Listen to the episode: Which Enneagram Am I?
#13: We’re chatting with Sarajane Case all about the enneagram today! Sarajane is an enneagream expert, author, speaker, and podcaster. She’s the creator of the wildly popular Instagram account @enneagramandcoffee, now @sarajanecase, with over half a million followers. In our conversation, we get into:
— Steps to take to determine your own enneagram type and how to dive deeper into understanding your type and what that means for self-awareness and how you relate to the world.
— Sarajane’s advice for each enneagram type on what can create lack of motivation, and how to re-energize yourself.
— How knowing your enneagram and your partner’s can help you understand each other and how you each move through the world better.
— Enneagram subtypes, levels of health, and the importance of understanding which types you move to in stress and in rest.
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Quick Links from the Episode:
And (because I know you’ll ask) here’s a free Enneagram personality test to get you started.
Which enneagram am I? Episode Transcription:
So in today’s episode, we are interviewing and chatting with Sarajane Case. She’s an expert in the Enneagram, and if you’re not familiar with the Enneagram, we get all into this personality test. She does a great explanation of what it is and how it can be useful in your life.
But it is really amazing in terms of understanding yourself better as well as how you relate to the world, how you relate to others. And we go, I felt like Sarajane took me to church this episode. It was like a therapy session. I learned some things about myself. I learned some things about my partner and I have a couple of takeaways and little pieces of homework that I’ve written down for myself based on our chat. And I hope that you guys will take away some things and some lessons as well. And a few pieces that you can apply to your daily life.
In this interview, Sarajane does share several different resources and you can find all of them in the show notes.
Sarajane Case is an author speaker and podcaster based out of Asheville, North Carolina. She works with people through online courses, in-person workshops, and business masterminds to use the Enneagram as a tool for self-exploration, expression, and entrepreneurship. She has been featured in publications like Apartment Therapy, The Every Girl, and more. Sarajane also runs her incredibly popular and witty Instagram account, formerly known as Enneagram and Coffee, which you can now find under her personal brand and name @SarajaneCase where she’s got over half a million followers. She authored the book, The Honest Enneagram, which you can order wherever books are sold.
And with that, let’s welcome Sarajane to the What The Fab podcast.
E: Hello, Sarajane. Thank you so much for joining me on the What The Fab podcast today.
SJ: Thank you so much for having me I’m pumped.
E: I am so excited to chat with you today about Enneagram and how you became an expert and all that good stuff. You and I actually met just about a year ago at alt summit, which was literally a week before the world shut down. And it just feels like a lifetime ago because things are so, so different, but you and I were both delivering talks at Alt Summit. Our talks were back to back and so we were able to just connect afterward and chat. And so it’s so nice to see you.
SJ: Yeah, you too. And I was telling at least before, it feels like it’s been three years. I cannot believe it’s only been like a year. We’ve lived a lifetime.
E: Literally. Yeah, it feels like a lifetime ago because things are so different. As I said, I’m excited to dive in with you today. You have such an interesting background and area of expertise and so of course the audience that follows you over on Instagram where you’re over half a million people strong. They are obviously familiar with The Enneagram and what that is, but for listeners who might not have heard of it, or it might be new for them, could you give just a quick overview of what Enneagram is and how it’s useful?
SJ: If you’ve never heard of the Enneagram before, you can compare it to something like maybe the Myers-Briggs or even astrology where there are these different personality types and they each have basic traits.
The big difference with the Enneagram is first, you can recognize it by the numbers. There are nine different types and they’re each a different number one through nine, and each one goes deeper into not just what you do, but into why you do it. So it takes us a little bit further into this personality that we’ve developed. And essentially it’s the idea that we all learned that we have to be something in order to be okay.
So some of us learned that we have to be successful in order to be loved. Some of us learned that we had to be helpful in order to be loved. I learned that I had to be happy in order to be loved.
So there are nine distinct ways in which we tried to earn acceptance, approval, success, basically okayness, and the Enneagram really reveals intricacies into how we think and how we operate, and how that impacts our life.
E: That is so interesting. Thank you for that overview. And so what would you recommend is the best way for someone to figure out their own Enneagram? I know there are a lot of online quizzes out there. But, I’ve read some of your posts that you recommend goes a step further than just an online quiz.
SJ: Yeah, I think, you know, you can take an online quiz and it’ll probably give you two or three results. And a lot of times what people do is they just accept the answer and then they read the type description and they’re like, “Hmm, I kind of can see this.”, and they don’t really feel that deep connection to the Enneagram.
And so when that happens, you’ve been mistyped because once you find your type, you’re uncomfortable. It feels like someone read your journal. It feels very exposing. And so if you feel a little bit neutral to the Enneagram, keep looking. The best way to keep looking is by reading type descriptions on enneagraminstitute.com. And I really recommend reading through all nine enneagram types and see which one makes you feel the most uncomfortable.
Or you can read a good book. I have the book, The Honest Enneagram. You can grab my book and read through it and you’ll probably see yourself pretty quickly.
E: Yeah that’s exactly what happened to my husband only as I was doing this deep dive in reading your book, I was like, “Well, I need to know what your Enneagram type is so that I can read about it.”
He did a quiz and it said that he was a seven. He was reading and he identified with some of this stuff, but not all of it. And I was like, okay, well what was like your second highest. That you scored and it was a one and he read that and he was like, Oh yeah, like I feel seen when I read that.
Are there any particular online quizzes that you do recommend to kind of get people started?
SJ: Yeah, there is one on the enneagraminstitute.com and that’s a good place to start. There’s also one called EQ nine. It’s the most accurate, but it’s also pretty pricey. I recommend it, but you have to really want to spend a little bit of money on it.
