top of page

The Challenger

If I have a problem with someone or something in my life, I just tackle it head on. I do whatever it takes to get my way. Because let's face it, they normally admit that I was right all along. The only reason I would even consider employing a life coach is twofold:

1) My Doctor says that work stress is contributing to my high blood pressure (which makes no sense to me as I thrive on stress)

2) My wife says I need tools to process my relationship with my deadbeat father, and that somehow this will make me a better leader at work. (Maybe you know what she is on about...?)

Hahahaha, I do.

And, it will.

You know #transformers, last week I had one of the largest rates of unsubscribing I have ever had in the history of my blogs. Now it may have something to do with the fact that I shared a personal story of failure. (My greatest fear realized if you recall.) But I suspect that it really had something to do with me calling a spade a spade. To be perfectly clear, I called all of us, myself included, big fat liars.

Why? Because the majority of us sleepwalk through our lives pretending that we are happy with the status quo, happy putting our hopes and dreams last, happy silencing ourselves, happy denying ourselves true belonging and connection. But the truth is, our unhappiness is written all over us. It's in the:

Work-induced stress

Anger-fueled outburst at your colleague

Apathy in your marriage

Disconnection from your children

Abuse of your body

Numbing of your brain


Inability to be fully vulnerable and authentic

It's all there, Dear One. And no matter how much you try to control your environment or the people around you, you will never be able to control that voice and knowing within you that is desperately trying to break free.

Last week I was so very blessed to stumble across a powerful poem. You know that weird feeling where you start to think or know something (I call it a whisper from my heart), but you don't give yourself permission to really believe it until you read or hear something that mirrors the same sentiments???

Well in my case, the knowing that I was starting to chew on is eloquently summed up in the exquisitely beautiful poem, She Let Go, by Rev. Safire Rose. In it, she describes a knowing that I believe is in all of us. I believe it because I see it in my still so innocent children. I believe it because I sense it myself. I believe it because I read your emails and letters and revel in our common knowing.

When I invited this poem into my life last week, I immediately knew it was the permission I had been seeking, the permission to embrace the whisper from my heart.

Now you, clever thing that you are, have invited this poem into your life. My greatest wish for you is that you give up your fruitless attempts to control what is outside of your control, and instead choose to control what is in your control: The power to let go.

She let go...

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

- Rev. Safir Rose

Dear One, if letting go of control or the desire to bend the world and others to your will is something you commonly struggle with, then you need to learn about the Enneagram Type 8: The Challenger.

Read on...

Simple Guide To The Enneagram:

A Practical Guide To Getting Out Of Boxes

The Little Challenger learned early on in life that it was not okay to be vulnerable or to trust anyone. They learned to be hyper-vigilant to circumstances or people that might cause them harm, or attempt to control and/or limit them,

If you are a Challenger, or know a Challenger, you might describe someone who is proactive, takes charge when necessary, and enjoys seeing a job through to completion. But you might also describe someone who is combative, quick-tempered, and who's 'my way or the highway' approach leaves others in their wake.

So how does this get in the way of transformation:

1) You can't understand why people always get in your way. You hate yelling but sometimes it is the only way to get people to listen.

2) You thrive on stress, but your heart doesn't. Your Doctor is concerned about the risk of heart attack or aneurysm if something doesn't change.

3) Your partner is always harping on about opening up and being more vulnerable but you know she/he would use it against you if you did. No one really respects weakness.

4) When things get tough I've learned to bend people to my will. I don't even recognize when I am doing it. It's usually after the fact that I notice this Jekyll and Hyde side of me.

5) Just because I always appear strong at work or out in the world, sometimes it feels like a mask I have to put on. I wish someone could see the real me. I wish someone could see beyond all this blustering.

I do.

I see you, Dear One.

You are not so scary...

But don't worry. It can be our little secret.

I know you feel like you have to protect yourself, and those around you, but you have become like Don Quixote: You make ferocious giants out of windmills.

Stop fighting.

I will not betray you.

Stop fighting.

I will not betray you.

No matter how you attempt to bend us or this world to your will, we are not yours to control. You must learn to judge each new person and each new experience with the innocence of a child, open and ready to be loved and protected by another.

If you knew you were loved and protected, that you could let go of that heavy shield you carry, who and what would you be? If you knew that no matter what you said, that I would not berate or laugh at you, what great hopes and desires would you share with me....? If you are ready to let go, write and tell me about it here,

Next week, the last in our Enneagram series, Type 9: The Mediator


Lindsey T. H. Jackson

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page