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Your Whole Self—Breaking out of Your Comfort Zone

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

A great many people know me as an Enneagram Teacher. Some think of me as a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant. A few know me as an Enneagram and IDEA Specialist. Yes, I am all of those things but I am so much more. Over the years I have found a niche corner of the Enneagram to carve out and call my own and I have enjoyed that corner. But in order to bring everyone into the fold and create a lasting community of Advocates, Allies, and Love Warriors I have to break out of my comfort zone and tap into my whole self. I am a Matriarch, a Mystic, and a Mentor. I teach people to lead with their hearts in all things, to bring kindness out into the world, and fight hate with love.

When I started working with the corporations in the “D&I” space as it was known back then, I knew something was missing. In my work, consultants would reuse the same tools and materials, presenting slides and repeating the same words over and over. I wanted to bring more to the table, and I knew there was a way I just needed to dig a bit deeper. My quest began for more information about team-building tools and personality assessment— a quick Google search brought me to the Enneagram Institute. I was off on a journey that took me beyond the belief that I had to find a destination for the journey’s end. There was no looking back at this point. I did not expect the Enneagram journey to lead me down a path directly into the heart of humanity.

Dr. Deborah Egerton is sitting on a statue that spells out "LOVE"
Deborah Threadgill Egerton

I believed that this was the place where I could help to create a safe space for individuals to speak their truth and to be who they were created to be. Instead of entering the “D&I” space with the same set of tools I was determined to reach people at an individual level and make the work less superficial. I found out that this was the only way to make the work sustainable and create real change in the people which would ultimately extend outward into the workplace and into the community.

I may have combined seemingly random practices to develop a new system, but in truth, the system was already there we just needed to unearth it. After years of practice and bringing this wisdom out into the world I became the “go-to” person in my field. At the time I was the only person, to my knowledge, that was combining the Enneagram with IDEA work. It wasn’t long after that many other people would adopt this new system. Still, I felt pigeonholed in my position and people viewed me as a “one trick pony”. I was more than an Enneagram and IDEA teacher, and I was determined to break out of my comfort zone and reach new levels in what I was capable of.

I taught courses at Esalen in “Leading with the Heart”, and I became a mentor to women who were trying to break out of the socially acceptable roles they were forced into. I endeavored to bring everyone into the circle of healing themselves so that they may go out into the world and heal others. I worked hard to show people it was ok to step out of their comfort zone and try something new or even show the world other facets of their identity and purpose. We are not one thing, we are not singular entities capable of only doing what is expected of us. When we accept our whole self, we move beyond striving to be “the best version” of ourselves and we become who we were created to be.

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