Usually, I recommend that one as if people have maybe been on the typing journey for a while and they’re like. I really just want someone to tell me what my type is. That’s the one I say, try that out.
E: Perfect. And for listeners, I will link to both of those on the show notes.
And so Sarajane, what type are you?
SJ: I’m a type seven. The enthusiast.
E: I love that. And I totally see that.
SJ: I’m like, “Let’s have a good time and I want to be happy, please. Thank you.”
E: “Please. Thank you.” I love that. I am a three with a two wing.
I read the description. I’m like, “Yup. I’m like the achiever.” I base a lot of my happiness on success and achieving and setting goals, but we’ll get more into that. Cause I have some specific questions around it after reading your book, but could you also give a little overview about what subtypes and wings are? Because those were things that were kind of new to me and I didn’t really know about before I started to do a deep dive.
SJ: If you look at the Enneagram symbol, it’s a circle and around the outside of the circle, you have all the nine types. So on either side of your number, there are two other numbers. For type three, let’s use that as an example, you have numbers two and four, which are your wings.
You can access both wings. Some people who are type three, feel very balanced with their wings. Some feel like they’re not using them at all. And others of us, we kind of lean more toward one or the other and it’s kind of like a flavoring. So you pull in, um, skills or personality traits from that other type, or potentially even have a little bit of that motivation as well.
And it just kind of changes the way your type structure shows up a little bit.
So a three, wing two is going to be a little bit more hospitable, a little more community-minded. Whereas the three, wing four is going to be a little bit more leaning toward artistic, maybe a little more emotive than a typical three would be. And they’re a little bit more solitary and independent. You’re still a dominant type three, but you just have a little bit more of those types brought in.
And then subtypes. So subtypes, they’re my favorite part of the Enneagram at this point. Each type has the same subtypes.
You have sexual or one-to-one. Which is just like, we like intense one-to-one connection. They make a lot of eye contact. They like intense interactions.
Then we have self-preservation. They’re really warm. They like being cozy. They like being safe. They like having a strong network of people around them.
Then we have our social, which are really aware of like where they are in the social hierarchy. Your type structure operates in a way that preserves your place in social standing.
These are all just the ways that we’ve learned to survive. Every single type has all three of them. But usually, you have one that’s dominant, one that’s repressed, and one that’s secondary. This is just another way to add flavor to your type.
So a social three wing two is going to look very different than a self-preservation three wing four.
I love that about the Enneagram, because it adds so much complexity and it nuanced to who we are versus just putting us into this box and saying, you’re this thing in this box.
The Enneagram is like, here are all these different flavors of being a person and guess what? You don’t have to be those things you’re allowed to be something else you’re allowed to step out of that.
E: That’s so interesting. And yet it’s like all these different kinds of nuances and you could meet someone who is the same type as you, but it could present in different ways.
When I was reading about the subtypes, I was like, “Well, I want to be the sexual one.”. Because that sounds sexy, but I’m pretty sure that I am the social one. Especially given my job and being an influencer. You’re saying the social hierarchy and all the external validation of posting my life on Instagram and my blog and getting likes and everything.
It was so funny. I’m like” Okay. Yeah. I think this definitely makes sense.”
How did you discover and get into the Enneagram and become such an expert in it?
SJ: Honestly, it started with my own typing journey. I was a coach when I found it. I was helping people to prevent and recover from burnout.
And someone introduced me to the Enneagram randomly at a potluck that I went to and I took the test and I was mistyped and it took me forever. It took me two years to type myself, which was like, I wouldn’t share it.I love the journey that I went on, but, and honestly, to be frank for you who are listening, I read type seven.
The day I took the quiz and thought that feels like me. And then for some reason questioned that answer, I think because seven seemed cooler or something that seems fun until you get into it. Then you get to the truth and it’s not so much like, “Oh, there’s some stuff in there.”
Anyway, I overlooked it and kept searching. For two years, I searched and through that process, as I was coaching and learning about the Enneagram, I started to realize how effective this was as a tool for growth and really acknowledging, not just, like with I’m working with people who are burning out and I’m able to much more quickly access what their motivations are.
It’s like, “Okay, a three who’s burning out. You’re burning out because you believe that you have to keep, you cannot stagnate. You have to keep going. You have to keep moving up.”.
Whereas the seven who’s burning out. They’re burning out because they just do not know how to sit still and sit with their feelings.
So if we can get to the root of it, which the Enneagram offered, then you’re like, “Oh, all the seven has to do is going to have to sit with their feelings. And all the three has to do is learn to figure out what makes them happy. Not just like where they want to be going.”.
When I started doing that, I started to bring it into my work a little more here and there. And eventually, I was all in. I have to go. I went and got certified for the first time and then just kept moving.
E: That’s amazing and like such a great overlap. It makes so much sense for the type of work that you were doing.
It’s almost kind of like the secret key that you unlocked so that you could go even deeper with the clients that you were working with. I love that. That’s really cool for someone that has figured their Enneagram type. What are some things or some steps that they can take and what can they do if they want to dive a little bit deeper?
SJ: I think the first step is just looking at the levels of health. When you learn your type, go in and just find out what the low levels of health for this number, the middle and the high levels of health. And then objectively assess where you’re at.
Most of us are average to low levels. So don’t feel any kind of way about it because the reality of learning the Enneagram is that you’re realizing that you’re swimming in this. Most of us have learned that we’ve believed that this is what a good person is. Our whole lives I thought good people are positive people. And then learning I need people who helped me to feel my sadness and people who are angry at injustices in the world. They’re important. That’s an important role. I sometimes need to be angrier and express more of those emotions.
