Hi love! Welcome back to Boldly Courageous, a podcast created for you — the ambitious woman who is ready to take action and step fully into the life you’ve always dreamed of. I’m glad you’re here!
Today, we’re talking all about the Enneagram — one of the most powerful personality tools for understanding yourself and others.
There are nine Enneagram types — the Reformer, the Helper, the Achiever, the Individualist, the Loyalist, the Enthusiast, the Challenger, and the Peacemaker. Each type is unique and possesses its own set of strengths, weaknesses, and patterns. You can use this information to more fully understand yourself, your compatibility with other types, and why you do the things you do!
There are so many things you can use the Enneagram for, especially from a leadership perspective. Communication is literally at the core of everything we do as network marketers, entrepreneurs, and coaches. As business leaders, we can utilize the tool of the Enneagram to speak the languages that our ideal clients and team can understand!
Maybe you’re familiar with the Enneagram, but you haven’t thought about how it could influence your business. Perhaps you’ve never heard of it before! Whatever the case, this episode is perfect for you! My guest today, Tracy O’Malley, has used the Enneagram to transform both her personal and professional life.
In this episode, we talk about how the Enneagram has changed Tracy’s life as a leader and a mom, how the Enneagram can help you be a better leader, and what you can do to begin your Enneagram journey! This is an episode you’re not going to want to miss, so let’s get started!
Who Is Tracy O’Malley?
Tracy O’Malley is a business coach, speaker, Enneagram expert, and self-made millionaire determined to help you excel in your life unapologetically and with grace! Using the Enneagram, she teaches people to integrate their type effectively into business, sales, and leadership to maximize profits, culture strength, productivity, and passion!
As the Queen of Tough Love (with a whole lotta love), Tracy has facilitated soul breakthroughs and sustainable change in thousands of lives worldwide. But it wasn’t always this way. For a long time, Tracy did everything in her power NOT to be seen.
“When we’re seen at our soul, that can be really, really hard. And I think that’s why I avoided it for as long as I did. But when we are seen, heard, and understood, even when we’re not quite ready for that, that’s where real transformation happens, and I’m obsessed with it.”Tracy O’Malley
For Tracy, that real transformation happened when she checked herself into rehab. For almost 40 years of her life, Tracy had lived as a victim. Terrible relationships and soul-sucking jobs led her to an alcohol addiction. In her relationships, she struggled with codependency and outbursts of anger. One day, she decided that she wasn’t going to live life this way anymore, so she checked herself into rehab:
“I checked myself into rehab for all of it and said, ‘Here [are] all the cards on the table. I’m not hiding anything because I know I’ll pull one of those cards out if I need it.’ And I started that process of really being seen for the first time. When I started to unpack why I did a lot of the things I did, it was all rooted in this fear of vulnerability, this fear of betrayal, this fear of being backed into a corner and every decision … [called to] every person I picked for my life, everything I did with my kids was based around that core motivation.”Tracy O’Malley
When she was in rehab, her therapist introduced Tracy to the Enneagram, and it changed her life. After she understood the core motive behind all of her actions — to be in control of her life and protect herself from harm — everything made sense.
Through her journey of self-realization and recovery, Tracy is no longer a victim but a leader who helps others understand their personality through the Enneagram so that they too can be empowered in who they are! I am so excited for Tracy to share her wisdom with you, so let’s dive in!
Change Starts with Awareness
The pathway to radical change is awareness. If you don’t realize there is a problem, then how on earth are you going to be able to fix that problem? For Tracy, the Enneagram was a tool that 1) allowed her to realize that she had a problem 2) helped her understand why she had a problem due to her core desires, and 3) empowered her to change that problem using healing tools suited for her type.
