Don’t Get Stuck on Your Enneagram Number

Stuck cat


I recently joined a Facebook Group for Enneagram Sevens. I want to learn about the struggles other Sevens have and compare them to my own. I want to dig into the differences among the Instinctual Variants – how Sevens show up differently depending on whether they are Sexual, Self-Preservation or Social dominant. I hope to commiserate where I can and encourage growth.

It’s been an interesting experience, to say the least.

Just yesterday, a group member posted about how bored she was with her life. She asked how others overcome boredom. EVERY person who has responded so far has shared the activities they use to alleviate boredom: listening to podcasts, planning trips online, listening to audio books, etc. Not one person, until me, said, “Hey, actually, boredom is a symptom of our fear. Instead of trying to distract ourselves away from it, let’s be present and aware so that we stop getting bored because we stop being afraid.”

This is the tricky part about the popular success of the Enneagram: People learn it half-way and then stop. Rather than using the Enneagram as intended—a tool for spiritual transformation—they find their number, plant a flag there and won’t budge from it. Their number becomes the latest fascinating facet of their identity.

Except that your Enneagram number isn’t who you are. It’s where you got stuck. As a tiny child, you came to a particular point along the Enneagram symbol and got stuck there. Your personality type shows you the other eight ways of being that you’ve lost easy access to, those aspects of your birthright as a human being that seem foreign to you but are just as valid.

To exult in and identify with your personality type makes about as much sense as being born with a congenital heart defect and announcing to each person you meet, “I’m a heart defect!”

Now, I fully believe that each type has a redemptive gift and a way of understanding God that are beautiful and needed in the world. God knew what personality type we would have, and he works within that limitation to bring about wonderful things in the earth.

But it’s a limitation – make no mistake. Your Enneagram number is not a place to stop, put up a tent and hang out at for the rest of your life. It’s the place where you learn about the Basic Fear that wounds you, the Basic Desire that drives you and how these enslave your free will until you know otherwise.

It’s still early in the new year, not too late to resolve to go deeper with the Enneagram in 2019. See this page for resources to help you. And feel free to email me with any questions or comments: Or leave them below!

Blessings on your journey.





  1. Alicia on February 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    This explanation is so helpful and freeing!
    It’s comforting to view my Type as a place to grow from, instead of feeling marked for life with a “scarlet number”. Thank you!

  2. hhavlick on February 6, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    And thank you for your comment, my friend! So glad this was helpful.

  3. Jessica on November 21, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    I love this! I just recently was reintroduced to my own. Number, 6w5. It is cringey to look at my own anxious and contradicting personality in black and white. I started to feel embarrassed. But I also know that I am learning to grow and be stronger and my walk with the Lord has been a HUGE part of accepting myself, and others, with Grace. True Godly grace. I don’t want to be “stuck” l, I want to recognize my own problems and patterns and learn to grow through them. My first test was 6 years ago. The most recent showed real growth as I could see how I’m learning to use all the strengths to navigate life, not just my default ones.

  4. hhavlick on November 21, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    Thanks for commenting, Jessica, and I’m so glad you don’t want to be “stuck”! And how wonderful that the Enneagram is part of your transformation journey. It is a grace-filled one, for sure. All the best to you!

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