That’s the first thing is really look at the levels of health. Then also start to read the other numbers. That’s going to help you so much when it comes to interacting with other people.
Most of the time we read our type and then we move on. But really a lot of the magic is in reading the types of people that you’re close to. I’m getting to understand, they’re motivated by these things. Just like your husband. He’s motivated by being a good person. So when he’s fixated on something that feels really tedious to you as a three, because a three tends to want to prefer efficiency. And so they want to move their spouse.
And ones, they want details. They want things to be done perfectly. So when you start to notice, okay, he’s really fixating on these details. And you can remember his worth is tied up in whether or not he’s doing a good enough job. And his inner voice, are ones, they have this really harsh inner critic. They really can always see how they could have done better.
So that offers so much more compassion. Whereas most of us before the Enneagram, we orient around our people who are close to us. Why are you doing that? The way that you’re doing it, you should clearly be orienting the world the way that I’m orienting in the world. You’re never going to get where you’re going. If you, you know, for three it’s like, how are you going to succeed? If you keep focusing on these details. And so we start to really notice where we’re missing each other a little bit.
E: That is hilarious. Because with like the one and the three, so we just recently moved to our first house.
And so we’re like in the thick of the process of redecorating and some small construction jobs and we just did my office. My husband is like the measure five times cut once type of person. And I’m like, “This is so inefficient. It’s going to look great. Just throw it up on the wall.”
It’s so funny, but that is such a great point to take a step back and understand that we’re, we’re different types. So we see things a little bit differently of what the right way is to do things or the right way to do a process, so to kind of be able to take a step back and, and appreciate that balance too, because oftentimes he will catch mistakes that I don’t catch beforehand because I’m so caught up in like doing things efficiently and quickly.
Then vice versa sometimes, like when he’s kind of stuck in this like analysis paralysis, I can kind of give him a little kick in the butt and be like, “All right, let’s go, let’s make this decision. Let’s do it.” So that’s a really, really interesting point.
SJ: I love hearing you say that because in corporate environments, a lot of times I’ll do corporate trainings and I like to pair threes and ones up. Like if I could put a team together, one of the teams I would put together is a three in one team because the three is going to keep the one moving forward. They’re going to be like progress over perfection. And the one’s going to proofread everything and make sure things are going out well. And I think that’s a really beautiful combination of things.
E: haven’t even thought about thinking through Enneagram types and in a corporate setting and a team structure. That’s really cool.
In your book, The Honest Enneagram, that’s obviously an amazing resource for anyone who wants to do a deeper dive into understanding their own Enneagram type, their partners, family, and friends.
At a first glance, I thought I’m a three. So I would just read this one chapter about being a three. But then I realized like, well, I want to read about my wings. I learned from your book, how you can move into different types based on when you’re feeling in stress or unrest. So I read about those, read about my husband’s with that lens, and ended up reading every single chapter.
And like you said, it’s a great way to not only understand yourself but people close to you.
Can you talk a little bit more about that idea of moving into different types based on rest or stress and maybe give some examples?
SJ: This is another really cool thing about the Enneagram is it is kind of moving. Iit’s living as a system. So each type when they’re stressed out, or maybe when they’re trying to live out of a different space and can cause them to get stressed out. I guess a seven sometimes try to live as a one.
Like I’ll try to be perfect and get everything done and stay really productive and stick to schedules and routines. And then sometimes that just really stresses me out. So there’s some element that this can cause stress, but also if I noticed that I’m behaving like the lower levels of health of a type one, which can be kind of being critical or judgmental or having the really strong sense of like black and white, right and wrong. Then that’s a signal that something’s not right. I may need a little bit of self-care.
And so I like to make the joke that like with for my husband. If I notice that the mustard’s in the wrong place in the fridge, then I’m like, “Oh, I need to take care of myself.”. Like something’s going on here because I’m really upset about this very small thing.
And then the flip side of that is that we have this number that we go to and rest. Like when we feel safe, when we feel comfortable, or when we need to intentionally infuse a little bit of self-care into our lives, we move to another number.
And so for me as a seven, that’s down to type five, which looks like solitude, which is a little bit counterintuitive. As a seven I want to be busy. I want to be around other people like high energy and moving into this five space where I can take care of myself. I want to deepen my knowledge instead of just having lots of little bits of knowledge, about a lot of things, I’m going to go really deep into one thing.
The other element of five for me is it’s again, that solitude, that boundaries, managing resources. Those are all things that sevens need desperately. Now the cool thing about that is for fives those are things in their natural skillsets, but they tend to overuse and they move to type eight when they’re on rest.
And that looks like taking command, taking action, um, you know, putting all of that, thinking into behavior. Because our aides are very action-oriented. They’re very driven. They feel very strong. They’re embodied and our fives, they can be a little bit disconnected from their bodies.
So all of these numbers connect in these beautiful ways. I like that. You mentioned when you read the book and you started getting into your wings and then you looked at your lines and even our subtypes, depending on the subtype of your number can sometimes look like another number. So by the time we take all of these elements in. We’re really connected to almost every single number on the chart.
One of my favorite teachers, Dr. Jerome, talks about how that’s not how the brain works, but we have quicker access points to each of these numbers. So really the idea is like a whole person has every number within us. We just access some of them much faster.
E: So interesting. It’s so intricate and I love the perspective and what you were saying about like, when you notice move.
