Interview with Wren Robbins

I got to sit down with Wren Robbins, who is a longtime podcaster turned podcast coach, and she shared some deep insights into what it’s like to be an Enneagram type six. This was such a beautiful conversation. I’m so excited for you to hear about it. So let’s just go ahead and jump in. Here’s my conversation with Wren!

Well, thank you so much, Wren, for being here! I’m so excited to talk to you! First of all, what’s your Enneagram type and what do you do?

I am an Enneagram six with a wing of seven, so I like the fun, but I am a little cautious. I am a podcast strategist, so I am a small business owner and entrepreneur.

We are going to be starting something new, and you get to be my first guest who is going to be a part of this first segment, and it’s “Most, EnneaMe Thing”. So what is the most EnneaMe thing that’s happened to you recently as a type six?

I have to tell the story, it didn’t happen recently, but I have to share it because it is so funny and true to life as an Enneagram six.

Years ago, before I had my kiddo, my husband was the Neighborhood Association president, and we had a disgruntled person in the neighborhood that we were dealing with. He worked in the safety and security department at the zoo, and would work on Saturdays.

So I was home alone on a Saturday, and there was a knock at the door. I was thinking, “Oh, no big deal.” And so I opened the door, and this young girl, who had a big black bag, walked in my house; did not introduce herself, just has this weird look on her face, and she starts coming in over the threshold with this black bag.

And of course, what am I going to think as an Enneagram six? “This woman is coming in, and she has knives in her bag; she’s coming to murder all of us!”

And so I shove her out the door, close the door, almost get her foot in the threshold. And I said, “Nope!” And shoved her back, and her face is looking through the, bobbing and weaving, like what just happened?

So then I’m doing the army crawl around to the kitchen, and I called my husband. I’m like, “Jim, somebody’s at the front door. And I think it has to do with the person down the street that’s so disgruntled; they have come to take care of, to do us in!” And he just says, “What?!” And after a minute he tells me that I need to go back out there and ask her what she is here for.

So I hang up with him, and then as I’m walking back, it dawns on me that last Sunday in Sunday school, a couple asked us if their niece, who works for Cutco, can come and demonstrate the Cutco knives for us, cause she’s needing some practice. And that was her.

So now I’m like, okay, I can never face these people again, number one. And number two, I’ve got to go make it right so she doesn’t think I’m a lunatic and call the police! So I opened the door, I run out and have her come back in and do her whole demonstration.

So that is the most epic Enneagram six thing I have ever done. There are a couple others, but they do not measure to that. There you go.

I think that is so, it’s so funny. Thank you for sharing that.

So one of the questions we love to ask our guests is what was your first impression of the Enneagram? How did you come to find out about it?

I think it was probably social media or maybe somebody else’s podcast; I remember hearing about it, not knowing what it was at all, and then getting a book and reading all the things there was to read! So I think it was just through somebody mentioning it.

What has your personal experience with the Enneagram been like? What are some things that you’ve learned about yourself?

First, the insight it has given me about my personality and how God made me, and what things come naturally to me, other people don’t necessarily have in their personality. So a lot of times it’s been that what is unique to me is not unique to someone else.

And then number two is empathy. I have never had so much empathy for my husband and the people closest to me! The Enneagram has been a tool for me to be able to unpack why they do the things they do, and that it’s very different than the way I do things. So the empathy level has gone way up for me just to understand where they’re coming from.

What is a tendency in yourself that you didn’t recognize before, that the Enneagram helped you realize was something that was uniquely you, that wasn’t something everybody else had, as far as tendencies go? What is something that was uncovered for you?

I think it is the tendency to get in my head and worry. I realized that not everybody struggles with the amount of fear I have! I actually had a conversation recently with a friend who was stepping out in faith in a lot of areas of her life, and when I asked her if she was afraid at all, she said she really wasn’t; fear wasn’t something she struggles with! And it was so amazing to me. She has her other struggles, but that wasn’t the same exact struggle, so it was a lesson to me that God has created each one of us uniquely.

I was listening to a devotional that talked about the verse that says, “how blessed are the poor in spirit.” And it was talking about how our spirits need to be yearning for the Lord; we need to be weak so that we can rely on his strength through us. And so that was really neat to hear, and to realize that the things that I struggle with are an opportunity for me to be weak and say, “God, I can’t do this in my own strength. I need you to do it through me.”

I would love to know, when you found out that fear is not a universal struggle for everybody, did you find that freeing, or was that distressing in some way?

I think it is both. I think it is hopeful to know that not everybody struggles with this because that shows me that I can get through it! On the other hand, it was a little bit shocking! It’s great because others can do things, and we can look at them and be energized when we see them step out in faith and do the things that we would really struggle with. It encourages us to do those things because we see them doing it and it gives us hope.

I think it’s so cool how, as we start to understand the different perspectives and the different struggles, we start to have this empathy, but also we get energized because something that feels like we need deep growth in order to step out and do, we can see other people just kind of naturally gravitate towards. It helps keep us from thinking there’s something wrong with us when we struggle with something different that somebody else isn’t.

Let’s talk about your “Friends of a Feather” podcast that you did before. Can you tell us about that?

