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This is something that confuses me a lot when it comes to identifiying with the four...

Do fours already know them self and therefore their focus is on expressing who they are?
Or
Are fours self doubting of their identity and try to investigate further into who they are?

I know a lot answers will say, “well, both”. But you can’t know who you are and simultaneously not know.
Plus reading into yourself and trying delve deeper into a subject (even if it is you, seems like more of a 5 thing, even though it doesn’t seem like something fives prioritize)

Are you guys also confused about this?
 

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Do fours already know them self and therefore their focus is on expressing who they are?
Or
Are fours self doubting of their identity and try to investigate further into who they are?
Sounds like what's confusing you is looking at knowing yourself as something that's a done thing. It seems to me that's it's more like a journey or process of discovering yourself because it's something identified through the emotions. So, it's a matter of constantly checking with the emotions to know if that's me or not as you go through life. The authenticity part has to do with being true to that.

I guess in terms of your question it might be expressing who they are as they discover who they are and who they're not. It may be that they're also trying things on for fit.
 

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I find expressing myself is a very important part of who I am. I guess self discovery goes into this too. It can be a slow process and I feel I have just begun. I do know quite a bit about myself but I am learning more and more everyday.
 

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Both, simultaneously. That’s why the unhealthy ones can cycle through self images, sometimes contradicting the previous. When people point that out, they react with frustration. Envy and longing is a pretty big obstacle to authenticity, which makes for a complex dynamic.
 

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For me, the 'finding myself' part comes first, I suppose. The more I find out who I am, the more 'me' I have to share with the world. It's taken a long, long, time - but I feel as though I'm finally learning the difference between what I want and what I think I want. I think many 4s have the tendency to feel as though truthful self-expression is a moral responsibility. Finding myself is so important to me because, not only does it allow me to express myself better as a result, but also because it makes me feel better about expressing myself. My fear of feeling like a fraud makes self-awareness and self-discovery that much more important to me.
 

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Very good questions. Ultimate growth for a 4 is coming to terms with its own embodiment. It must separate contentment from achieving something for validation, and learn to view disappointment realistically. From experience, without that enlightenment it's very similar to not knowing who you are. An average-health 4, aka the trademark of the type, tries frantically to find out who it is, and sulks over failures.

One's Enneatype and identity are relatively synonymous, and identity is already an expression of oneself. Embracing that expression is a universal, psychological need for health. Enneagram-wise no type is exclusively defined by self-expression as a means for personal development. Expressing oneself in this case may refer to overcompensation by enhancing one's own behaviors; for us 4s this may be defiance of things we envy by believing ourselves "different" or "deep" in comparison, and doing "tortured artist" stuff. We're not exactly expressing ourselves healthily there, cuz we're identifying with our own maladaptive habits.

What gets me about us is our pride and lack of experience. They're damningly conflicting, thus we feel shame and blame ourselves
. For any 4, failing to measure up is humiliating to some extent, because we're actually pretty competitive. It eviscerates our pride to feel so inspired yet appear so ordinary, which we interpret as being broken. Many of us spend a lot of time "fixing ourselves," so it's like we're stuck finding out who we are, being aloof and bizarre to hide our grief, and hoping someone sees through the barriers and shame to something worth adoring.​
 

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I use an analogy of OCD, which is, an obsession or preoccupation that is very cyclical. There is a need or compulsion to always feel in touch with ones own emotions, to feel validated or acknowledged as ones own labels or marker. "I am who I think I am/who I want to be".

Reaffirming these things about ourselves can bring temporarily relief, just like performing any compulsion. But the bigger picture is often missed, as an introspective person it can weigh on the subconscious and before long the creeping anxiety or frustration returns and spurs us to once again check in, express, seek validation... analyze/scrutinize, check in, express, seek validation...
 
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