What does it mean to be the best version of yourself? In this episode, Jackie Coban, Founder of Table For 9 Coaching, joins Whitney Lauritsen and Jason Wrobel as they talk about becoming the healthiest version of yourself based on your personality by knowing what that means and what it looks like. Jackie shares the details of her goal to help people develop language to describe who they already are and who they want to be. Learn why taking an online personality test might be counterintuitive and work against you rather than help you learn more about yourself. Tune in as they dig deeper into Enneagram and get an overview of the nine Enneagram types. Jackie talks about her work with her clients and how this could be great for you on your road to be the best version of yourself.
Listen to the podcast here:
Be The Healthiest Version Of Yourself with Jackie Coban
I am looking forward to this conversation because we’re going to talk a lot about personality. I love personality frameworks. I love learning more about myself. I love learning about others. This comes up in a number of our shows organically because it seems like it’s such an interesting way to understand people and learn more about behavior and thought processes. It’s also interesting to me how some people are into these personality tests and frameworks like I am. Some people feel very boxed in by them. I feel like it’s limiting. I’m curious to look at all the different responses to personality tests and frameworks. I thought that that would be an interesting place to start with here, Jackie. I know that you’re passionate about the Enneagram. I was exploring your website. One thing that I love that you wrote there was that when we use the word personality, a more accurate word would be the essence. Personality refers to how you act out loud or how one would describe you. Your essence is who you are in your purest healthiest form.
That’s the mental response to people who think that personality typing like these boxes them in. It’s like, “No. We’ve got to a level of health we want you to get to base on your personality. I don’t want you to be the healthiest version of your mailman or your mother, just of you.”
It seems like basing a lot of your work around personality. Is it something that came out of working with people or was it a starting point for you with your work?
It was a little bit of both. We can go into detail about this later, but I was in a job where I was doing seven roles for the price of one at a nonprofit. I didn’t have the language to explain how I was feeling. I didn’t have the language to say that this isn’t working for me, this isn’t my strong suit, and this isn’t where I’m gifted. I didn’t have any of that language. I was fresh out of college and headhunted for that job. I lost my shit, burnt out, moved to North Carolina because I was like, “I got to get the fuck away from here.” Years later, healing later, when I decided I wanted to coach someone offered me their services as a coach for coaches. She said it would be a $10,000 meeting once a month or every other week for three months.
She said, “It could help you.” At that point, I had been speaking to her for about ten minutes. She tried to sell me on this and told me it could help me. I was like, “You don’t know me.” For me, I was like, “If I’m going to coach people, I don’t want this one-size-fits-all bullshit. I want to know who I’m working with. I want to know if Whitney wants to run three miles and Jason wants to run three miles, they’ve got two different things stopping them. I want to figure out what that is and work with Whitney and work with Jason and not just this mold that I want them to fit into.” That’s how it started. It’s something that I had used for my own life that became applicable in my work.
That resonates with me too because that’s part of the reason that I love any personality test. One of my favorites that I discovered is Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies. I bring this up a lot on our show because it helps me create this framework around who I am and who others are. Have you done that one too? Are you familiar with it, Jackie?
I haven’t done it, but you are the second person to bring it up to me. I’m going to look at it.
My tendency in that framework is called the questioner. Like you, Jackie, I felt like when I learned this about myself, I was able to better communicate with others and understand myself in work scenarios, in relationships and friendships. As a questioner, one of the big things is asking why. Many people in my life have felt frustrated with me when I ask why a lot. It’s something that I almost get shamed about. When I was able to learn about this part of my personality, I could own it and feel more confident about it versus feeling ashamed or embarrassed because somebody didn’t understand me. It also gave me more patience and compassion for others, recognizing that they didn’t understand why I was asking this. It was easier for me to articulate why I’m a why person.
My goal is to help people develop language to describe who they already are and who they want to be. I know what pisses me off and what foods I like, but I didn’t understand how to describe my essence. From your standpoint, I don’t know how to describe why I’m a person who questions, but I have a specific motivation. It’s not to make you feel insecure. I have a motivation for doing it. It’s for the greater good. Here’s my language as to why. That’s powerful.
There are many different personality tests that you can take. It’s different from Myers-Brigg. This is where I get confused. That one I feel like is so big and well known and very helpful, but how is Enneagram different? What’s the big difference between the two of them? Why do you find that you’re drawn to the Enneagram personality framework?
I have to say my runner-up favorite for personality typing is Buzzfeed’s What Pasta Are You?. The reason it’s my favorite and why I feel like it’s different is if you look at Myers-Briggs or anything very similar to that, it’s outside in. It is like, “Here’s your behavior, your characteristics, and your tendencies. I’m introverted. I’m extroverted. I’m judging. I’m feeling. I’m thinking.” When you look at the Enneagram, stereotypically, this is the characteristics of this type of person will have, but it’s based on your motivations. All three of us can walk into a room and do the same bullshit and we have three different motivations.
It’s based on your core fears, your desires, and your motivations. Out of those things is what all your characteristics come from. Especially when you are high in stress, afraid, or angry, you have different characteristics that come out of you. We can’t sit here and go, “You did these characteristics. You were this personality type.” No. It’s sitting, questioning, and asking why and you get to a motivation because that doesn’t change. You can control your fear throughout your life, but that core fear still sits inside of you.
That’s the “demon” you need to fight your whole life or your motivation. Some people are motivated to help other people for recognition and they will struggle with that for their whole lives. That’s the scale I was talking about that healthy to unhealthy. We want you to be the healthiest version of that. That’s why it’s sustainable because I’m not characteristically the same person I was a few years ago, months ago, but my motivations have not changed. I’ve managed them.
I feel like your work is incredibly important for helping people verbalize what they’re feeling and who they are. I’ve noticed that a lot of people struggle with this. Sometimes it seems like it’s a confidence thing. This fear of either putting yourself in a box or some people’s experience like, “If I say who I am, maybe I won’t be accepted for that.”
I resonate with that. Let me provide a little bit of a backdrop. I don’t know if it’s an LA thing, but I feel like there’s an interesting overlap in the dating and social circles in LA with people that are into transformation, personal development, consciousness work, whatever that community has called that. It’s like, “Are you like INFJ, a number five, a manifesting generator/introvert, outwardly extrovert?” There’s this list of things when you meet someone, not everyone. They’re trying to evaluate you and suss you out based on all of these frameworks. Sometimes, it does feel depending on who is wielding that information to be a bit judgy like, “He was doped. I liked him, but he was number five. He was a manifesting generator. I got a hard pass. Namaste.”
It’s like the new version of, what’s your sign?
Do you guys know your Enneagram types, by any chance?
No clue, Jackie?
I feel like I should because I love these frameworks so much. Off the top of my head, I don’t know. That was the other thing I’m curious about Jackie is, do you feel confident in guessing or do you never allow yourself to guess because you don’t want to project on to the people around you or anyone that you’re coaching?Knowledge takes up less energy than feelings. Click To Tweet
A combination of everything you said. It’s not like when a kid says, “I hope I get a puppy for Christmas,” they’re thinking they’re going to get a puppy for Christmas. That’s what it means. I’m not like that. For example, I’m listening to Jason talk. I’m thinking, “You’re a 5 or a 9.” I’m guessing in my head, but I don’t know you. I don’t know your motivation. You can act like that and you can be a seven. I think of those things. I wonder, I hope, and I’m like, “Okay.” I don’t think that’s reality. I never assume. I don’t hold onto that assumption. I don’t like that. I don’t even like it when people take the online tests because you can’t rank someone’s motivations. You can’t tally up the score. I don’t like to guess, but I do assume I’m a human being. I’ll make an asset of you and me all day. I will assume, but I don’t hold onto that. I like to talk to the person and explore all that kind of stuff.
