Research Paper By Julian Wenger
(Empowerment and Identity Coach, CANADA)
saboteurs, enneagram, people, avoider, positive, work, coaching, defense mechanisms, pleaser, judge, vulnerability, life, support, overdone, type, talk, controller, connection, clients, tip
Laurie Hillis, Juli Wenger
Juli Wenger 00:35
So today, I’m going to let Laurie guide us through something that’s in her zone of genius, which in this field of positive intelligence, and talking about saboteurs which I’m really curious about because as an enneagram nerd, there’s a lot of ties to different types and what we call our defense mechanisms.
Laurie Hillis 00:57
You betcha. Well thank you well, and I know that you love the enneagram. And so do I, I’m not quite as much of a student… And I certainly see some connections to positive intelligence, which is really research on mental fitness. And who doesn’t need more mental fitness these days, just like going to the gym? So really, at the basis of mental fitness is a term that was coined by a very well-known man called Shirzad Chamine who wrote a great book called Positive Intelligence, which I love. And I’m in the middle of a six-month certification around that material. And he said that we want to take a look at our habits of mind and how often our mind is serving us that we’re in sort of a positive state. And when our mind is sabotaging us, because we’re in a limbic meltdown, if you will. And I don’t know about you, but there are lots of times that it’s easy to have a meltdown. Right? So the Sage, whenever we’re in Sage’s mind, we’re motivated through positive emotions like empathy, and curiosity, and creativity and passion and purpose. And when we’re in the in more in the saboteur’s mode in Shirzard’s research we’re all stress originates from this place in our brain is the place where we’re motivated through negative emotions, like fear and stress and anger and shame and insecurity. And every day, the bottom line is we have a choice, do we want to choose the victim mentality? Or do we want to choose that empowerment mentality? And a lot of my clients when I’m coaching or facilitating, they’ll say, “Well, I actually think negative emotions, Laurie really charged me into action”. And I say, “Oh, really?” and we talk about it. And really what the theory is, and I experienced in my life, it’s like when you put your hand on a hot stove or get too close to a fireplace, you want that one little second that the pain says, “Hey, this is probably not really good for you, you probably need to step away from this situation or this fireplace.” That’s your connection, that negative emotion or a saboteur is ready to take you down. So it is helpful for a one-second alert, it’s like an early warning signal that I’m not coming from that empowered place. But when we stay in that negative emotion, it hurts our ability to see clearly and respond with what we call the stages of empathy, curiosity, creativity, and laser-focused action. Can you relate to that with your Enneagram practices?
Juli Wenger 03:00
100%. We talk about when people get into stress versus when we’re in more of a growth mindset, how healthy are we? Are we in a healthy space, an unhealthy space, an average space? Because it really does change our behaviors, it changes our lens a little bit on how we’re perceiving the world.
Laurie Hillis 03:20
The basis of positive intelligence is based on neuroscience, positive psychology, emotional intelligence, tons of research were done with a very large research-based out of Stanford University. And really, it boils down to the neuroscience of how we build habits in our life. And so if you just think about, you know, how we can get triggered, especially whether we decide whether we’re working from home or living at work, I can’t really decide these days… events happen, and we get triggered. And so the triggering, of course, means that we’re moving into our amygdala brain away from our neocortex our smart brain. And at that moment, we have a choice to follow the path to a saboteur response, where we do the fight, flight freeze, and we listen to all the negatives, or through self-awareness and having a greater appreciation of what are those saboteurs who mess with me all the time, we can choose that safe path.
Juli Wenger 04:12
Where I want to tie this back to for our listeners is when we talk about defense mechanisms and our underlying self-protective patterns. This is some of the background or the science that can underscore that – we’re moving forward, but then some tension shows up, something shows up that is a threat. Something shows up that maybe threatens our idealization of who we are. And in that threat, it activates our defense mechanism. And all the different types when we look at enneagram have a different primary defense mechanism. We all share a lot of them and it’s not like there are only nine, but for me for example, my defense mechanism is something we call repression. I will feel like – and here’s my idealization, “I am helpful” – something threatens me feeling helpful. And I default into I’m going to take all this emotional energy because I’m a feeler. And instead of dealing with this and coming to some sort of harmony around the issue or resolving it, I’m going to redirect all that emotional energy into going out and proving that I’m helpful. And itself sabotaging. It doesn’t actually support me. So that’s the saboteur route. And I know we’ll get to talking about people-pleasing, but that’s very much what shows up and it’s supposed to keep us safe. It’s supposed to keep us supported, right? We take these things on as kids when we don’t have context, but we outgrow them, and then they don’t support us anymore.
