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New to the Enneagram

This resource is for the person who is new to the Enneagram and doesn't really know where to start. You'll also find some resources for the person who wants to take a more active, intentional approach to their own Enneagram journey. 

Defining the Enneagram

A single all-encompassing definition of the Enneagram is difficult to come by, because the Enneagram is so many different things. I often refer to the Enneagram as: 

  • A framework providing a psycho-spiritual understanding of humanity.

  • A language to understand our brokenness. 

  • A typing system that shows us the restrictive personality we've adopted as children to cope and feel safe in the world. 

  • A tool that equips us with self-awareness that can lead to mental, emotional, and spiritual freedom.

Here's how I define the Enneagram: 

"The Enneagram is a dynamic sense-making framework centered around nine interconnected personality types. Each of these nine types has habitual patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that is driven by an inner motivation to fulfill both a core need/desire and avoid a particular fear."

- Jessica Clark

Here's how Enneagram Experts Susanne Stabile and Ian Cron define the Enneagram: 

"The Enneagram teaches that there are nine different personality styles in the world, one of which we naturally gravitate toward and adopt in childhood to cope and feel safe. Each type or number has a distinct way of seeing the world and an underlying motivation that powerfully influences how that type thinks, feels, and behaves." 

- The Road Back to You

The Nine Types

From "The Road Back to You" by Ian Cron & Susanne Stabile

Type One, The Reformer: Ethical and reliable, they are motivated by a desire to live the right way, improve the world, and avoid fault and blame. 

Type Two, The Helper: Warm and giving, they are motivated by a need to be loved and needed, and to avoid acknowledging their own needs. 

Type Three, The Achiever: Success-oriented and image-conscious, they are motivated by a need to be (or appear to be) successful and to avoid failure. 

Type Four, The Romantic: Creative and sensitive, they are motivated by a need to be understood, and experience their over-sized feelings and avoid being ordinary. 

Type Five, The Investigator: Analytical, detached and private, they are motivated by the need to gain knowledge, conserve energy and avoid relying on others. 

Type Six, The Loyalist: Committed, practical, and witty, they are worst-case scenario thinkers who are motivated by fear and the need for security. 

Type Seven, the Enthusiast: Fun, spontaneous and adventurous, they are motivated by a need to be happy, to plan stimulating experiences and to avoid pain. 

Type Eight, the Challenger: Commanding, intense and confrontational, they are motivated by a need to be strong and avoid feeling weak or vulnerable. 

Type Nine, the Peacemaker: Pleasant, laid back and accommodating, they are motivated by a need to keep the peace, merge with others, and avoid conflict as much as possible. 

What does the Enneagram Do? 

The Enneagram helps us in so many ways. Here are just a few to give you an idea of the wide scope of it's uses. 

The Enneagram: 

  • Emphasizes certain aspects of ourselves that we tend to minimize or miss altogether. 

  • Illuminates our hidden motivations and helps us make sense of the patterns that keep us stuck. 

  • Empowers us to operate out of our unique strengths. 

  • Enables us to see ourselves and others newly with compassion, understanding, and hope. 

  • Give us a unique road map towards growth in our personal, spiritual, and professional life. 


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