Maybe you’ve been experiencing a pattern of problems for a while. Maybe you keep sabotaging your relationships when they get serious. Or perhaps you struggle with standing up for yourself. Issues like these can be traced back to your personality, and the Enneagram is an incredible tool to help you understand WHY you do the things you do. I asked Tracy to give us a further explanation of the Enneagram and why it’s so important:
“I think if you’re so rigid in your thoughts, you’re going to stay in that box. So I’ve always been open to all different ways to understand myself. … And what I love about the Enneagram versus everything else, first of all, I use it in every aspect of my life. So I know how much it works and my health, my parenting, my relationships, my friendships, my business, like it is a beautiful tool. A lot of the other … personality stuff out there [focuses] mainly on the behaviors. And that’s good. I mean, to change something, you kind of have to understand the habits and patterns, right? … but if we don’t know why we’ve gotten off the path to begin with, it’s never going to be sustainable.”Tracy O’Malley
Tracy’s totally right — awareness is step one, and to be fully aware, you have to understand WHY you’re acting the way that you are. The Enneagram helps you do that. It outlines the core desires and core fears of all nine personality types. For example, maybe you’re a Type 2 (the Helper), and recently you’ve been struggling with people-pleasing. You don’t know how to say “No,” which led you into some abusive relationships. As a Type 2, your core desire is to feel loved, and your core fear is feeling unwanted — with this information in mind, can you see how you might fall into people-pleasing from a place of insecurity?
For Tracy, she felt the need to protect herself as a Type 8 (the Challenger), and it led her to some bad places. But by using the Enneagram, she was able to let go of the shame of her mistakes:
“Life just came and kicked the shit out of us a little bit. And we developed some things along the way to survive, to get by, to feel good in a moment … And so with the Enneagram .. when I read about my type, which is the Challenger, I realized that there was nothing ever wrong with me. The goal [is] to get back to the beautiful part that I was born with before life really got ahold of me. … I’m still that feisty fireball, but she’s coming from a place of love and compassion rather than protection.”Tracy O’Malley
Babe, I’m going to be real with you: When you take the time to look at your issues head-on and recognize your destructive patterns, it’s gonna feel like a kick to the gut. It’s going to be uncomfy. A lot of people intentionally avoid self-awareness because you have to take responsibility for your actions. But when you can understand WHY you did those things, you can come to a place of self-forgiveness. The Enneagram is an invaluable tool to help you do that, so if you haven’t taken the test, I strongly encourage you to get on it!
How the Enneagram Can Empower You to Become a Better Leader
Not only can the Enneagram help you understand your behavior at a deep, soul level, but it can also empower you to become a better leader. Tracy’s zone of genius is leadership, and she uses the Enneagram as a teaching tool for her clients and even her children.
“The first reason I even decided to integrate it [is because] the most important leadership role I have is as a mom. As a single mom … I’m the sole provider emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially for my kids. … When I was unpacking my own Enneagram type, it was very clear and evident to me very quickly that my two children … were not my type, but I was communicating with them as though they should understand and receive my messaging.”Tracy O’Malley
Babe, it’s important to remember that not everyone is like you are. Not everyone has the same personality, the same drive, the same purpose as you do. Your behavior might even be a little intimidating to them, and they might not be clear on your intentions.
“Understanding how my type in general is received by the other eight was very eye-opening, not just in my own home but in previous leadership roles. … I could always get people to do what I want. Like I’ve had no problem in leadership as far as getting shit done. But the reason most people did [those things] is because they were terrified of me … that’s not … what’s on my heart — ever. … Same with my kids. I could get them to do what I [wanted], but the reasons they were doing [that] was because they were afraid. … [I realized] I [needed] to start communicating in a way that they can receive it.”Tracy O’Malley
Tracy describes the Enneagram Types as “the love languages, but like on massive steroids.” It’s not only about how you think, feel, and behave — it’s about how others do as well and how they perceive your actions. As a leader, understanding your team and how each member works, thinks, and feels is essential.