That’s such a nice approach too because it sounds like you’re not coming from this place of ego and like, “I know everything.” I’ve been doing this so long that I’ve got you pegged for a certain thing. You’re allowing it to be more based in truth and less based on your projections as somebody who even has expertise. That makes you more appealing to someone like me as a coach. I feel like you’re open to the possibilities of who I might be. That’s also the trick here. Some people get so confident about it like, “You’re a classic nine.” You said that I feel like I have a vague recollection of myself being a nine. I was trying to see if I’d written this down somewhere on my computer, but have not found any luck yet. What do you think is the best way to find this out? You didn’t recommend taking a test. How else do you find out if you don’t take an online test?
You can read a book. They’ll take you through all the nine types or you can talk to a coach about it. I would recommend either. The reason I don’t recommend it is that when you look at a coach or when you’re reading a book, you can put the book down. You can look at the coach and let that thing ask you why. If I ask you, why did you not get in your car this morning? I was scared. Why? I’m scared that someone’s going to hit me. Why? It is being able to dig deeper and deeper and a test can’t do that. That test is measuring characteristics and not exploring the motivations of it.
In some ways, it’s helpful. For example, with Enneagram types, and I know this is level two stuff, when a type is stressed, they borrow and act like a different number than they are. I’m a two. I’m a helper. I’m an advocate. That’s my type, the sweet little angelic little people. When I took my test, I was in the middle of this healing journey, this burnout, this rage that I was feeling. I kept typing as an eight, whose nickname is the challenger. I was reading it. I was like, “I feel like I’ve done this stuff, but this doesn’t feel like me.” I almost threw the whole Enneagram away. Someone was like, “No, just read a book.” I did. I was like, “I’m a two.” I didn’t eat or talk to anyone for three days because I was sad about it.
What book was this that you read?
I read The Wisdom of The Enneagram.
You tease, Jackie, and I feel like I want to invite you. I know that we could encourage the audience or ourselves to read a book or look online. You mentioned these quick little summaries of each number and if you wouldn’t mind, I would love to hear these quick little summaries of what each number represents. A little bite-sized pizza pocket if you want to give it to us.
Typically, you’ll see it in books starting with Type 8 and ending with Type 7, but I’m going to do it 1 through 9 because it’s easier. Enneagram Type 1 is called The Perfectionist or The Reformer. I like the word reformer because they like to reform things as they go. They see a problem and see a solution. They think it’s their responsibility to do it. They’re organized if not on their desk, then in their head. They typically see things in black and white. For them, their core fear and what they’re motivated by is they feel like if the world around them is not perfect, if the things that they deem as their own responsibility are not perfect, they are not perfect. They fear being bad or wrong, or even evil and unredeemable. That’s the Type 1 in a nutshell.
Type 2 is called The Helper or The Advocate. They’re the people that will stay at your party until all the dishes are done. They are the people who will help you move at 6:00 AM on a Saturday and bring bagels. They are genuinely the helpers. They love to help people. They have no problem being the power behind the throne. For them, what they’re motivated by is being needed. They feel like they need to self-abrogate, put their needs to the side, and help other people to feel value. Their fear is being unworthy of love, unlovable at all, and being rejected mainly that they’re not loved. They’re tolerated. They feel that they need to help other people to get that love.
Type 3 is called The Achiever or The Performer. Some people say they are the best. It’s very fitting. They’re charming. They’re dressed to kill. They’re usually the CEO in the company or that one employee that keeps moving up and up. They are go-getters. They reach goals like mad. For them, they feel that their worth is tied to their works. They go hand-in-hand. What’s going to happen for them is they often struggle with imposter syndrome. This inner tension of, “My worth is based in my works, but at the same time, I didn’t earn where I am.” That’s the struggle they try to fill. They push emotions down because emotions get in the way of them trying to reach goals and do their thing. They’re stuck trying to earn more so that they can prove their worth.
The Enneagram Type 4 is called The Individualist or The Romantic. They don’t have emotions or do emotions. They are emotions. They’re very emotional people and that is their superpower. They can sit with anyone in a crisis or a happy moment. They will feel a full spectrum of emotions. They have a deep-seated need to be unique. It’s not just a fashion thing. It’s that they need to be different. For them, they feel if they’re not different, if they’re not standing out, if they’re not making some wave, they’re going to be left behind, forgotten, or be lost in the abyss. For them, it’s not being different. It’s leaving their mark. “I won’t leave my mark here.” They feel like they’re going to be forgotten.
For the Enneagram Type 5, they’re called The Observer or The Theorist. The theorist is my favorite because that’s what they’re doing. They’re always making theories. They are more introverted. They are knowledge-base. They have emotions and they can be sensitive. They’re not emotional. They use knowledge and gain knowledge because knowledge takes up less energy than feelings. For them, they’re very big on conserving their energy. Some of us might wake up with a 90% battery. They might wake up with 40%. They’re like, “How do I rush in this throughout the day?” Their core fear is double-sided. It’s my fear of being depleted of energy but also, I don’t want to be seen as incompetent. There are two different motivations for storing up this knowledge A, to not run out of energy and B, to not be seen as stupid.
I love Type 6, which is called The Loyalist or The Guardian. Guardian is perfect because they are the guardian for the rules. They are the people who question everything. A lot of the memes and crap on Instagram will say like, “They are scaredy-cats.” I like to say that’s not true. They’re confident when they have all the information they need, but they live in code yellow all the time. They are like, “What could possibly go wrong, might go wrong? Here’s what I’m thinking.” They’re the people that are like, “You’re negative.” They’re like, “No. I’m trying to explain to you what could go wrong so you could think of it so it doesn’t go wrong.” For them, their fear is fear itself, fear of being without support, of being alone, of not being able to protect themselves, their family and the people around them, and that anything could go wrong at any time.
I love the Type 7. They are like the Peter Pan of the Enneagram. They’re called The Enthusiast or The Party. For them, they are always down for a last-minute adventure. Do you want to go to the theme park? Yes. Do you want to go to Europe? Yes. They are down to do anything fun, but for them, they go from one experience to the next. They live in this abundance, but they do it because they are afraid of coming face-to-face with their deep emotional pain. I’m not talking about, “I don’t want to run a mile because I might scrape my knee,” pain. I’m talking about, “If I deal with this hurtful breakup and I sit across a counselor and talk about it, then everything else that’s in me that has been hiding is going to come out. I do not want to be trapped in my emotional pain.” They will go from one fun experience to the next so that they don’t have to sit and be trapped in their pain.
The Enneagram Type 8 is the Challenger or the Contrarian. Some people say the dragon, it’s very fitting. They are the most misunderstood type on the Enneagram. They are the most forward. They can be the most aggressive. They are that bull in a China shop. In a courtroom, they’ll sue God and win. That’s them as people. For them, their motivations and their fears, they don’t want to be rejected or blindsided or at the mercy of injustice. For them, they’re tough and they’re going to stand their ground. A lot of times they stomp on the ice between two people, but between them and someone else to see if that person’s in it because they don’t want that rejection. That toughness is sometimes upfront. They are always standing up for the underdog. If you are being bullied and there’s a Type 8 in the room, you’re going to know it because they hate people being at the mercy of injustices, especially themselves.
The Enneagram Type 9 is the Peacemaker or the Wallflower. They’re the sweethearts of the Enneagram. They seem quieter. They’re usually not when you get to know them, but they do what their name says. They make peace and they keep the peace. They feel like it’s their responsibility because their core fear is conflict, especially tension and direct conflict. What’s going to end up happening is they’re going to end up merging with what everybody else wants and having a hard time making decisions because they don’t know how it affects people.
