Personal Growth Importance

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Personal growth might be better understood if we look first at what the phrase means. The word, "personal" comes from the Greek word, Persona, meaning, 'mask.' The word, 'growth' means to expand beyond. The word, "development" refers to evolving.

The combined meaning of personal growth is 'evolving' beyond our mask.  The mask is what we show to ourselves, and our world. However, we are not static beings, we are dynamic, ever-changing beings, and it's the 'static' idea of who we are that creates all the problems.

The Greeks were wise enough to recognize that our mask, or personality, masks our true Self, something far greater in scope and magnitude. The personality will say things like, "I feel great," when actually it's masking depression, guilt or other kinds of insecurity.

Personality Trap

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In those moments of the ego masquerading as "fine" when it's really feeling 'awful,' it's important to recognize what the ego is sincere in its attempt to keep things together. The personality/ego does recognize a connection to a much larger, more powerful source. So, while the ego tries to find its way to that source, it develops a compensatory behavior that 'acts' as that source, which is where the 'fine' response originates.

Again, the common trap for every personality is the compensatory behavior that "acts" as the interim source, often becomes an unconscious habit that never goes beyond the loop of 'acting,' and consequently, personal growth never really begins, because the concept of 'fine' is a constant act. 

Accelerated Personality Development

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Our personal viewpoint, the personality's perception, is primarily a representation of one part of a much larger dimension. The larger dimension of who we are -- the higher self -- provides the rich field from which we can experience personal growth and development -- the connection with that powerful source -- which is our essence. When we have no access to our higher self, life is miserable, and it doesn't matter if you're a billionaire or not.

Our personality has a primary fixation that is based on a limited idea of self, and it's one that keeps us from personal growth, unless we can develop an honest relationship with ourselves, and our world. This fixed viewpoint is basically driven from the illusion that if the personality can keep things safe and familiar everything will be "fine."  The paradox of course is, how can you keep things in the same, safe space and expect change to occur? It can't.

Here's the solution: Eventually, the ego is smart enough to recognize that to really be the God of Everything, like the ego claims it is, the personality will have to surrender the idea of who it is. In other words, surrender the static concept it has of itself. The personality operates within a known world, and the idea of surrendering itself to the unknown world is something that can take time, unless of course you're getting guidance from a knowledgeable counselor, which will then accelerate the personal growth process.

Here's the rub: Growth, means to change, to get beyond the present state to a state of consciousness that no longer represents the previous state. In other words, we find ourselves invited to step beyond the safe, familiar and fixed idea of personality, into an unknown territory so we can discover the deepest regions of our divine magnificence, which is infinite. So, the reality is a constant cycle of surrender, change, and expansion.

People who want to experience personal growth share a common tendency, which is the desire for more and more, to expand, which is the natural cycle of life. What people are sensing is the greater possibility, something beyond their current experience, which is why they are drawn to personal growth in the first place. And a big part of recognizing this tendency to grow beyond the present circumstances into something much greater is often associated with the idea of happiness, peace, and ultimately, enlightenment. Of course, you already know the trick with enlightenment is that it's happening at this moment, it's a constant that we don't always recognize; it's always happening, it's just a matter of degree.

Helping You Experience Personal Growth

personal growth Enneagram symbol

For the first part of the answer, we need to go back a few thousand years when the Sufis cracked the code that streamlined our understanding of the psychological motives of the personality. This was a time when poetry poured as abundantly as water from the ecstatic poets of the east, from the likes of Rumi and Hafiz.

The Sufis are often credited with the core knowledge of what we know today as the Enneagram. The Enneagram is an effective tool for personal growth, because it shows us in very specific, objective terms, the characteristics of our masks, which in turn reveal the motives that power our particular viewpoint, and simultaneously open the treasure door to personal growth.

It should be said at the outset that there are parts of every Enneagram Point in everyone, but primarily, as personalities we express one tendency over all the others. Having any particular viewpoint always has high and low aspects, the light and the dark of each viewpoint, which provide the grist for personal growth.

So, why aren't more people happy? The answer is simple. More people aren't happy because they prefer the familiar, which is another way of saying they don't want to change -- because change means letting go of the known -- and stepping into the unfamiliar/unknown. For a more detailed discussion, be sure to review each of the nine Enneagram personality types, as well as the subtypes.

For the second part of the answer, you need to take the first step. You may find great value in attending one of the Enneagram workshops offered by, and naturally, if you haven't had a professional Typing session it would be equally valuable, particularly to accelerate your personal understanding.