We are all unique and unrepeatable, but that set of psychic characteristics called personality has a great influence on our lives and in the way we relate to our environment.

The trouble is that many people are not aware of their personality and how it engages them with the world around them, preventing them from improving negative attitudes and working on their strengths. 

This is where taking a free enneagram test can guide you on the path of self-knowledge to achieve the personal development you need to be successful.

The Enneagram is a classification system about human behavior that consists of 9 types. This psychological tool allows us to know and understand our personality, and the strengths and weaknesses that characterize it. In this article we will talk about the Enneagram type 3, better known as “The Achiever” and “The Performer”, and how it behaves.

Table of Contents

Enneagram type 3

Enneagram Type 3 Strengths, Weaknesses & Fears – Knowledge Panel


Other names:
The Success-Oriented, the motivator, the achiever, the performer.

Strengths
Weaknesses
✓ Hard-working and pragmatic
✗ They need validation from others
✓ Successful and visionary
✗ Difficult to know
✓ Competent and outstanding
✗ Their achievements never satisfy them
✓ They tirelessly pursue their goals
✗ Impatient and competitive
✓ Generous and sympathetic

Strengths

One of the most outstanding strengths of the Success-Oriented is the way they carry out their activities, as they are hard-working and energetic people who succeed in competitive environments. 

To get validation from others, they project themselves as self-confident and self-assured, excelling in any activity they undertake. 

Other positive characteristics include their friendliness, extroversion, competitiveness and goal-oriented approach, which allows them to achieve whatever they set out to do and to be recognized by others for their accomplishments. 

Weaknesses

Among the negative aspects of Enneagram type 3, we can mention their intimate difficulties to connect with their emotions and with other people. 

Because they need to be validated by their image, they feel ashamed of their faults and weaknesses, so they avoid intimate relationships in order not to be discovered. 

Believing that their weaknesses make them “losers”, they also avoid connecting with their emotions and thoughts so that they do not “get in the way” of the focus on their next goal. 

At their worst, they can be impatient, ruthless and frivolous, capable of doing anything to put themselves before others and achieve their goals, even what is not morally right. 

They are also self-demanding and when their ego dominates them, they begin to feel that their achievements are not enough and become workaholics and nonconformists.

Fear of: Failure and of not being valued

Feeling that they will only be valued because of their accomplishments, they fear failure in competitive activities or work. They are also afraid of not being “the best” and of being despised by society.

Desire and Need to: Being admired and feeling valued

They strive to meet social expectations and excel at everything to be successful and get the admiration they desire. For them, feeling admired by others is similar to feeling “valuable”.

Core Motivation

The Motivators want to stand out to distinguish themselves from others. They want to be the center of attention because of their accomplishments and impress others to the point of being admired and idolized. 

Speaking Style: Motivational and enthusiastic

This Enneagram type is characterized by enthusiasm in speaking. Able to drive themselves and others to achieve their greatest professional and personal goals. 

Wings for Threes

 

The Enneagram type 3 wings are Two and Four. When a wing is developed, it influences this enneagram by maintaining its main characteristics but with other variations in its personality. The way the wings influence “The Achiever” is as follows: 

These variations are presented as follows:

  • Wing 2 (3w2) also called “The Charmer”: These Threes are charming, socially-oriented and are more sensitive to the feelings of others. They are more cooperative in their work and professional environment and care more about their physical image than the other enneagram types. 
  • Wing 4 (3w4) Also called “The Professional”: These Threes are more focused on their work than on society, being more serious and reserved when expressing themselves. They care more about sophistication than social relationships, which makes them prone to engage in artistic forms of expression of any kind. 

Type 3 Key Characteristics

Enneagram Type 3 Key Characteristics

Sociable

They are artists in relating to other people, as they have great social skills that allow them to achieve their goals, adapt to different situations, people or environments with skill, and distinguish themselves from others.

Dynamic

They are very busy and hardworking people, as they are always on the move to achieve their goals. They tend to have busy schedules and frequent meetings, as they focus on excelling in social settings that demand a lot of commitment and effort. 

Charismatic

Enneagram type 3s make a good first impression thanks to their wide range of accomplishments, which makes them attractive and potentially admired by others. 

