Enneagram 3: Performer Achiever
Updated: Jul 18, 2020
Threes are in the triad that uses Emotional Intelligence as their first way of knowing the world, but that isn't immediately obvious to an outside observer. They are high-energy, spunky, busy, multi-tasking, over-achievers who feel that they are good as long as they are successful and others think well of them. They seek to earn acceptance and be worthwhile to others by their accomplishments.
They are perhaps the most efficient group on the Enneagram. They strive to be sexy and desirable in every way. Threes are often well-liked. They have full confidence in themselves and develop their talents accordingly. Threes are sure that if they work hard enough, the sky is their limit. They love to be teachers and role-models, setting bright examples for others to follow. They see the best in themselves and others.
Challenges come when they attach their personal value to their level of success. The goal can keep moving. "I will be happy when I achieve this or that, when I am dating him/her, when I drive that car, live in that neighborhood, earn that honor..." Status symbols, titles, money and positions may be confused with worth.
To complicate matters, Threes spend so much time trying to earn respect from others by mirroring and impressing them that they can forget to find out who they really are. They are known as chameleons because their identity changes with each new person or environment. Their passion is deceit. To please others and get the attention they crave, they fool even themselves. They project the image that wins them admiration, but at the expense of their own soul. This can make it very difficult to get close to a Three or be in an authentic relationship with them. Others experience them as shallow, inattentive and fake. It can be hard for Threes to know that they are Threes on an Enneagram test because they can be very out of touch with themselves.
They can grow by dropping the masks and relaxing into who they really are. Tapping into their feelings and connecting genuinely with those they are in relationships with will go a long way. Rather than pretending that every past situation was a win, they can admit their failures. Setting limits on work hours is beneficial for their workaholic tendencies. Becoming more relationship oriented rather than considering everything a task will show others they value them. They must slow down and allow their emotions to surface.
Healthy Threes put in the work of discovering their true selves. They know what they like and dislike and what they believe and value. They discover who they are. They realize that they are loved for who they really are and not because of their accomplishments. They cultivate integrity. They become genuine and self-accepting and bring out the best in themselves and others.
Shine your true self,
Jessica Morgan McAtee