You are kind of moving into that different type of stress taking a step back and think clearly I need some self-care, not my husband messed up and put the mustard in the wrongs. Which I think is obviously really easy to do to kind of like push that blame or ownership onto someone else because it’s a little bit harder to take a step back and look at yourself and think like, well, what do I need at this moment?
So that’s really cool. I felt like when I was reading your book. Some of the concepts reminded me and kind of overlapped with Strengths Finders. Have you taken that quiz? I’m sure you have being a coach and working in corporate setting.
SJ: I haven’t taken it, but I do have a friend who teaches it. So I’m slightly familiar with it.
E: I feel like in every corporate job I’ve had, we had to do a team exercise where we took Strengths Finders. But, what I like about it is that it focuses on your strengths. So instead of being like, here are the areas that you need to improve and work on this. It’s like, here’s what you’re great at how can you lean into that in your personal life, your relationships, your work life.
For me, I’m horrible with numbers. Like I’m not great with analytics. But I can be efficient AF I’m great with writing and like the creative side. So I really like lean into that and then find other people that can support me and kind of build a team around that so that I’m not like spinning my wheels. Like I’m never going to be a mathematician. I’m never going to be like a great accountant and I can try as hard as I want but like it’s just not going to happen for me.
So why not take that time and energy and focus on your strengths rather than. You know what needs to be fixed or what’s wrong with me and just kind of making sure that you’re self-aware and keeping it healthy.
And I liked the concept that you talked about of discipline versus curiosity. So I was wondering if you could expand on that a little bit.
SJ: I think most of us have believed our whole lives and we’ve been fed and trained our whole lives to just discipline ourselves into growth. You should just be able to wake up at 6:00 AM and like go for a three mile run. And if you’re not doing that, then there’s something wrong with you.
When I approach growth with people that I’m working with and through the book and through the Enneagram, it’s really about pausing for a second and getting underneath why their behaviors are happening and ask us better, ask ourselves better questions.
I think a good example I use in the book is for type nines. A lot of times, with the Enneagram there’s the language used that I wouldn’t use with myself or with someone else. One of those words that get used for type nines is a lazy or like slothful, which I would never call someone and I would never say. And there we get underneath that though, if we’re going to explore that with curiosity, like, what’s the signifier that a type nine would be considered lazy as possible. And that’s because a lot of our type nines, they numb out.
So they like to focus on, they like to just kind of chill out, distract themselves. So that might look like watching a lot of TV scrolling through their phone or shutting out the world a little bit and not taking on too much. But the reality here is that underneath that they’re one of the most receptive types. So they take in the energy of everyone around them. Our nines are kind of constantly aware of how other people are behaving and minimizing themselves.
On a daily basis. They don’t express their opinions very often. They don’t interject in conversations. They tend to kind of hold in their anger. And so living life as a type nine is pretty exhausting unless they’ve done some work. So at the end of the day, they’re just tired. And they just need a break.
We don’t realize, that gets so weirdly labeled when the reality is they’re just trying to take a break. And so if they want to change behavior, if they want to not watch TV, all night long or whatever, they want to be more connected to the beauty of life. It starts with being more opinionated. It starts with interjecting a little bit more. It starts with creating boundaries. It’s not about like, setting your alarm to 5:00 AM and go for a run because that’s not going to get to the root of the issue. It’s going to be another path to shame because if we try to take the path of discipline, we say, “Oh, I’m going to set the alarm for 5:00 AM. I’m going to go for a run.”. We hit snooze. And that’s just evidence that we are in fact lazy. It’s just feeding the monster that we’re speaking to ourselves. But if we go in and get curious and we go underneath it and we’re like, “Oh, I’m giving too much of my energy away to other people.”. Well, then we can actually start to make some shifts and changes that will last.
E: I love that. Uh, well, I felt very seen reading your book when I read the chapter about the type three. I’m just going to read a little snippet of it, cause it just resonated so much with me. So you said,
“I believe that the hardest thing about being a type three is the reality that there is never an endpoint to all of this. Striving every level of success only reveals a new level to work toward when this is your standard of self-worth. You find yourself on a constant race to the top, eventually for a lot of type threes, there’s a realization that there is no actual top. At this point, they wake up to the reality that success is in how you feel about your life and that it’s time to start enjoying life where they are now.”
So that absolutely rings true for me. And I have had this realization and I’m constantly trying to remind myself that happiness and success are not destinations. It’s just like this continuous moving target.
So, do you have any advice for how I and my fellow threes can enjoy being in the here and the now, even though we’re kind of wired to constantly be striving for the next thing?
SJ: There are two things I usually say to our type threes. Daniella port wrote a really great book called the desire map, which is all about, setting goals based on how you want to feel. And so for threes, you guys are great at goal setting, but sometimes you aren’t so great with knowing how you feel or even keeping your feelings in mind. It’s kind of like, you can be a little bit like work robots. Like treating yourself like you’re machines and that’s amazing the corporate people who hire you. But it’s not so amazing for you.
So with that in mind, thinking about your six-month goals, your five-year goals, those big goals. Setting them as feelings. And then the things that you achieve are the things that will create that feeling for you. So if I want to feel peaceful, will this goal that I have in mind helped me feel peaceful or is it going to take peace away?
The second thing that I recommend for our threes is a daily walk where you’re completely unplugged. The reason is sometimes you guys have a little bit of a hard time feeling your feelings and even really acknowledging that maybe you’re having a negative emotion or knowing what you want or what you like. There’s a little bit of a disconnect because you can be so focused on where you’re going, that you forget to notice where you’re at.
