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Type 3

Enneagram Type Three

Personality Profile - Personal Growth Recommendations


The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type:
Adaptable, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious

Basic Fear: Of being worthless
Basic Desire: To feel valuable and worthwhile
Enneagram Three with a Two-Wing: "The Charmer"
Enneagram Three with a Four-Wing: "The Professional"


People with Type Three personalities learned from a very early age to figure out what other people admired or respected and they have an amazing ability to reach inside themselves to draw out whatever is required to be a success. They work hard and continually motivate themselves to do whatever it takes to improve themselves. Usually highly efficient, they can produce twice as much as others. The problem is that quality is sometimes compromised for the sake of quantity, since Threes develop a tendency to evaluate themselves based on how much they have accomplished and how things appear rather than on the depth or substance of what they have produced.

Threes are engaging people who seem confident and self-assured in almost any situation. They have a knack for knowing how to dress for the occasion and others look to them as role models. While they can easily reflect the qualities that are valued in their families, work groups, or culture, they have trouble looking within to discover who they really are once the layers of success are peeled away. Then the usually cool Three can become very emotional, image conscious and competitive. Sometimes they get in trouble with narcissism and believing that they deserve to have whatever they want.

Inside every Three is a child self that can be delightfully playful when it gets the attention it needs. If the assurance of loving acceptance is uncertain, this inner child becomes anxious and self-doubting. Because they believed that the love they received was conditional on their achievements, they are afraid of failing or of disappointing people. When they can accept their insecurity and learn to love themselves as they really are, their deep inner confidence shines because it is based in the knowledge that they are part of something bigger than themselves.

FAMOUS THREES: Bill Clinton, O.J. Simpson, Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, Kathie Lee Gifford, Whitney Houston.


Personal Growth Recommendations
for Enneagram Type Threes

  • For our real development, it is essential to be truthful. Be honest with yourself and others about your genuine feelings and needs. Likewise, resist the temptation to impress others or inflate your importance. You will impress people more deeply by being authentic than by bragging about your successes or exaggerating your accomplishments.

  • Develop charity and cooperation in your relationships. You can do this by taking time to pause in busy day to really connect with someone you care about. Nothing spectacular is required—simply a few moments of quiet appreciation. When you do so, you will become a more loving person, a more faithful friend—and a much more desirable individual. You will feel better about yourself.

  • Take breaks. You can drive yourself and others to exhaustion with your relentless pursuit of your goals. Ambition and self-development are good qualities, but temper them with rest periods in which you reconnect more deeply with yourself. Sometimes taking three to five deep breaths is enough to recharge your battery and improve your outlook.

  • Develop your social awareness. Many Threes have grown tremendously by getting involved in projects that had nothing to do with their own personal advancement. Working cooperatively with others toward goals that transcend personal interest is a powerful way of finding your true value and identity.

  • In their desire to be accepted by others, some average Threes adapt so much to the expectations of others that they lose touch with what they are really feeling about the situation. Develop yourself by resisting doing what is acceptable just to be accepted. It is imperative that you invest time in discovering your own core values.


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