This morning I went for a long walk through the streets of Barcelona while listening to a podcast. I found the podcast episode really powerful about the Enneagram and how it can be used to become a fuller human being.
Shane Parrish with Russ Hudson, co-creator of the Enneagram https://podcasts.apple.com/es/podcast/the-knowledge-project-with-shane-parrish/id990149481?l=en&i=1000489717729
Anxiety as "Un-Processed Fear"
In the later part of their discussion, Shane asked about 3 core emotions: Anger, Anxiety and Shame.
Russ said that "Anxiety is unprocessed fear". When we are walking in the night and someone unknown approaches us, fear is a natural reaction. If we ignore this fear and pretend we didn't feel it, it lingers in our system as accumulated anxiety. These fear events accumulate inside us if they are not "processed". Russ spoke about how animals naturally process fear... how deer return to a relaxed mode after being spooked by a predator... but he didn't go deep on how a human can "process fear".
Certain Individuals Struggle More with Loss of Control
There are 9 Enneagram types... and each of us has a natural preference to act from one of those perspectives. 3 of the types have a heightened sensitivity to anxiety. Where they haven't effectively processed their past fears, the anxiety manifests as a need to control everything. Essentially each type can manifest in its positive manner -> these 3 types in their positive are highly competent and effective; these 3 types in their negative are controlling and risk averse.
I think it was Nietzsche who wrote about that combination of exhilaration and anxiety of the standing on the edge of the cliff with the possibility of jumping and the realisation that there is nothing to hold you back.
I am interested in learning more about how to "Process Fear". We can lose our flexibility of response when we accumulate programatic responses to external events.
Russ used a wonderful metaphor... you can learn to dance wonderful salsa, but you are a bit awkward when you keep dancing salsa and the music changes 😉
This post was modified 3 months ago by Conor Neill