And so that daily walk, which sounds like torture to a lot of the threes in my life, is the thing that will help you to feel those feelings, which is going to give you the data that you need to make the decisions that will feed your soul.
E: Great advice. My husband and I just actually recently started doing what we’re calling no cell Sundays because, at the beginning of the year, I just released a podcast episode about this, I was just feeling weighed down by all of the like notifications and emails and dings and pings.
It was to the point where I was like, if my phone lights up one more time, I’m going to throw it across the room. Like I can’t even look at it. So we were thought to just try one day of putting our phone away in a drawer the entire day.
It sounds kind of hard. It sounds a little bit scary, but let’s just do it. And it felt so freeing and we’ve made it a day or a weekly thing on Sundays. But I love the idea of daily going for a walk where you’re unplugged and I mean and like you say, it does sound a little bit like, ”Hmm I won’t be being efficient during that time. I won’t be productive. Like, what am I going to do walking around?”. But I think once I start doing it, I’ll probably really enjoy it. So I am going to take a note of that. Thank you.
SJ: And I want to say negative emotions will come up. It will likely not feel good. That’s the hardest part. Sometimes our growth feels really bad and we think we want to avoid that feeling. But it’s actually, it is like a gateway into deeper joy. I promise it will eventualla be good thing, because if you’re a three and you try it and you’re like, this was miserable, it made me cry. That’s the point? It means it’s working.
E: Okay. I can’t wait. I’m going to start today. What was the process like of writing your book? Like how long did it take you? I imagine it’s difficult. I hear that it’s not easy to write a book. Did you self publish? Did you have a publisher? What does that look like behind the scenes?
SJ: I started outlining it before I ever got a publisher. I had already kind of been running about the Enneagram for about a year at the time. And I did get a publisher and we, we set our deadline. They set a really fast deadline for me.
It was like I three months, I think before it was to be turned in. So I booked a trip to Copenhagen and I went there for two weeks and I took all of my notes and I compiled them and I just organized them. I m, expanded on them, that’s the word, expanding on them and just went in and wrote it.
And I wrote a scene. That’s all I did while I was there. So I’m just woke up in the morning, I ate breakfast and I wrote until I went to bed that night. And then we had about probably five to six months of edits and formatting and getting it perfect before it went off to be printed.
So it was overall like a nine month journey, but it’s confusing. Because I wanna say I wrote it in two weeks, but I didn’t. It was a long process.
E: Definitely. Well, congratulations.
SJ: Thank you. It was one of the happiest times of my life. Writing is just what I love to do. That time in Copenhagen, especially where it’s just like focusing on only one thing and in this craft, I think is a signal to Enneagram work as a seven.
We are spread thin. We’re multitaskers. We love to do like a hundred things at one time. And so just getting to give my attention to one precious thing expanded my joy, like deep into my joy. It was kind of like my daily walk, just focusing on one thing. It was a practice, but it was beautiful.
E: That’s amazing. So we’re, we’re almost two months, two full months into the year now. And I feel like this is kind of the time when people’s motivation wanes after they’ve set those new year’s resolutions. Can you share any tips or advice for us to be able to go through each of the Enneagram types in terms of goal setting habits, motivation?
SJ: I’ll go over each of the types and kind of talk about what can de-motivate you and then how to get back on track.
So we’ll start with type one. Our type ones, you guys can get caught up in the process, in those details and feeling like nothing is ever finished.
A lot of times too, you will work and then not celebrate. You’ll just kind of focus on what you could have done better. So when we want to re-up our motivation and get back connected, for our ones a lot of that is just focusing on progress over perfection, or even you can think excellence over perfection. It can be great, but it will never be perfect. And then celebrate it. When you send something in like intentionally look at what you did well, and they’re just released the things that could be improved to the gods. Like whatever you need to do to just wipe your hands up and it’s not yours anymore.
For our type twos, our type twos can be so relational. They’re focused on how other people feel about them and how they’re being received. So they can oftentimes get de-motivated when they’re not feeling like other people are appreciating them enough or are grateful enough for what they’re contributing.
So for our three is one of my favorite practices is to just speak that back over myself. So if I, as a step-mom is feeling overburdened or overworked and demotivated, I can just kind of like, hold my hands to my heart and say, you’re a really good mom. You’re really, you’re doing a really good job. And that feels just as good as hearing it from someone else, especially if you get in the habit of doing that. That can offer you the motivation that you need instead of looking to other people for that energy.
For our threes, motivation’s not always your problem. But, sometimes it’s really about balancing that energy out. So with a lot of our threes, there’s this roller coaster energy where you go so hard that eventually you crash. What can happen on that crash, you kind of want to numb out, you zone out, you maybe watch more TV than you feel comfortable with. And a lot of our threes really abandon themselves in that time and they feel like I’m never going to get my energy back and I’m failing, or I’m not being productive. I know something wrong here. And there’s two answers.
One be gentle. Be gentle with yourself in that process because you’re here because you’re tired and you probably just need a break. But also maybe we can learn to integrate that rest into your day to day life. So that daily walk, a little bit of intentional downtime can spread that rest out. So it doesn’t have to be go hard and crash.
And then for our type fours, our type fours can get demotivated because maybe you’re holding onto the negative feedback that you’re receiving from people in your life and you’re not believing or trusting the positive feedback. So when we’re receiving both positive and negative feedback at the same time, and we’re only holding onto the negative, then what can happen.
Obviously, as we start to think that we’re the worst, we start to really just think like, “Oh my gosh, no one thinks anything good about me. Everyone thinks I’m, I’m terrible. I must be, there must be something wrong with me.”. What I recommend for our fours is to keep note, I call it a pride pad, like keep a pad by your bed or a note on your phone. Whereas anytime someone says something positive to you, you write it down.
