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Season 3, Episode 5

Transcend Identity: The Power of the Enneagram with Courtney Smith, Part One

About this episode:

Join Dr. Caneel Joyce and guest Courtney Smith as they explore the impact of identity on personal growth and development in part one of this episode of the Allowed podcast. Gain valuable insights into how rigid childhood identity structures can become limiting and problematic in adulthood, leading to dissatisfaction, burnout, and a lack of fulfillment. 

In this thought-provoking podcast episode, Caneel and Courtney delve into the motives and challenges people face when embarking on personal growth journeys. Discover the challenges of rigid identities and how identity creates feedback loops, reinforcing existing patterns and limiting exploration of alternative ways of being. Uncover the common stages of life where identity crises often occur, like the thirties or midlife, and learn strategies to navigate these periods of transformation.

Throughout this episode, Caneel and Courtney stress the importance of questioning and challenging the underlying stories and assumptions that shape your identity. They highlight the limitations of off-the-shelf personal growth tools and advocate for tools that facilitate deep self-exploration and reevaluation of identity, like the Enneagram.

Discover the power of breaking points and embracing discomfort as a catalyst for personal transformation.

This episode offers valuable insights into the role of identity in personal growth, highlighting the significance of examining and evolving your identity structures as you navigate life’s complexities so you can achieve sustainable growth in both your professional and personal life. 



Read more about the Enneagram and identity

By detaching from our identities, we can also liberate ourselves from the pressures and expectations associated with them. The fear of failure or disappointing others becomes less overpowering when you embrace the fluidity of your self. You can learn that making mistakes or deviating from our designated roles does not define your worth or identity. Instead, that deviation becomes an opportunity for growth and self-discovery.

One of the best ways to begin the process of detangling yourself from your identity is through the Enneagram, a personality typing system. 

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Want to hear more about identity?

You can break out of the mindsets that keep you from playing full out. Become the person you want to be by letting go, rediscovering your essence, and Allowing all of you to come out into the world. 

Meet the Guest - Courtney Smith

Image Guest Asset Courtney Smith Headshot

Courtney Smith is an executive coach, teacher and group facilitator, and organizational advisor. She is committed to helping others see themselves and the world more clearly, and she supports the individuals she teaches and works with to live in greater resonance with their values. 

Courtney is an expert practitioner of the Enneagram, and she has privately studied with renowned Enneagram teacher and scholar Russ Hudson for a number of years.  Prior to becoming an executive coach and facilitator, Courtney worked as a management consultant in the healthcare industry, and she has a JD from Yale Law School, a masters in public health from New York University, and an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University.  

Having lived in New York City for twenty years, Courtney moved to Santa Barbara, California, with her husband and three children in early 2020.

Courtney’s Website


[00:01:43] Enneagram, personal growth, and conscious leadership

[00:04:17] Enneagram sheds light on professional/personal journey.

[00:06:55] Enneagram skeptic-turned-lover.

[00:10:30] Find where you’re stuck, seek growth.

[00:12:00] Why most people seek personal growth 

[00:16:04] Change formula: discomfort x vision = change.

[00:18:00] What is identity? How is identity formed?

[00:20:39] Identity creates a lens through which you experience the world.

[00:21:58] Unconscious habits shape identity and behavior.

[00:30:50] Why do you have a midlife crisis?

[00:33:24] How personal growth tools can often cement limiting identity beliefs

[00:39:05] Explore beliefs to improve desired results.

[00:40:53] Enneagram can create validation but can also calcify identity.

[00:44:39] Personal growth means breaking out of identity

Discover experiences that give your life purpose in your Zone of Genius

Executive Coach Dr. Caneel Joyce reveals a life-changing framework that can help you overcome self-doubt, uncover your hidden talents, and radiate with confidence, one small step at a time.