Side Chat: Enneagram Soul Child Theory

soul child

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We’ve been obsessed with the Enneagram ever since we discovered it last year, and we’re pretty sure we passed that obsession on to many of you!

One of Rachel’s clients recently said that discovering her Enneagram type felt like “a punch to the soul.” And damn, that’s exactly how it feels when you pinpoint your type — like you’ve been truly seen, but in the most vulnerable, cold-sweat inducing way!

And for those of you who haven’t taken the Enneagram yet and are wondering why in the world you’d ever inflict a “cold-sweat-soul-punch” on yourself … fair. We’d argue it’s because, until you know your deepest (and often most unattractive) default programming, you can’t break free or grow beyond it. And that’s something worth doing.

So, in the spirit of growth, we’re revisiting the Enneagram in this month’s brand-new Side Chat, after stumbling upon a theory about the Enneagram that makes SO much sense (and made Kristen cry a little).

We’re getting into… 

  • What Enneagram Soul Child Theory is, and why it made the Enneagram click even more deeply for us and our other coach-friends.
  • How you might have adapted your dominant Enneagram type as a way to protect yourself from rejection/pain … and what type you might really be, on a soul-level.
  • An explanation of what type you might have started out as in childhood, and what type you became as an adult.

After you listen come leave a comment to share your reaction to this theory and how accurate it felt for you!


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Bonus Book Club! The Wisdom of the Enneagram (Part 1) (August, 2019)

Bonus Book Club! The Wisdom of the Enneagram (Part 2) (August, 2019)


Sarajane’s site

@EnneagramAndCoffee on IG

Her Instagram series on Soul Child theory, by type:

One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, and Nine


There are many Enneagram tests you could take, but here are two that we’ve both personally taken. Keep in mind that you’ll want to set aside about 45 minutes to complete either test:

Eclectic Energies Enneagram Test (free)

The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (paid)


Take the Passion Profile Quiz

Submit your question for a future episode of Dear Krachel

Check out our YouTube channel

7 Comments // ADD COMMENT


  • Amanda Michaelis

    Oh em gee! The 7/5 description is just spot on. When I read it on Sarah Jane’s post it hit home. Hearing it again here has just cemented it. I’m working on finding the ‘origin story’ from when the switch happened (like yours, Rachel). Great episode! 👏

    • Rachel East

      Oh that makes so much sense for you, Amanda! I’ll be curious to hear more about your origin story!

  • Alyx

    Woooooo! WELP. I truly had no intention of crying at all. I mean, I remember being nicknamed “the worry wort” since 5 or 6 years old, so I feel like being a 6 was always in my bones. When it came time to hear my soul number, I muttered, “It better not be a stupid 9” and OoooooOOOOOOOoooops! Was I wrong!! As someone who works with a 9, I’m in that consistent “ugh” mindset about them – Too happy, too trusting, to willing to just accept anything as good and face value, but then you hear that you default to a 6, because it wasn’t safe to be relaxed. I mean, that’s how some of us got hit by a car just crossing the street at the walk sign. In our sessions, the goal was always to be relaxed, letting things flow, which remains such a challenge for me, I think that definitely hit to the emotional core. Seeing the 9 as something to strive to be despite being burned too many times.

    • Rachel East

      Oh man, I love (and also feel for you) that the last thing you wanted to hear was that, deep down, a 9 is who you originally were! Kind of lends credence to the whole concept, right? The last thing we want to hear is usually something that’s going to help us grow. Stupid growth!! lol And yes, it makes perfect sense that it didn’t feel safe to be too happy, trusting, accepting, etc. That’s how you’ve gotten hurt/burned, and it takes a lot of effort to drop those defenses and allow the world to maybe hurt you all over again. Of course, the reward for dropping that armor is great, too (wayyy less fear and anxiety and anger and rigidity) but it’s a big ask, I know!

  • Jacqui

    OMG! I had zero intensions of crying also… until I thought about the poor “little me” and how I just wanted to dance, explore and be happy. As a 1w2… I know this was stifled very early on and at the age of 50… 50 y’all! I’m still ‘fighting’ it! I’m proud of my 1 tendencies, but sad for the little 7 in me trying to make it’s way to the surface. Thank you for diving deeper into the Enneagram, I definitely need to read more!

    You guys are awesome!!! <3

    • Kristen Walker

      Hey Jacqui! 🙂 I’m loving imagining your little inner 7, full of curiosity and energy and joy! And she’s still in there, seeking out moments to express herself. It sounds like your Type 1 tendencies have served you well, and you absolutely should be proud of those qualities too. And now you can find ways for your little 7 to come out and play, too.

      Isn’t all of this so fascinating! Can’t wait for you to dive deeper into the Enneagram.

      • Jacqui

        Yes! Thank you Kristen! 🙂

        Absolutely, I find it all very fascinating! I just want to know everyone’s Enneagram type, I think it would help me understand them so much better!