I Mistyped Myself on the Enneagram

enneagram self-awareness Nov 11, 2020

After studying the Enneagram for two years, I’ve realized I’ve mistyped myself. This revelation didn’t happen overnight, it has been a progressive unfolding. But progressive as it has been, I’m still coming to grips with it.

And it's a bit embarrassing because to some, I'm an Enneagram teacher. Shouldn't I know my stuff? I will say more about this in the future, but I won’t say much at this point, it’s still too new.

I will say that for two years, I thought I was a Type 9, core drive to be at peace:

Easygoing, accommodating, able to see multiple perspectives; makes people feel at peace, pushes for resolution, brings information to the decision makers; given to doubt one’s voice, given to merge with others’ priorities and opinions, given to go with the flow, and in doing, given to lose oneself

In his book, The Enneagram of Discernment, Dr. Drew Moser says about Type 9:

  • Type Nines want peace but settle for calm
  • Type Nines believe they must be peaceful and easygoing to be safe
  • Type Nines believe it’s not okay to assert yourself

But now I see myself as a Type 3, core drive to succeed:

Ambitious, creative, and effective; able to produce, interested and talented in different areas, stamina to keep going; given to trade worth for image, given to overwork, given to self-promote and self-sell, and in doing, given to tie one’s identity too closely with accomplishments and outward image

According to Dr. Moser on Type 3:

  • Type Threes want worth but settle for image
  • Type Threes believe they must be successful and impressive to be safe
  • Type Threes believe it’s not okay to have your own feelings and identity

I’ve got some soul work to do as I consider this new way of seeing myself, and it would work against my growth to put out some great thing to you all because Type Threes may forfeit self-reflection and deeper emotions for a polished, public image and grand accomplishments.

The irony is that I could easily get busy on creating something great but abandon the deep work that really should be done. Rolling something out is what I want to do, but what I know I need to do is wait, sit, and learn.

In his book, The Gift of Being Yourself, Dr. David Benner shares when he was trying to figure out his Enneagram Type. He thought he may be a particular type or another but:

“Continued prayerful reflection on what I was learning about myself from the Enneagram slowly suggested that where I really fit was with Type Three. As is always the case when one finds one’s true type within the Enneagram, this was initially accompanied by a horrifying sense of humiliation.”

At first, it was a high to land on Type Three, like I had found myself after a time, but now it feels like a low to have landed on Type Three because all of the unhealthy parts are blaring at me right now, and I can relate to Dr. Benner’s thoughts on feeling a bit humiliated about the discovery.

I know it’ll get better, but I need to go inward for now. The journey of self-knowledge is not for the faint of heart, but it's good.


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