And then when you’re starting to feel like you’re questioning your worth, you don’t know if you’re good, go through and like, just read over it and remember all of the good things that have been said. Because otherwise you might let it pass.
For our type fives, our type fives are really motivated by what they’re interested in and what they’re curious about. And the de-motivation comes from feeling like there’s too many people trying to get your energy. Um, and so you can put up really clear boundaries and, and really big walls, but.
If you can, um, do a couple of things can really increase your motivation. The first one is just communicate with the people in your life that you need a little bit of space. Sometimes our fives will just disappear, like not tell anyone. And that actually triggers a response from the people in your life to push further in which it gets you the opposite result that you’re craving.
You’re you’re trying to get space, but because you’re not communicating, people are going to grab for you a little more. And so just communicate to say, “Hey, I need an hour to just be alone in silence and take that space and then come back for connection.”.
And then when you’re in that space, just trying to pique your curiosity about something new, or find things that you’re curious about within the things you’re already doing, because that’s going to get your energy back up.
For our sixes, our sixes get oftentimes demotivated by feeling undervalued in their role. So sometimes our type six is they do a lot of silent work for us. They’re really afraid of letting people down. They want to make sure they’re doing the right thing, but sometimes yeah. The way that they help is by trying to make sure everyone’s prepared and that can be a very undervalued skillset.
Especially if you’re trying to implement that in the brainstorming phase. So sometimes when we’re in the brainstorming phase, we just need optimism. Then we have to go into the planning phase, which is where sixes really shine. Which is implementing this. So what do we need to think through to make this happen? What do we need to think through that could prevent this from being successful?
So for our success, I say, really know your role and own it and feel really proud of it. And don’t know when to use it. You’re using it in the planning stage and not in the brainstorming phase, because if you come in with that strength in the brainstorming phase, it’s going to be undervalued because it’s the wrong place wrong time. But if you can hone that skill, put it into the planning phase, you get to get the most impact out of that skillset.
For our sevens, seven’s get demotivated by just feeling like they’re too restricted, too tied in. Maybe they’re not, they’re feeling a little bit bored and like things are monotonous. And so if you want to keep it the motivation alive without completely abandoning your life, because sometimes sevens will, they kind have that daydream of like, I’m going to quit my life and move to Bali and we’ll start over. Or maybe they do quit their life and move to falling. Start over. I’ve never been to Bali, but I’ve done it.
So what are you gonna have to do is really just change your scenery where you are. It can be as simple as moving from the desk to the couch. It can just be working at the park that day. Changing your scenery is going to keep your motivation going.
And also if you can, sevens are great at the brainstorming phase. They’re almost the opposite of a six, like that daydreaming, that planning, like dreaming of possibility, get that thing started. And then if you’re able to have someone who could complete it, that’s going to put you in your zone of genius and really help you to shine
For our eights, our eights will power through worse. Like they just believe they should be able to be motivated a hundred percent of the time and that the strong will survive and the weak will get eaten alive. And so when that’s the way that you think, you can oftentimes neglect your body. and your heart and really just ignore all of the damage that’s being done by being constantly pushed past the limitations.
And so if you want to, it’s kind of similar to our three, there’s a little bit of integrating regular rest into your life, but more so acknowledging your limitations and being willing to ask for help. That’s where eights will really be able to keep things going for the longterm.
For our nines. So our nines get are great at routine. But they struggle with starting a routine. And so the work here is in, we’re going to get discouraged if you’re trying to start a routine because you were looking at it as this really big thing that has to get done. So it’s like this big wall that has to be built.
But for our nines, it’s really about building the wall one brick at a time to start really small, and just get it and turn it into a habit. Because for you, once it’s a habit, you will maintain it forever. So get over the initial hump of creating the habit by making the first step teeny tiny, and then building onto it from there.
E: Awesome. Thank you so much for going through all of them. I know there’s a lot of types, but I know that all the listeners, everyone would want to hear you talk through each of them and their specific type.
But then also thinking about it in terms of their partners or the type that they move to in stress. I think that was super valuable. I’m definitely taking mental notes here, so thank you for running through all of those.
I want to kind of shift gears a little bit and talk about some of your Instagram content. Like I mentioned, you have a super popular account and you recently posted an IG TV of a coffee chat where you discuss confidence.
And I thought it was really interesting those questions, like, how are you so confident? How can I be as confident as yo. Those are some of your most frequently asked questions that you receive on your platforms. I found it interesting because I receive a lot of those questions and comments too, and I loved your point that confidence isn’t a destination, it’s a journey.
And I was wondering if you could speak to that a little bit more.
SJ: I think a lot of times we think we’re going to like earn confidence. If like myself one day I’ll wake up and I’ll just think I’m beautiful. You know, like what does that movie with Amy Schumer or something, or she just like gets knocked out from a spin class and she gets up and she’s like, “Oh, I’m gorgeous.”.
I think we think that that’s going to happen one day and the reality is, and I think this happens with falling in love with anyone, we do it over time. There might be an initial attraction to a partner, but you really start to love them because of how they show up for you and how they impact you.
And if we never quite learned to appreciate or notice ourselves on a regular basis, then we don’t interact with ourselves enough to have that deep appreciation, which can build into that confidence. But on the other end, it’s just like a daily choice.
Like we show up every day and we’re like, I’m going to try and like myself today, or I’m going to show up today and notice. Things that I enjoy about myself. I’m going to look for the positives that I bring to the world and I’m going to engage with the world in a way that feeds my confidence. I’m not going to follow people who make me feel like trash. If something’s pitching me diet tea, I’m probably not gonna take it. That’s just not for me.
