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.
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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