Six years I was doing “Friends of a Feather” and it was an amazing journey. Those episodes are still there for people to listen to, but no new episodes; after 212 episodes, no new ones out there right now. It was an incredible thing, though, hearing women and men’s, “God stories” to share and to really put a microphone out for their story, so that we can hear and empathize with them and be encouraged and then spurred on to do what God’s called us to do and to, and it starts with sharing our stories!

I think that has helped people learn to empathize and understand that God moves in different ways, and what, what somebody else has going on is not the same thing as me, but hearing these stories helps us all! I think sometimes we can put labels even on other people of our same Enneagram type, and so, this helps protect against that and also opens us up to a deeper, truer, broader look at somebody else.

What was something in all of those conversations from your old podcast that stuck out to you, that you feel still impacts your day-to-day life?

There were many things that I will take with me, and God has allowed to grow me in countless ways that I would never be able to vocalize, but there is one that really stands out: I once got to have singer Christie Knuckles on, and she told me a story about “palms up”, that she goes throughout her day and her palms are up, which means I start out my mornings when I’m sitting with the Lord in the Word and my palms are up and I say, “Lord, I’m palms up; whatever you want for me today, whatever you want me to accomplish today, whoever you want me to speak to…my hands are open, they’re surrendered to what you want.”

And as a faith-based person, that is the phrase that sticks out to me most from all of those episodes.

I love that picture! It is such a beautiful picture of radical trust. Talking about trust, this can sometimes be a struggle for Enneagram type sixes. You are really someone who is moving past some of those Enneagram Six struggles with second-guessing, self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and things like that. What has helped you move past those things?

I think I’ve heard it before, or described it before, that Enneagram sixes are like a pendulum. One day we are confident and ready to move forward, and then the next day the pendulum swings way over to the other side and we are just ready to close the whole thing down! So I would say that studying the Enneagram and growing closer to the Lord is what helps you keep that pendulum in the middle. I do have some practical things I can share, too: three things that I have done even recently that have helped me with the second-guessing, with the self doubt, with all of the things that might hinder me from stepping out.

  1. Surround yourself with like-minded people that have the same vision for their life: they want God to be glorified in their life, and they are business owners. They are making it happen, but with a godly focus. So surround yourself with people that are like-minded and are going in the same direction that you’re going.
  2. Regularly speak affirmations to yourself, affirming what God has done in your life and who you are in Christ.
  3. Take a small step out. The step that I took six years ago, starting “Friends of a Feather” was a very small step, even though there was a lot of details to figure out. I’m so glad I took that step because if I had not taken that step, then six years later I wouldn’t have my business that I have about podcasts! I look at that time of yes, of taking that small step, and it has had a huge effect and a ripple effect of what’s going to happen later.

So that’s what I would encourage you with: surround yourself with people, get those affirmations going, and take a small step. It really does make a difference.

Thank you so much for sharing that, because I think that we all need to hear that sometimes, and everybody can struggle with that second-guessing and self-doubt!

And it can be so paralyzing, when you’re in that space! You’re doubting your authority, you’re doubting your voice, you’re second guessing every little decision…Sometimes you just need to take a step, and then the next step, and then you’re going to have some gumption to the next thing and then do the next thing and do the next thing. I really encourage you to do that if you are out there and overthinking takes over. Don’t get paralyzed. Just take that one step.

Thank you so much for sharing that with us, because I think that, again, we all need to hear that sometimes. I’d love to know, if you can distill down a little bit for us, how has the Enneagram influenced your spiritual journey?

I think it comes down to that verse that says, “He must increase. I must decrease.” No matter what our Enneagram number is, we need to remember that the Lord created us this way and we are fully loved and fully accepted. If I am a believer in Jesus and I am a Christian, I have been fully accepted. Then when you go through your different struggles, you can know that you are fully loved, you are fully accepted. And seeing that in the word of God is, is so good and so needed for our souls and so needed in our Christian walk.

Where I was talking about the Enneagram six being like a the pendulum kind of goes both ways; when I am surrendered to the Lord, palms up, and I’m decreasing and he is increasing in my life, then I know that I’m confident in whatever he shows me what to do, because I know that that is true.

If I’m basing all of what I think on feelings and things that change, I need to instead follow what God says, because He never changes. There’s a lot in there about being confident, but it’s only through Him; it’s what I said earlier, that in my weakness, He is strong; in my decreasing, I want him to in increase. And so that’s what I would say is the most probably poignant thing that has happened as an Enneagram six, as I’ve looked at the Enneagram and my spiritual life is that I see some of my tendencies, but I don’t want to stay there. I don’t want to stay in fear and let it paralyze me, and the only way to get past that is taking it to God, saying, “Lord, this is what I’m going through. This is how you made me, but how can I grow spiritually to know, to the point where I am confident?” And it’s only in Him! The confidence in him that he gives me, and the strength that he gives me. It’s not anything to do with me.

Thank you so much for sharing your story, your perspective, and parts of your journey. I think that it will resonate so much with so many of us!

All right, friends. That was my conversation with Wren Robbins. You can find her on Instagram WrenRobbinscoach. And if you were encouraged by her words (I sure was), go ahead and drop her a DM to let her know!

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