Ali Wren

whole-hearted living, healthy-minded eating

Type One with Hayden Barnack

For the next couple weeks, I will share insights from women representing all nine types! They will answer a series of questions about their specific Enneagram journey. First up: Hayden Barnack.

Hayden Barnack is a 20-something newlywed and marketing professional, working and living in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. You can usually find her curled up with a good book, engaged in deep conversation with friends or researching for her next adventure at one of Indy’s local coffee shops. She uses her passion for young women coupled with her experience combating mental illness to break down society’s definition of “perfection” and celebrate every woman’s version of real. Hayden is currently working on a lifestyle blog to share her source for inspiration on everything from her faith and her marriage to home and travel. Until then, check out her love of lattes and words of encouragement on Instagram: @_haydenmarie.

How long have you known about the Enneagram?

I first learned about the Enneagram in early May when a friend of mine shared The Liturgists podcast with me. They hosted the authors of the book, “The Road Back to You” and gave a brief snapshot of each Enneagram type. My friend made me guess what my type was, but the crazy thing was I felt a small connection to all of them. And I think this is an important characteristic of the Enneagram. While the test may point out the type we are at our core, it is easy to gravitate to other types in times of joy and grief.

After taking the test, my results came back as Type One and I am certainly true to that Reformer/Perfectionist status. As a One, I strive for perfection and exert a great deal of effort to improve the world around me. I see that world in black and white, constantly responding to situations with clear, honest remarks and making a point to affirm others with truth and reason. This viewpoint makes me very all-or-nothing when it comes to work, relationships and outside activities, which usually favors me your most loyal friend and most dedicated employee.

What do you wish people knew about being your type?

We are the ultimate problem-solvers. We have an outstanding sense of wisdom and discernment, which enables us to bring more of ourselves (and thus, more resources) to fix whatever difficulties we may be facing. But with that amount of awareness and detail-orientation comes deep feelings of personal responsibility/obligation and dissatisfaction/discontentment with life as it is. It’s times like these where I feel as if I come across cold and rigid, looking for mistakes, holding onto past issues and harboring resentment.

What challenge(s) does being your type bring?

Being Type One is tough because there’s such an innate desire to find fault and believe I have all the answers. That arrogance and pickiness can really undermine our relationships and the confidence others have in us, especially when we try to convey something truly important. I generally question whether my motives to instill wisdom and uplift the fallen are authentic, or if I’m simply pointing out defectiveness to make myself feel good.

Ones are easily irritated by the things we cannot change and have a tendency to complain (my personal weakness), down to the littlest detail. But because anger is considered “bad” for a One, we can be repressive people that manifest those feelings in small fits of impatience, nagging and annoyance. These often block my ability to express love in a genuine way and challenge me to let my friends and family be themselves and give them the opportunity to teach me something for once. While most people can see Ones as incredibly controlling and judgmental, what they don’t know is that I live with an even more powerful inner critic that holds me to the highest standards and monitors my every thought, word and action. I try to resist the obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions, but I feel like everything falls on me and me alone to accomplish.

The truth is: my greatest fear is being insufficient. Growing up as a One, I was so serious and learned that “good girls” are disciplined and restrain themselves in order to please everyone. (I mean, people pleaser to the extreme here!) I was afraid to show any weaknesses and sought love and approval from others by always looking to make myself better or more useful. But what may seem perfect is so far from it. There’s a hefty issue with self-worth and shame for falling short because deep down, Ones know that perfection is unachievable. I would even go as far as to justify my actions and deny myself pleasures in order to seem deserving.

We try to cope with that problem of unworthiness by becoming more competent and harnessing knowledge to our advantage. We attempt to be objective, rational and fair-minded, which makes us uncomfortable sharing our feelings. Don’t get me wrong, we have very passionate, deep-feeling hearts. We’re just scared to share, don’t like being out of control or misunderstood.

Since learning about the Enneagram, I have noticed myself in a couple situations where I would ordinarily jump at the chance to give my opinion and tell someone how it’s done. Instead I used that opportunity to confirm the goodness they are doing, cheer them on in their endeavors and, above all, listen to them and only offer advice when asked for it. We are able to see from all perspectives and provide realistic and hopeful possibilities, that inspire and push others in the direction of their dreams. But we can do it in ways that don’t overpower or tear down.

For Ones, old personality patterns can change without effort due to the depth of awareness we bring to them. And that is what the Enneagram has done for me thus far. I think when Ones trust the process and we give ourselves over to the facts, the result can be real integrity, love, authenticity, creativity, guidance, power and peace. That we can be accepting of others exactly as they are, including ourselves. That it’s OK to be human and not live up to our expectations. That we are all inherently worthy. That we can learn to welcome mistakes as a natural part of growth. That the best we can do is good enough.

This is part of a 31-day series: The Enneagram. To read all posts, head here.

About Ali

I'm Ali. I write about my journey of living a full and healthy life with food allergies, overcoming the comparison trap, and cultivating authenticity.

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