The Enneagram and Motivations

Why you do what you do makes you who you are. This is the key to knowing and understanding your type. Two different types may have the exact same behavior, but they are working from completely different motivations. This is fascinating to me, and the real core of the enneagram. So let’s go through the enneagram and motivations today!

I’m going to do just a quick summary of each type on the blog, but I am also releasing today some beautiful printables that I think you will love! To get the entire summary, you can now print each type in the fun printables below. They are colorful and formatted simply on one sheet, while including all the points about each type’s motivates and a peek into their character. If you want all nine types in a packet format, they are available in the shop along with a ton more information on each enneagram type…

If you want a specific number, click the buttons for each type to find it in the shop! Or you can always browse the shop to find all of the enneagram products and printables that I have created just for you!

What Motivates Type 1?

One’s are innately motivated by righteousness. What I mean by this is, they have in their mind a definite right way that things should be done in any given situation. They strive to do things this way, and avoid doing things, what they consider the wrong way. They judge themselves harshly in how well they are keeping up with this black and white way of life. One’s are keenly judgmental, and hold these standards so high that they are constantly disappointing themselves. This effort to do and essentially be good is the type one’s main driving force.

Grab the printable about type one below:

What Motivates Type 2?

The top motivations for two always come back to their relational side. They are in the heart triad, after all, meaning they feel first. However, their feelings are focused outwardly on others instead of what is going on with themselves. Much of their motivation comes from a deep place of wanting to be loved and accepted by others.

Of course, we all want love and acceptance, but for the type two, this desire motivates them into action in a very specific way. They seek to provide needs and help others in hopes that this will in turn earn them love and the acceptance they so desire.

Below is a complete sample (using type 2) of what the motivation sheets look like and include. Aren’t they fun? The blue boxes on the side, give a quick glance at the key motivations, while the right hand side is written out in descriptive detail about how our motivations make us and what that looks like in each type. I hope you enjoy these printables!

The Enneagram and Motivations Type 2

What Motivates Type 3?

Type three is motivated by success. This will look different for each three depending on what their definition of success happens to be. Many three’s idea of success has been shaped by the influential people they grew up around. This would be parents, teachers, coaches, etc. who gave them an idea of what the “winning ticket” looked like.

Threes naturally want to please others, this ties in to their motivation to succeed. If a parent stressed the idea of getting good grades as the picture of success, a type three would do everything in their power to get good grades. They have a strong will about them, that allows them to go after their desires in an almost cut-throat fashion.

Find out even more about type three below…

What motivates Type 4?

Fours are motivated by authenticity and beauty. This type does not put up with fake of any kind and cannot stand surface levels. Fours are deeply motivated by being their truest, raw versions of themselves, finding beauty in everything, including in pain and darkness, and desiring the same authenticity from others.

They know that they are different and they wouldn’t want it any other way. Fours pride themselves in being their own unique expression of who they are, and will even go out of their way to make sure that they aren’t like everyone else. They don’t want to stand out in a “look at me- showy” sort of way, they just want to be themselves and be loved for who they are.

More about fours…

What motivates type 5?

Fives are motivated by independence and personal capability. If they want to know something, they are extremely fulfilled in figuring it out themselves. This gives them confidence and inner pride. Fives are also motivated to learn and research their interests. They will spend hours lost in discovering what they want to know most.

This motivation of independence is carried throughout everything they do. Their inner world is so rich and multi-level that they can sometimes forget to let others in. Think of an iceberg, you see only it’s tip above the water, when in reality it’s bulk is hiding underneath the surface. Fives rarely share all the information, and especially if it is personal.

More about fives…

What Motivates Type 6?

Sixes are motivated by finding and keeping security. Security is this overarching theme that in seeking for it, causes sixes to also live with anxiety. This anxiety can get twisted into type six’s motivation where the anxiety moves them to do things in the hopes of then having security.

Sixes often choose the “safe” thing, or the thing that they have the most support for. Since they often don’t trust themselves, sixes look to others for approval, help with decision making, and ultimately for support or a sense of security.

More about sixes…

What Motivates Type 7?

