Ashley Buenger

by Ashley Buenger


The Enneagram: What, How & Why

The Ennea-WHAT?

Five years ago, I left my full-time job to start a family. It was then that I realized that I had lived my whole life with someone that I didn’t know very well.




I left a job that I loved for something that I wanted to love, even more: being a mother. But this job was harder than any other job that I had ever had (which many a mother will tell you). I was fumbling, to be honest. I didn’t understand why I was having such a hard time. I hit a brick wall, an experience that I had never had before.


Luckily, it was then that I learned about the Enneagram, and that’s when I felt like someone introduced me to myself.


The Enneagram taught me about my “escape hatch” mentality, the idea that I needed to have an exit door available whenever things got tough. I had utilized that hatch plenty of times in previous jobs. When things got boring or challenging, I simply moved on to another job. However, as a mother, I couldn’t do that and didn’t want to do that. Identifying my proclivity to run away helped me choose to stay.


Thanks to the wisdom that the Enneagram provided, I began a long journey in learning about myself. I’m happy to say I’m still primarily a stay-at-home mom, despite its daily challenges.


What is the Enneagram?

A tool used to determine personality. It is broken down into NINE different types of personalities categorized by motivation. The goal of the Enneagram is to give you language for why you think, feel and act the way that you do. Once you identify your personality, the Enneagram helps you begin to identify your true self behind that personality.


How can the Enneagram help you?

Aside from the valuable benefit of learning about yourself, the Enneagram can also help strengthen your relationships with others. Once you begin to understand all the numbers and how they are connected, you begin to develop empathy for others, especially for those who seem to be very different from you. This creates greater harmony in the home and in the workplace.


How do I learn which number I might be?

You could:

  • Reach out! I love to listen and help others discover which Enneagram number they might be
  • Take a test. I recommend the WEPSS test which not only helps you identify your number but also your areas of growth
  • Read a book. You could consider starting with any of these titles:


Aren’t personality tests too reductive?

Yes, they are. We are all complex human beings that cannot be reduced into nine simple categories. As a result, it’s important to note that the Enneagram doesn’t explain or solve all of your problems. It’s a healthy and helpful starting point in getting to know yourself and those around you. I would call it a very powerful launching tool on a journey to discover who you are and why you do what you do.


Hang around here and we’ll break down the Enneagram in the next couple of posts. Stay tuned.


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