This trait, in conjunction with their actions, makes them able to motivate everyone and easily assert themselves as leaders.

Ambitious

They want to achieve more and more and pursue everything that brings them social recognition. Because of their ambition and belief in their potential to succeed, they are not afraid to compete with others to prove that they are the best and achieve everything they set out to do.

Enthusiastic

They are passionate about what they do and it is what enables them to achieve their goals and succeed. That’s why they are energetic, stay driven and love to encourage others to follow in their footsteps.

Pragmatic

They are productive, practical and calculating people. They like routines, order and everything that implies discipline since they are convinced that this will allow them to reach their objectives. 

Outstanding

They stand out for their great energy and enthusiasm in everything they undertake. They are results and excellence-oriented in every step they take and are also able to motivate others by their example. 

Are you an Enneagram Type Three?

Take our free Enneagram test & know for sure

Enneagram Type 3 Core Values

Recognition

Status and awards are the main motivation for this type of enneagram. All they desire is the lifestyle of an achiever and to be recognized for it by others.

Competition

Challenging oneself and overcoming barriers is fundamental. They love to prove they are the best and motivate others to challenge their limits by being the image of social success that everyone admires.

Success

Efficiency, productivity and achievement are most important to them. That is why they strive to cultivate these values, because thanks to them they will be able to get the recognition they desire.

Self-confidence

This fundamental pillar makes Threes not give up, always be winners in everything they do and project themselves to others as attractive and admirable people. 

Jobs and Careers Paths for Enneagram Type 3

Achievers are very successful in the work environment as long as they can climb the career ladder and achieve new goals. They like to relate to their co-workers and take advantage of this social skill to help them pursue their ambitions. 

They are good at giving instructions and enjoy taking on new responsibilities from their bosses.However, they tend to become workaholics at times and can become hostile if they are frequently ignored or criticized. 

They may also decline in performance and productivity if their authority is not respected and their hard work and accomplishments are not recognized.

Although they are adaptable to anything, the areas where Threes thrive best are those where they can create a plan to achieve their goals. These can be marketing, sales, finance and all those that allow them to have a successful lifestyle.

List of best jobs/careers for Enneagram Type 3
 

  • Marketer
  • Coach
  • Financial Analyst
  • Entrepreneur
  • Actor
  • Surgeon
  • Investment banker
  • Lawyer
  • Politician
  • Modeling 
Are you an Enneagram Type Three?

Take our free Enneagram test & know for sure

Type 3 Development Levels

Healthy levels
 

At the first and best level Threes are authentic, accept themselves as they are and work internally on their fears and emotions. Thanks to this, they project themselves as they are, without giving excessive importance to social validation. 

In addition to being kind, generous and benevolent, at this point, they can laugh at their mistakes and work on them by focusing on their strengths.

At a second level, they adapt to any environment or situation, trusting in their abilities more than in what others think of them. At this level, they value themselves, as well as being charming, cheerful, competent and have high self-esteem. 

At a third level, they yearn to surpass themselves and embody the image of success idealized by society, so they strive for excellence.

 They believe that in this way they will be admired and feel valuable, also mentioning that they are highly effective, competitive, outstanding and inspiring.

Average levels
 

At a fourth level, they constantly compare themselves with others and are concerned about their performance at work, social status and achievements. 

This drives them to strive to be the best in all these aspects and to climb social ladders quickly. They think that the achievement of their goals depends on their self-esteem, so they obsess about failure, their image and what others think of them.

At a fifth level, Threes are no longer as concerned about their performance as they care about their image, as their fears revolve around it and how others perceive them. 

They hide their insecurities and only project what they want to show according to social expectations of success to fit in with them. 

At this point, they are more premeditated and pragmatic, becoming false and having problems of credibility and intimacy because of their disconnection with their feelings. 

On a sixth level, they form an inflated self-image of who they are and their talents, projecting better than they are to impress others. 

Their superiority complex leads them to despise others to hide the envy they feel towards their success, becoming narcissistic, exhibitionist and arrogant.

Unhealthy levels
 

At a seventh level, Threes can be opportunistic, exploitative and humiliating. They covet the success of others and out of jealousy are willing to do anything to maintain their image of superiority, even what is unethical.

