Personal Growth through the Enneagram

Back in 2016, I rebranded from Helen Handmade to Letter + Adore. It took me a long time to come up with a brand name that goes beyond calligraphy to include other aspects of my intended brand message. My vision for Letter + Adore is built on relationships and the memories created within meaningful relationships; so I chose the word “adore” because it means to love and respect someone deeply.

With that in mind, I chose the word “relationship” for my word of the year in 2017, where I focused on deepening certain relationships while building new ones. This year, my word is “growth.” I haven’t talked about it publicly because I spent the first half of the year dealing with some big life changes, but now I’m ready to share with you what I’ve learned.

Last fall, a friend introduced me to the Enneagram, an ancient personality typing system. I was first interested because I’m a personality assessment junkie. But as I learned more about the Enneagram, I started to see how much more in-depth it is compared to other personality typing systems. It goes beyond simply identifying your personality type, showing the pitfalls of your type and how to navigate around them.


The Enneagram has been an amazing tool for helping me become more self aware. We often go through life on autopilot because we’re so used to the way we feel and act that we don’t think beyond our natural tendencies.

I’m an Enneagram 4 and I used to be held back by my core fear of lacking personal significance. This has caused a lot of low self-esteem issues and jealousy towards people in my industry that I really admired. Now that I’m aware of these unhealthy feelings, I’m able to practice gratitude more and play the comparison game less.

The Enneagram has also taught me to love and relate to others. Learning about the emotions, drives, and fears of my loved ones has helped me become more empathetic towards them. There are so many things my husband does that used to tick me off. Now that we understand where these actions/reactions come from, we can talk about and be more aware of them before conflicts arise.  

“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler


I am focusing this time on the Enneagram because I want to help encourage you. My hope for you is to take the time to learn more about yourself and others. I will be sharing quotes and printables to support you through this growth journey.

If you want to dive deeper into this journey with me and my husband, below are some of our favorite resources.


Free assessment – Like I said, I’m a personality assessment junkie so this is where I started. You can also read all the personality type descriptions and try to figure out your type that way. I just think assessments are more fun and gives you a straightforward result. If you can, get your significant other to take the assessment too!

For your ears – This is the podcast my friend recommended. I didn’t listen from the first episode. I chose to first focus on my own personality type and then my husband’s so I can put what I learn to use.

For your eyes – This is the most comprehensive website I have come across on the Enneagram. I especially love the Relationships (Type Combinations) section. It tells you what each type brings to the relationship as well as potential trouble spots for every type combination. This is one of the best tools for strengthening any relationship.

Books – Jake is currently reading The Road Back to You by Ian Cron (host of the Typology podcast) and Suzanne Stabile. Next on our list is Self to Lose, Self to Find by Marilyn Vancil.

Please remember your Enneagram personality type doesn’t define you. Rather, think of it as a roadmap to the best version of yourself. Next week, I’ll dig a little deeper into some of the basic Enneagram concepts so you can see the roadmap more clearly.

This is only part 1 of the Enneagram blog series! You can expect to see a new post every Monday and Thursday until mid-September. I hope these posts will start a conversation where we can support and encourage one another on this never-ending journey of personal growth.


  1. Andrea

    This is so interesting to me. Thank you for sharing. I personally have been going through a period of personal growth that has left me filled with WONDER of our capabilities at any age. I will look into these sources.

    August 18, 2018 Reply
  2. Helen

    Oh Andrea, I am so happy to hear that you have been filled with wonder from your period of personal growth. I’m sure the process wasn’t easy as described in the calligraphed quote. But the result is so amazing when we push through it. Praying for you for continued growth! <3

    August 18, 2018 Reply

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