The Enneagram has taught me many things about my personality such as why I react in certain ways to different situations, why some actions of others annoy me, or even teaching me that instead of stuffing down my anger it actually sits there as resentment (I'm a One by the way). Recently, I had our office take the Enneagram test so we could discuss and learn more about each other. In addition, we purchased the recently released book on the Enneagram titled, The Road Back to You, to help with the learning process.
I learned several interesting things about me but one of the most insightful concerns one things that has frustrated me like crazy when it comes to research and writing. Normally, I am a fairly disciplined person that can set a schedule, stick to it, and get done what I need to get done. The problem is when it comes to starting some research papers. Sometimes, I'm just able to sit down, write down a brief outline, and begin the writing process. For other projects, I am paralyzed. Now I know that many of us deal with so called "writers block" but this always felt like something different.
I just can't get started.
So how does this apply to the Enneagram?
On p. 104-5 I found some helpful insights:
But there can also be problems with Ones in the workplace, like their tendency to procrastinate. It’s not a good sign if you spy a One tapping the eraser end of a pencil on her knee while staring blankly into a dark computer screen. Though they’re self-disciplined and driven to succeed, some Ones can put off starting or completing a project for fear they won’t do it perfectly. The occasional bout of procrastination, compounded by their hesitation to make quick decisions for fear of making a mistake, can slow things down for a whole team. This same fear of making mistakes will lead Ones to check and recheck their work forever, so others might have to en courage them to let it go and move on to the next task.
Well, this perfectly describes me. Self-disciplined, driven, but paralyzed by seemingly random bouts of procrastination. After reflecting on several events that this has happened with I've been able to pinpoint what is happening. When I have difficulty seeing the end I have more trouble than most taking that next step. It just seems impossible to just start writing so I literally will sit there and stare for an hour or more.
Well, a personality test and assessment can't be an excuse giving you a way out because that's just who you are. So now I'm on this process of figuring out what I can do with this information. How can I implement different strategies to overcome this paralyzation? Its a journey but understanding a little bit more about myself through the Enneagram has given me insights that I can use to take the next steps to progress.