They will not choose the restaurant that the whole group goes to without asking a million times if that’s okay. They won’t pull the trigger on things. They fear this conflict and they won’t make decisions or say what’s on their mind. They get to a point where they’re like, “Do the people around me know me?” Through no fault of their own because they put themselves on the back burner to keep peace. That’s not the way that you’re supposed to keep peace, but that’s what they think. That’s a little generalization of the nine types.
If I identify a little bit with each one, does it mean that I have multiple personality disorder? Jackie, some more are acute than others, but a little nugget of each one. I was like, “Which one am I?”
Don’t get mad at me. People who identify eventually as Type 9, identify as every other type first. It’s because you can see through everyone’s eyes. How else do you merge with people or say like, “Yes, that’s good and I’m fine with that,” without seeing through their eyes first? Type 9s make great referees, coaches, and counselors because they can listen to all sides. They’re great at mediating and understanding life inside everyone’s shoes.
I feel like my mind is going crazy. First of all, it’s the rampant desire of wanting to know. I feel like, “I must know my number.” Although I have to say on my initial gut reaction when you were describing Type 4 about the sensitivity, that’s been one thing that I’ve struggled with a lot in my life. We’ve talked about this in previous episodes. Especially as a heterosexual man in American society, there’s been a demonization or a squelching of any emotion, sensitivity, depth, in that regard. For me being a sensitive man in America, that’s been a thing that I’ve had to work through my entire life. Immediately, as soon as you said Type 4, I was like, “I wonder.” I don’t know. That’s what my gut said at least.
You’re not wrong. In the USA, it’s pretty much death to the beta male. Any man who is not necessarily this alpha, who breathed smoke out of his nose is not a man. That’s crap.
It’s imprinting from the youngest age. This is a sidebar. For me, it’s been such a long process of accepting my sensitivity, accepting my depth of emotion, and allowing people to have whatever their reactions are because there’s a variety of reactions to it. The gift of this work and the reason that I’m becoming more curious as we talk to you is, I feel like I am understanding who I am. I love this word essence. I love it so much. As I suppose discover what might my true essence is and the layers of that, there’s also a confidence that I’ve noticed that has grown alongside the understanding. Not in a staunch, not malleable way of like, “This is who I am and I’m not going to change.” Not in that regard, but more like, “This is what I feel the core of my being,” and using that as a barometer or a compass to navigate life.
I find that interesting because I have to say that 9 times out of 10, the things that we feel innately we need to hide or make excuses for are our superpower. When I meet with a client or even a friend who’s like, “Can I pick your brain?” I’m like, “No. I’m probably going to charge you.” A lot of times when they come to me or after we go through the Enneagram type, even before, for example, Jason, “I’m a sensitive guy. I need to figure out what’s wrong with me. I feel like I want to help everyone all the time. I need to figure out what’s wrong with me. I feel like I have to question everything all the time.” Those things are your superpowers. The things that you feel like you need to hide or make excuses for. Just because someone has questioned you about that thing once because of their own insecurity, we build this castle in our head that says like, “I have to hide this part of me. People don’t like this part of me.” That’s your superpower.
My superpower is making people feel valued by stepping in. It’s doing that one favor that no one else ever wants to do or someone who is a four and is a very sensitive person like their superpower is that everyone around them feels known, seen, and understood due to sensitivity. For someone who is a six, who likes to question everything, their superpower is that they protect people because they think of every single scenario that other people don’t think of. Those things that we feel like we have to hide from other people and from ourselves, the things that we deem flaws, 9 times out of 10 are a superpower.
It’s also interesting reading through your website and you mentioned this as well is a lot of our type is based on our core fears and those motivations. I feel like because a lot of people try to hide their fears or compensate for them. There’s so much shame around us. That’s part of this. I wonder if that can get in your way of easily knowing what your type is. It’s hard for you to determine it yourself if you’re always trying to be in denial of some of those hard elements of yourself.
When I do a typing session with somebody, I ask them a bunch of questions first. I categorize them, are they a head person, a heart person, or a gut person? What’s their main center of intelligence? I go based on the types in that center. I go through characteristics. I tell stories and I help them to relate and to understand. All the way at the end is when I go over the core fears. We bend the page and close the book on our core fear. Our whole lives are one big coping mechanism around our core fears.
People don’t readily know that. I like to shoot them in the foot at the end because they won’t relate to it. Like me, I’m a two. I would have never admitted to being like, “My core fear is not being wanted.” No. I would have been like, “No. Everybody likes me. Everybody wants me. I’m very helpful.” When I look at my own training and stuff and I see that I’m going through characteristics, these values, these heart mindsets, these pain points, these childhood wounds. All of a sudden, I say, “Here’s the core fear.” This is the thing that makes all of those things make sense.
For me, when I was listening to you describe the types, I was identifying with Type 1 until there was a certain part that triggered me. I was like, “I hope I’m not a Type 1.” Part of my personal work has been researching perfectionism. I get triggered because I don’t want to be a perfectionist. Part of me was like, “Is that tendency within myself a characteristic of being a perfectionist?” I used to be known as a perfectionist because I saw it as a positive thing until I started researching it more and realized that being a perfectionist is not necessarily a great thing, but then I can identify so much. That’s part of my core fear. When you were describing the Type 1, I was thinking about how there’s much within me that wants to get things right.
That is part of my coping mechanism because I have a lot of fears around being wrong or there’s this whole operating system of wanting to do the right thing partially from an ethical perspective because of shame and being afraid to make mistakes. That’s been a huge part of my work. I’m curious for you, Jackie, since your type doesn’t change throughout your life, but we as human beings are constantly evolving if we’re choosing to. I suppose not everybody goes through a process of a lot of evolution because you have to be willing and open to get uncomfortable.
That’s the whole theme of our show here is all the growth that can come when you’re outside of your comfort zone. When you’re willing to examine yourself and look at life from all these different perspectives and opened all this information, you can learn, shift, and evolve. If your core type doesn’t change, that’s interesting because you’re the same person that’s changing. It’s different versions of yourself, but still at the core is the same. That’s hard for me to wrap my head around. I’m curious about your thoughts on that.
It’s complicated, but it’s a lot more simple than we think it is. The reality of it is I don’t want you to be the healthiest version of your mom or your dad or your mailman. It’s going to be you. You’re already on this linear scale, I like to tell people it’s what their superpower. If you don’t have a superpower, you have a downfall, then you grow and you have a superpower. If you think of any hero who grows into themselves as a hero, who grows into their power, like Superman doesn’t become Batman, the healthier he gets, he becomes the healthiest version of Superman.
Me being motivated to help people with the shitty motivation of feeling like I have to be needed, my motivation to help people has not changed. My motivation as to why I need to help people has changed drastically. I’m still going to be myself, but that these inner lies start to like unravel a little bit. I want to help people because it’s who I am as a person. I love seeing the smile across people’s faces and making them feel loved. I am motivated by that. I also have boundaries that seen my way. That’s a huge part of the growth.
I want to ask you a question though, Whitney, and this might solidify if you’re a one or not. Type 1s tend to struggle and they’re the only people who get this with an inner critic. It’s like, “Doesn’t everyone have that inner voice that berates them every time they’re about to do something or they do something or they get some negative feedback or criticism?” It’s like Type 1s have this inner voice that parents them, controls them, and tells them what everybody else is thinking about them all the time.