But then also following people who look differently than you look like you, so that you havea wide range of what beautiful looks like in your life versus, I think for so long, I followed people on mine who just looked all the same. None of them looked like me and they were all face tuned. And it fed this narrative to myself of like what good looking was and what successful was and like what good was that is actually not even real. It doesn’t even exist in nature.
But also it isn’t indicative of the wide range of people that exist in the world. I think beyond just looking at people who look like me, also following people who don’t look like me. There’s so many different types of humans and the more that I spread that thin the more beauty I see in other people too. So it just broadens your definition of, of what good is both physically and mentally.
E: That is really beautiful. Actually when you and I were chatting after our talks at Alt Summit, I don’t know if you remember this and I don’t remember how we got onto the topic, but we were talking a little bit about body confidence and body positivity. And you said something that really stuck with me.
So we were talking about a campaign that I had shot for a lingerie brand and how I had posted a photo of myself. And just like the way that I was. I had a side roll and you were like, I love a side role. I think a side roll is beautiful and that statement was such a shift for me. Like I had just never thought that people might genuinely think that a side roll is beautiful.
And now when I’m shooting content, that’s like showing off my body a little bit more instead of thinking, “Oh, this is a great picture. I like it. But I have a side role.”. I’ll think I have a side role in this picture. And I look bang in. So I just wanted to tell you that, because even though it was a year ago, I think about that comment that you made, especially when I’m shooting swimsuit or brawn underwear campaigns. So thank you for that.
And I just wanted to ask you, I mean, you kind of touched on this a little bit when you were talking about confidence in general and how your confidence is kind of intertwined with your own self-love journey. But, is there anything else you can share about what that has been like for you or any other tips that you can give listeners?
SJ: I think first of all, I do think side rolls were beautiful. I also think stretch marks are beautiful. Like sometimes people don’t think stretch marks are beautiful, but I actuall don’t understand, like my brain doesn’t compute, like why that’s a problem.
Anyway, side note, so when it comes to self love in our confidence journey. I think that there’s a couple of elements.
I think first, I think about what love looks like in a relationship. Like when I think about what’s healthy love, to me it’s good communication. It’s trust. It’s dependability. It’s showing up for ourselves or showing up for each other. Being with each other in the hard times.
And so when I think about cell phones, I’m like turning that inward. I’m building self-trust when I do what I say, I’m going to do I’m building, I’m sure I’m speaking kindly to myself.
I don’t talk to myself in a way i wouldn’t talk to someone else. I’m spending time with myself and getting to know myself and asking the questions. These are the building blocks of like, I am deeply loved and therefore I know I am deeply worthy and my confidence can come from there.
So if I, and I think so many also often I will want that from my partner. And I’ll be like, feed me, give me all of the love so I can like fill this cup up. And I can get disappointed in him when he’s notfilling that part of me up. And instead the work is in, how can I continuously be nourishing and feeding that I get from him is a bonus?
Everything that my partner brings to the table that is loving and good and kind is a bonus to this already loved girl, because I have loved myself so well. And when we love ourselves that well, then we don’t need the validation from other people. We’re not craving like, okay, give me more because I’m full. Everything else is just extra.
E: I love that so much. It’s like making sure that you do what you can to make sure that your love tank is full and anything else is just like the cherry on top. That is awesome. One more question for you about just kind of managing your Instagram account and having such a large reach.
And I know for me sometimes when this happens, it can kind of steal my confidence. But do you ever have kind of like negative reactions you have to deal with or trolls or people being like, how dare you say this about type whatever? And what does that look like and how do you manage that?
SJ: Like all day I think, especially with the Enneagram, because it is so personal, it’s so intricate that language can be really important. So if you use one wrong word that someone doesn’t relate to, they can get really triggered and defensive and it hurt. It’s hard.I think that the reality is that that’s very emotionally taxing for me.
And I think that’s the kind of the way that I spend that for myself, it’s like, “Wow, you really care about people. And you want people to feel good when they interact with you and you want people to leave your presence feeling better.”. So that’s kind of how I soothe myself. It’s just like, wow, this is a sign of how much you care.
And I will interpret your negative feedback as a symbol of how much compassion I have for you. And when people are just outright nasty, I just block them. I just don’t have time or emotional energy or time to do that kind of labor for people. And so I just block people. I feel very okay with that.
I think there’s been for a long time this belief that content creators should be boundary-less. You know, it was like, we should be sharing, we should be completely honest about our good, or bad times all the time, because if we’re not, then we’re just sharing our highlight reels.
But then sometimes also there are things that are just ours to hold privately and, and we’re learning. This is a new industry we’re learning, like what is professional here? What is appropriate? What’s working what’s home. And I think that a lot of times, for me to have a healthy relationship with social media, I try to take Instagram off my phone every weekend.
Some weeks just my assistant handles the whole thing. I just text her the content, the posts. And I can’t look at it because I have to really, especially because I went through a pretty intense set of grief last year and I really learned really fast I have an emotional capacity and I’ve got to prioritize my energy.
But then, when I have it, I’m here and I show up as much as I can, but I also take breaks and that’s been hard. That’s been a lesson for me. I thought everything would fall apart if I took a week off and it just doesn’t everything’s fine.
E: Yeah, totally. I think that it’s so clear, it comes across so obviously that you care so deeply about people. And so just kind of knowing yourself and knowing if somebody is saying nasty things like, okay, this is a youth thing, this is not on me. And realizing when you need to take breaks and how you are going to prioritize your energy is so important.
