What is the Enneagram?
The Enneagram is a dynamic accredited Personality Typing system that describes nine distinct patterns of behavior. The word “ennea” is Greek for nine, and “gram” means model or figure. Each of these nine patterns is based on a set of filters that determine your worldview – how you experience life and how you cope with it.
Once you learn your Type, you’ll understand the lens through which you see the world.
- Why you behave as you do
- What’s at the core of your thinking, feeling and acting
- What has kept you from being the best of your Type
- And most importantly, how you can transform yourself
As you learn about the following brief descriptions of the nine Types, see if you can get a general sense of which Type you might be. Then take my test. (Look at my Directory again and you’ll see “Enneagram Test” listed.)
There are 60 questions - which will take you only about ten minutes to answer. In each question, you’ll be given 5 choices, ranging from Very Inaccurate to Very Accurate. (Please note that selecting the middle answer means a statement is around 50% accurate.)
When you answer each question, be spontaneous. Don’t linger too long over each question. Focus on being honest in order to get the most accurate results. You can also re-take the Enneagram Indicator or test if you’re still not sure of your Type.
If you want to take the test first before reading my descriptions of the 9 Types, go right ahead. After you take the test, see if your results match my description of your Type. If you’re still not sure, take the test again.
Here are my descriptions of the nine Enneagram Types:
TYPE ONE (THE PERFECTIONIST)
If you’re THE PERFECTIONIST, you tend to view life in polar extremes. It’s challenging for you to see a middle ground. You love order, have a strong sense of morality and believe that you absolutely know right from wrong. You have an innate, instinctive wisdom that others admire and a gift for teaching because of your desire to make a difference in the world. You pride yourself on following the rules and getting things done properly and on time. You have very high standards for yourself and others, but can sometimes go overboard with your critical eye if not tempered with a sense of humor.
The key to being the best of your Type is letting go of control, letting go of self- criticism and having more fun.
TYPE TWO (THE PEOPLE PLEASER)
If you’re a Type Two, you’re THE PEOPLE PLEASER. To you, relationships and helping others are more important than satisfying your own needs. This is something which causes you to often feel overwhelmed and out of balance. You love to give. You light up like a Christmas tree when a friend says: “I just don’t know what I’d do without you.” This makes you feel needed, important and indispensable. People are drawn to you for your warmth and generosity. However, this attention makes it difficult to say “no” to them when you want to. You know you’re out of balance when you get angry. You can even be bossy after going the extra mile for those you love - if you don’t feel appreciated. This won’t happen if you make sure you satisfy your own needs first.
The key to being the best of your Type is focusing on YOU first. Not on others.
TYPE THREE (THE ACHIEVER)
As THE ACHIEVER, you have a need to project an image of success. In other words, you feel that your value depends on others seeing you as successful and on being successful. This is true in your family life and social world as well as at work. You inspire confidence because you have an uncanny sense of knowing how to get the job done with efficiency and style. You’ll do whatever it takes to accomplish your goals, and you know how to persuade others to help you succeed as well. However, if you desire more happiness in addition to success, open your heart to others through mentoring and community service.
The key to being the best of your Type is to let go of the urgency to win, to relax and have more fun.
TYPE FOUR (THE INDIVIDUALIST)
If you’re a Type Four, THE INDIVIDUALIST, you’re a warm, caring person with a knack for seeing the special gifts in others. Even though you know you’re also gifted and enjoy your individuality and creativity, you have difficulty remembering your own gifts when life doesn’t go your way. That’s when you might envy others. You don’t really want what they have, but still you might feel that something’s missing in your life. Perhaps you forget that we all have our ups and downs and are all flawed. In other words, it’s normal to have moods, so don’t let them keep you stuck in life. Get your head out of the clouds and take action. Look for the rainbows and learn to go with the flow.
The key to being the best of your Type is to stay competitive, move forward and to keep moods and negative thoughts at bay.
TYPE FIVE (THE DETACHED OBSERVER)
Do you identify with being THE DETACHED OBSERVER? You may be very successful in your career and even a brilliant writer or speaker. But you probably still have a basic feeling of inadequacy and emptiness. Therefore, you fill up on mental stimulation, innovative ideas and possibilities. You devour books, CDs or DVDs – everything you think will fill you up and help make you an expert in your field. However, balance is what you need. Fill up on love. Get out in nature. Play more golf. Hike. Spend more time developing your relationships. You’ll be surprised how rich your life will become and how much more pleasure you’ll have.
The key to being the best of your Type is to stay grounded and to feel connected to your physical body. This will get you out of your head.
TYPE SIX (THE LOYAL SKEPTIC)
As THE LOYAL SKEPTIC, you live a life of contradictions. On the one hand, you’re responsible and compliant, yet on the other you challenge authority – fighting for your beliefs, family and community. You have a great loyalty to your friends – rooting for their success – but you prefer offering support on your own terms. Otherwise you feel pressured. You might appear to be self-confident, yet underneath you’re insecure. Security is what you long for, so you make sure you have financial and safety structures in place. At the bottom of all your anxiety is a lack of trust in yourself. Once you learn how to quiet your fearful thoughts and trust your intuition, life will be much more enjoyable.
The key to being the best of your Type is to trust in yourself and to stop all that second guessing. Stay focused on what’s happening “now” and let go of the past.
TYPE SEVEN (THE ENTHUSIAST)
As THE ENTHUSIAST, you think life is an adventure. You’re always ready for the next new thing and probably have too many projects going at the same time. This is what often causes you to feel overwhelmed and out of balance. It’s also how you can cover up painful feelings. You get overly excited. Your mind moves so quickly that ideas seem to tumble out of you. Therefore, brainstorming is natural for you. You’re also gifted in synthesizing information. Once you learn how to slow yourself down, feel what’s going on inside of you, listen more, focus and complete your projects (one at a time), you’ll become happier and more in balance.
The key to being the best of your Type is to stay focused on your goals – one goal at a time – and not get distracted.
TYPE EIGHT (THE BOSS)
If you’re THE BOSS, you’re a natural leader and you like to be in a position of authority. You like that power. You also like instant gratification. You have a lust for life and love to take on challenges. You want to effect change in the world and make a difference. Above all, you value loyalty and will protect, support, encourage and mentor those whom you trust. However, if you lose that trust or feel wronged, your darker side will be activated. Under stress, you can become enraged, dominant and over-confident. You might also withdraw and wall yourself off from others until you re-group. Letting go of your need for power and opening your heart instead will bring you closer to people. You’ll also be happier.
The key to being the best of your Type is to let go of your need for power, to relax and to have more fun. In other words, let it happen.
TYPE NINE (THE PEACEMAKER)
If you’re a Type Nine, you’re THE PEACEMAKER – someone who chooses to be accommodating because otherwise you might experience conflict. You want peace at all cost because then your world will be serene and you can remain comfortable. While being a Peacemaker comes naturally to you, it also can be a problem if you’re pressured to give an opinion. That’s because you don’t want to rock the boat. You prefer to stay neutral. However, people who don’t know you well might be surprised to see how stubborn you can be – especially if you’re asked to change something that will affect your feeling of well-being. You find that energetic people enjoy your company because you calm them down and make them feel good with your warm, peaceful nature. However, you pay a price for always being so “nice.” You cut off your own needs. In other words, you “numb out.” Your life will become richer once you’re willing to experience all of your emotions. Learn to take a stand for yourself. Dare to become more visible.
The key to being the best of your Type is to care more about being yourself and less about what others think of you.