“A lot of times I think we make this mistake as leaders — whether it’s in our home or in our businesses, we communicate with everybody the same way, and it’ll land on some, but [on] most it’ll fall [to the] wayside. And you won’t bring out the best in people, which is the whole goal.”Tracy O’Malley
Do you find yourself making this mistake in your business? It’s easy to get offended when people don’t agree with you or are resistant to your way of doing things, but sometimes it really comes down to their personality. In her network marketing business, Tracy began using the Enneagram to more deeply understand the team she was leading:
“And so I started to use the Enneagram to really identify who is in front of me and speak love into them based on what their motives are and what they can receive. And because I know what was in my heart for them. And I do [that for] every person I come in contact with … I want to speak the same love into them. That’s in my heart, but I have to know the language that they speak.“Tracy O’Malley
I really believe that once you can get clear on how other people think and feel, you eliminate 99% of the stress, anxiety, and misunderstanding you have in your day-to-day life. I love love LOVE how Tracy describes the Enneagram as a language that other people can hear, and this is especially true in network marketing. If you can’t communicate or even be open to hearing different points of views on how the business can be built and shared, then you’re just building a team of people that are just like you — you’re missing the opportunity for your team to flourish within their gifts.
Enneagram 101: Where Do I Start?
So know that you see the importance of the Enneagram, you’re probably wondering: Where the heck do I start? Tracy’s has some great tips for you:
#1. Take a test, but don’t expect 100% accuracy.
“There’s a lot of online tests out there, and none of them are bad. None of them are like horrible. There isn’t one that’s like way better than the others. I have a favorite, but even then 65% to 75% of the time, they’re inaccurate. So it’s just a starting point. … So like don’t take whatever score or whatever it spits out at you as gold. What I usually tell people is take the top four scores you get and really look at the motives behind each one.”Tracy O’Malley
The reason these tests aren’t always accurate isn’t because they are designed poorly, it’s because sometimes, we aren’t best test-takers. Sometimes we’ll answer based on habits or behaviors that have helped us through difficult times, but these things aren’t at the core of who we are. In other words, we answer each question emotionally. So how do we get past this?
#2. Find a guide to help you process the Enneagram.
“When you have a guide that isn’t emotionally attached to whatever the answers are, it’s a lot easier. And that’s why I have really become so passionate about this in leadership and in all aspects of life. If you have the wrong information, you basically are looking at the wrong soul map for you, and it’s not going to serve you the way that you want it to.”Tracy O’Malley
You can definitely do some soul-searching on your own by evaluating your top four scores, but having a guide is an invaluable asset. In her coaching program, Tracy starts with an Enneagram Kickstart Session, where you take a comprehensive test and attend a session to understand your type. In her Enneagram Bundle, she offers a more personalized option with FIVE sessions plus the kickoff session. Definitely check those out if you’re looking for a guide!
#3. Don’t forget about the Wings!
Once you figure out what type you truly are, it’s time to figure out what “Wing” you are. Wings are the two different personalities on either side of each Enneagram type. For example, if you’re a Type 2, you’re either a Wing-1 or a Wing-3.
These subtypes can affect everything from your social behaviors to your sex life — so make sure that you take the time to identify your wing so that you can be fully equipped with the knowledge of your type!
Be Boldly Courageous with Tracy O’Malley
Babe, when it comes to the Enneagram, there are so many resources out there. It honestly can be a little overwhelming. If you’re new to Enneagram, don’t worry. Take a deep breath and know that there are people like Tracy out there to help!
If you’re curious to discover your own Enneagram Type, definitely check out Tracy’s coaching programs on her website to get an expert’s opinion on your test answers and learn how you can harness the full potential of your type! You can also contact her on Instagram @tracy_omalley and find so many resources on her Insta stories about Type compatibility, behaviors, and more!
I absolutely loved Tracy’s answer to my final question: What are you celebrating?
“I’m celebrating breaking old patterns that are so deeply [rooted] in the wounding. … It’s painful, and I have cried [so much] in the last few days .. but I’m celebrating it because, my God, I feel so empowered.”Tracy O’Malley
Babe, are you ready to break harmful patterns? Are you ready to embrace yourself for who you truly are? If so, let me, @themelissamartin, and Tracy, @tracy_omalley, know by tagging us on Instagram! And don’t forget to share this episode with someone who needs to hear it!
I am so grateful for this community. I hope you all have a wonderful week!