When we were at Alt your talk was about how you kind of shifted from this life of burnout, to where you are now and a more kind of peaceful state. And so it sounds like you really prioritized your energy there. Can you share just a little bit of how you were able to do that and kind of any tips for somebody who may be identifying with that life of burnout?
SJ: You know, I think I loved giving that talk because I can think about it often times too, when I catch myself. One of the first things I talk about is how I found that I was repeating the patterns of behavior in every job that I had, and it was when I found the Enneagram that I realized it’s wherever I go, there I am. Like wherever I go, I’m going to keep doing the same thing over and over and over again. And when we get into the Enneagram, then we’re able to recognize what am I trying to do here? Really?
And for me as a seven, that is, I just love to be busy. I love to entertain every idea that I have and I didn’t want to be with my feelings if I was alone and I was sad. But if I was busy and if I was around other people, if I was entertaining all these projects and ideas that I could stay happy and I really like to be happy. And so a lot of my work has been well, how can I sit with my feelings? How can I be really okay with being alone, being still being home, which was, I used to wake up at six in the morning, leave my house and come home at midnight. Because there’s always something to do. There’s always some way to be entertained and now I will spend whole day and not leave my house which to some people that’s the opposite of what you need to do. But for me, that is exactly where I need to be. I need to be comfortable in that space and learning to trust that self understanding and trust that it kind of feels counterintuitive just like with the three in the walk. It feels a little bad at first because it doesn’t feel natural. It doesn’t feel like what you are supposed to be.
You know, so my dad passed away last year and I cry a lot. We’ve worked lots of therapy. That’s my seventh structure showing up. Like it’s okay. I’m fine. But you know, sometimes you’re just sad and you can’t escape it. There’s nowhere to go and learning to live in that space. I love myself. There is such a big stepping stone to preventing the need to constantly be busy.
And that’s going to show up for you guys, every different type in a different way. You know, our ones are going to have to learn that everything’s not gonna be perfect.Our threes, you guys learn to sit with your feelings and know what you really, what feels good to you and to prioritize feeling over accomplishments. We all have our ways in which that shows up, but for me, it was getting to the root of like, I don’t like to sit still and then that’s cause it hurts.
E: Yeah. Wow. Well, thank you for sharing that and thank you for just this whole conversation. I feel like I just went to therapy. Like we talked about me, we talked about my husband and we talked about all the different types and the sometimes, I mean, this is such a wonderful conversation. I appreciate you so much for taking the time.
One last thing. Is there any resource book podcast, could be any gram related or not, but just something that you would like to recommend to listeners to check out that you think will add value to their lives?
SJ: Right now, I just finished a book, by Amy Downs called That Sounds Fun. And she has a podcast and it was really good, especially if you’re a fellow seven. It’s really good.
She’s a religious, it kind of has a little religious spin to it. But I will say I’m not religious and I loved it. It was really healing. Then my podcast is the Enneagram and Coffee podcast and it’s a daily podcast. We do it five days a week.
And then my book is Honest Enneagram. You can find that at thehonestenneagram.com.
E: Amazing. And if people want to connect with you on Instagram, you are @sarajanecase. Well, Sarajane, thank you so much. This was such a fun conversation.
I know that listeners are going to get a lot of value out of it. You are just such a light. I mean, I just feel like you have such amazing energy and I’m going to go out on my daily walk later today. So thank you. It was good to spend time with you.
SJ: It was good to spend time with you. Thank you for having me. Alrighty. Take care.
I had so much fun chatting with Sarajane. I learned a ton from this episode about the Enneagram. I hope you were able to take away some nuggets and some value from this conversation as well.
Sarajane does mention a ton of different resources and recommendations in this episode. So to make it easy for you, I have linked to all of them in this episode show notes.
I of course also linked to all of Sarajane’s resources, her podcast, her book, I mentioned in the episode that I really enjoyed and definitely recommend reading her book, The Honest Enneagram. The intro is a great overview of the Enneagram. And then each chapter goes into the different types. And so, like I mentioned, I was reading about my type, but then you ended up getting into kind of all of them because you started exploring your wings and your subtypes, and you can read about your partner’s type and some types of your friends or your family. So I just think it’s all super, super interesting.
If you enjoyed this episode, please take a moment to rate and review on Apple podcasts. It’s kind of like a little thank you note to me and keeps me motivated to continue creating this free content. And it also is a really nice way to support the podcast and help to boost it on Apple podcasts. So take a second to do that and be sure to subscribe through whatever platform you listen through so that you don’t miss any future episodes.
I have some more interviews lined up that I’m excited about and some solo episodes and topics that I can’t wait to chat with you about.
Lastly, if you had any major takeaways or light bulb moments from this episode, go ahead and take a screenshot of this episode shared on your Instastories. You can tag me @wtfab and Sarajane, and she’s @sarajanecase. I always love seeing your guys’ favorite parts of the episode and sharing on my stories as well.
Alrighty, it’s been so fun chatting with you and Sarajane today, and I will chat with you next week.
Elise Armitage is an entrepreneur and founder of What The Fab, a travel + lifestyle blog based in California. At the beginning of 2019, Elise left her corporate job at Google to chase her dreams: being an entrepreneur and helping women find fabulous in the everyday. Since then, she’s launched her SEO course Six-Figure SEO, where she teaches bloggers how to create a passive revenue stream from their website using SEO. Featured in publications like Forbes, Elle, HerMoney, and Real Simple, Elise is a firm believer that you can be of both substance and style.