Certainty places limits. Uncertainty allows for creativity and possibility.
One of the strongest motivators for Enneagram 6s is the need for certainty, which results in lots of planning ahead. Like many things, this can be a helpful quality except when it isn’t. The problem with an excessive need for certainty is that it places limits. 6s (including yours truly) need to learn to allow for some uncertainty in order to make space for creativity.
I’ve been thinking about this as it relates to justice work. 6s are good troubleshooters, but if we only ever see the problems in the world around us, we lack vision for what we are reaching for and are reacting instead of working towards a better future. We need prophetic imagination to get there—time to dream, wonder, and imagine how the world could be instead of only how we wish it weren’t.
6s often feel bound by duty, which can make it difficult to prioritize time for “play,” but play is where we let ourselves try new things simply for the joy of it. This is more likely to happen when we make the security move to 9. Just like young children are more likely to explore and take risks necessary for growth and development when they feel safe and have a safe base to return to, 6s who feel settled and secure can more comfortably take risks needed in order to grow.
When I allow myself to play and explore with fewer limits, I find my creativity is boosted, which is a great help in problem solving more effectively. We can let our worried “what if…?” that leads to anxious preparation for the worst case scenario become a curious invitation to ask “what if…?” in the context of dreaming and possibility.
How do you see this show up in yourself? Whether you’re a 6 or another number, how do you let yourself play? Perhaps we (6s) can learn from other numbers for whom playing and dreaming comes more naturally!