Type Seven is motivated by satisfaction. They live this out in many different ways that can look like chasing “fun,” but it more than that. Being future oriented, sevens are always looking for the next thing that will make them happy or fulfill them.

They want the experience of feeling satisfied in every aspect, delicious foods, travelling to new places, trying and seeing things they have never seen before. Seven’s love going to events and it truly is all about the experience no matter where they go. If they are at a restaurant, they want the food and the environment to be positive and exciting.

More about Sevens…

What Motivates Type 8?

Eights are motivated by being in control. They hate others trying to control them or telling them what to do. This isn’t just because they are stubborn or difficult, eights have a true sense of how to manage things well. They have such a strong confidence and a way about them, that they really rarely need someone to tell them what to do. They’ve already thought of it and figured out the most efficient way to move forward.

Eights are also highly motivated by justice and protecting those who have no one on their side. They see an underdog like a personal mission, and have no problem saying or doing what is needed to stand up for others. When this type is at their best, they are natural leaders who move mountains, stop bullies, and make real change.

More about eights…

What motivates type 9?

Nines are motivated by their keen desire to have peace at all times. They see a flawed world full of waves and turmoil, and all they want is calm waters. This desire motivates everything they do… and everything they don’t do. Nines constantly try to “keep the peace.”

This can mean mediating between to opposing sides in order to keep a larger argument from breaking out. They also have this keeping the peace methodology internally. Nines want both peace on the outside and a calm inner world into which they can retreat. They are willing to bend and do what is needed to allow for this sort of peace to happen.

More about nines…

What are You Chasing?

Do you ever feel like you’re going in circles? Overwhelmed by the cycles of life, and you never quite get to where you set out to go? It may be time to ask yourself, what are you chasing? Why is it that you feel this disconnect from wholeness? Today’s post will cover types 1, 2 and 3 on the enneagram and their specific chase.

We are all chasing something in an effort to feel seen, heard, loved and understood. The way we chase after these things however, looks very different for each enneagram number. We are motivated differently, and our subconscious sends us on the chase to fulfill a deep need within us.

When this need goes unnoticed, the chase remains as simply a distraction from life’s true meaning and purpose. In attempt to get our needs met, we can create some pretty destructive paths.

Identification

The first step to understanding your chase is to identify it. What is it you are after? Why are you on this path? Is this the best way to get what you want and be who you want to be?

These questions will help you pause and reflect upon what is really going on in your life. Many of us are stuck on “autopilot,” living each day like the one before… but what if there is more.

And by more, I mean less…

Let’s take a look at each enneagram type, their chase, and movement into growth toward their virtue. By understanding the chase, we can refocus, simplify, and move forward in transforming and beautiful ways.

Type one

Enneagram type one is chasing improvement and perfection. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? We need people concerned with making things better and striving for the best.

However, the chase of the one becomes dangerous when they elevate this desire of improvements over all else. They become obsessed and harsh, pointing out every detail out of place. Judging themselves, others, and their surroundings for short comings, consumes them. And the chase is on!

Here’s where the enneagram shines as my favorite tool…

We can give the struggling type one practical handles to grab hold of that will literally change their life from chase cycle to a path of contentment and ease.

Tools to derail your chase

Journaling

Ones need a place to channel their negative energy and critiques. Instead of tearing themselves and others down for the things that they see, one way to stop the chase in its tracks is to write these thoughts down. Get them out of your head and down on to paper where they can be put to rest for a while.

Beyond letting the critiques be known in a safe place, a type one really needs to acknowledge the good that is happening in their everyday lives. Journaling about what is going right is an extremely powerful move for ones. Name the ten things going well, and let go of the one thing that went wrong.

Movement

Literally moving their bodies is a great way for ones to get out some of their energy and fill their bodies with positivity. Exercising can also help quiet that inner critic as the brain is flooded with endorphins.

Letting Go

Making a mental note and personal goal to let go, for type one is a major growth move. There are many little things everyday that are hard to let go of. Letting go of the control in a few small areas will allow for more feelings of peace and harmony, and a new found freedom for ones.

