Doing a personality test, such as the enneagram, can help you understand yourself better.
But understanding how your menstrual cycle further affects your personality will explain a LOT and go a long way in helping you understand your own weaknesses.
In this episode, I share with you my enneagram number, and how different it can look from one phase of my menstrual cycle to another.
Episode 20: 6 Reasons Why Walking Will Heal Your Hormones
Well hello, and welcome back to this week’s episode.
I have a really interesting topic for you this week. And it’s all about the enneagram.
Over the last 5 years, I’ve become really interested in the topic of self-awareness and self-regulation and any tools that help me to get to know myself better, I generally explore.
So last week I was listening to another podcast and it was all about the enneagram.
Before this, I’ve never heard of it before and so I was really intrigued to learn more about it, especially when the guest to the podcast mentioned that the enneagram was an amazing tool to develop self-awareness.
So, I looked up this guest, who was Ian Morgan Cron, who is a psychologist that have done years of research into the enneagram.
I downloaded his book on audible, did the enneagram test myself and laughed as I listened to him, explaining people with my personality type.
So for context, the enneagram is a personality typing system that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions. It describes 9 personality types and maps each of these types on a 9-pointed diagram which helps to illustrate how the types relate to one another.
So let me walk you through the 9 different personality types on the enneagram:
Ones are the reformers. They are idealistic, principled, purposeful, self-controlled and perfectionistic.
My husband is a one. And this came as a huge surprise to us, as we would definitely NOT classify him as a perfectionist. But when we listened to the episode in the book on ones, it definitely did sound like him at many levels.
Two’s are the helpers. They are caring, demonstrative, generous, people-pleasers and possessive. One of my dear friends is a two, and she is an absolute peace-keeper that avoids conflict and love to keep everybody happy.
Threes are the Achievers. They are success-oriented, pragmatic, adaptive, excelling, driven and image-conscious. Although my final result came as an 8, I had some strong 3 characteristics too.
Fours are the individualists. These people are sensitive, withdrawn, expressive, self-absorbed and temperamental.
The Fives are the Investigators. They are intense, cerebral, perceptive, innovative, secretive and isolated.
The Sixes are the Loyalists. They are committed and security-oriented. So these people are definitely not your risk takers and they are engaging, responsible, anxious and suspicious.
The Sevens are the Enthusiasts who are busy, fun-loving, spontaneous, versatile, distractible and scattered.
The Eights (aka ME), we are the Challengers.
These people are powerful, dominating, self-confident, decisive, willful and confrontational.
That sounds really negative doesn’t it? But bear with me
The Nines are the Peacemakers. They are those easygoing, self-effacing people that are receptive, reassuring, agreeable and complacent (aka, often the ones that can get to the 8s) :-D
So I’m an 8 right.
To give you an idea of what it means to be an 8, I’ve been told numerous times that I’m too blunt and come across aggressive or instructive.
I don’t do things halfway, in fact, I always aim to overachieve, which means I have unrealistically high expectations of others.
Conflict don’t scare me and having deep, honest conversations is something I love. It’s how I feel I build deep meaningful relationships. I highly value honesty, even if you think that it might hurt me. I welcome all kinds of feedback
I don’t find it hard to say no
I love being decisive, and follow through on my decisions and commitments
I find it frustrating when people talk too slow, repeat themselves or tell me lots of useless detail - I like it sharp and to the point
I used to not share any vulnerability or wear my heart on my sleeve
But under my tough exterior, is a very tender, loving heart, that deeply desires connection and care.
Over the last few years, I’ve learned all these things about myself, and how some aspects of my personality actually destroyed some of my relationships. It was such a tough school of life and the process was painful, but where I’m at now, is a place of embracing who I am, but more than this, embracing self-development so that I can use my strengths to build people up and work on my weaknesses so I can get better at many of these things.
For a very long time, I tried to change who I am. I tried to change my number on the enneagram because I realised that many of my personal characteristics wasn’t doing me a favor.
But I failed miserably at this.
Because I was not created to be a 2 or a 4, I was created to be an 8.
And for every personality type, you can be in a healthy, ok or unhealthy place in your journey.
And it was all in the growth process for me.
So I committed myself to understanding ME better and to understand the why underneath my surface.
This has been an incredible journey for me.
SO you may wonder what this has to do with my menstrual cycle.
Well, here’s the thing.
The 4 different phases of our menstrual cycle plays a very big role in how we do emotionally and how we come across to others.
And when we understand our menstrual cycle, we know what to look out for during each phase of the cycle.
So let me use myself as an example here.
During my ovulatory and follicular phases (which, by the way, are the easiest 2 of the 4 phases emotionally if your hormones are healthy), this is what my 8 personality might look like:
I’m a committed friend, exceptional leader, patient mother, I stand up for those who can’t fight for themselves. I have courage and stamina to do what others tell me can’t be done. I love a good challenge and commit myself to it.
I’ve learned to use my influence in a healthy way, in the right measure at the right time.
I’m great at collaborating and valuing the contributions and opinions of others
I understand and embrace vulnerability and have a lot of empathy and a great listening ear
This is the side of me that I love the most.
But I also know that I can’t be this person always, because soon, i will move into my premenstrual phase.
This is when my hormones play tricks on my emotions and common sense.
Now, when I’ve been looking really well after myself in the past 3-4 weeks, in terms of the food I ate, exercise I did, and how I took care of myself and managed my stress, I might actually be able to continue this winning streak in terms of how I conduct myself.