At an eighth level hide, manipulate and deceive others so that they do not discover their wrongdoings. They flee at all costs from being pointed out for their mistakes, besides being treacherous, envious and malicious, capable of sabotaging people to be above them.

At the worst and lowest level, they become vengeful, obsessive and implacable. Wish to ruin the happiness and success of others, and anything that reminds them of their failures. 

At this point, they adopt psychopathic behaviors and are prone to develop Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Type 2 Development Levels

Personal Growth Recommendations for Enneagram Type Threes
 

Rest and set limits at work

The Three work tirelessly to achieve their goals. They perceive fatigue as a “waste of time” and challenge their limits to the point of anxiety and stress. 

Besides being physically and psychologically compromised by fatigue and tension, this also makes them workaholics.

Recommendation: Become aware of the fatigue that working tirelessly generates in you and REST. You think you can handle it, but your body can’t and this will lead to stress and some psychosomatic symptoms because this is how our body cries out for rest. Invest time in your body by resting, so you can perform at your best during the workday ahead.

Practice mindfulness whenever you can

Enneotype 3’s tend to disconnect from themselves to pay more attention to the outside and how others perceive them. 

They neglect their personal needs and, on the other hand, their excessive need for success and recognition does not allow them to sit still and reconnect with their being. 

Recommendation: Mindfulness will help you reconnect with your feelings and thoughts, as well as work on your inner needs. It is very convenient as it allows you to be aware of yourself and examine what you feel. Thus you can lead your life more calmly and maintain a balance between your intimacy and the outside, being able to obtain much more success and satisfaction than before. 

Listen to others and be cooperative

The Performers are so focused on what people think of them that they forget to establish deep relationships with others. This happens because they believe that they are only valued for their strengths, skills and effectiveness, even though this is not entirely true. 

Besides, they tend to be competitive, overworked and pay more attention to their goals than to the people who appreciate them, forgetting to share intimate moments with them and to listen to them.

Recommendation: Learning to listen to others and connect your emotions with theirs will lead you to be a better person and feel better about yourself. Also, when you cooperate and are grateful to others, you become a more caring and desirable person. Remember that you will also be admired and socially exalted for it, because behind a successful person, there is a human being who feels and is able to help others. 

Be honest about your feelings and needs

The Trees are terrified of being perceived as losers, so they hide their vulnerabilities, fears and even their true feelings and needs. 

They want to be “perfect heroes”, with nothing to allow them to fail in the eyes of society, and by showing only this facet, they can inflate their importance. 

This impedes them from showing their authenticity, and they fall into falsehood and self-deception. 

Recommendation: You are human and it’s okay if you show some of your vulnerabilities. People will value you more if you are authentic and show the hard work you have put into yourself to become a better person. So accept your weaknesses and needs, and lean on them to improve yourself. You will see how they admire and accept you more if they see you as more human than by bragging about your successes.

Enneagram Type Three – Behaviour and Patterns

Action Patterns

The main motivation of the Enneagram type 3 is to prove that they are the best and they do this by being goal-oriented and projecting themselves as “doers”.

They adapt their personality, behaviors and even communication depending on who they want to impress and it is thanks to this ability to adapt to any social environment that they are known as “chameleons”.

In the work environment and recreational activities, they are very competitive and prefer activities that allow them to reach new individual achievements and climb positions. 

On the other hand, the more social Threes are attracted to winning groups and even to leading them, thanks to their self-confidence and tendency to leadership roles.

Also, they are confident in their abilities and talents, which allows them a sense of triumph that emboldens them to accomplish their goals, achieve their ambitions and captivate their audiences.

Feeling Patterns

All Threes tend to disconnect from their emotions, repressing them so that they do not interfere with their achievements. They are not self-reflective nor talk about their feelings and needs, especially their fears, anxiety or sadness, which they consider weaknesses.

This leads them to mask the feelings they do not want to show to project themselves as more confident and stronger than they are. 

Despite this, they find it easier to show their frustration and anger, expressing it in the form of ambition to demand more of themselves and project as strong-willed.

Even if they show confidence and optimism, this can sometimes be a facet, as internally they may feel insecure but do not allow themselves to express it due to the frustration that lies in the reaction of others to them.

