“If I can do things right, I don’t see why everyone else can’t.” ― Courtney Summers, Cracked Up to Be
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” ― Rumi
Monday interview time! Today, I have Rachel Hamm here, an Enneagram Type One — which is also sometimes called “The Perfectionist”. Rachel and I have actually been friends for a long time. Alas, she moved away a number of years ago but we still have the best, deep conversations on the phone! Welcome, Rachel, and thank you for sharing your growing knowledge of the Enneagram and what it means for you to be a Type One.
Enneagram Type One
1. How do you as an Enneagram One move about in the world? How does your number impact your daily life?
I’m always moving. I almost never “shut down” or “slow down.” I have lists upon lists in my head that include what I need to do at the moment and all kinds of projects I want to improve upon in the future. But, at the same time, I can become paralyzed in the midst of projects where I don’t know the next perfect or ideal step. For instance, I can’t complete something until I know the BEST way to accomplish it (physically, financially, logistically, relationally, spiritually, etc. etc.)
2. Does having a fairly constant inner critical voice impact your body? Ones are in the Body Triad and I’m wondering how it feels on the inside to a One?
I didn’t realize it until recently but the critical voice (and genetics) have caused a lot of anxiety for me. I can feel overwhelmed by all I want to do — to the degree that I think I “need” to do these things — and it can build up like pressure in my chest so that it feels like I’m holding the weight of the world and can barely breathe. In the past, and in not being a healthy One, my body was affected by high anxiety, an inability to rest/relax, and always having to be on the move, on the go, doing more and more to the point of exhaustion. Sleep has never come easily to me, likely genetic but also being a Type One, I have a hard time shutting down. My body is in a constant state of inertia, driven by my inner voice that “it’s never enough.”
3. What happens within your closest relationships when you are stressed (Arrow to Type Four)? What happens within your closest relationships when you are integrated/healthy (Arrow to Type Seven)?
Arrow to Four in Stress: “Black and White” thinking has been my life. I can “see” so clearly what is right and wrong and true and false in other people. In other words, I am quite a judgmental know-it-all, even if well-intentioned.
Arrow to Seven in Health: I’m no longer codependent; focused on fixing others. I allow time, space, themselves, and God to change their lives, in their time and God’s way. I can love and forgive myself, and therefore love and forgive others with much grace. The wisdom I have is shared, “seasoned with salt” and is usually found valuable by others, BUT my identity or value is not found in whether they find me or my suggestions valuable. There is room for others to grow in the way they need to (from God’s point of view) and not just how I think they need to. And the same for me, I have room to grow, without knowing the plan or foreseeing the future. I can trust more freely both God and others.
4, What do you love about your number? What do you dislike the most?
I love that I have integrity and am not lazy. I admire those characteristics in myself and others. I think we are world-changers in many ways. I love the fact that I love to grow. I’m always open to learning and growing in any avenue of my life. I don’t like that in my black and white “clarity” of situations — and in my hot lifelong pursuit of correcting what I deem as “wrong” or “to be improved upon” — I have unknowingly, unwillingly, and unintentionally hurt, offended others, and made close friends feel isolated or judged. I would never want that to happen, I’m usually just trying to help!
5. What practices have you integrated into your life as a One to help you become more self-aware and grow? Are there any spiritual practices you connect to the most that might tie into your number?
I know I need space and time and quiet to be able to think, process my thoughts, and to be able to pray. Recently, I’ve realized to best hear my spiritual voice (the voice of God through the Holy Spirit), I need my body to be working but not my mind. For instance, weeding, gardening, biking, swimming laps — all bodily movement things that free my mind. My body is a slave to my mind, or my mind is freed by my body; something like that! I find if I put my body to work at reforming something or improvement, then my mind is free to process, to dream, and to recalibrate the critical inner voice — and to just be.
6. What do you wish people understood about your number? What are maybe some common misconceptions?
I wish people understood that whatever you say about me that is critical, I’ve already said it one hundred times to myself. And that I am extraordinarily sensitive and fragile on the inside in response to criticism, disappointing, or hurting others, despite the fact that I might have a tougher exterior. If I wound someone else, it wounds me at least twice as bad and will take me longer to forgive or forget my own imperfection. Also, that I really do want what [I think] is best for you!! My heart is in the right place, even if my words or tone come across otherwise.
7. As a child, do you feel that somewhere along the line you picked up the message that, “You must always be better than you are?”
My dad is a Type One as well. I often hear his voice in my head saying, “If you’re not going to do it right, you might as well not do it at all!” I think it’s a mantra for my life, haha!
8. Talk about what the words joy, spontaneity, and pleasure mean to you today.
Freedom. So. Much. Freedom. I have been trapped for far too long as an unhealthy One. Today, I am able to find gratefulness and an abundance of joy in the littlest things again — being tickled by my kids while my dog tries to lick me, my daughter’s curls, or fresh produce! I’ve started to be spontaneous again, and I know my kids really appreciate that side of me because they always thank me profusely and tell me how much they love me when I’m fun and able to enjoy them and enjoy life. That’s what I want to be able to teach them how to do.
Rachel is a married mother of three kids and a recovering perfectionist who is trying to find joy and God’s hand in everything, everywhere. She loves learning, gardening, farm-to-table cooking, dog kisses, and being an effective steward all of the gifts God has given her. She has a passion for sharing life-tips and resources on being purposeful with faith, family, finances, food, fitness, and (sometimes) fashion. She’s an ex-accountant and finance guru that now stays home and tries to play with her kids more. She dislikes olives, parades, large groups of children, and littering. Follow Rachel on Instagram @passionately_purposeful and her (maybe) soon to be blog www.passonatelypurposeful.com.
*Photos by Marcus Löfvenberg , Ryoji Iwata , Yoal Desurmont ,Bobby Rodriguezz on Unsplash