If i’ve only had an ok or even bad month in terms of my selfcare, it might look something like this:
I get very black and white, so opinions are either right or wrong.
Things need to happen my way, so I’ll gladly unpack and repack the dishwasher
In these days I would prefer to lead and really struggle to follow and might even revert to aggression to emotionally protect myself.
I will have little patience and would gladly put my children's voices at 1.5 speed if I could. I mean, spit out your sentences, I need to get on with my day.
I get impatient when people (including my family) are indecisive or don’t pull their weight.
But don’t get me wrong, this is nowhere near what it was 8 years ago.
Generally, I manage to control this really well, but it might take a LOOOT of self control and tongue biting during these few days of my menstrual cycle.
See, these are all shades of the 8 personality type, but during different phases of my menstrual cycle, it takes more control and work to be the version that I’ve worked hard to become.
But understanding my menstrual cycle, has helped me to be more prepared and to be more understanding of myself on the days that I don’t feel like I want to be the healthier, more pleasant version of myself.
So I wanted to share with you xxx things that I do to help me through the 4 different phases of my menstrual cycle
1. First thing I do is track my menstrual cycle.
At any given time of the month, I always know where I am in my cycle. It helps me to be more self-aware and expectant. Every morning in my journal, I write down what day of my cycle I am, what phase of my cycle I am and what I can expect, based on where I am. This helps me to start the day with the right expectations. So if I’m in my pre-menstrual phase, I don’t put myself in situations where I would be expected to be at the top of my game. I do this as far as is possible, cause let’s be real, sometimes things are out of our control.
But I implement this in my business and social life.
2. Second thing is do, is prepare my family.
Mostly my husband. He knows where I am in my menstrual cycle and he respects that. I feel confident to share with him when I feel emotionally down and he’ll support me in whatever way he can. Take over the reigns with the kids, especially when there are emotional fall-outs between the 2 kids. This is not the time for me to try and solve their conflict. It ends up in a cage fight for sure. So he’s really good to support me in this way.
At times, i might also feel less patient, especially with the homeschooling. So when I have a moment where I treat my kids unfairly just because I feel like a pressure cooker, I make an effort to apologise and explain to them that my emotions are running away with me because of some hormonal changes happening. I don’t use this as an excuse, but as an opportunity to educate them both. Because these things are real and most women don’t understand this or are unaware of the role our cycle plays in our emotional wellbeing. So we come down really hard on ourselves when we lose the plot with our loved ones. And this further leads to negative self talk.
So awareness of where you are in your cycle is so critical for both you and your family.
3. The third thing I do to keep my favourite 8 personality front and centre, is to take good care of myself
This means that I eat differently during my pre-menstrual phase than during ovulation. I sleep more during my pre-menstrual phase, I walk more during my premenstrual phase, and I also take longer baths during that phase. I know when my body needs more love and care, and I make sure that I give it.
Selfcare is quite possibly the missing link if you constantly find yourself on the emotional rollercoaster.
So I wanna encourage you to listen to episode number 18 and choose 1 self-care practice that you’ll implement as of today. Just start with one small thing that you can start doing today and commit to for the long run.
4. Number 4, I adjust my exercise
For about 10 years, I was a highly committed crossfitter. I loved it and therefore I did these workouts at least 4 times a week, every week. Unknowingly, I was putting my body under so much stress and it led to very uncomfortable and worrying symptoms that baffled myself and doctors for many years. It was not healthy or good for me. And often, our bodies can keep up for many years before they break. In my case, it took 10 years. And this is also part of my 8 personality. You are all in or you don’t do it al all. But I had to learn to tone that down.
Now, I approach exercise differently, I see it as self care. And I adjust my exercise for each phase of my menstrual cycle.
So during my pre-menstrual phase, I don’t do any high intensity exercise. But I do lots of walking and core exercises.
But during my follicular and ovulation phases, I go hard on the high intensity workouts. This has been an absolute game changer for me. I’ve learned to listen to my body and exercise accordingly.
And even when i do workouts in my supposedly stronger phases, and feel tired or not up for it, I tone it down. I respect the messages that my body gives me.
5. And lastly, something that I’ve taken up quite recently, is journaling.
Over the past few months, I’ve created a journal for myself that helps me to adjust my life around my cycle.
I record where I am in my cycle, what I can expect in terms of my emotional and physical wellbeing and then, I write down 3 primary tasks to be done for the day and all the other things that needs doing, goings on the secondary list. So it’s out of my head and reduces my perceived stress.
I also write down something I’m grateful for every morning. So when I’m in the days where I feel really dark, that helps me to focus on things outside of myself and focus on the many many privileges that I have. I also write down my appointments from my online calendar, so I can be prepared and nothing surprises me (cause this is when I lean towards my not-so-nice self).
So those are 5 of the things that I do daily to help me stay self-aware and helps me to regulate myself.
Regular walking definitely also plays a huge role in my mental wellness and ability to self-regulate, so if you want to know more about why I think walking is critical for wellbeing, make sure you listen to episode 20, which I’ll link in the show notes.
I wanna encourage you my friend, spending time and resources on getting to know yourself is probably one of the best investments that you’ll make.
Learning how your menstrual cycle affects everything, including your personality, is something that can change your life for the better.
So join me on this journey of discovering how amazing our bodies as ladies are!
Thanx for joining me again today, and if you’ve learned something new today, please share this episode with a friend.
Also, I would so appreciate if you could subscribe to my podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts and give me a review!
Ok my friend, I’ll see you next time