I’m a 4 on the Enneagram with a strong 3 wing. Enneageeks know what this means. It means I’m in touch with my moods, my feelings, my thoughts more than the average person (the 4 side) which can sometimes be a pain. Being a 4 means you can only “create” when the weather is good. But I’ve got a 3 wing, which means I need to succeed, I need to get work done and I need for that work to be better than anybody else’s (3 = need to succeed). As you can imagine, these sides war with each other.
Here’s a bit of my internal dialogue in a given day:
My 4 personality: My stomach hurts. And I’m feeling like a loser. I’ll write later.
My 3 wing: You’ll write now, you wimp. How else will we win?
My 4 personality: But I don’t want to. I’m torn up inside and I’m pretty sure it’s because of my childhood.
My 3 wing: That’s gold, man. Write about that stuff. Write about the pain. We could win awards for that sentimental crap!
And on and on it goes.
After a while, though, the 4 personality really does become a chore. It’s like having a moody artist living inside you. And the tension with the 3 wing always cracking the whip is enough to drive you crazy.
So here’s what I’ve learned to do about it: I ignore them.
I honestly never knew I could, and maybe it just took getting a little older to develop the ability. But I’ve discovered I don’t have to obey my moods at all. If I suddenly don’t feel like writing, I just let the feeling pass as I sit down to write. If my stomach hurts, I ignore it (I doubt it’s terminal) and if I feel like a loser, I ignore that feeling, too.
I’m learning to do more and think less.
That said, I’m a big fan of thinking, but there really are some of us who do too much of it.
The best medicine for an Enneagram 4 is to ignore their moods and thoughts and sit down to do the work regardless of how they feel.
And I’ve found something to be true in this process: The work is healing.
The thoughts and moods are never healing, but just accomplishing something, just finishing that chapter or researching that data and getting it down on paper is satisfying. It’s as though my rich imagination is the seed and the soil but the only thing my body can use for sustenance is the food that grows in the work.
You ever spent too much time in your mind? Have you tried ignoring your mind?
The best way for me to ignore my mind is to work. Quicker than a pill, the work usually helps me forget anything I was worried about only moments before.
I hope this helps.
(These are not sponsored links, but in case anybody wants to know more about the Enneagram)