Type Two

Enneagram type two is chasing affirmation and approval from others. We all want to be liked by others and love hearing that we have done well. For the type two however, they can turn this into a manipulative pull.

Subconsciously, twos chase this approval from others and prioritize it above all else. They give, give, give in hopes to gain likability in the eyes of others. Their chase feeds their ego which looks like pride. Two’s become martyr-like, sacrificing in ways beyond healthy boundaries that are both destructive and unwarranted.

Tools to Derail Your Chase

Pause for thinking

It is the two’s instinct to act on whatever feeling is going on at the present moment. They leave thinking behind, and do until they are exhausted. A helpful tool for twos in these moments, is to pause and ask powerful questions to bring up thinking.

Can someone else do this task?

Do I need to take ownership of this situation?

What am I saying no to, if I say yes to this?

These simple questions can help the type two really focus on what is important. Prioritizing and setting boundaries helps you live your best life, and move in the ways you were meant to without taking ownership of things that aren’t meant for you to carry.

Journal

When type twos journal, they tend to focus on other people. Instead, let this journaling time be about you, reflect on how you are feeling. Write down the questions from above for even deeper reflection on what you are taking on. Think about the why in your life. Why am I doing what I am doing?

You will be surprised at what comes up and the impact it will have on your life. This journaling exercise helps derail your chase by giving you back the power. It is easy to fall into dependence on others from their opinions to feeling obligated to serve them. You don’t need their approval. You are enough just as you are.

Words of affirmation

Furthermore, be your own encouragement. Find words that inspire you and choose a place to make them visible daily. Maybe you can write a powerful mantra on your mirror, or put a sticky note near your doorway.

Through the ebbs and flows of life, you need to know that you are enough, that you already have everything you need within you. People are going to let you down, and without their love and approval, you still have what it takes inside you to be whole and lovely.

Shower yourself with positive self-talk. This means tell yourself the words you need to hear. Steer clear of negativity and work at building yourself up. Say the things you would say to your dearest friend, and you’ll be right on target.

Type Three

Type three is chasing success and achievement. In one way or another we all want success, but for type three this is their end game. They will avoid failure at all cost, meaning if they have to cut corners a bit to come out on top, they will. In their chase, threes become chameleons in order to get what they want and to look how they feel they need to appear.

When type three is caught up in the chase, they have a hard time seeing reality and understanding even who they really are. Their road to wholeness can be a tricky one.

Tools to derail your chase

Confession

To begin the journey to wholeness, threes need to start by finding out where in their lives they are being inauthentic. This can be done through talking with a trusted friend. Being open about real struggles, and confessing where they haven’t been honest.

Though challenging at first, this practice of confession will become extremely freeing for the type three. They live their lives in a guarded way, afraid of rejection and failure. By taking this step in honesty and vulnerability, their chase will be thrown off course.

Journal

Yes, this is a recurring beneficial practice! Each type needs journaling with a slightly different focus. For type three, let your journaling time be the place where you are the most honest.

Community

When threes move into their healthier space, there is a shift from spotlight on them, to caring more about the group as a whole. This can be done intentionally. Shifting the focus from personal success, to what does the group need?

Not only can you lead the group with excellence as a three, but you can take advantage of what the community has to offer. Allow your community to support you, let them lead sometimes, and realize the gifts that come through dependence rather than being the lone wolf.

Life will continue to ebb and flow. We will constantly be at odds with the chase. But this doesn’t mean we surrender to it. Even simply being aware that we have a chase, makes us more likely not to fall into it’s patterns.

Be kind to yourself as you grow. Just try to make one positive step today that is better than yesterday. Move in the direction you wish to become.

I hope that some of these tools will prove helpful for you within your own type and that you will be on your way derailing your chase and living in wholeness.

Blessings! Thanks for reading!

Grab this printable pdf below, a quick glance at the 9 types passions and virtues. Our passions are the chase left unattended. The virtue is our path toward growth and personal development.

Want an overview of all 9 enneagram types?