I do. I don’t know if it was because it was the first one you read or not, but there’s this sense that I have that that’s what I am. The inner critic work is something I reflect on a lot. It’s interesting to have this conversation. There’s part of me that’s like, “Do I feel like a one because I’ve been paying so much attention to this stuff, like the perfectionism, the inner critic, noticing my desire to control things and all of that, or it may be a coincidence that I’m more open to acknowledging those sides of myself and working on them?” What’s interesting, as we talk about this is that what you’re saying about not changing who you are evolving or becoming a better version of yourself, if that’s the right way to phrase it. I’m not fully confident about this idea of, “Be your best self or better version of yourself.” There’s something about that doesn’t feel quite right or maybe it becomes a cliché thing.
It is a cliché. We hear that a lot, “Be the best version of yourself.” What the fuck does that mean? If you’re telling me anything about you, but if someone lays out a scale like what I do with my clients, I say, “Within your type, when your motivations are warped, this is one side of the scale. When your motivations are clear and healthy, this is the other side of the scale.” I make it ABC for people because how am I supposed to know? These are unhealthy characteristics, average characteristics and healthy characteristics. They’ll start to notice themselves, “I do this when I’m in a great mood. I do this when I’m spiraling and I’m depressed.” They start to be their own measuring stick. If you tell people to be the best version of yourself, there’s no measuring stick and there’s no language or explanation. People start to get trapped in this, like “I have to be better, but I don’t know what better is.” When I say to be the best version of yourself, I also like to equip people with what does that mean and what does that look like for you? Help them decide what that looks like.
It moves so much beyond the one-size-fits-all approach that Whitney and I have discussed, seeing so much in the transformational sphere, coaching and personal development is the roadmaps, the formulas, and the twelve steps. I’m not dogging anyone specifically, but as an overarching observation, Jackie, in many cases, to piggyback what we’re saying, it seems to remove the individuality. It’s like, “This is a one-size-fits-all approach to improving your life.”
The other part I take umbrage with as a tangent, we get very tangential here with your experience with being an NLP or Neurolinguistic Programming Practitioner and someone who studied it. It seems to me that there are a lot of coaches and these “experts” are encoding their marketing messaging, their copy with a lot of very subversive, not enough messaging. In some cases, not even subversive at all, it is very blunt like, “You’ve been in the game this long. You’re an entrepreneur. You’re not making six figures out and you’re not making seven figures. You’re a fucking failure.” I notice it’s happening a lot. I don’t know about the norm in coaching, but I see a lot of it. I’m curious in terms of language and the power of language, the hypnotic programmable elements of how we use language and the energy behind it. How does that all fit in together? What’s your framework on that lexicon?
I love the word lexicon. I studied theology in college. That’s a good word for me. When it comes to that abusive language, it speaks to the imposter syndrome in people on purpose and it makes them move forward. This is why I don’t speak to people that way. I know for a fact, as a coach, if I tell people, “You’re not where you should be,” the people who feel like they’re not where they should be will buy anything I sell them. I don’t like that. I like to post questions, especially when it comes to the combination of Enneagram and NLP.Nine times out of ten, the things that you feel you need to hide or make excuses for are actually your superpowers. Click To Tweet
NLP is simply this in a nutshell. Here is my entire 36 hours of training on the subject. When I tell you something based on your previous experiences, your brain already erases half of what I say and replaces it with something in a way that you’ll understand it. You understand the context, but you do not understand what I’m saying. You understand it based on your experience. That’s why people who have a victim mindset always think everything’s about them. This is why people who are experiencing or healing from trauma think that everything can be a traumatic situation for them.
I like to ask people questions that help them use parts of their brains that are active and not subconscious. For example, when I talk to people about the Enneagram or their worldview, I ask them with the two, who feels like they need to help and to fit whatever? I always ask them, “Can you ask yourself, is this mine to fix and answer rationally?” What it’s going to do is it’s going to start to create a new experience. It’s going to start to create a new context. The next time someone asks for a favor, the first thing they’re going to think is, is this mine to fix? Pretty soon it’s going to be muscle memory.
I do that with all of the types. I don’t want to tell you you’re not enough. You’re already telling yourself you’re not enough. You don’t need one more person telling you that. I want you to take ownership. If you want to help someone move at 6:00 AM, perfect, go do it. At the same time, equipping people with these questions, am I being overly suspicious about this person? For someone who’s a Type 1, am I angry about this or is this misdirected anger about something else? When you ask yourself these thoughtful questions that you need your active brain for, they start to become muscle memory. They start to become the new context by which you understand everything. Your brain is still going to erase half the information you hear, but it’s going to replace it with a healthier context.
The word that comes up for me is almost reprogramming. How do neuroplasticity and the idea that we can reprogram, deprogram, create new neural pathways fit into your whole approach? How does all that research land for you? What’s your take on it?
I’m not a neuroscientist. I didn’t study this. I’ve done a lot of research. I tell people all the time, “If you tell yourself you’re stupid every day for ten years, it’s not enough to stop telling yourself you’re stupid because that’s your reality.” Your thoughts change the shape, the neurons, and the pathways. Everything that you said changes everything. Whatever core belief you’re believing, especially as it relates to the Enneagram and your worldviews, that’s your reality for a long time. I can sit here and I can tell you to your face that being sensitive is not a bad thing. You can still believe that for the rest of your life, but you have to do that work and specifically un-programming it. Some people do it via affirmations. I ask people to do why exercises where they ask themselves why until they feel like they’ve hit their actual answer and not their deflective “I don’t know” answer.
I could ask why all day long, whereas somebody else might hear that and be like, “That’s the last thing I want to do.”
Somebody like a seven, who doesn’t want to be trapped in emotional pain knows that with the word why comes pain. They’re not going to want to do it. When it comes to something like neuroplasticity, it requires responsibility and ownership. Knowing that you think the wrong way about something or noticing that your thoughts are going off the rails or landing on rumble strips too far, too often is not enough. It has to be a reprogramming of yourself. That’s why people bullshit on affirmations. I told myself that I’m the cutest person I know. I started to look cuter. I looked in the mirror and I was like, “I’m cute.”
Do you have a source for affirmations that you like or is it more for you thinking about what you need and then writing it down and saying those out loud to yourself? How do you find affirmations to be most effective for you and your clients?
When it comes to my clients, I help them through affirmations by asking them what do they feel the most insecure about, the most afraid about, or badly about themselves. I have a bunch of worksheets that trick them into giving me these answers. I do that for myself. It’s based on my needs. I feel like I’m a very self-aware person, but in the beginning, I would Pinterest and google affirmations. That one hurt my feelings because I don’t believe it about myself. That’s the one I need to focus on. I’m writing a 365 book of affirmations for each Enneagram type, but it’s hard to finish nine books at the same time. I’m hoping to do that within the next year and get that out there. People need to pay attention to what hurts their feeling and that tells you a lot about yourself. When it comes to affirmations, the one that hurts you the most because you feel like you don’t deserve it or it doesn’t apply to you, that’s usually the one you need to focus on.
Through this conversation at this point, I’m thinking I’m probably a Type 1. For you, Jason, since you were initially feeling like you could identify with all of them, is there something based on your triggers or fears that you think would help you identify your type? You talk a lot about on the show and offline about your fear of abandonment. That seems to be one of your core fears and triggers.
That’s accurate. If I were to add my frame of understanding to what I would characterize as a core wound, there are certainly others that I’m still unraveling, unworthiness, not-enoughness, feeling like I have to prove myself. I have a chip on my shoulder. In my understanding have looked at that as coping mechanisms to avoid abandonment. To me, as far back as I can go with my childhood with the issues with my dad, we talked about that on the father’s episode. Every other compensatory mechanism or way of avoidance or way of trying to protect myself, as far as I understand, a way to avoid being abandoned.
You may be a four.
