Today we enter the Thinking Triad with our last three numbers of the Enneagram. Join me in welcoming, Lynn Simpson, an Enneagram Seven, a gifted photographer, and lover of so many different things. Just thinking about the enthusiasm of sevens can make me tired. Can you relate? Please be sure and leave some love in the comments.
The Enneagram Seven-The Enthusiast
Enneagram Sevens are known as the enthusiast. Other words to describe us are busy, fun-loving, spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive, and scattered. We seek to be happy, satisfied and to find fulfillment. We are curious and seek adventure. Sevens are in the thinking triad of the Enneagram because we are also practical even though we often have multiple projects going on at the same time. We favor activities that stimulate our mind, we move quickly from one idea to the next, and we love the initial stages of a creative project. Our curiosity can help us learn new skills quickly, but we have difficulty focusing on one activity. We can get scattered with too many projects on the go, and also not value our abilities. A question I often struggle with: “Shouldn’t I have a degree first before pursuing this?”
If you were to step into my office you’ll see a guitar, camera equipment, a set of golf clubs, three laptops, painting supplies, coloring books, scrapbooking items, video equipment still in boxes purchased two years ago; books on writing fiction, non-fiction, and travel; books on photography, Adobe Software products, how to create a website, and sales; literary to romance fiction novels and short story collections; books from three separate university degrees I started but never completed. And I won’t start listing the subject binders, coil notebooks, and journals for the sake of word count for this post! However, I will mention the three novel projects in Scrivener (and my Scrivener for Dummies manual) as that gives you an idea of how Seven’s tend to overindulge in projects due to never wanting to miss out on an idea we may have.
Settling into one project is hard for a Seven and something I continue to struggle with in my 50th decade. Never wanting to be boxed in, making a choice creates anxiety. Always wanting to be stimulated, I can move on too quickly from a project. However, my practical side helps me get the important things done. Interestingly, it is easier for me to complete a project for others. Deadlines keep me on track and feed into my need to feel productive.
The Grass is Always Greener
A temptation for Sevens is to feel dissatisfied with the present. They fantasize about the future. Sevens seek something else to help alleviate the restlessness believing the grass is greener somewhere else. They get distracted by possibilities that can lead them to move in the wrong direction. Although I’m told I am a good listener, when in a crowd my mind can wander to other conversations going on around me, rather than on the person who is directly talking with me. Although my job has been good to me, I am constantly seeking other ways to make income, satisfy my relentless curiosity, and release my creativity. I know I am working from a healthy place of a Seven when I am appreciative of what I already have, excited about what I can still do, and optimistic. But when I become fearful that I won’t get what I believe I need, I can become impulsive and anxious.
I read of a famous comedy actor who is also a Seven. Yet, he suffered from depression. Although Sevens are known as enthusiastic and optimistic, we can also fall into sadness and depression. We may just hide it very well when we are with others through our engaging conversations and curiosity. Yet alone, in my experience, I can feel overwhelmed, trapped, and sad. Reaching out to call friends helps, yet often I will not disclose how I am really feeling wanting to always appear as fun-loving, happy, and optimistic. As I’ve grown older, I have practiced using tools to help me to embrace painful feelings and to open up to others. However, I can also easily divert my pain by shifting the focus to others or saying a funny sentiment to lighten conversations."No matter what I do, plan, or dream to create, I am learning I can trust that He provides all I need for this very moment-His presence." Truth from @LynnJSimpson, an Enneagram Seven. #EnneaWhat #TellHisStory #linkup Click To Tweet
Learning to be Okay
Sevens desire different experiences to keep their mind engaged. Although studies show that multitasking is less productive than focusing on one task, I had to accept that maintaining several tasks at any given time is more fulfilling for me. Once I accepted that my anxiety decreased over making the ‘perfect’ choice of activity for the moment. I began to see that it is okay to use a variety of skills, shifting from one task to another easily.
I recognize too, how my interests in photography, writing, graphic design, and even baking intersect with each other. Recently I started figure skating lessons, doing art journaling activities, and had a dog-sledding adventure. At times, I still struggle thinking I should just focus on one task and even admire those who are fulfilled from one activity or career throughout their lifetime. But God has been revealing to me that I am okay just the way I am. He’s created me (and you) for His purpose and that life is a gift to enjoy. No matter what I do, plan, or dream to create, I am learning I can trust that He provides all I need for this very moment-His presence.
“The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything.” Julian of Norwich
God is so good to anoint so many with words to describe themselves and provide us with a better understanding of how uniquely God created us. I loved learning from Lynn today. Join me next week as I welcome someone new to this space–Wren Robbins, a podcaster at Friends of a Feather podcast and an Enneagram Six.
Lynn J. Simpson understands the need for creating spaces for rest, renewal, and transformation. She’s rarely without her camera, capturing breathing spaces to share. She’s published Breathing Spaces: A 21-Day Journal of Rest, Reflection and Renewal and 30-Day Journal of Thankfulness, Success & Joy, and contributed to Short and Sweet Too (Grace Publishing, 2017). Read Lynn’s musings on faith, hope, and love on her blog (lynnjsimpson.com).