They may appear serious and focused, but when faced with failure or too much pressure, they can become grumpy and moody. 

Thinking Patterns

Enneagram type 3’s thoughts are focused on their goals and possible strategies to achieve them. They are intellectually calculating, quick thinking and very analytical, which allows them to adapt easily to any situation and ensure their success by interacting correctly with the environment.

They have the habit of comparing themselves with others and this scale of thinking is related to their competitiveness and excesses with their work.

They refer to their failures and mistakes as “learning opportunities” so as not to be overwhelmed by them and connect with data that support their point of view, downplaying the importance of the rest of the information.

Are you an Enneagram Type Three?

Take our free Enneagram test & know for sure

Famous Enneagram Type 3 You Might Know 

      1. Muhammad Ali – Boxer
      2. Lance Armstrong – Cyclist
      3. David Bowie – Singer
      4. Bill Clinton – Politician
      5. Madonna – Singer
      6. Paul McCartney – Singer
      7. David Copperfield – Illusionist Magician
      8. Tom Cruise – Actor
      9. Arnold Swarzenegger – Actor and bodybuilder
      10. Will Smith – Actor and singer
      11. Sylvester Stallone – Actor
      12. Jean-Claude Van Damme – Actor
      13. Oprah Winfrey – TV Presenter
      14. Tiger Woods – Golfer
      15. Bruce Lee – Actor and martial arts expert
      16. Cristiano Ronaldo – Soccer Player
      17. Ricky Martin – Singer
      18. James Franco – Actor
      19. Michael Douglas – Actor
      20. Michael Jordan – Basketball Player
      21. Ted Bundy – Famous Serial Killer
      22. Ben Affleck – Actor
      23. Ronald Reagan – Politician
      24. Dwayne Johnson – Actor and wrestler
      25. Pierce Brosnan – Actor

Enneagram Type 3 Quotes

  1. ‘The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.‘ – Arnold Schwarzenegger
  2. ‘When I was a boy, I always saw myself as a hero in comic books and in movies. I grew up believing this dream.‘ – Elvis Presley
  3. ‘When you have to cope with a lot of problems, you’re either going to sink, or you’re going to swim.‘ – Tom Cruise
  4. ‘I have always tried with my shows—win, lose or draw—to take the boundaries of music as far as I can.‘ – Andrew Lloyd Webber
  5. ‘The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.‘ – Arnold Schwarzenegger
  6. Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.
    Henry Ford
  7. ’Into each life some rain must fall, some days must be dark and sad and dreary’ – Randy Pausch
  8. You are not a victim of circumstance. You are a creator of circumstance.
    Stephen Pierce

Enneagram Personality Type 3 FAQ

They are energetic, goal-oriented, hard-working, effective and enthusiastic. They seek success and recognition and want to be admired for their achievements. They have a great ability to grasp the needs of their environment, which makes them good social climbers. However, they can be vain and competitive, as they tend to place more value on what they have than on who they are. 

Although the image-oriented personality of the enneagram type 3 can obstruct intimate relationships by hiding their vulnerabilities and authenticity, they pair well with the enneagram type 9. In a three-nine couple, the latter tend to accept them as they are, and support their ambitions. 

Under stressful conditions, the Threes push and punish themselves, becoming apathetic, listless and hypersensitive. Avoid at all costs confronting their feelings directly and try to evade it by working harder and harder and fantasizing about their next achievement.

The best jobs for Enneagram type 3 are those in which they can create a plan to achieve their goals and that allows them to have a successful lifestyle such as entrepreneur, actor, investor, politician, financial analyst and model. 

Final Words

If you discovered that you are an Enneagram type 3 by taking the free Enneagram test, this article will have described your personality to perfection.

Through these lines, you will have noticed that your enthusiasm and your success-orientation are the most valuable qualities you have, as long as you don’t get carried away by your ego.

This can only be controlled by knowing yourself and recognizing your weaknesses to improve them through your strengths.

You just have to pay more attention to your feelings, respect your work limits and listen more to others to enhance your life.

This way you will understand that we all have our own brilliance and that the best thing you can do to shine is to be the best version of yourself. 

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