I’m glad you said that. The individualist with temperamental, dramatic as well, very expressive, very sensitive. You brought that up too earlier, Jason.
That’s a good characterization, dramatic and temperamental.
Type 4s do struggle a lot with the fear of abandonment and it has to do with this, “I’m trying to use my soft voice, but something is missing in me. Something is not right.” They struggle a lot with envy. It’s not like I hate you and I want what you have, but you look at other people, their successes, and what they do and be like, “What’s missing in me? What’s wrong with me that I can’t have the things that I want?” The childhood wound of the four, the childhood messaged that a four tends to grow up understanding based on their worldview is it’s not okay to be too much, but it’s not okay to not be enough.
That gave me chills hearing that because talking about childhood wounds, I know one of your interests or passions, Jackie, is about repressed memories and trauma. You probably have some more to say about Type 4.
I want to hear what Jason’s thoughts are because I hit him in the crotch.
I felt like there was this dualistic thing. It’s hard for me to discern between what is part of my innate essence as a being and what are coping mechanisms that I learned to use and leverage in childhood. Here’s what I mean by that. I was always the life of the party. I was always the one entertaining everyone, making everyone laugh, being the comedian, being the one who was improvising, and doing voices and characters. I was on stage as young as I can remember. My mom put me on a stage and said, “Go, use that energy,” but there was always this sense of no matter how many people I would get to laugh or have a good time or be entertaining, there was always this sense of, “I’m still not enough. I’m still not good enough. There’s someone better than me. There’s someone funnier than me. There’s someone more successful than me.” It doesn’t matter.
It became this voracious empty pit inside of me that could never be filled. No matter what things, heights, or successes I would experience in adulthood, it never felt like enough. I’m struggling with that during this time of COVID and evolutions or de-evolutions in my career and my life path, this is all very relevant. What I’m trying to say is in one way that I developed or honed in on this thing to entertain people, make them laugh and make them feel good was that if I’m entertaining you, making you laugh and bringing you joy, you’ll never abandon me. I’m bringing you too much goodness.
That’s the way you’re standing out and being unique. This is the way you’re leaving your marks that you’re not forgotten. What you were speaking about earlier sounds like I put a podcast episode out about how each of the nine types self-sabotages. For the Type 4, it’s comparative thinking and not me and Jeff and comparing myself to him. Comparing your past to your present and your present to your future. I don’t want to say it’s like a lack of happiness or whatever. I don’t want to use that language, but saying like, “I’m not where I should be. I’m not where I want to be, ideally. I’m idealizing what the perfect life looks like. I have a hard time settling and choosing. This is exactly what I’m idealizing,” but then you look at your present to your future and you are struggling because it doesn’t look like where you want to be.
That is like, “I didn’t come as far as I’d like to have come. I’m not as far as I’d like to be now.” That ends up self-sabotaging things. A lot of my clients who are four’s, they don’t say yes to the second interview. They don’t say yes to the second date. They’re like, “I’m not sure if that’s what I want.” They don’t know what they want because they feel like something’s missing inside of them. That’s a priority, but it’s not ever vocalized.
I feel like there’s a part of me that’s like, “She sees me. You can’t hide it.”
Jackie, I’m curious since another topic that you express based on your personal experiences is the role of depression and anxiety. Those are things Jason talks about frequently. With that, I’m curious how that shows up when you figure out your type and what you’ve learned about those two elements of life, which have been coming up a lot now. Anxiety especially comes up so much. I feel like there’s something about COVID and all the uncertainty around it, the fears, and the panic has brought anxiety to the surface, which in a way I think is important for us as a society to address our anxieties and learn not our coping mechanisms, but how can we address it?
I have a friend who’s an anxiety coach. I made an appointment with her when the second business has started shutting down because I was shitting my pants. I was like, “What’s going to happen? I have an autoimmune disorder. I’m going to get sick. I’m going to die. Everyone’s going to die. I’m going to run out of food.” It was crazy. I kept thinking about my friends. She told me, “Your anxiety is your friend.” I was like, “Get out of my face. What does that mean?” She was like, “Your anxiety is your body, your mind, your spirit telling you something is not right or something about the way you’ve always thought is not right.” It’s either something is visibly tangibly wrong in my situation or everything is fine, but I’m having anxiety for no reason, which means there’s a pattern in my thinking that makes me think that something is not right.
She’s like, “Your anxiety is a gift because it points you in a direction if you press into it enough.” That’s the thing, I’m noticing a lot of people. I noticed an influx in clients during COVID because people do not want to be alone with themselves. The second they’re alone with themselves, they feel like something’s not right. I’m like, “No. You’re waking up, good morning.” You recognize who you are. You recognize your tendencies. When it comes to depression, I don’t want to play with that because depression is serious and I don’t want to downplay it or anything like that, and so is anxiety.
When it comes to dealing with the day-to-day, if you’re not struggling with manic depression or anxiety, and you feel because of the pandemic or who I’m speaking to right now, people feel like something is wrong because they feel like they’re trapped with the part of themselves. They’ve tried to bend the page and close the book on. You have no choice but to see that. You take you with you wherever you go. If you’ve been home alone for four months, guess who’s with you? You.
This gift of the quarantine and this whole global situation is I don’t want to use the word forcing. That feels harsh and punitive, but it’s inviting people with a lot of enthusiasm and presence to say these things that you have been ignoring overwork, through ambition, through stressing yourself, through all of these external distractions. We’re going to remove concerts. We’re going to remove movies. We’re going to take the sports away.
It’s hard to get together and have sex.
All of these social capitalistic distractions that we have, we’re going to strip all those away. You describing this, Jackie of we get to be with ourselves. Many people may be taking a look at some things that they have tried to bury or compartmentalize. There are things that have come up for me where I’m like, “Hello, darkness, my old friend.” We’re not going to run from that, compartmentalize it, or shame myself for these aspects of my being. What a gift that’s been. I’m also curious because you had a little tidbit and I want to loop back to. You said that you graduated with a BA in Theology. I’m curious to not only overlay all of this work at understanding ourselves, loving ourselves, learning ourselves, but I’m curious how your spiritual philosophies, your understanding of God, and your understanding of our beingness in the universe. First of all, what is that for you? What do you believe God is? What do you believe we are? These are macro questions. How does your spiritual belief tie into the work that you’re doing?
I have shifted and did a lot of spiritual unlearning when it came to what I believe. I still believe that there is, however you want to call it, someone who’s managing the crane when it comes to the universe and there’s something bigger out there. I’m going to use the word divine because anyone can find it applicable. I think that we are all created in some divine image, whatever that looks like. Whether it’s a piece of the universe or a piece of the moon, I always tell people I am the sun because I am. You’re created in this divine image. I like to say that the Enneagram is nine versions of the divine, each one that sits within us.
We spend our lives shoveling away and getting the dirt away from the dirty human parts to get to that divine and find that divinity within us. I feel like that has helped me connect with my family and my friends. That’s helped me connect with the earth. It’s helped me connect with the universe. That’s helped me connect with God or whatever you want to call it. For me, I look at the divine that sits within us and the human that’s been buried on top of it. When I say human, I don’t mean that humanity or flushes dirty. The humanity, like the lies, the scarring, the childhood wounds, the things that we feel in ourselves are not right. All of that stuff has been piled on top of that divinity. Life is one big search to coming to realize that there is divinity inside of all of us. That’s the way I see it.
I love the way you describe that. How you are known to ruin Christmas? Is this an intentional choice? Is it that you bring up an uncomfortable subject matter at the dinner table? Given your backdrop, your spiritual beliefs, and your work, could you describe to me exactly how is it that you are known as the Grinch?