You might also like:

Enneagram type 3 and fictional characters

Enneagram type 3 is fairly easy to spot in fictional characters because they are openly image conscious and extremely charming. They become whoever they need to be for the person, or people they are with. Threes love flattery, adoration, and attention. Their “crime of passion,” is deceit, lying to get what they want seems a small price to pay for threes: kings of rationalizing. Let’s talk about enneagram type 3 and fictional characters.

Scarlet O’hara

Our first example, Scarlet O’hara, is a perfect example of an enneagram type 3 fictional character. The belle of the south, she charms her way into the heart of many. She doesn’t mind that she also breaks hearts wherever she goes, as long as she gets what she wants in the end.

“Image conscious much, Miss Scarlet?” She takes the part of looking like the belle of the south seriously. Even when she has no money to dress herself properly, she enlists her servant to make her a gown out of the drapery so she won’t appear poor.

Her deceitfulness and charm do get Scarlet pretty far, but she is no match for Rhett Butler (who might also be considered a type 3). He sees right through her games, and falls in love with who she really is underneath.

It is hard for the type 3 to let go of the mask and stop performing. They believe to earn love, they must put on a show. They are only as good as their acheivements in their minds.

Scarlet does achieve! When she is left destitute on her plantation with no one, she makes sure there is food to eat, and begins to plan for the future, as threes can’t help but look forward. She has the, “failure is not an option” attitude of the type 3, and intends on winning in every aspect of her life.

Gilderoy Lockhart (from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

The enneagram and fictional characters

Gilderoy Lockhart moves his career ahead through literally stealing the successful stories of brave wizards, performing a forgetting charm on them, and claiming their success as his own. Only a type three could smear the paths of right and wrong without a backward glance. Not only does he move ahead in life on this horrible deceit, but her wants to look good while doing it.

He is constantly concerned with his appearance and making sure he gets in front of the camera whenever one is nearby. He also has photos of himself up on the walls literally everywhere. This shows his type 3 image consciousness, and selfishness.

Type 3 loves admiration and flattery. We see Lockhart enjoying long lines of people waiting for his autograph in his latest book, and signing piles of fan mail with his portrait. He truly loves the attention and adoration drawn by his super fans.

Mr. Wickham

The enneagram type 3 and fictional characters

Another great example of a type 3 in literature (or film), is Mr. Wickham from Pride and Prejudice. He is the dashing soldier, charming and attractive who easily steals the hearts of many. With a simple look he can change the emotions in the room. He is social and popular, easy to like on the surface.

When we are first introduced to Mr. Wickham, we believe him to be noble and worthy of Elizabeth Bennet, our heroine. But we soon learn that his stories were full of falsehoods, in attempt to make himself look good.

When his lies fail to work on Elizabeth, he using his charm to attach himself to her younger sister, creating a new mess for everyone involved. He fears failure and not living up to the standards that society and birth have set for him.

The tragedy here is that he hasn’t learned his own value and insists on masquerading through life as who he thinks others wish him to be. He is self-promoting, and pretentious, letting his higher qualities go to waste.

Rachel Green

In exploring the enneagram type 3 and fictional characters we find another example in Rachel Green from “Friends.”

The enneagram type 3 and fictional characters

If you have seen the T.V. show friends, it is easy to see that Rachel’s character displays many of the type 3 behaviors, qualities and motivations. She is well-liked, has been popular in every phase of her life, and uses her good looks and charm to get what she wants.

The series begins with her making her first move of growth when she leaves her own wedding to a man she doesn’t want to marry. She is leaving behind a life of wealth and “easy living,” for a life of struggle, but one she will make her own. This is the beginning of her awareness and growth arch as a character.

Seeing success as living the life she wants instead of living a life full of money and things, is a big turning point for Rachel. The rest of the series follows her trying a failing, and trying again in relationships, careers, and other obstacles.

One of the great things about type 3: they don’t give up.

I hope you enjoyed this take on a few popular characters, helping us to understand the type 3 a little better.

Are you a type 3? Do you know a type 3? Maybe you thought of a different fictional character who is a type 3… feel free to comment about it!

Here is a type 3 pdf printable you can grab by using the button below.

You might also like: