Moving Beyond Your Number: Enneagram Four


Fours believe they are abandoned and alone, and think they will be worthy of esteem, affection, and connection if they lead an exceptional life. Unfortunately, the world of entertainment and celebrities makes the hope of obtaining an exceptional life more compelling. But we have to know reality television is not reality, and celebrity news stories are contrived and staged. We get further away from an exceptional life when we watch celebrities.

Fours feel a lot of pressure to make an exceptional life, and they hope being different is enough; but it never is, and they can become self-absorbed in their pursuit of personal exceptionalism. As they pursue this unique persona, they can become obsessed with their own way of seeing things. However, their way of seeing things might not lead to wisdom or truth.

When young fours are in difficult places, they may become overly defensive, dramatic, or isolated, and may be deliberately inconsolable. When you lead a life that is deliberately inconsolable, you lose touch with what is consoling. You have to work back to be consoling. And you become stuck in your grief. You have to move on from your grief.

Fours, do not inflate your feelings. Instead, stay with them, and follow them through to their end. Do not manipulate or embellish feelings, but be honest and authentic with them, and let them lead you. Use the paschal mystery as a template. All of life is a cycle of living, dying, and rising. Your internal world also has this pattern. You will be merely existing on some days, and this will be joyful, painful, and mundane. Accept all of it. You will also experience great pain and forms of death. Stay here no longer than you must. No feeling is final, and when you have fully encountered it, the feeling will pass like a wave coming to shore and splashing over you. Let the wave pass, and you will rise out of it, into another form of life. You can’t just keep dying. If you only die in your emotional life, you aren’t being honest with your feelings. Grieve and move on. You naturally intuit the transformational value of feelings, while the rest of us miss it. However, when you hang onto feelings longer than you should, they lose this value.

Fours, try to befriend the normal and the mundane. Make a schedule, and keep it. You must find real beauty in everyday life. Go grocery shopping, clean your room, and make these practices spiritual. Also, use your creativity for others. Exercise your creativity by pointing out the creativity of others. When your creativity is focused on yourself, it further separates you from others and makes you less reachable. You might also consider adopting the mantra, “It is what it is.” When life is boring, just allow it to be. Finally, since you understand nobody gets you and are consumed by explaining yourself to others, you might consider finding a measure of peace in not needing everyone to understand you. Remember you are lovable, you are enough, and God knows you in all of your depth.