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You sound like an extremely well-rounded person, Lynn! And I’m guessing you can most always find common ground with anyone you might talk to, given your wide range of interests. I enjoyed reading this to find out what it’s like to be a “seven.” 🙂
Thanks Lois! I remember being fascinated by someone who studies dictionaries for a living! Yes, keeping our minds open and curious allows us to discover and learn many new things when talking with others.
Lynn, I have enjoyed hearing from the different temperaments. And I am more of a generalist than a specialist so I appreciate your many interests. Thanks so much!
I like those terms, Debbie! Generalists and specialists. Although specialists are absolutely needed, being a generalists is absolutely okay too.
7’s are the best – opps! Did I say that? Glad we aren’t all 7’s so we have others to entertain. xoxo
So true, Sue. Love it! Thanks for dropping in!
My husband is an Enneagram 7, so I’m always interested in hearing insights of other 7s. It has really helped me grow in my understanding of his personality and be more gracious toward our differences. 🙂 (I’m a 5.) Thanks for sharing, Lynn!
This Ennegram does help our relationships, doesn’t it? Understanding brings out grace in us for sure. Thanks for reminding us that here, Lisa!
The Ennegram is so interesting isn’t it? Thanks for dropping in Lauren!
I enjoyed reading your post, Lynn! It was good to get to know you more and it’s interesting to learn more about the different personality types!
I have loved learning more about the different Ennegram Types through this series too, Lesly. Thank you for dropping in!
I am not a 7, but I love to have multiple hobbies and projects. So I had to laugh at all the things you have tried. I remember a neighbor told me there were just to many hours in a day and she was bored most of the time because she didn’t know what to do with her time. I wanted to jump up and take her extra time and use it. I have lots of ideas for how to use it. I am sure you could use some extra time too.
Asking God where he wants me to place my time and efforts is a constant prayer of mine, Theresa. And it sounds like you can relate! May you always remember to rest though, even when projects are calling us!
I love how God has created us all so uniquely different! 😀
Me too Jennifer! Makes the world an even more curious place!
Enthusiasm is a big part of my personality, and I cherish it. I just cannot understand how people can live their lives always expecting dullness and mediocrity!
It was very interesting discovering all about being a 7. Thanks for sharing.
Keep cherishing your euthisam Jerralea!
Stay enthusiastic Jerralea! The world always needs to see lots of goodness and light.
This is so interesting, Lynn. I’m so glad God is teaching you that you are okay just the way you are. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing this enneagram number. And thank you, Mary, for inviting so many unique personalities to share here. Love and blessings to both of you!
God loves us just ’cause we are, doesn’t He? Yes, thanks to Mary for bringing all the #’s here!
Seven’s must be the life of the party, Mary and Lynn. If so, then I have a lot of friends who fit this mold and category! I also love how you’ve wrapped this post up–highlighting the need to accept ourselves in all of our differences and unique qualities. I struggle sometimes with that myself. Thanks to both you and Mary for sharing! Pinned and tweeted!
Hi Beth! It’s funny ’cause I don’t see myself as the life of the party, but yes, a lot of 7’s are! It took me awhile to wrap my mind that 7’s may be even introverted (as I can be). But curiousity wins every time to always be engaged when in a crowd (and even distracted with so many stories going on at the same time). May you continue to see how God loves you exactly how He made you!
Lynn, as a fellow Enneagram 7, I completely identify with your description of your office. There are so many interesting projects to pursue. It’s tough to pick just one! 🙂
Laurie, I’m glad to know others are with me in understanding the endless projects I got going on! And may not finish them all, but always fun to start. 🙂
I am so thankful that you share your full-hearted approach to life with all of us! Your varied interests and perspectives bring an openness to those of us who could easily stay focused only on our own little corners. Thank you for being you! And thank you, Mary, for giving us these personal perspectives on the Enneagram through this series. Blessings to you both!
Bettie, I made an error and my reply to you ended up on another’s comment! I appreciate you sharing the corner of your world tons! Blessings!
Lynn, it was fun learning about 7’s and you! No matter our #, may we all embrace this thought: “I am learning I can trust that He provides all I need for this very moment-His presence.” Very timely!
Appreciate you tons Bettie! I love joining your corner through your writing and photos. They open up my world! Blessings to you!
Hi Joanna! Yes! It is always timely to remember His presence!
Hi, Lynn, your name is familiar to me, but I’m grateful for this opportunity to get acquainted. And I have a 7 son (I think!) who brings all the fun and energy to our family gatherings. Don’t you think every party needs a 7?
Hi Michelle! I am sure grateful that we are a variety of personalities. I’m glad when the organizer shows up at my gatherings ’cause I tend to always forget something!
Lynn, I loved learning all of this about you! Now I better understand how you are able to go on hikes in the mountains, long treks even. I’ve learned a lot about Enneagram sevens through your post. 🙂 And I’m so not surprised to read of all the different things in your office. Your beautiful personality comes out through your blog posts, in your words, your messages, and your amazing photography. Thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you Jeanne! I think we are kindred spirits when it comes to capturing pretty places with our cameras. Circumstances don’t have me hiking lately or taking many pictures, but trust God’s will and timing through it all. Take care!
I have not studied the Enneagram, but It’s interesting learning about the different personalty traits.
Barbara, I agree! It is interesting learning about personalities and how they relate with others!