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How Your Enneagram Type Influences Your Burnout

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The Enneagram is a powerful tool that provides valuable insights into our personalities and behaviors. It helps us understand our motivations, fears, and patterns of thinking, enabling us to navigate our lives and relationships more effectively. However, just like any other aspect of our lives, the Enneagram types also have their own tendencies when it comes to burnout. Understanding these tendencies can help us identify potential sources of burnout and take proactive steps to prevent it.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how each Enneagram type tends to burn out. 

Type 1 – The Reformer 

Burnout booster: Perfectionism 

Perfectionism loops can be a big source of burnout for Type Ones. Intense internal demands and criticism can push Ones towards burnout faster. They set high internal standards for themselves and are constantly striving for excellence. However, this intense drive can lead to self-imposed pressure and harsh self-criticism, pushing them toward burnout.

Type 2- The Helper

Burnout booster: Neglecting self 

The burnout trap for Twos is that they’re other-oriented so they tend to put themselves and their needs and desires on the back burner. Twos can neglect their own needs or prioritize the needs the others. Self-care often feels selfish for Twos so they won’t engage in those rituals, which can lead to faster burnout. 

Type 3- The Achiever

Burnout booster: Workaholism

“I’ll rest when I’m dead” is the classic Three mantra. Rest is viewed as a reward for performance and achievement, and workaholism can lead Threes to never rest, which results in burnout.  is prone to burnout due to their workaholic tendencies. They have a strong drive for success and constantly seek external validation through their achievements. Rest and relaxation can feel like a waste of time to them, leading them to work tirelessly without taking breaks, ultimately resulting in burnout.

Type 4- The Individualist

Burnout Booster: Despair

Type Fours, deep feelers,  are prone to emotional exhaustion because of the intensity of their emotions and their worldview through an emotional lens. Type 4, the Individualist, is highly sensitive and emotionally attuned. Their deep emotions and tendency to view the world through an emotional lens can lead to emotional exhaustion. They often experience intense highs and lows, and if not managed effectively, this rollercoaster of emotions can contribute to burnout.

Type 5 – The Investigator 

Burnout Booster: Disconnecting from body needs

Type Fives, deep thinkers, can become so preoccupied with knowledge and the pursuit of “knowing” that they live in their heads and disconnect from their bodies and relationships. That disconnect can keep Fives from vital emotional and physical nourishment, making them susceptible to burnout.

Type 6- The Loyalist 

Burnout booster: Worry 

Type Sixes are very focused on reducing and avoiding risk, which naturally creates a sense of anxiety. Sixes can carry a heavy mental load and head into burnout easily through constant worry about prevention and avoidance of what they deem negative. experiences burnout through constant worry and anxiety. They have a strong focus on risk reduction and avoidance, which leads to a heavy mental load. Their perpetual state of vigilance and concern can drain their energy and push them toward burnout.

Type 7- The Enthusiast. 

Burnout booster: Lack of presence

Type Sevens can become disconnected from presence by not acknowledging tough realities by focusing on positivity and reframing situations. As master reframers, they love to say “It’s fine”, even if it’s not. They may deny or downplay their own emotional struggles, leading to emotional and mental exhaustion when reality catches up with them. Their avoidance of discomfort can hinder their ability to address underlying issues and contribute to burnout.

 

Type 8- The Challenger

Burnout booster: Won’t ask for help

Type 8, the Challenger, often takes on more responsibilities than necessary and has a reluctance to ask for help. They have a strong desire for control and power and can carry burdens alone, leading to burnout. An Eight’s reluctance to seek support or delegate tasks can overwhelm them and deplete their energy reserves.

 

Type 9 – The Peacemaker 

Burnout booster: Neglecting feelings

Nines will often neglect their own feelings, instead focusing on everyone else’s, leading to emotional exhaustion. Type 9, the Peacemaker, prioritizes harmony in relationships and often focuses on others’ emotions, and suppresses their own, which can result in emotional exhaustion over time. Their tendency to avoid conflict and confrontation can prevent them from addressing their own needs and contribute to burnout.

We are all together in this journey of life, struggling and striving in our own ways. Enneagram is a tool to help guide us in our relationships with ourselves and with others. Recognizing the burnout boosters for each Enneagram type is essential for maintaining our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

By understanding your own tendencies and the potential risks associated with your Enneagram type, you can take proactive steps to prevent burnout, by setting boundaries, practicing self-care, seeking support from others, and developing healthier coping mechanisms. Use the Enneagram as a tool for self-awareness and growth to cultivate healthier relationships with self and others as you navigate the journey of life alongside every type.

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Dr. Caneel Joyce is a CEO Coach and social scientist who helps people break out of the invisible traps and make whole-life changes easily and naturally.

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