Laurie Hillis 05:53
So part of this research says we would be impacted when we can choose Sage over Saboteurs. His research supports performing 31% better, at salespeople sell 37% more, people live 10 years longer. They’re three times more creative, and they’re happier. So when my clients are saying, “this seems like such a light-hearted topic, Laurie, is there really any data” and I say, “well-read chapter one of the books, thank you probably going to see there’s a lot of a lot of statistics”, and who doesn’t want to have a happier life? Let’s face it. And I love your point where you talked about that, you know, these are early mind patterns we have because this is exactly what this work is. The premise of it is they start as guardians and they sort of becoming our survival mechanism in our early years, they become our automatic mental habits that answer the question, to survive and succeed, I should do what? So I know I’m a hyper achiever. And I know that I’m also restless. And so I know that as a young person, I was given a lot of platitudes by my family for having really good marks at school and being able to juggle lots of different balls in the air and that those two have been fed throughout my life. And I think what happens is they go from being invisible inhabitants of our minds as children, and now as adults, they become entrenched and they can limit our mental and emotional freedom. And the saboteur patterns of thinking become ingrained, and they justify themselves as friends. And so there are nine saboteurs which I find very fascinating. Juli, just like there are nine enneagram types. So we do see some correlation, which I know we’ll be looking at it as we go through. So there’s a master saboteur, which is called the judge, and the judge is the sort of orchestrator of everything, and it’s a lie to us – we say that saboteurs tell lies – it says, if you don’t do what you’re supposed to, you will turn into a lazy, unambitious, unaccountable, complacent or selfish being. So that’s why I’m going to kick your butt all the time, says the judge. And it says to us things like you will only do the right thing under pressure. So I’m going to have you give lots I’m going to give you lots of guilt and shame and negative consequences. So in my work with Dare to Lead, you know, one of the things I got fascinated with Brene’s work is based on shame, and so I could see a strong correlation between the judge and the saboteurs. And we judge ourselves as part of the judged formula, we judge other people, and or we judge circumstances. And so I think it’s really cool to think about, wow, I might be gentle on myself today, but hard on somebody else in my life, or I might judge the circumstance and myself for not fitting into that circumstance. And so what the master saboteurs say, The judge says, you have to hang out with me. And don’t worry about those five-stage powers. And don’t worry about your call to courage, because I’ll look after you, which of course, is a big fat lie. And so whether we choose to listen to our saboteurs or stage, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, right?
Juli Wenger 08:41
So here’s what’s fascinating about this. And this is going to be like a fire hose for all of you listening today. But it’s such an empowering thing to really learn about and to understand ourselves. When we look at the master saboteur, there are two things that it makes me think of. One is this language of the inner critic, right, that voice that’s in our head, that’s you’re not enough, or you can’t do enough. And it really does tie back to underlying all of those self-protection patterns of, I’m here to keep you safe. And I’d love to get your thoughts on it. How do we keep that judge at bay? Because that is I think, for a lot of clients. It’s one of the things that I see as one of the most common elements of them getting in their own way, is letting that voice drive. I like to call her Bertha to say, and the other thing that really sticks out to me when you’re talking about, you know, the shame and other people and ourselves and circumstances and how we judge them, we also are giving our power to them. And we actually talked about that in the podcast episode that we just rolled out before this one going up, but how are we giving our power away to other people away to our idealizations of who we think we are and to our circumstances? So the ties and I mean, this is why I’m so excited about today is, all of these psychology systems when they’re based in sound research.
Laurie Hillis 10:23
Juli Wenger 10:23
Which I’ve always appreciated about you, they blend almost seamlessly to help support us in our growth experience.
