Enneagram Type 3: The Achiever

March 15, 2020

Basic Fear: Being worthless
Basic Desire: Feel valuable
Healthy: Enneagram 6 (want to see the success of others)
Unhealthy: Enneagram 9 (become lazy)

Oh man, this is where I get real vulnerable because I’m a three. At first, I hated it. This personality type seemed vain and everything that women are taught not to be, but I’ve grown to love it. I’ve grown to see when I’m in a healthy place and when I’m not and take the actions to get back on the right track.

The three is the achiever. They define their worth by their success and are extremely afraid of failure. Whether that’s losing a board game, being wrong about a fact they just shared or making a huge business mistake. All of those feel like death to their ego.

They base the love they receive off of their achievements and often wonder what it is they did that made someone like them or fall in love with them. (I may ask Clayton at least 1x a day why he loves me…) A three is efficient, goal-oriented, and likes results. They get s*** done and don’t like to be slowed down. They learn fast, hate having free time and believe that multitasking is a superpower. When they’re in the zone, don’t get in their way.

The achiever is considered the chameleon; they abandon their own feelings in favor of the role they need to play. This comes in handy when they need to work a room but doesn’t work well when they are trying to understand how they actually feel. As the center of the heart triad (meaning that both wings of the three are also in the heart triad), they are the most distant from their feelings and have a hard time facing them. It’s something that both they and their partners need to be aware of. 

If you are in a relationship with a three remember:

  • They think they are loved for their achievements, you’ll need to remind them that you love them for who they are, not what they do.
  • They want to be appreciated for their great sense of style and the work they do on their image. Whether or not you care if they get all dressed up, they still want to be appreciated for it.
  • You might need to slow down your partner in order to get real intimacy and help them face their true feelings.
  • They don’t like to face their negative emotions but will need to in order to grow. Support them with this.
  • three’s cannot sit still, they need activities and to feel productive. Plan dates around having things to do or special dates where you encourage them to be.
  • You might have to set boundaries around work and remind your partner when it’s time to close the laptop and spend time together.

As a three I know the struggle of facing your feelings, setting aside work and not trying to win everyone’s affection (a daily challenge if I may say so). When you can get to a place where you know that you are more than that, that your worth comes from a higher place, you can see more of the beauty of this number. Those feelings may not last forever, but the more you can come back to them, the healthier you’ll be. It’s a lifelong journey.