Sarajane Case: Own Your Challenges, Embrace Your Growth
Sarajane Case is a trained Enneagram teacher, author of the popular self-help book The Honest Enneagram and Host of the Enneagram & Coffee Podcast. She helps people to find their perfect balance between self-care and growth so they can release shame on their path to doing less harm. Her new book - The Enneagram Letters: A poetic exploration of who you thought you had to be - released on October 18th and is now available wherever you buy your books.
Can you please share a few words about yourself and your work? What made you choose your current path?
I teach and write about a personality map called the Enneagram. It’s a system of nine personality types. I found the enneagram at a time when I was working as a coach for entrepreneurs experiencing burnout. It ended up being an amazing tool for getting to the source of why people were burning themselves out. What were they trying to earn through overworking or undercharging?
In the process of finding my type and using it with my clients, I ended up becoming absolutely obsessed with the system itself to the point that I decided to focus on learning and sharing about the enneagram alone.
What does being successful mean to you?
Success to me means having the freedom to choose when I work and where I work from. It means having a sense of stability in my finances that offers me time and energy to travel and spend time with the people who matter most to me. Success also means having the option to be creative and make new things or do things in ways that haven’t been done before.
What is one habit or practice that has benefited your life the most? Also, what is one practice you’ve always wanted to add to your life, but didn’t?
The habit that has benefited my life the most is definitely journaling. Having time every morning to organize my thoughts has helped me so much in staying focused, knowing what I want, and making plans to get there.
One practice I’ve always wanted to add but haven’t is cold showers. There’s a sauna house where I live that has a sauna and a cold plunge and afterward, I always feel so invigorated and energized. I feel like cold showers would give me the same effect without the time commitment. I’ve heard so much about the benefits of cold therapy but right at the moment when I go to turn the shower on and choose a temperature I always chicken out.
What is one belief or value that you hold as your guiding truth?
Only do in private what you would be willing to do in public. I want more than anything to be a fully aligned person who doesn’t have to hide things about myself. I hate the feeling of being ‘found out’ and try to avoid anything that would make me feel that way.
What is one of the most worthwhile investments —money or time investment — you’ve ever made?
My noise-cancelling headphones. I actually purchased them as a suggestion from my therapist because I was having a hard time not being frustrated with all of the noise at home and at the office. I would just be irritated all day. I’d avoided noise cancelling headphones before because I didn’t like the thought of not being able to hear how loud I was being. But, I splurged and bought the airpod max’s that have the option to turn the feature off. I can honestly say that they are the best purchase I’ve ever made. My life is at least 75% happier because of them.
What is one life-changing book that has greatly influenced and helped you along the way? Also, who has inspired you the most in your journey?
A book that truly changed the way I think about my life is The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte. In it she talks about setting goals based on how you want to feel not what you want to accomplish. This changed my perspective completely. It was wild to notice how often my goals were things that were making it impossible for me to feel the way I want to feel. When I put feelings first I was able to set goals that I actually wanted to achieve.
What was your biggest fear when you just started and how have you managed to overcome it? Also, did you find an effective way to eradicate fear from its root?
When I first started teaching the enneagram I was so afraid of being an imposter. There are people who have been teaching the enneagram for over 30 years and I was terrified of claiming a spot beside them. What helped me was consistently taking workshops and trainings so that I’m always learning and growing. It also helps me to recognize how much I already know.
What was one of your biggest self-limiting beliefs and how have you managed to change it? Also, did you find a reliable process to embody new beliefs?
One of my biggest self-limiting beliefs is that when something doesn’t feel good it’s time to move on. Much of my life I’ve given up on things too early because they weren’t comfortable. I wanted to be happy 100% of the time and anything that disrupted that got put on the chopping block. Over the years I’ve learned that everything sucks. Every job sucks. Every relationship sucks. Everything that is beautiful is also hard at times. It’s not about avoiding difficulty - it’s about choosing the difficulty that I can withstand. This mindset has helped me to stick with things long enough to see them become successful instead of giving up at the first road block.
What is your message to someone who is about to embark on their next big mission or dream? Also, what advice should they ignore?
If you are just starting out I hope that you take the advice that no one is as great as they will be when they begin. There is no magic talent that some people are born with and others are not. It’s about learning new skills and practicing them every day. When we look at talent in this way it’s no longer something we have or don’t have instead it’s something we make.
Don’t take the advice to not sleep or eat or take time for yourself in pursuit of your goals. The hustle mindset may work for some in theory but it’s also at the expense of their well-being. Choose to push yourself in incremental ways that take the fact that you are a human being with a beating heart into account.
Finally, what are you primarily working on these days?
Right now I am primarily working on my podcast - Enneagram & Coffee - which goes live every week. I’m also currently launching a new book The Enneagram Letters - A poetic exploration of who you thought you had to be! I also offer trainings for businesses and organizations on the enneagram and burnout prevention/creativity.
You can find more about Sarajane at her website at Sarajanecase.com or on Instagram @sarajanecase
Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.