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: Types 4,5, & 6?

Last week, we started this series on what we are chasing after. These distractions and subconscious patterns can really take us down paths we never meant to go on. This week, “What are you chasing: types 4,5, and 6?” will focus on these three types, their chase, and tools to help each type derail this seemingly endless chase.

For each enneagram number, the chase looks very different. When we are unaware, our chase can not only control us, but continue long after it should have run its course. However, if we are willing to go deeper beyond the surface level, we can discover:

why we are chasing

what we are chasing

we can find the healthier path to get what we really want out of life

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? What are your core motivations? Are you being honest with yourself? What parts of yourself have you been ignoring? Have you been putting feelings aside, skipping over taking time to think through things? Or maybe you get stuck in thinking and feelings, and never quite get around to doing.

These important questions can really help you pinpoint what is going on with you. Pay attention to what comes up when you ponder these thoughts and ideas.

what are you chasing?

Type Four

Let’s jump in and take a look at enneagram type four. The chase of the four centers around authenticity, belonging, and being unique. At first glance, these strivings seem harmless, even dare I say, beautiful? When there are healthy boundaries around these longings they can be lovely, but notice the words striving, and longing

Type four’s chase turns dangerous when they are striving after authenticity, belonging, and being unique. This becomes a distraction and they miss the beauty they could be embracing that is happening all around them. They feel they are missing out in a big way. While they are stuck in their feelings of missing out… here comes the irony, they actually miss out on life.

Tools to derail the chase for Fours

Go for a walk.

This can be a great re-set for fours. Changing their environment, particularly if they can find a beautiful place to hike or take in nature. The outdoors have a deep healing capability and can reach fours in a way that is very unique.

This also takes the focus off of comparing with others and what they might be missing out on. The real challenge for fours is to stay out of their own minds while out on the walk. If this is a struggle, bring along inspiring music. Make a playlist of songs that lift your mood and help you focus on positivity.

Connecting and celebrating with others

To get out of their chase, fours can reach out to others to connect. Fours are particularly good at seeing others and accepting whatever is real in the moment. This can be used in a positive way to derail their chase and also help a friend.

Finding someone who is in worse shape than you, and connecting with them or even celebrating them will work like a tonic to your soul. Join in, and their will be no room for comparison or feelings of not belonging. Spend time with these people that love you for your authentic self, this will fill you up like nothing else.

Type Five

Type five is chasing knowledge and capability. The more they can know and the more they can do independently, the more confident and safe the type five feels. A thirst for knowledge and skills seems like something to be admired, so what is the danger? Just like all other numbers, this becomes the type five’s obsession and closes them off from growth.

The chase of knowledge can turn into walls for the type five, keeping others out and also keeping the five from taking action. Their chase keeps them distracted by what seems good, but inevitably keeps them away from what they really need: connection. Learning, planning, and acquiring knowledge are all good things, but they can keep the type five from doing what needs done, and being with others.

Tools to derail the chase for Fives

Be Uncomfortable.

Not what you expected… right? Fives are really good at staying inside their comfort zones, and building up walls of protection. The problem is, you can’t grow inside those walls. Do something at least once a week that is uncomfortable for you. This will break up those patterns that keep you from growing.

It doesn’t have to be something huge and scary. Choose something small every week (you can even research ideas first)! For example:

Talk to someone you wouldn’t normally talk to.

Go somewhere you don’t want to go with a friend (at the last minute)!

Stay at an outing an half an hour after you feel like leaving.

These are small ideas, but you will feel yourself making the effort and that is where the change begins to happen. Your awareness that these are hard things for you, will begin a new pattern of growth and change inside you.

Leap before you have all the answers

I know. Another shocker! This is quite the opposite of a type five’s instincts. Usually I say, trust your instincts, follow the voice inside you, but part of the struggle here is too much researching and too little action. Fives want to know that they are completely capable before beginning, but this just isn’t realistic. Be okay with knowing a little, and jumping in anyway.

It’s okay to leap before you have all the answers. You are allowed to make mistakes, you will still be highly respected and highly valued. In fact, getting going on what you’ve meant to get going on, will have a surprising effect on you. You will find that once you’re out there doing, you’re good at it. And it will feel good inside! Even the things you didn’t research… no one else will know but you.

Type Six

The type six is chasing safety and security. They ask all the questions, and seek after the things that make them feel most safe. Sixes are searching for situations where they can be prepared and have the most control. This chase can easily turn sour with over-vigilance and anxiety. It is impossible to control anything, and no one can be prepared for everything.

This simple reality keeps the type six digging themselves in a deep hole. They want nothing more than a predictable life, but life is always unpredictable. This stresses them out, so they double down and try harder to be more prepared. And the chase goes on and on…

Tools to derail the chase to type six

Journaling

The journal focus for type six needs to be: what things have I done that have went well for me? Sixes often forget that they have experience making good decisions and that things have gone well for them in the past. With every new doubt and dilemma, they feel anxiety rise up, full of what ifs.

Journaling positive outcomes will help reinforce the fact that sixes make good decisions. Since they tend to doubt themselves, this is a perfect “derailing practice” for them. With consistency, this journaling focus will help type six develop confidence, and come to realize that they can trust their decisions and their instincts.

