My name is Brian, and I am so excited to take this journey with you. But before we get started, I’d love to tell you about my own journey.
My Enneagram journey started in June 2017, when I heard about it in a podcast.
I had no idea what they were talking about, but the way they described personality and the human condition felt like they were reading my mail. Now, I’m a sucker for personality test and assessments, and I’ve taken a lot of them: DISC, StrengthsFinder, MBTI, Taylor-Johnson, Kolbe, Birkman, and a few others. They were all useful in different ways, but at the end of the day, they felt either reductionistic or overly complicated. There wasn’t an action plan for me to walk away with that I could easily grab ahold of. I understood more of myself, but I still felt stuck.
Enter the Enneagram. Here was something that didn’t just tell me about my behaviors, but my motivations behind them. Good and bad, light and shadow. I was suddenly exposed to myself, and felt the way I imagine Adam did in the garden after eating the fruit. I saw myself clearly for what seemed like the first time, and was ashamed. God was working in me.
“Without knowledge of self there is no knowledge of God.”
I heard Sleeping at Last’s song, “One,” and just like that, my life changed. I heard and understood the message of the gospel like I never had before. That may not sound like much, but you have to understand, I’ve grown up in church my entire life. I’m a pastor’s kid, went to Bible college, and have been a pastor myself for over 20 years now. And it took a song like that and a tool like the Enneagram for me to understand the gospel in a way that I could receive it.
now, i have learned my lesson;
the price of this so-called perfection is everything.
i’ve spent my whole life searching desperately to find out
grace requires nothing of me.
-"one,” sleeping at last
Grace requires nothing of me. For a perfectionist who only saw everything wrong or out of place with myself, my work, and the world, this was a total revelation. I knew the concept of grace, but couldn’t get a handle on how to receive or give it. I was trapped in my compulsive need to fix and improve everything I could, always iterating and tweaking. I was stuck in feeling inadequate at everything I did, no matter how proficient I was. I was imprisoned in my mind, always thinking that I would never be good enough.
The day I heard that song, I think I sat at my office desk with the song on repeat for an hour or more, just wrecked. I felt hope. God was real. His gospel, the good news, was suddenly and actually good news. I didn’t need to be perfect, because only Jesus was and ever would be. I didn’t need to require it of anyone else, because they would never be able to meet that expectation. I was free.
Unfortunately, I didn’t just hold myself to that impossible standard. I held everyone else there, too. You can see how this is a recipe for disaster. I was hard not only on myself, but on everyone around me. Relationships, peers, coworkers, students, all fell short of what I imagined their potential to be. I couldn’t understand why some people didn’t mind taking shortcuts, or how others didn’t seem to have the same moral compass in Doing The Right Thing. When it came to my bosses and leaders, I wrongly and harshly viewed them as incompetent or unintelligent. I had a lot of repenting to do.
Since that day, I’ve been diving deep into the Enneagram, learning as much as I can about its ability to hold a mirror to each of us, show us for who we really are, and show us how the gospel sets us free from our own traps. For all the people who have wronged me, whether in reality or in my mind, I had a new tool for seeing them differently, and an understanding that most of the world doesn’t see the way I do. And just like that, I was able to have compassion and grace for myself and for them. I was transformed.
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
1 Cor. 13:12 (NLT)
Becoming a coach
After listening to countless podcasts, reading ten books, taking classes, scouring websites and Instagram accounts, I decided to take the plunge and complete a certification course and become an Enneagram Coach. Today, I use the Enneagram with a gospel-centered approach, hoping to use its wisdom to point people toward Christ so they can hear and understand the good news in a way they will be able to receive it. I know how much it has helped and changed my understanding of how I see and inhabit the world, and the impact my personality and behaviors have on the people around me. I believe it can do the same for you.
Helping you find your own way
If your story sounds anything like mine, I’d love to help you get started on your own journey today. If you’ve ever felt stuck in your own thoughts, feelings, or behaviors, if you’ve ever wondered why people just can’t see things the way you do, if you’ve ever felt too intense or too weak in a situation—I know a way out. And I’d love help you find your way.