The Enneagram Type 3 (The Achiever)

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about Ennegram Type 3 archetypes. From definition of the ennegram, examples and why it is useful.

What is The Enneagram Type 3? (The Achiever)

The type three personality type is known as the Achiever and is defined by the desire to be seen as significant in the world.

The type 3 goes about being seen as significant by distinguishing themselves from others through their achievements.

Type threes usually lack internal confidence in their self-worth which results in them seeking validation from others through their abilities, achievements and accomplishments.

However, outwardly they appear ambitious, goal-oriented and confident to those observing them.

How do Enneagram Type 3 individuals act?

Type three personalities are very focused on their image as a result of the heavy importance they place on others seeing them as successful.

However, internally they are insecure, fearing failure and insignificance.

As a coping mechanism they are always seeking ways to reassure themselves by achieving wins in life that make them feel valuable in the world.

When their personalities are in balance and they are healthy, type three individuals really are capable of achieving great things.

Enneagram Type 3 individuals and success

The accomplishments of the type three mean many see them as people to look up to and in turn they enjoy using their abilities to make a contribution to the world.

They also enjoy motivating others to use their own inner abilities and achieve things which they may not think they are capable of.

These abilities mean that those around usually regard them highly, making them popular and someone that others want to associate themselves with.

Type three individuals are usually successful because they are the most likely of all individuals to believe in themselves and develop their talents. Their resultant success is an inspiration to others.

  • Success for most is defined by the families, cultures and societies in which they exist, so success will be defined differently for different type three people.
  • For some, they will see their success in the form of wealth and the things that they own.
  • Others will see their success in their ideas and values, with academic achievements the demonstration of success in that arena.
  • For others success may mean achieving highly in a particular profession, particularly if it is a family tradition to work in that area, or to achieve great fame.

Darkside of Enneagram Type 3 personalities

However, they define success though, type three people want to be seen as ‘somebody’ rather than a ‘nobody’.

As a result, they come to act in ways which will earn them attention and praise from a young age.

Children will recognise which activities their peers and parents value then focus their energies into achieving highly in those areas.

They work hard to develop the things about them which they believe are impressive or attractive to others.

They are the ultimate example of the human need for attention, affirmation and encouragement, needing this for their success and survival in the world.

Self perception of Type 3 personalities

The type three person seeks success because they are afraid of the worthlessness which lacking success may mean for them, or of disappearing altogether.

They fear that if they lack the attention which achievement brings then they also lack value in the world and are a ‘nobody’.

However, this fear can cause them to rush to achieve and lose sight of what they really want in life, their true interests, desires and feelings.

If they fall into this trap they can lose touch with who they really are, becoming susceptible to self-deception.

Enneagram Type 3 and their feelings

Type three people are not typically in touch with their feelings, but rather are people of action and achievement.

They are capable of putting their feelings away in order to focus on what they want to achieve and get ahead, believing that feelings may get in the way of what they want to accomplish. Instead of feeling they prefer to think and act in.

However, when they ultimately come to realise how much they have structured their lives around meeting the perceived expectations of other people, the type three person may start to begin to question whether they even understand what other people actually want.

In reality they may come to understand they never in fact knew what others expected of them or wanted from them at all.

Enneagram Type 3 Growth

In order for a type three individual to grow they need to be able to master the following:

  • Learn to be truthful to themselves and others about their real desires, needs and feelings as well as resisting the desire to impress others rather than being authentic with them.
  • Learn to take breaks in order to avoid the tendency to drive themselves to exhaustion while pursuing their goals.
  • Learn to value and develop giving and cooperation in relationships in order to become a more loving and faithful person and therefore more desirable to be around.
  • Learn to develop a sense of social awareness by involving themselves in things which are not purely for the benefit of their own personal advancement as this will help them get in touch with their true identity and value.
  • Learn to resist the temptation to adapt so much around the perceived expectations of others that they lose touch with themselves.

Enneagram Type 3 Characteristics & Traits

  • Seek validation
  • People of action and achievement
  • Desire significance in the world
  • Aware of social niceties
  • Accomplished
  • Busy and ‘on the go’
  • Interested in, or talented at, acting
  • Outward appearance of having refined tastes
  • Charismatic
  • Makes a good first impression
  • Ambitious
  • Goal oriented
  • Outwardly confident but inwardly lacking self-confidence
  • Prone to self-deception
  • Want to be ‘somebody’
  • Fear being ‘nobody’
  • Not in contact with their feelings

Enneagram Type 3 Examples

There are numerous famous examples of type three personalities throughout history, including:

  • Augustus Caesar
  • Emperor Constantine
  • Bill Clinton
  • Tony Blair
  • Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
  • Condoleeza Rice
  • Muhammed Ali,
  • Mitt Romney
  • Andy Warhol
  • Truman Capote
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Bernie Madoff
  • Michael Jordan
  • O.J. Simpson
  • Tiger Woods
  • Lance Armstrong
  • Elvis Presley
  • Paul McCartney
  • Madonna
  • Sting
  • Whitney Houston
  • Lady Gaga
  • Tom Cruise
  • Jamie Foxx
  • Will Smith
  • Courteney Cox
  • Reese Witherspoon
  • Mad Men’s “Don Draper”
  • Glee’s “Rachel Berry”
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