The Enneagram 3, is the second type in the FEELING CENTRE of the Enneagram. Let’s take a closer look at the Enneagram Three – The COMPETITIVE ACHIEVER. These are often also called The MOTIVATOR or The STATUS SEEKER.

“The world values winners. I must succeed at all costs. I must avoid failure. I am what I do – to earn my place, I must be the best at what I do.”


“The toughest thing about success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success.” — Irving Berlin

Enneagram Threes are chameleons. They are all bout looking good and to outshine everyone else. They are driven to be successful at all costs. Threes often struggle to find their true identity as they adapt as to who or what is needed to be the best. They tend to focus on achievement and thrive on admiration of these. They avoid getting in touch with their emotions as this stands in the way of their success. Threes can be very energetic and often people will gladly follow their lead.

Let’s have a look at the four v’s of the Enneagram Three!

Vulnerability (or core fear) – Being worthless

Enneagram Threes fear that without proving their worth – without their list of successes, contributions, and accomplishments – they will be unloved and alone.   

Vice – Deceit

This may sound harsh but Threes spend a lot of time and effort on cultivating the right image, needing to appear successful to others. This invokes the vice of deceit, as they carefully craft and present an image of themselves as they want others to see them – they take on the colouring of their surroundings, making them the chameleons of the Enneagram.

Value – Effectiveness

Enneagram Threes always want to be the best at what they tackle. They value achievement, competence and efficiency.

Virtue – Hope

When Threes connect to hope, they begin to believe that the world might be generous and support them without having to earn it all the time. With hope Threes experience the joy of who they are rather than the image they create, and the profound feeling of being accepted – warts and all!

“Be content to seem what you really are.” —Martial

When Enneagram Threes are at their best, they are hard working and effective, bringing the gifts of hope and integrity to their work and their world.

At their worst, the Three’s over-expressed need to appear successful may make them self-important, inconsistent, invested in self-worth that is built on what they do, rather than who they are. Others may question their authenticity and integrity. If all fails they fake it ‘till they make it.

The blind spots of the Enneagram Threes are:

  • Threes are very aware of presentation and image, and this can become self-deceptive when they start believing their own PR. In over-identifying with their public image, Threes may lose touch with who they really are and create confusion between the real self and their job or role in the world. Others may also tune into this, experiencing Threes as insincere, opportunistic and uncaring.
  • The Three finds it difficult to discuss negative issues and will often rush or dismiss such conversations. This will be particularly true if the criticism points towards mistakes and shortcomings.
  • Strong goal-orientation and drive may lead to others experiencing the Three as impatient, rushed and dismissive – behaviours which will be intensified when the Three is dealing with people that come across as incompetent and may make them “look bad”.
  • A Three’s confidence can be projected as certainty. Whereas certainty easily seems like a good thing, it can seem dismissive of alternative perspectives, thereby keeping people out of a conversation. It may decrease their openness to the Three’s inputs, plans and goals.

Enneagram Threes strive to be the best at whatever they take on and believe in their ability to be successful. They are very resourceful and know how to get things done efficiently. In a team environment, they see themselves drawn to leadership roles. They may seem outwardly optimistic, but inside they may feel more fear of distrust than their behaviour may reveal. They may also reframe mistakes and failures rather than really engaging with them.

In summary, Threes are energised by success, moving towards goals and pushing against obstacles. They usually aim to resolve conflict efficiently, quickly, and competently. They are willing and able to adjust to different situations, people and environments to achieve their goals. They are able to push others to perform at their best as well with their energy and determination.

“Most men that do thrive in the world do forget to take pleasure during the time that they’re getting their estate, but reserve that till they have got one, and then it is too late for them to enjoy it.” — Samuel Pepys

🎶My Song of the Week

📚My Poem of the Week

Is one by Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)


I am afraid, oh I am so afraid!
The cold black fear is clutching me to-night
As long ago when they would take the light
And leave the little child who would have prayed,
Frozen and sleepless at the thought of death.
My heart that beats too fast will rest too soon;
I shall not know if it be night or noon, --
Yet shall I struggle in the dark for breath?
Will no one fight the Terror for my sake,
The heavy darkness that no dawn will break?
How can they leave me in that dark alone,
Who loved the joy of light and warmth so much,
And thrilled so with the sense of sound and touch, --
How can they shut me underneath a stone? 


The totem of the Enneagram 3 is the fox

If I piqued your interest to find out more about the Enneagram, your type, and yourself, and how it can transform you and your life, I would be happy to take the time for a speed coaching call that you can reserve right here, go to my website or simply hit reply and get in touch with me directly.

Wishing you a fabulous start to your weekend and don’t forget to keep in touch!


Tanja 🤗

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s