Laurie Hillis 10:31
Truly, Juli, and I with you, you know, I like the solid research. And I think what I really appreciate about this positive intelligence work is Shirzad has taken a lot of the barriers when people hear the word psychology, and he’s just made it a very simple process that people can go, I see that in myself all the time, I see that in the people I work with the people I live with. And so, you know, it’s made it easy for people to adopt. The point that you made, Juli, I think is really well taken, you know, how do we tame that inner critic voice or the Gremlin or the saboteurs? And one of the things I know that in Brene’s work, she talks about shame, love, secrecy, silence, and judgment. And so when we have something where we’re not showing our best self, it’s easy for us to kind of cocoon and turn in and not talk to people. So one of the best ways I find is to have almost like a judge, buddy. Hey, Juli, I’m just going to tell you today, I feel like I’m judging everything. And here’s what’s going on. And then you can just hold me lightly and say, Hey, Laurie, we all have that like, What? What self-compassion Do you need to give yourself today? And so being able to label I think, is the first way to stop those voices in our head, whether you’re not enough, or Who do you think you are, or you’re too big for your britches, or whatever it is. Right?
Juli Wenger 11:55
The imposter syndrome.
Laurie Hillis 11:57
Juli Wenger 11:58
Oh, the imposter syndrome.
Laurie Hillis 12:01
Yes. Well, you know, it doesn’t matter whether you’re one in your business, or you’re 30 like I am, we still have performance anxiety, you know, and if we don’t, I think maybe we’re a little bit dead to the new things, and they’re exciting. And yet, they cause us to step into courage a lot, right? So there are the nine saboteurs which I’d like to, you know, have had us go through now and kind of like, unpack them a bit and talk a little bit of coaching for each of the nine. I really love the framework though. Every saboteur starts as something helpful. And really, it becomes an overdone strength.
Juli Wenger 12:33
Laurie Hillis 12:34
So like, I remember you said, you know, you’re a pleaser. Juli, would you say, though, that having high empathy and being somebody that people know is there? I mean, isn’t that one of your brands, and why you’re so successful?
Juli Wenger 12:44
It is my superpower. I am incredible at holding space for and nurturing people. And, what you’re saying is exactly it because we take these strengths, we take our natural wiring, we take our personality structure, and we over attach to it, and we overdo it. And then it’s had me, in the past, completely burnt out, and completely anxious and showing up for everybody and putting on a show not intentionally, but to survive. And then I have nothing left. Yeah, and I can’t show up for people. So there really is this dance of starting to build boundaries and rein that in and say, Okay, how do I need to reframe the story? How do I need to look at the story of Who am I that will better support me, and thus, you know, being someone who’s very outward focused and others focused by supporting me, then I can support other people?
Laurie Hillis 13:50
Absolutely, Juli, and it’s that lightning bolt of awareness, I think takes us to that developmental cycle of, Okay, I’m moving out of this overdoing strength for others and being able to turn it in and say, and it’s okay for me to spend a little time it’s not called selfish. It’s called self-care what I look after myself to help other people, right? Yeah. So the nine saboteurs I’m new to them alphabetically, so it’s super easy. So we’re gonna start with the avoider. And so the avoider when it starts as a positive is, you know, they’re diplomatic. They’re flexible. They’re peacemakers. They see the bright side of things, they don’t get stuck in negative stuff. They see so much that they would love to step into when it becomes an overdone strength. They can avoid difficult tasks or unpleasant conversations, they can be conflict-averse. So when I say to my clients, can you have a courageous conversation to go “Oh, no, I don’t like to do that”. And then they have trouble saying no. And I had a friend as an example, who said to me, Laurie, do you want to know how much of an avoider I am? I have avoided going to the doctor for many months and I know I have high blood pressure. He said last week, I had a heart attack. Now I know that I was avoiding my health and I need to stop that right now. So is there a direct correlation between Juli to the enneagram with the avoider do you think?
Juli Wenger 15:02
Well, okay, so here’s what I want to say about this because I want to make sure that all of our listeners don’t go putting themselves in a box. No, we have multiples of these things. I’ve got some avoider in me 100%. And even you know, when we look at boundaries research, there’s avoider that comes up in me, so I get this one. But when I was looking at these, because I was, you know, going through and more detailed saying, Okay, I’m just curious, like, there’s nine of these. And there are nine enneagram types. So Juli’s like nerding, out in her office. And avoider struck me as most directly correlated to type nines, which is the peacemaker, the sweetheart of the enneagram. They’re the ones that can see from other people’s perspectives that can bring multiple perspectives together, and they merge. But they can merge so much, and they can accommodate other people so much, and they inherently want peace and calm. And just fullness, that conflict is like no go. Don’t do that. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t shake the tree, the last year has been very challenging for a lot of nines, because there’s been chaos.
Laurie Hillis 16:22
Absolutely don’t go there if you don’t want to have trouble.
Juli Wenger 16:24
So yes, that’s the type that if I had to label each type with a dominant saboteur, which is very connected to our defense mechanisms, this would be type nines.
Laurie Hillis 16:37
Okay, well, that’s awesome, Juli, I love that. And so we say often a coaching tip then for an avoider is to keep a procrastination list, notice the things that you’re not wanting to move into action. And then make it really practical for yourself, take one small thing that you know, you need to do. So whether that’s, you know, you know, there’s a courageous conversation with your name on it, you need to step into that. And just allow yourself to pick one thing off your list. And then to feel those negative emotions rather than numbing them out and saying, Well, I’m not going to go there. I agree with you, Juli, we all have all of these saboteurs in us. It’s just some of them rise to the top and are probably more. We see them more in the dance every day when we’re not in that healthiest place of ours.
Juli Wenger 17:18
Yeah, they’re a little more default.
Laurie Hillis 17:20
Yeah, absolutely. So the controller was positive when we started, I mean, it’s a very strong presence. These are what probably many leadership profiles are they get stuff done, they’re action-oriented, they take control of situations. And when something goes wrong, they are just like do you become when it’s overdone, they have they can behave a tendency, perhaps to take so much charge and control situations that they don’t allow other people to step into their power. And they might control a situation that needs to actually unfold and emerge. So you can see people who are high control right now with COVID are probably really struggling a bit. And so they also are known to have a hard time perhaps showing vulnerability because that actually is dropping control. So when in that Brene Brown work, that’s a real strong connection there. Right? So is there an enneagram connection? Juli?
Juli Wenger 18:10
These are eights.
Laurie Hillis 18:12
Juli Wenger 18:13
This is an eight. Oh, my goodness, like some of them was like, okay, like, Where do I think this fits, eights are hard to miss all the time, because they’re big energy. And like, they’re, they’re read on pretty much every color-based test that exists. And the vulnerability piece is really key here because vulnerability equates to like it’s a dog eat dog world, and that’s not safe. So they deny the, you know, the challenges they deny the feelings, it’s like now we’re just gonna do we’re gonna overcome by doing and by being dominant.
Laurie Hillis 18:48
Yeah, yeah. Which of course, they’re shooting themselves in the foot. So we say like a coaching tip for the controller is to use that power you harness their power, however, come from that Sage perspective of empathy, and curiosity and no creativity, and then to allow themselves to be open to support from others by saying, Hey, I can’t do this all me, I do need to be vulnerable and let others know. They need support. And you know, in, in my strong belief, vulnerability is not a weakness. It is one of the things I look for in other people, and it’s something often admired others and yet find struggle sometimes myself being vulnerable, right?
Juli Wenger 19:25
Yeah, one of the key things remembers Brene talking about was asking that community of military. Have you ever seen a real courageous act, without vulnerability, ever seen that exist without, you know, the two being connected? And the answer was a resounding no.
Laurie Hillis 19:44
You know, it’s so interesting when I was I was working with a military group with the dare to lead a couple of years ago, and I felt like a total imposter. I’m standing in front of these people talking about courage. I’m thinking, what do I know they’re getting ready to be deployed and there are 40 soldiers. And I said, so where are you vulnerable, that like, because these are all like athletes, they’re all like, totally buff. And they said, Well, we just don’t know how to have the conversations with each other about our vulnerability, because we’ve just been so hard-wired to take control of things and not show that side of us. And so their biggest concern was to ever feel like they were weak by showing that vulnerability. So it’s a great connection. The next one up is hyper achiever, I can relate to this as my second highest. So you know, I’m sure that most organizations, I think the US is considered a hyper achiever culture, from what Shirzad says, as a positive, we get lots of stuff done practical stuff, action-oriented, driven, goal-oriented, when it’s overdone, constant performance and achievement can be exhausting. And so it’s almost like I say to myself, I’ll be happy when and it never happens because you get to one plateau of a mountain or climb up and you don’t even stop to catch your breath, other than starting up the next plateau. So again, I’m curious, is there a sort of a natural enneagram connection?
Juli Wenger 20:55
These are the threes, and we call them the achievers. So this is actually a really easy tie in terms of the naming. And one of the things that we see as a challenge for our typical threes is they don’t stop to celebrate. Because it’s always this, I’m going to go prove that I’m valuable, prove that I’m capable. But that proving and that feeling of being enough that they get from proving is not something that lasts. Yeah, they have to go out and do it again.
Laurie Hillis 21:27
Yeah, yeah. And so that’s such a great perspective. Juli, thank you. So the coaching tip is to stop the, I’ll be happy when and start to practice unconditional self-love. Don’t be looking for external validation, get your validation from your internal source and know that you are enough. So hyper-rational, as many of our organizations are hyper-rational. So you can you know, you can imagine somebody holding a lot of data in their hands, think of spa you know, as a positive, of course, data is key, you don’t go into a boardroom without having the right amount of data for your business plan or your pitch. And they’re very good at mental concentration probably won math awards in their life. Overdone as, as saboteurs can focus on rational processing when others could see them as being withdrawn or emotional, and maybe hard time to access empathy. And that becomes too much of a good thing.
Juli Wenger 22:14
These are the fives, so the observer or the type that just sits back and watches and they can consolidate insane amounts of information. The example I use when I’m doing enneagram teaching is Dr. House or Sherlock Holmes, right where they go inside. And the challenge with emotion for them is that it’s not reliable. So they often have to think their way there. And they have a very small energy tank for other humans. What I found amusing about this is that five is the number I personally least identify within the enneagram personality system. And I got zero on this one on my positive intelligence. literally, no tied like, yep, there it is.
Laurie Hillis 23:06
Yeah, it’s not one of my strengths, either, Juli. And so again, you know, a coaching tip for hyper-rational to become that wholehearted, fully developed person is to embrace the importance of empathy, and maybe do that 10% stretch and try something that is not as easy for them to do and say, Yeah, I, I get that’s hard for you to do right now. Right? Or I don’t even know what to say I just want to be there for you. And those small subtle moves can help people to move into their, their balanced personality. Mm-hmm. hyper-vigilant. Oh, is our next one. And I think the poor people are hypervigilant are really having a tough time with COVID right now, because, you know, they see problems, they see the danger, they’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, they probably pre-pressed, seeing five or six other shoes that can drop and very loyal. They’re guardians, they look after things, when it’s an over-done strength, though. And I see this in one of my clients who can you imagine a better job for hypervigilant than to be in charge of PP equipment during COVID? I mean, this fellow is magnificent. And when it’s overdone, he worries about everything about what could go wrong. And what if the supplier doesn’t show up? And it’s this constant look for external security that doesn’t come from external it has to come from internal what I’ve done my best to do what I need to form a viewpoint of due diligence.
Juli Wenger 24:24
Yeah, this is the six we call them the loyalists. And one of the challenges for the six days, and I totally agree with you, this has been a very difficult year because they’re highly certainty driven. And this is like proof that all the worst-case scenario thinking can come true. Right? So part of the challenge for them is they learn at an early age, they can’t trust themselves. They’re always looking for authority figures, and they’re looking for guidance, but they take time to really warm up and learn to trust those authority figures. So there’s this tension. Can I trust anybody?
Laurie Hillis 25:03
Yeah, very, very reasonable. Juli. It’sIt’s so it’s a frightening time. So we say a coaching tip for the hyper-vigilant is that safety is an internal lot of external game, and practice the 2080 rule. So it’s different from the normal 80/20 the 20/80 rule says 20% of what I’m worried about is worthy of my vigilance 80%, I need to let go. And that’s a tactic that people can learn. And I think you’ll identify well, Juli with the next one up, Pleaser.
Juli Wenger 25:30
I’m just gonna go hide in the corner while you tell everybody about the pleaser.
Laurie Hillis 25:35
As a positive, they’re helpful, empathetic, loving, giving, you know, tuned into others they are meant to serve. And that’s what they do so beautifully as, as an overdone strength or as an established tour approach to life. They may rescue others at their own expense. And they may be upset afterward by the level of self-sacrificing they’re doing for other people. And so they need to figure out, you know, how do they put their own oxygen mask on first? So can you relate to that, Juli?
Juli Wenger 26:01
Oh, this is my life story in one saboteur frankly. I think it’s just important to note that, you know, for my fellow really dominant people, pleasers, and like I said, Before, we all have some combination of all these things. However, its boundaries work. Because when we don’t set our own boundaries, and when we don’t ask for what we need, and we, you know, repress what we need, we get resentful. And that’s what you’re talking about. There is no like, Why don’t other people know what I need. I know what they need. Because I have this innate talent of being able to feel other people’s feelings and being able to internalize that and really get a sense of what’s going on. And seeing that, you know, that helpful narrative. It’s this default to fixing and helping even when we’re not wanting sometimes and not allowing people to go on their journey.
Laurie Hillis 26:58
Yeah, that’s such a great point, Juli. So, you know, I think a key thing with all of these nine types is we never want to get rid of it. Because as soon as you say somebody Don’t be a pleaser, while you’re putting them into total defense, it’s just about when’s the right amount to please. And when do I need to take my hand off that hot stove, I’ve got a little, you know, I’ve got a little indicator that something is going on, but don’t leave my hand on the stove and stay in that saboteur’s mind, allow my pleaser to come from a sage mode, not from a saboteur. So you know, the coaching tip, as I mentioned, is putting on your own oxygen mask first, and then learning to say no, which is that part of that boundaries. And, you know, this is my third highest. So I get it because it becomes even though it’s third, and we talk about it in the positive intelligence, it doesn’t matter whether your score is first, second or third, they all mess with you. And so it’s not about delineating well, which one is taking me down this path. They’re all there as potentials.
Juli Wenger 27:49
Here is what is interesting that I find with this because I’ve been doing a lot of training and study on the enneagram side about defense mechanisms and they operate in tandem. There’s a lot but when I started really looking at what’s the defense mechanism, or self-protective pattern, as I’ve typically called them, have to have a one of the three have an eighth of a seven, there are so many identities with and there’s a few of them that I have a difficult time separating from each other. As in they show up in different situations or different times, they often show up very integrated as a unit. Yes, as opposed to it just being like okay, and people-pleasing now. But my perfectionism is not at play, you know, there’s or my achievers not at play or my controllers. And so I think that’s an important piece to recognize, too, is that they reinforce each other sometimes.
Laurie Hillis 28:47
Absolutely. And that’s a great segway Juli into my number one, which is restless. So as a positive, you know, I see this in myself, I love variety. I’m always looking for new possibilities. I love co-creation, like our time together here and that fabulous conference you launched last month. And I love this you can see you know, somebody that has like many tentacles out trying to get gather ideas. And I think one of my brands is I bring my clients really practical solutions because I’m always out there looking for solutions. Now the downside, though, is that, as I see this, I can at times feel a lack of peace or contentment with what’s going on in my current activities. I say, well, there’s more to do. And searching for things can cause some multitasking. And so because mine goes restless, hyper achiever pleaser, as you just said, the three of them work together and they can if I let them have their way be a perfect combination for workaholism. Right. I like to be busy. I like to achieve a lot I like people to love me. I mean, so it’s something I had to watch my whole life being an entrepreneur.
Juli Wenger 29:46
Yeah. And this ranked high for me too. And this is traditionally more of a seven, which I know is what you’ve identified with on the enneagram side. Yep. And sevens are always in anticipation mode. It’s all about the plan. And the potential and really they’re searching for joy and contentment. But often it comes out as you know, short-term happiness versus and more long-term sustainable joy. And sometimes I struggle to really be in the moment and enjoy the things I’ve anticipated and planned for. It’s like, okay, what’s the next thing? What’s the next thing? What’s the next thing in just looking to continually fill that, that need for, you know, for being happy for having excitement for different from variety, because variety is really big.
Laurie Hillis 30:34
Absolutely Juli. You know, you really, it really struck a chord in my heart, because my word for the year, of course, is presence. So how is presence a great word for a seven and a restless to be able to say, Okay, my goal this year is to be more present than a couple of the behaviors I want to protect my mind from invaders. You know, I turned off all the notifications on all my technology, I’m choosing to give my attention versus selling my attention. So I worked on that my coach, you know, and so, some of the coaching tips are sevens or restless is to notice when you’re feeling restless, stop and be present. And in positive intelligence, we have some somatic work we do with our hands and our feet and our breath, and to be back in our body. And then label when I’m multitasking or when anybody’s multitasking and take time to look at those patterns. So is it when I’m tired that I’m pressured?
Juli Wenger 31:26
That is a really important piece, like when we look at head people I think are types which sabotages our that getting back down into the body and grounding into the body to be able to show up and be able to be present is the key, truthfully, of integrating multiple spaces and being able to hold space for and create space for experiencing some of the emotions that they have avoided.
Laurie Hillis 31:55
Yeah, so number eight up is a stickler. As a positive, these are folks who have high standards, they take the right action integrity is kind of like branded on their forehead, and they really want to do the right thing. When it’s overdone. It can lead to perfectionism or a level of order and organization that it’s very hard for them to achieve and others. One of my clients is a high stickler controller and he said, Oh, you mean the fact that I want my six-year-old and four-year-old children to exactly make all the grass the same height on the flower bed? Does that make me a stickler?
Juli Wenger 32:32
Hello, dear ones.
Laurie Hillis 32:34
Here we go. There are the ones okay.
Juli Wenger 32:36
There are the ones. I don’t like to call them perfectionists. Personally, I like improver because I think it highlights some of their more positive tendencies. However, perfectionists really are focusing on we see what’s possible in the world. Right? They’re an idealistic type, they can see how things could be better. And they take on a lot of personal responsibility for making it that way. And get really irritated and other people for not taking it as seriously and doing so much.
Laurie Hillis 33:07
Yeah, oh, yeah. And it becomes the hill they are willing to step into, right. So coaching tips for the stickler is it’s that 20/80. Again, think about what goes into the bucket of 20% that really matters. And what’s the 80% that I’m going to let go of that I cannot make. I love that word improver and to examine the cost of the stickler behavior, on self, on others, and your body, because I think there’s again, a symbiotic connection here, too. Yeah, we’re not perfect beings.
Juli Wenger 33:34
One other tie I want to make there is one of the things I see show up with type ones and a little bit with type eights, because they’re both controller types. They seem to have very loud and obnoxious judges more than some of the other types. One of the things that really defines the type one and the improver is that self-defeating inner critic voice is really loud and incessant.
Laurie Hillis 34:03
Isn’t that interesting? What Shizard said I remember one of our webinars that almost everybody has some a couple that are kind of broad-based, like the restless and the controller, he said are kind of permeated through all people even though it doesn’t show up in your top scores. So it’s kind of interesting to see those patterns. Yeah, so the last one is the victim. And as a positive, the victim tries not to be a burden. They’re sensitive to others and their emotions, they want to connect with others and they want to be unique in the world. When it’s an overdone saboteur voice. It’s this large focus on internal feelings, especially painful ones that make them unhappy. They become their feelings that they feel like you’re being victimized by people.
Juli Wenger 34:43
Yeah. Which is 4 that has 4 written all over.
Laurie Hillis 34:48
Does it? Okay
Juli Wenger 34:49
Because well 4’s are called the creative romantics or the individual lists and they’re, they feel like something is missing in them and that if they’re unique enough. Different enough. Special snowflake enough. That, that will make up for what’s missing. And they tend to be defined as a melancholy type, which I had to look up a couple of years ago when I started studying this because I don’t really do melancholy. It’s like, the Tragically Hip album name. That was all I knew. It’s like the happiness of being sad. And they do they embody their feelings, they become their feelings. And it is a really interesting identity struggle because their identity is often tied to how they feel in the moment, but that pings around and they do such big feelings, as opposed to you know, what the rest of us normally feel that like, Who am I? Right, right. So it’s a really, it’s a really interesting space. I mean, no one wants to be called a victim, obviously. But no, there’s nothing that shows up in a less healthy space of type for when they’re not showing up for themselves and doing their work.
Laurie Hillis 36:01
That’s interesting. And imagine, with my seven profile, I could really get hooked by a four because I’m too optimistic at times. And I, you know, the science of unhappiness just doesn’t even resonate with my little mind, you know, because I am very much a happy person and extremely optimistic. So coaching tips for the victim is to know that you are not what you feel. And remember, keep your hand off that hot stove metaphor after the first second. So I think the key to quiet the judge in the saboteurs is, is always through the lens of self-awareness, which I’m sure is the same in your enneagram practice to be able to label the behavior and say, oh, there I go. Again, there’s my judgment, there’s my restless, I’m noticing that not from a judging place. But to sitting at this moment, how do I shift myself to handle something by staying in my Sage mind. So that was kind of a drive-by by Juli for the integration, I just love the connection of the, you know, Brene’s work with Dare to Lead, which I know I love, and I know you do the positive intelligence and the whole body of research the on the enneagram.
Juli Wenger 37:02
It is really fascinating. And like you said, there’s something about the approachability of looking at these saboteurs and understanding, being able to identify with them something like this is a little more immediately approachable, to be able to just look at it and say, Okay, how does this help me? And I mean, from coaching each space, and we both operate there is to say, how does this give me some awareness? into what’s showing up for me? How does this accelerate my growth curve, because that’s really the power of a lot of these tools is not to put us like I said, before, into a box, but to say, I identify with this, and now I can watch for? it. Now I can start to activate my observer, I can start to zoom out on myself a little bit, or, you know, have conversations with my coaches, or my community or my significant other, or my friends or whoever is, you know, in my life, and say, Hey, if you see this show up for me, can you just throw up a flag on the play? Because I might not see my own blind spots? Because often these are our blind spots.
Laurie Hillis 38:12
Yes, absolutely. And it an interesting connection made there with family. In the research Shirzad says often, opposites do attract, I always laugh and say opposites attract for the first marriage. But you knoasike he says, like, a controller will often look for a pleaser because this is we fall in love with people, sages, that’s what we do. But then we get really peeled by their saboteurs. After a while.
Juli Wenger 38:33
Yeah, this is my marriage, right? I’m a 2 helper that attracted an 8 challenger, which is a controller pleaser. And yeah, interesting too, at least with that particular dynamic, I’m what we call his growth space, his growth line, and he’s my stress and resource line. So there’s actually an enneagram line that connects beautifully. It’s fascinating we can last for days.
Laurie Hillis 39:03
What I want to leave the learners with Juli is over the next week, just pay attention to how often you judge yourself others or situations, and how often the saboteurs mess with you because anytime you feel stressed, it’s a saboteur. And then of course, please jump online, you know to complete your saboteur assessment, which is not a cost at all. It’s totally fun and quick and I would say have your spouse do it if you’re a very courageous person.
Juli Wenger 39:27
I think this is a great plan for your spouses, your significant others your teams, your best friend.
Laurie Hillis 39:32
Yeah, yep, yeah, your boss.
Juli Wenger 39:34
It’s a compassion-building exercise. But it’s also good for us to be able to give ourselves some breathing room and give ourselves some grace to say okay, these are the things that take me out. These are my you know, my saboteurs, my kryptonite my defense mechanisms, however, we want to label them and just be kinder to ourselves about it. Yeah. And then be kinder to those other people in our life who you know, maybe are willing to take it or maybe we look at it We go, oh my goodness, this is this person. Right now that we want to I’m going to pull an enneagram term we call to it type sniper ring. We don’t want to saboteurs sniper people. However, how can we be more compassionate with people who say, Hey, I think this might be something that comes up for them.
Laurie Hillis 40:17
Juli Wenger 40:17
How can I support them with that?
Laurie Hillis 40:19
It’s so true. Juli, what I love about Shirzad’s work is he actually has an app that you know, I’m running myself. And I can see every day where I’m, I’m gaining in that beautiful balance of feeling empowered in my type and where I’m getting my own way with loose daily challenges and practices. So it’s a beautiful system if it nothing else. So completing it, to get that sense of self-awareness. And to be kind to yourself, I think is key.
Juli Wenger 40:41
This being what I think is the year of expansion. For many of us last year I looked at and I thought, hey, last year was about building resilience. This year is about taking that resilience, turning it into some courage, and starting to expand. This has so much potential to support people in that expansion, in that growth, in the as I like to call it getting out of your own damn way.
Laurie Hillis 41:08
Juli Wenger 41:09
So we can live purposefully, powerfully, and passionately.
Laurie Hillis 41:13
And step into that courage that we all want more of in our lives, right?
Juli Wenger 41:16
Yeah, exactly. Thanks so much for doing this with us today.
Laurie Hillis 41:19
Hey, it’s my pleasure. Any chance to connect with like-hearted love minded people like you Juli is my absolute pleasure. Thank you.