This might open up a different conversation. When I got out of college, I was working with survivors of child sex trafficking, and it was the greatest job. It was beautiful. I was headhunted for a job at a nonprofit doing seven rules for the price of one. I was working for a church. Over the course of the time that I was there, I kept telling them I’m not gifted in this thing. I was a warm body. At first, I was like the admin and the personal assistant. I was perfectly great at that because I’m a two. I kept growing.
They’re like, “We need someone to take over events. We need someone to take over the pastor’s project management.” I was like, “I can do those things.” “We need someone to take over marketing and also finance admin.” I was like, “What?” It started growing and growing, hospitality, youth. Essentially what happened was that during Christmas, we had a few things going on that year. I was in charge of the guests that were flying in and their itineraries, the hospitality, feeding volunteers, getting volunteers together, the pastor’s lives, everyone’s life. We were going to merge with another church and I was in charge. Long story short, we had to do a Christmas video for a charitable thing that we do every year, giving Christmas away where we raise money and pick a cause in our local community and give it to it.
The video wasn’t great, sound quality wise because I sent an intern and the seasoned person to do the video, but I sent them to do it. I delegated it because I had a million other things to do for that season. I was told it was the worst Christmas we’ve ever had because the video sucked and that I ruined Christmas. The reason it did my Twitter bio, which is funny, you found it. One of my friends was like, “I dare you to put it in your Twitter bio.” I was like, “Challenge accepted.” I ruined Christmas one time.
How did that feel to be told that? When I hear that again as a potential Type 1, if somebody told me that I ruined Christmas, I would be devastated.
I was devastated, but for a different reason. It was like dual-sided. I know I could have done better if this was the only thing I was doing. I was doing a million other things and I don’t have the language to say that. What ended up happening was I moved out of the state. I went to North Carolina. I spent some time there. Upon coming back, I was able to have that conversation because they wanted to give me my job back. The people that came after me, they started taking roles away from them. They’re like, “I don’t know how you did this.” I was like, “I didn’t. That’s why I ruined Christmas.”
When I came back and they wanted to offer me the job, I said no. They were like, “We expect too much of you.” I was able to say like, “You set me up for failure by not listening to me when I said I can’t be a warm body anymore. I don’t care if there’s a need here, hire someone, find a volunteer. I can’t do seventeen things at once.” That’s how it felt. I was already at the breaking point of done. If it had happened maybe months earlier in the grand scheme of things, I probably would’ve punished myself very tough. I would have been like seeing how it affects individual people, being a people person. I would’ve been like, “It affects them like this. Christmas sucked because of this.” I was netting seven times less a week than I should have been making. I don’t feel bad for anything but I was like, you deserve to hear what you need to hear, but I rationalized it.Superman doesn't become Batman the healthier he gets, he just becomes the healthiest version of Superman. Click To Tweet
I want to talk about creativity for a second, Jackie. I want to talk about Steve Jobs. First of all, in reference to the Steve Jobs movie, did you prefer the Ashton Kutcher performance or the Michael Fassbender performance?
Ashton Kutcher, because he’s hot.
I feel like that is an uncommon choice. Most people are going to go to Fassbender. What about that film sent you into a creative spiral and go deeper into that because I want to know the story behind this?
I bought a pair of mom jeans and a black turtleneck. My boyfriend was like, “You look like Steve Jobs.” He was like, “We should watch that movie this weekend.” That’s how it happened. We watched the movie on my TV.
Which one did you watch?
The Ashton Kutcher one. We were watching it and I hadn’t started my business yet at the time. He was smart. He has this a multimillion-dollar brain and eventually, has a multibillion-dollar business. I was like, “I can do that.” I started watching how he did it. He had no means, but it was about how much he believed his brain was worth or his ideas were worth. I was like, “My ideas are worth millions, billions, and squillions.” I was like, “Babe, should I start a business?” He was like, “Sure. About what?” He was nonchalant about it. I don’t think he thought I was going to do it, but I watched.
As I watched it, it’s dramatized. I was inspired by the drama. I was like, “This guy who had nothing, was expected to finish nothing, was apparently good for nothing, had a brain and an idea. How he got there, he just used what he had in front of him.” He had like these random friends who could do this. He had this friend who could do that. He found this computer shop who would buy it for this or whatever. He hustled until he got there. I was like, “I want to do that. I have a multimillion-dollar idea in my head of people who live sustainable lives. I can do that. I’m doing it.” A few months later, I got let go from my job. I was working in finance. There was a huge cut. It was like 40 people in one day. I was one of them. I was like, “I have to start this business.” That’s what I did.
Did you continue to dress like Steve Jobs? Did you have a closet full of turtlenecks and mom jeans or did it stop at one outfit?
I have one pair of mom jeans, but I have turtlenecks in every color you could think of. Yes, I am Steve Jobs. I like to say that I want to be somewhere and I get judged for this a lot, but I don’t give a crap. I want to be somewhere in between the female version of Steve Jobs and the female version of Dan Bilzerian.
What about Dan Bilzerian? Are you extracting from his life?
I don’t want a lot of half-naked honeys around me. I don’t care about that unless Zac Efron wants to come on my boat. We’re good. I have a lot more self-control, I like to think. I also have a heart to helping people. I want to be able to like pay someone’s tuition because I can. I love that he’s like, “I can do my business. I can do my work from wherever. I’m going to take a boat ride throughout Greece, enjoy and bring people with me.” I love that. As a two, as a Helper, that speaks to me. “You can’t afford a vacation? Come on my boat, bitch. Let’s go.” That’s what I want.
Let’s talk about at least what’s coming up to me philosophies around abundance, money, or wealth. I feel like abundance and wealth are not about money. They’re about a mindset and things way beyond the numbers in your bank account. There seems to me, at least for me, and I feel like a lot of people I talked to tug of war between the idea of wanting abundance and understanding why I want it and what I want to do with specifically financial abundance. Feeling superabundant in other areas of my life, but then feeling almost like, “I don’t need all that money to be happy because I can be happy now. If I did have that money, I could take all my family on a trip to Greece. I could rescue a bunch of animals and start a foundation.”
What I’m trying to describe is this seemingly at times diametrically opposed mindset of, I want to be financially abundant. You brought up Dan Bilzerian, Steve Jobs, they have done well for themselves versus, “I want to stay humble. I want to do my work. It doesn’t matter the numbers in my bank account. Maybe money’s a little bit dirty. We live in a toxic capitalist culture.” How have you experienced or have you experienced both of those sides of the coin? Is there a particular Enneagram that might struggle more with that than another?
First of all, I don’t think money is dirty. Money is not the root of all evil. Your heart, when it comes to how you see money and how you get money, is dirty if it is. I don’t think it’s either/or. It’s both-and. It’s, “I don’t need this, but I want it and that’s okay.” If you want money because you want a big house and you want to live a lavish life, that’s okay too. What comes to me is justice in how you get money and justice in paying taxes and all that stuff. That’s what comes to me.
I don’t want to get like woo-woo, but money is energy. Money is nothing. I have a friend and she’s like, “I want to make more money. My family never had money.” I’m like, “What is money?” It’s not even bits of paper anymore. We can’t even say that. It’s all on a card. She’s like, “Money is I can do what I want. I can go where I want. I can take a vacation.” I’m like, “Money is safety. Money is security. Money is fun. Money facilitates friendships and what you can do for people.” Money is energy. It’s a route that you take to get to those things. I do think we should be able to find those things in our everyday life without money.
