Several years ago, I was in an unhealthy place. Not only did the congregation I served make everyday life difficult. I was also plagued by a paralyzing self-doubt. For the longest time, I thought “if only.” For example, “if only I was more extroverted, people would like me more”; or “if only I was more detail oriented, I would get things done to the satisfaction of others.” Not only did this make things nearly unbearable as a leader, but it made me think I was genuinely unlikeable and unacceptable as I am.

I do not remember how I found the enneagram, but I am so very glad I did. It gave me a language to understand why I do things the way I do them and, more importantly, accept my more tender sides and the more vulnerable parts of my story. This self-acceptance led me to a self-health that allowed me to better understand and navigate what was happening in a very toxic congregational context. It also made me more resilient for future challenges in my life.

Like many other self-assessments, the enneagram is not a totalizing tool. It does not capture the fullness of who we are. In fact, one of the key foundations of the enneagram is, “I am not my personality.” Such recognition from the proponents of the enneagram allows us to use the tool as a tool rather than as a mold in which we must fit. At the same time, it allows us to see the true power of the enneagram – as a lifelong journey of self-discovery. Many who once hid from themselves now enthusiastically seek to know about themselves every day.

Preparing for Amazement wants to help you on this journey. Whether you know nothing about the enneagram or have been using it for years, we can guide you towards a beautiful self-acceptance that leads to a robust self-health. We look forward to partnering with you on that journey with one-on-one coaching that is available to anyone.

If you would like to set up some one-on-one coaching, inquire about other opportunities, or learn more, email me at for more information. 

Nate Whittaker, Coach

Categories: Leadership


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