Do it scared.

Type six can walk circles around a decision with fear leading the chase. What if this happens, what if that happens, what would I do if… and on and on anxiety and doubt will go.

What if you just did it scared?

This is what true courage is after all, and the virtue of the type six. This means that it’s possible. That you can do things that you don’t think you can do. And when you do things that are hard and scary, they make you stronger and courageous!

Before you do it scared…

It might help to talk things all the way through. We know that the type six verbally processes and processes in real time, the moment happening right now. Choose someone who is willing to listen to do this. Talk out all your worst case scenarios and take them all the way to the end.

Usually, you will find that even in your talking it through version of the scenario, things turned out okay. And even if the worst happened, you have someone there willing to support you.

Notes to remember for all types

As you are becoming more self-aware and making efforts to grow, be kind to yourself. It’s hard to make changes, and it’s best if you don’t do it alone. Let someone know that you are on the journey, maybe they can join you and you can lighten each others load.

Remember that it is a journey. It takes time to notice your chase, practice to pause and pivot towards healthy choices, and to turn these into habits. It really is a life long effort, and one that is worth pursuing for yourself and all the people you love.

Thank you for reading!

It is my hope that these words have brought you some inspiration.

Blessings, peace, and joy to you on your journey!

You might also like:

Enneagram Type 6 and Fictional Characters

Hey there, my fellow fictional character fans! What is it about fictional characters that draws us in? Is it that we see a little bit of ourselves, or maybe they remind us of someone we love, or someone we want to love?! I deeply relate to this week’s characters (type 6)! as we dive into the realm of enneagram type 6 and fictional characters!

Remus Lupin

Enneagram Type 6 and fictional Characters

We met Professor Lupin in book 3 of the Harry Potter series, when he becomes the new defense against the dark arts teacher. He is by far my favorite choice for this post. As a type six myself, I see the things that Professor Lupin brings to the class that others do not.

In general, Remus Lupin is just a “likable” guy. He’s authentic, doesn’t try too hard, and actually cares about teaching the students. He is well prepared, practical, and responsible. These are all typical six qualities, and make him a great teacher.

The Fear Triad (head triad)

Professor Lupin lives out of a unique type on fear. He is hiding the fact that he is a Werewolf, and he fears above all else, losing control and hurting others. He can’t trust himself, because he actually becomes something dangerous. This feels very six-ish. But don’t let the Werewolf identity muddy the waters too much.

Being in the fear/head triad, Lupin is hyper-vigilant at times, defensive, and at his worst, self-defeating and rigid. He has good intentions, but is wary of things he can’t trust or control.

Loyalty

The type six is well known for this trait of loyalty. Lupin has this in spades. In every inner circle he is a part of, he shows nothing but loyalty to the group. From James Potter’s group of friends growing up together, to The Order of the Phoenix, to Hogwarts, and to Harry and his family, Lupin is a constant grounded pillar of dependency and trustworthiness. He obviously holds this standard as the highest of values.

In addition to his loyalty, Lupin is also compassionate, witty, and supportive. It makes sense why he was relied upon as a friend, leader, and teacher. He gives Harry hope and direction when he needs it; he is the friend and leader that stands up with preparation when others are not ready.

Edward Ferrars (Sense and Sensibility)

Sense and Sensibility is my favorite of Jane Austen’s works. Maybe it’s because I relate to this main character, Edward Ferrars. He’s awkward and indirect, yet kind and attentive. He doesn’t easily let others into his heart, and he definitely doesn’t express his feelings outwardly until he is absolutely sure.

Sixes are known to be guarded, to take their time on big decisions (such as, whom they want to marry). Outwardly, Edward may seem unimpressive, but it is this authenticity that draws Elinor to him. Sixes aren’t great at pretending. Though they have an active inner world, what you see is what you get.

Edward isn’t flashy. This excerpt shows his “six-ness” well:

“Edward Ferrars was not handsome, and his manners required intimacy to make them pleasing. He was too diffident to do justice to himself; but when his natural shyness was overcome, his behavior gave every indication of an open, affectionate heart.”

Jane Austen -Sense and Sensibility

Sixes need a little warming up time to show their true colors. But when they feel comfortable enough to do this, a long and deep relationship has begun. A six like Edward, becomes a friend for life. Their dedication is unwavering, and they will never betray you.

I hope you enjoyed my take on these characters as enneagram type six. It really is fun to look at characters in this way in an effort to better understand ourselves and the world of characters around us!

Inspire someone today!

To learn more about type 6 check out this post:

You might also like:

Grab this Enneagram Type 6 Overview below:

Want all 9 types?

Love Letters to the Enneagram Types 6 & 7

Love Letters to the Enneagram Types 6 & 7

Are you anticipating a lovely, Big, extravagant Valentines Day next week? Or maybe you prefer simple plans with a night in. Either way, there is no better gift than a love letter! Isn’t that what we all want to hear any ways? We want to know that we are loved, and it doesn’t hurt to have it in writing!

Please enjoy today’s love letters dedicated to types 6 and 7!

Love Letters to the Enneagram Types

If you would like to grab a copy of this love letter click the button below:

Love Letters to the Enneagram Types 6 & 7

Want to grab your own copy of this love letter? Click the button below:

You might also like: