"Even though one type will dominate as we begin studying ourselves using the tool of the Enneagram, all the fixations are present in every ego. . . if we are genuinely interested in spiritual learning and liberation though the Enneagram, we need to study all the fixations--their cores and their shells--as they manifest in our lives." A.H. Almaas, Keys to the Enneagram: How to Unlock the Highest Potential of Every Personality Type
The driving force at point Four is envy, which shows up in dissatisfaction, a perception that "the grass is always greener somewhere else."
More in touch with feelings at point Four, in general, when boxed in we are in danger of sinking into moodiness if met with resistance to our ideas. While it's characteristic here to "look outside the box," seeing things others can't see may also leave us wondering why we're different, and even to question if we're flawed.
When more self-observing at point Four, we're able to view things from a new slant and aren't bound by tradition or outdated assumptions.
"People call me because they know I'll come at things from a totally different angle." "I buy into the 'vale of tears' theory of life." "I seem to feel things more deeply than others." "I always felt like an outsider as a child."
Engaging the Observing Self and Releasing the Four Fixation:
It's important that we learn to see our patterns as they emerge, without judgment, to notice and accept as they come and go without shame or denial or trying to shut them down, to see how the fixed personality reactions show up and choose different behaviors. From this Observing Self we'll begin to see the patterns loosening and dropping away.
Within that context, some actions that my clients and I have found helpful at point Four include:
- noticing when focused on tragedy and shifting focus to strengths and resources,
- learning to develop the possibilities of our current work,
- shifting our mood through physical exercise or creative outlets,
- reframing self-criticism in more positive ways,
- championing a program or process we believe in and appreciating every sign of effectiveness in the external world,
- living fully in the present moment,
- celebrating evidence of equanimity.