Illustration of Enneagram Type 3: "The Performer"

Enneagram Type 3
Three

The Performer

Confident – Ambitious – Image-Conscious

What is an Enneagram Type 3 Personality?

“Threes” can be inspiring examples of excellence and authenticity, but also blindly pursue success and status.

Discover The Great Things About Enneagram Type 3

Threes love to be the best at what they do. They are high-energy people who believe in themselves and in developing their talents. Threes want to achieve success as it is defined by their culture, their family or their social circle. For that, they perform in ways that will earn them praise and attention – which is why they are often called „Performers“. Threes work hard for their accomplishments, and to be fair, they often have quite a few of them.

Key Motivation

Threes want to be admired for who they are and what they do. They thrive on status, achievements and measurable (and especially visible) success. Their fear of being labeled incompetent or even a failure relentlessly drives them to prove themselves.

The Worst, The Best, and The Average of Enneagram Type 3

Your personality isn’t a fixed thing. People grow. While we don’t change our basic personality (as much as some of us would like that), we all can become more mature and healthy inside our personality. But at times, we also revert to less healthy behavior. This looks different for every personality type. Let’s see how it unfolds for Threes.

Average Type 3s

For the average Three, the most important thing is to be viewed as accomplished and successful by others, and for that, they are willing to become whatever person others need them to be. Threes have the uncanny ability to read a room, intuit what the people in that room value the most, and then craft a persona that wins those people’s approval.
With skills like that, Threes tend to be the popular kids on the block. But because of this focus on image and status, average Threes tend to have troubles actually being honest to themselves – and at time to others. It’s hard to know who you really are when you spend all day being what others need you to be.

Key Challenge

The key challenge of Threes is dishonesty. You could call it deceit if you like the old-fashioned word better. They are terrified of being a „failure“, so they craft an image that deceives others into thinking they are something they actually aren’t. More importantly, Threes deceive themselves into thinking they are only worth as much as what others think they’re worth.

Unhealthy Type 3s

When Threes never learn to disconnect their sense of self-worth from their achievements, their need to be praised for what they do can turn into desperation. They start paying higher and higher prizes for getting that win, that promotion, that partner they think they need to be happy.
Unhealthy Threes often become workaholics, burn out or eventually get caught in their own web of lies. Those can be the saddest stories: Threes who never learned to be honest to themselves. Or, if you like the old-fashioned version again, this time by Mr. Hawthorne:

„No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.“

Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

Healthy Type 3s

Threes who have learned to love themselves for who they are (and not for what others think of them), also become able to love others freely. If you combine that with the ambition, energy and goal-oriented work ethic of Threes, you can imagine how healthy Threes become real powerhouses of action and achievement that contributes to something bigger than themselves. Since they don’t need to project an inflated image of themselves anymore, they become really authentic role-models who inspire others.

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All 9 Enneagram Personality Type Descriptions

Misidentifications

Common mistypings for enneagram Type 3

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Definitive guide to finding your Enneagram type

Description

Wings of Enneagram Type 3

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What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram is a pretty amazing tool to help people understand themselves and others better. It does that by describing the nine principle ways of how people view the world and how their particular worldview shapes their personalities. It has already helped millions of people around the world discovering who they are, why they do the things they do and – most importantly – how to use this knowledge to grow as a person.

Find out how the system works