I recently learned about the Enneagram of Personality and discovered I’m the number five personality type. Type five is known as the thinker, observer, investigator—among other similar names. Like the other eight types, it comes with its strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies.
It all began with a library book on the subject. I was then guided to an assessment from the book. I wasn’t entirely swayed by the summary I initially read after receiving my results. Yet the more I read, the more I realized the patterns described have played out similarly in my life.
I prefer to play with ideas and gather knowledge instead of actually putting myself out in the world. Particularly because I’m introverted, I tend to carefully guard my energy, time and privacy. I tend to be economical with my resources, and prefer to rely on self-sufficiency over asking for help. When stressed, I may over-indulge in certain areas, withdraw, or get into a frenzied state of needing to make progress.
Yep, that’s remarkably spot on.
I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that my type—whatever it may be—isn’t as beneficial or valuable as other types. I generally tend to downplay my strengths and the value I provide. To be announcing my type comes from a place of vulnerability. But I’m doing it because I want to be better about putting myself out in the world, even if I suck or fail at something. Even if it comes with admitting some weaknesses.
My hesitancy around putting myself out there is why to this date, I haven’t written a guest post on another site—although I’m submitting an article (eek!) to a website in the near future. It’s why my freelancing work hasn’t expanded as quickly as it could’ve, even though current projects with clients are going well.
Reaching out and embracing the uncertainty just aren’t my strengths. If I had a choice, I’d make do with what I have, but the reality of freelancing requires more from me.
I need to put more of myself out there. I need to give more of myself, my knowledge and resources.
The desire to become a better version of myself has led me to the uncertain path of freelancing.
Freelancing is both a liberating choice and nerve-wracking responsibility.
On the one hand, you have full control of your hours and what projects you take. On the other hand, your personal shortcomings are front and center. There’s really no one else to look at or blame. I’ve become painfully aware that any type of excuse is useless. Practicing good habits throughout my life has been more important than ever. Any failure or success is yours and yours alone to claim.
The importance of a healthy mindset on an uncertain path is immense.
I’ve realized that the act of enjoying the journey while figuring everything out is incredibly difficult. It’s particularly more so when there are many unknowns—as is often the case with freelancing.
Life is meant to be full of unknowns. It’s meant to be a process of continuously figuring it out.
But every so often, I struggle to appreciate the journey for what it is and where I am in the moment. From talking to many others, this is a common struggle. Many of us wish that we could fast forward past the uncertainty in our lives and get to what we consider the good part.
Based on REEBO—the lifelong process that we go through—that theoretically would be at least 80% of our lives missed. Uncertainty has a starring role in each of the first four phases; it only takes a backseat in the last phase, Optimize. That’s a large part of our lives that many of us aren’t appreciating as fully as we could.
As I hone in on the message and mission of my site in the next few weeks, this realization may be the key influencer to what Uncoveries offers to the world. I believe there are others who also struggle with the balance of enjoying the journey in the midst of figuring it out. From sharing my experiences and learnings, I hope to help others relish and appreciate every part of their lives—even the uncertain path along the way.