Enneagram Type 3 Description

Type 3 ~ The Achiever

The Basic Proposition of Type 3

The original state of hope in which things work according to universal law (and not dependent on anyone’s effort) goes into the background in a world that you perceive rewards doing, not being. You come to believe that you can gain love, recognition and acceptance through performance, doing and success. Concurrently, you develop a go-ahead energy of self-deception to match the image of success and approval. Your attention naturally goes to tasks, goals and things to accomplish. Identification glues the structure together by helping you take on the attributes of the desired image as your own. Your ultimate concern or fear is not being able to do or accomplish anything, being a total failure or becoming incapacitated. As compensation you sometimes control and dominate by taking charge, becoming impatient, getting insensitive to others, overriding others’ feelings, demanding performance, and becoming angry at obstructions

What stresses you and makes you most personally reactive: Any obstacles or anyone who thwarts the successful achievement of your goals; incompetence in others or your own outright failure; and indecision or needless delays in getting to goals.

These reactions block you from feeling appreciated and loved for who you are rather than what you do, and ultimately the true expression of your feelings.

Your Strengths: Effective leadership, seeing possibility, enthusiasm, action, encouragement, problem solving, ability to provide, efficiency, practicality and competence.

The Central Theme for Your Healing and Development: Healing and development for you involves not making life into tasks. You are not just a human doing, but a human being. So the simple prescription here is: expand the range of pace so that you can slow the pace down enough to allow feelings to emerge and to realize that love and acceptance comes to you for being as well as doing. Remember you depend on active force and mistrust receptive force. Since you are hooked on producing and succeeding, you just do what it takes to get to the goal, automatically adjusting your image to become what you perceive as bringing the rewards. This is where the distortion of the truth comes in. You take short cuts and sometimes soften the truth to get the job done, which makes sense, since you focus on approval and an image of success through the accomplishment.


Strategies for Your Self-Development and Fulfillment Relationships
  • Develop your receptivity and patience
  • Slow your pace, detach from performance and allow your feelings to emerge
  • Allow for failure; make it OK lose once in awhile
  • Welcome and appreciate feelings, realizing that doubt and anxiety often arise first
  • Develop empathy and understanding for yourself and others
  • Be truthful to yourself and your own true feelings


How Others Can Assist Your Relationship Development
  • Encourage your Threes to take time to smell the flowers, pay attention to feelings and really hear you
  • Support them in making relationships and feelings a priority
  • Let them know that you care regardless of their accomplishments
  • Show and tell them what is really important to you


Need help finding your Enneagram type? Take the scientifically validated Enneagram test online or through the paper-back book version found in Dr. David Daniels’ The Essential Enneagram.

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