When we do have money in the future, we can still have those things if we’ve been able to facilitate it well. That’s why people think money is dirty because they feel guilty about having it and having so much. Other people are struggling. The reality is cash does rule everything. Money rules everything. If that doesn’t apply to your life, I don’t feel like it applies to mine. I used to struggle and feel guilty about wanting money because I was poor. I grew up poor. I struggled with wanting money. I thought it was selfish. I can want money to pay someone’s tuition, but I can also want money because I deserve money for what work I put out there, as long as I earn it honestly and I am wise and responsible with it.
Every Enneagram type struggles with their relationship with money and every Enneagram type also loves money. It’s a human thing. It depends on your level of health. I have a friend who’s in Enneagram 7 who loves going from one thing to the next, loves abundance, loves extra, we’ll order one of everything off the menu, if she could. She’s been in an awakening and minimalistic living. We’re driving down the shore, which is what we call the beach in New Jersey. She’s like, “Look at these big houses.” I was like, “What if that person has a big family or a company? They want to sleep 30 people at once.” She’s like, “I guess.” She was like, “What do you need all this stuff for?”
I was like, “If you had a lot of money and you had a motivation to build a big house, would it be wrong?” She was like, “I guess not.” It depends on where you’re at and how you view money and how you viewed money growing up. For me, money is energy. Money is a route to something. That’s why a lot of people fail when it comes to money and they get angry with money because they don’t know what they want. They want money. They fail at everything they do instead of investing in what they’re gifted in, which is going to in turn, bring money.
Similar to money being such a big struggle for a lot of people, so are relationships. As you’re speaking about money, what’s your perspective on relationships with the different types and how they navigate it?
A lot of people ask me, “What types should I date based on my type?” I’m like, “If you’re asking me that question, nobody. If you’re looking for the person that’s going to give you the easy ride because of your personality types. Are you willing to grow with someone?” My boyfriend’s a five and they’re polar opposites, 2s and 5s because twos are like, “Love me and let me love you,” and fives are like, “Get away from me. I’m on the computer.” Everybody gets along and also nobody gets along. It depends on how healthy you are and how much you can see past your world view to see another person thinks differently. That’s all it is.
I could be in a relationship with anybody I want, but it depends on their level of self-awareness, their growth, and their ability to see things from my perspective and vice versa. When it comes to relationships, my partner and I, we have these very typical 2 and 5 struggles where I’m like, “I need a little bit more attention and a little bit more love.” He’s like, “I don’t have the energy to give it to you.” That’s a struggle. It’s not a misunderstanding. It’s something that we move past and hope better for the future and work better for the future.
If you are a grown-ass person and you want to date someone that you click well with without any tension, there’s a deep-rooted issue there. There’s a fear of failure behind that. Not to say that you shouldn’t date someone that you specifically are going to have trouble with, “That person and I rubbed the wrong way. Let’s date.” That’s not a good idea. It’s about how well you’ve grown and how the other person is growing and how you guys see each other’s worldviews and what lens you are allowing yourself to see through. At that point, it’s not that you get along with people, but it’s that there are less parameters in your head and in your heart to who you can be with. You can be with anyone you want to be with.
That was a wonderful and refreshing perspective because I feel like in the dating world, it’s this cliché of trying to figure out what sign you are when you meet somebody and are you compatible. We examine all of that. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it the way that you are positioning it, which is, are you trying to figure out these things about people so you can protect yourself or guarantee success in some way? I agree. A lot of times, we’re attracted to people for reasons that are hard to explain. For me and a number of people I’ve talked to, there’s this fear of, are we attracting the wrong person because we’re drawn to people that are bad for us?
One thing that I’ve found nice lately is hearing this perspective of like, it’s not that necessarily that someone’s bad for you. It’s like you might need to do some growth together and giving people more of a chance. Something that we talked about in an episode was a lot of female empowerment lately seems to be around, “If this guy treats you this way, you deserve so much better.” This idea of if a guy doesn’t know how to treat you well, you need to move on. To me, I find that sad. If someone’s genuinely not good for you, in an abusive relationship, that’s very black and white. I also feel there are many gray areas when it comes to dating because the opposite sex or the same sex, depending on who you’re designed to date, they’re struggling too.
They have work to do on themselves. If they have a characteristic that makes them “not suitable” then how are they ever going to date anybody? They need an opportunity to be loved and grow as a person as well. I’ve been interested in that lately and this idea of not always trying to find someone who’s already perfect and already whatever you want, but what if you can pay attention to that un-describable chemistry sometimes and give that relationship a chance because that person is human as well?
When I first started dating my partner, I was part of a church community that I’m no longer part of anymore and a lot of reasons. I remember talking to my roommate, who was also part of that community. I remember telling her nothing about him. She was judgy. I was like, “I’m going on a date.” I never mentioned it again. We had been dating for about two months at that time. She was like, “I felt like you were settling in the beginning.” I remember specifically not telling her anything, but I remember saying to her like, “Why?” She was like, “He is this and I don’t think he pursues you,” and all this stuff.
I remember telling my roommate, “I don’t want to judge someone based on my expectation of them. I want to judge him based on himself.” What I did was I told her, I was like, “I took these two months to get to know him because I don’t want the sliding scale to be based on me, ‘You’re not good enough,’ but based on what I want. ‘I noticed you always excel in this area and you seem to be pulling away from it. Are you okay? Are things okay?’ I don’t want to judge a man based on my expectation. I want to judge a man based on himself.” That’s where people get it so wrong. They want someone who is up to par, but they’re not up to par of themselves. I watched this person also, my roommate, get into a relationship with Enneagram Type 5 and spiral. It didn’t work out because she couldn’t understand how his worldview and stuff like that.
It’s very interesting to me when people have these high expectations but give no return either. I have a certain expectation like stand up when I walk into a room, that’s sweet. Some expectations of treating me well at a baseline and all that stuff. The rest we grew together and we did. A lot of people were like, “You guys are not going to work out.” We’ve been together for a few years. We’re looking at wedding venues. I don’t give a shit about what anyone else says. I’m a growing person so is he, and we’re growing together. Dating these days has become a lot more accessible and more beautiful. It’s also a little bit more shallow. The more self-aware we are, the more we start to have expectations of other people. That’s not what self-awareness is.
There’s a feminist perspective of like, “I deserve the best. I want to be treated like the queen that I am.” There are some positive elements of that outlook. It’s this idea of a checklist of like, “This person has to do this and this. Otherwise, they’re not worth dating.” They’re not good enough or like you’re saying, “I’m settling or whatever else.” My heart goes out, the more that I learn about personality types or love languages or tendencies. That’s part of the reason I love these frameworks so much is because it’s opening my eyes to all of these different ways that people live and the places that they’re coming from and their traumas. There are many factors in what shapes somebody’s behavior.
As we were saying before, you might not be able to change your type, but you can evolve as a person and become that “better version of yourself.” There’s got to be a better way of phrasing that. Have you come across it, Jackie? This idea of like, “Become the best version of yourself.” It’s nice but also cliché. I would love to find a better way of expressing that sentiment.
I like raising your level of awareness, raising your level of alignment, aligning with your essence or whatever. I like the phrase, “Who you are supposed to be and not who you are.” That works in some ways. I also think too, when you’re meeting somebody, I always tell people, whether it’s a coworker or someone in a relationship, pretend like they’re eight years old because most of the time, we are ourselves at eight years old with larger skin suits on. You are meeting someone’s inner child every time you talk to them. Pretend they’re eight years old and see it from that perspective, the way you would see, “Why is this eight-year-old crying for no reason?” “They probably sad about something and they can’t vocalize it. They’re probably frustrated about something.” Being able to see human beings in that same way is helpful. You can say, “I’m obviously not making excuses for them. I’m making excuses way too much. I think this person is a bully and not for me.” I used to say, “Take a man’s age, subtract six years. That’s how old he is.” This is who we want to date? There are better ways to go about it.
