting out of the box and into our essence.

“Awakening to our true self and moving toward this greater consciousness requires an enormous amount of intentional effort. We must become aware of our zombie-like state and then actively work against it in order to rise above it.” Beatrice Chestnut, The Enneagram Guide to Waking Up 2021.