Enneagram & Sustainable Living

If you are anything like me our obsession with personality tests started at a young age with quizzes in teen magazines. Since then I have graduated to being obsessed with Enneagram! Enneagram helps us see our motivations and tendencies. We had Gayle, an Enneagram coach collaborate with us to figure out which sustainable practice best serves each type and Mother Earth! If you don't know your Enneagram type here is a quick quiz to take. 

Type 1- the Reformer: Ones live with a fear of being a bad person, being evil or corrupt.  They respond by being good, having balance, and living with integrity.  Honestly, I could see a Type 1 taking on any number of these sustainable living practices, but for Type 1, I chose organizing events to raise awareness.  Type 1s are very justice-minded, and they think in black & white terms; for them, things are either right or wrong.  They are great organizers, and given that they care so much about justice and doing the right thing, being an event organizer is right up their alley. 


Type 2 - the Helper:  Twos live with a fear of not being loved as they are. They respond by being very likeable, generous, warm and loving.  They give love to receive love and make themselves more lovable and acceptable to others.  The sustainable practice I chose for type 2 is Cooking plant-based meals.  Type 2s are naturally driven to serve and nurture others, and they would enjoy the process of working hard to prepare and share a meal with someone they love.  


Type 3 - the Achiever: Threes live with a fear that they are worthless, or without value apart from their achievements. They respond to their need to achieve by being motivated and goal-oriented. They are big on efficiency so waste-free things are perfect for them because you can work hard at using the least amount of plastic! Their reward is showing off all the fruits of your labor.

Type 4 - Individualist: Fours live with the fear that they do not have personal significance or an identity.  They respond to this fear by being deep, expressive, unique, authentic and seek out meaning in what they do and see.  They feel they are fundamentally flawed and don’t really belong anywhere, so they struggle with envy of others and how they can easily fit into the world.  The sustainable practice I chose for Type 4 is mending their own clothes, especially if they can put a little bit of extra special flair to it.  This would allow the Type 4 to be expressive, creative and unique while helping the planet. 


Type 5 - the Investigator: Fives live with the fear of being helpless, useless, or overwhelmed.  They respond to this fear by withdrawing into their mind and being very objective, analytical, and observant.  They are often very inquisitive, economical, studious and self-sufficient, and can be known as the “expert” on a subject they’ve taken interest in.  The sustainable practice I chose for Type 5 is installing solar panels.  A type 5 may even want to do the research on how to do this him/herself, and they would be happy about the economical aspect to doing this as well.  Any excuse to gain knowledge and use their incredible minds is always something a Type 5 can embrace. 


Type 6 - the Loyalist: Sixes live with the fear of being without support and guidance, or being left out on their own. They respond to this fear by being very prepared for whatever could happen, loyal, hardworking, community-oriented, reliable and engaging.  Type sixes are most likely some of the most courageous people you know, because they are always aware of potential threats and they go ahead with life anyway.  The sustainable practice I chose for Type 6 is shopping local.  Since 6s are very community-minded, they enjoy supporting their direct community instead of going with the easier big-box shopping. Their fear of the community losing its small businesses can motivate them to shop in a less convenient way for the greater good  of the community.


Type 7 - the Enthusiast: Sevens live with a fear of being trapped in emotional pain or of being deprived.  They respond to this fear by being adventurous, cheerful, noncommittal, and lovers of all possibilities. Type sevens are joyful, think on their toes, and love to experience new things - they have more FOMO than other types.  Because of this, the sustainable practice I chose for Type 7 is driving less and biking more.  This would give the seven a chance to plan out fun new routes to get places, and would always give them the adventure they seek.  Helping out the earth while allowing a Type 7 to explore and do something new is the perfect way to get a 7 to get on board with a more sustainable lifestyle.  


Type 8 - the Challenger: Eights live with a fear of being harmed or controlled by others.  They respond to this fear by being powerful, charismatic, strong leaders.  Type 8s have a hard time with vulnerability, but really care about protecting those who have less power than them, and they are extremely justice-minded.  They care a great deal about controlling their environment and oftentimes those around them.  The sustainable practice I chose for Type 8 is attending rallies and fundraisers.  When 8s are healthy, they can be outstanding leaders and encourage others to support their causes.  


Type 9 - the Peacemaker: Nines live with a fear of loss, separation, or conflict with those they love.  Because they so value their own peace of mind and the peace of others, they tend to be very laid-back, empathetic, and go-with-the-flow.  Avoiding conflict is important to them, so they often choose to go along with what others want, rather than getting their own way, or even speaking up about what they would want. The sustainable practice I chose for Type 9 is planting a pollinator garden.  Not only can they enjoy the cozy zen of their beautiful garden, but they can help other beings do their job, and enjoy knowing that they are making the world a better, more peaceful place in the process.


We want to thank our friend and Enneagram coach Gayle Lessmann for her expertise and contribution to this blog! You can find her here