I’m curious about ego, Jackie, because this is coming up. One of my favorite tweets was you talking about how the ego is a child and especially in relation to acknowledging that within each of us, there’s an inner child that is in many cases wounded or traumatized or trying to heal with it. Sometimes it emotes or expresses itself in a way that can’t be perfectly verbalized or maybe we haven’t allowed or learned how to perfectly verbalize that. Going to the core of ego itself, I feel like a lot of messages and rhetoric that we hear in the transformational conscious community is how bad ego is and the ego should be killed and the ego is this. I’m curious if you feel that the ego can be leveraged for good. If it can be, how so?
Yes, but people think this is very woo-woo or spiritual. You talk to your ego like you would talk to another person or like you talk to a child. I have boundaries with my ego because I have boundaries with people. For example, when my mom is going crazy and telling me like, “You can’t start a business. It’s going to fail within the first year.” “I respect your opinion. I respect that you’re telling me this stuff. I appreciate that you are attempting to look out for me, but I disagree. It’s a minimizing mindset. I’m going to try it anyway and if I fail, that’s okay.”
The same way I would do that to another person, I would do that with my ego. My ego is always telling me that I don’t deserve more money. “I respect that. I appreciate that. You’re afraid of what I’m going to do when I have money. I have a lot of plans. I have a great heart. I know what I’m going to do when I have money. It starts with paying off my loans. It starts with X, Y, and Z.” Talking to your ego like you talk to another person giving you feedback that you have boundaries with is important. Your ego will always be part of you, killing off the ego, minimizing the ego. I’m not all for death to self. People preach like, “Death to your flesh, your ego, and that’s stupid.”
If you were built with these beautiful things that are meant to be your inner committee, your inner guides in a sense. There are some decisions you can’t make with anybody else. That’s why I feel like the universe or the divine, or God has equipped us with these things, including a conscious making them your friends and not seeing them as enemies. The point of your ego is always going to be something that tries to protect you or bring you down but out of fear, out of smallness. If you remember your ego is always small and full of fear, you can address that well. That doesn’t have to become you. If you are a person that makes yourself small or makes yourself afraid to move into a relationship or move into a job or move into whatever, you are taking on the persona of your ego. Nobody wants to do that. Being able to see those parts of us separate is important.
I feel like there are many little rabbit holes that we can go down through this conversation. What do we possibly end with here?
Jackie, if you were a dinosaur, what kind of dinosaur would you be?
It’s a brachiosaurus. I love dinosaurs. I’ve dinosaurs all over my apartment. I feel like you’ve known me.People need to pay attention to what hurts their feelings, that tells you a lot about yourself. Click To Tweet
I like the long neck. In person, I’m 5’1” and a little stumpy. I like a big, long elegant neck. I don’t want to be a meatball anymore. I want to be a brachiosaurus.
Whitney, if you were a dinosaur, what kind of a dinosaur would you be?
I don’t know if this is a Type 1 tendency, but I don’t like being put on the spot. It must be a Type 1 thing because I like to research. I like to go and evaluate things. Is that a Type 1 characteristic, Jackie?
It’s a Type 1 characteristic, but it’s also a Type 5 characteristic, which I find interesting.
For me, I want to look at all the options and then evaluate and decide which one’s best. I’m not as into dinosaurs as the two of you are. I don’t even know enough. I’m going through the dinosaurs I know from the movie Jurassic Park. That’s how I try to decide. I’m always fascinated by the T-Rex. That might be one of my favorites. I don’t know if I’m like most kids are. I wouldn’t want to be a T-Rex. I don’t want people to be scared of me, but I find them so fascinating. As a side note, when I was growing up, I was also super fascinated by great white sharks. The great white sharks are like the T-Rex of the ocean. People are fascinated and terrified by them. In terms of which one I would want is it is the question, which one do I want to be, Jason, or which one do I identify with?
If you were a dinosaur, which one would you be? Physically, if you imagine yourself embodying a dinosaur body?
That’s what I mean. I’d have to go through and look at all their characteristics. The one that first came to mind, which I suppose maybe the best answer when you’re put on the spot, is the triceratops.
It’s also the one that most closely resembles my dog. She looks like a baby triceratops.
The way you said physically embody a dinosaur, if you’re saying that now, and my imagination is not involved, I’m most likely a velociraptor. I’m tiny. If I can change my answer, I would pick velociraptor.
I pulled up images of dinosaurs. What’s the one called that has the little spikes across all of its back? Those are cute too. I’m fascinated by the mean dinosaurs like the brontosaurus, the stegosaurus, the triceratops. I imagine those cute dinosaurs, but that is because we’ve been told that through movies. The movies have convinced us to be terrified of certain dinosaurs. I don’t know.
Jackie selected a plant-eating dinosaur and that you, Whitney, selected a carnivorous dinosaur.
We always perceived them as gentle dinosaurs. They weren’t trying to kill each other.
I don’t know apes eat plants and they could kill you in a second if they wanted to.
Is this reflective of your own actual human dietary choices, Jackie? Are you a plant fan? Do you enjoy eating plants?
I like living foods. I was a plant base for a long time. My digestive system started to be like, “Go fuck yourself.” I couldn’t eat as much broccoli as I wanted to. I did start to have to eat some eggs, meat, and seafood. I have been cutting out those things slowly. I love plants, give me a big mother F in salad all day.
We all share that. We often talk about the healing power of plants here on the show.
Try not to go see if there’s a dinosaur personality test like that pasta test that you mentioned at the beginning. What dinosaur are you? The Natural History Museum has a quiz and National Geographic does as well. Anyone out there wants to know a dinosaur you can find out.
You were wonderful. Your energy is amazing and you’ve been such a joy. You are an absolute ray of sunshine here on the show.
I appreciate that. I love you guys immediately. I love your questions.
This is of the perks of having a show is getting to know people very intimately. We have a lot of readers that feel the same. I know I’m excited to listen to your podcast because you’re such a wealth of knowledge. I feel like we learn so much about each other. This has been so wonderful. We’re going to link to not only where you can find Jackie, but everything that we’ve mentioned, including the, What Type of Pasta Are You Quiz. If the reader wants to go dive deep in, which I can’t imagine you wouldn’t want to after reading, there’s got to be such a huge curiosity, go to the website, Wellevatr.com. You can reach us on social media. We’re @Wellevatr. Jackie, your Instagram is @Tablefor9Coaching.
I appreciate you guys having me on. I can’t wait to stay connected with you guys.
Likewise, Jackie, thanks so much.
*We use affiliate links in our show notes. This means we receive a small sales commission if you purchase an item based on our recommendation.
- Table for 9 Coaching
- Enneagram Institute Test
- The Four Tendencies
- Buzzfeed’s “What Pasta Are You?” Quiz
- The Wisdom of The Enneagram
- The Gifts Our Fathers Gave Us: Sharing Stories on Father’s Day – Previous episode
- Natural History Museum’s “What Dinosaur Are You?” Quiz
- @Tablefor9Coaching – Jackie Coban’s Instagram
- Table for 9 Podcast
- [email protected]
- The Wisdom of the Enneagram
About Jackie Coban
Jackie is a triple-certified coach (Enneagram, Life, and NLP) in the greater NYC area, working with individuals and companies to create sustainability and reach goals through self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Jackie helps people understand the WHO, WHAT, and WHY they are at their core.
She is the CEO and founder of Table for 9 Coaching, host of the Table For 9 Podcast, and mom-friend of the group. Jackie loves digging the “goal-d” out of everyone and a good butt-kickin quote. You can find her binge-watching The Office or at www.tablefor9coaching.com & @tablefor9coaching.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!