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Enneagram Nines and Foreboding Joy

A few weeks ago, I was sitting at the kitchen table playing a card game with my family, and I just

felt happy. I was looking around at everything that we have and thought about how blessed we are to have these amazing kids, and I felt so much joy.

But almost as soon as I let that feeling happen, my brain started reminding me of all of the things that aren't right with my life.

This is what Enneagram Nines are good at sometimes. Our brains like to keep us safe from possible peace disruptions by offering all the reasons we shouldn't feel peace.

"Don't get too used to it," it says. "It won't be long, and something bad will probably happen."

It reminded me of an idea Brene Brown shared that she called “foreboding joy.”

She said many of us are afraid to feel joy because our brains tell us that if we have it, we could lose it.

It says, “Don’t be happy now...in case you're sad later. Make sure that you prepare for the pain!”

Our brains think this kind of thinking is super useful. Like it'll somehow protect us from pain. But the truth is that feeling bad now never prevents feeling bad in the future.

Worrying about what could happen doesn’t change what actually happens in the future.

It only changes the present.

And even though your brain tells you otherwise, you get to have as much joy as you want. That constant state of peace that Enneagram Nines love and seek after can become more present in your life if you allow it!


There isn't a personal joy quotient or a limited amount of joy that you are allowed to experience.

Because joy doesn’t just happen to you.

It is created by you—by your thinking and what you allow yourself to feel.

Luckily, this is also true for our pain.

Our uncomfortable emotions don't just happen to us.

If we end up feeling sad or lonely someday, it will be because of what we choose to allow ourselves to think and feel. And if a moment comes where we want to choose sadness or loneliness, then we can.

But we don’t have to choose it now—just in case we might decide to choose it later.

When we understand that we create our emotional experiences, we never have to be afraid of feeling joy.

Joy is not just a lucky thing that happens to us.

It’s a creation.

And you really can create as much as you want.


If you're interested in working with me 1:1, I would love to work something out! Schedule a consultation with me if you would like to explore how this would look for you and see if you'd like to reserve a spot.

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