Enneagram Type 5 & Self Improvement(A Complete Guide)

This article will explain how an enneagram type 5 can work on their self improvement in order to reach a better version of themselves! The article will also provide a brief introduction to this type and explain why it is necessary for them to work on their personality by highlighting their ‘dark side’!

How Can An Enneagram Type 5 Work On Self Improvement?

The enneagram type 5 can work on self improvement by focusing on the following areas:

  • Think Less, Work More
  • Fact Check
  • Small Steps In Planning
  • Teach What They Learn
  • Confront Thoughts

Let us take a look at who a type 4 enneagram is and what it is about their bad personality traits that makes it so important for them to work on their self improvement.

Who Is A Type 5 Enneagram?

These individuals are very much interested in learning things that are relevant to their area of interest. They will investigate its elements and try to gather as much information as they can! The enneagram type 5 is alert, innovative but secretive at the same time.

People with this enneagram type have the ability to build complex ideas and skills; this is possible only because of their focus on the specific area they are working within and their dedication to master it.

The type 5 enneagram has an innate need to learn continuously. They want more and more information and want to increase their reservoir of knowledge. It bothers them if they have an interest in a certain thing or phenomena however, they are not able to learn more about it. Their curiosity is indeed a problem for them. At the same time, this desire to learn more about their interests distracts them from other things in their life especially the practical ones. 

Another defining trait of this enneagram type is that they want to be different from others in what they learn or study. They want to discover a new area or an area that is least researched by others. They do not want to focus on things that are common or conventional; they want to study the bizarre, unknown, beyond limits, unexplainable topic on the list!

Why Self Improvement – Fears & Desires 

Why do we need to focus on the self improvement of enneagram type 5s? What is it that necessitates these individuals to improve their own selves. We will explore the basic desire and fear of this enneagram type!

The Basic Fear – Type 5 Enneagram

The basic fear of these enneagrams is that they will become useless in the sense that they have no skill or knowledge. They are scared they will not be competent in any field of life which they can master. The fear is not associated with showing off but to give their own self a sense of assurance that they have a skill they know very well and it makes the stand out from others.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

The Basic Desire – Type 5 Enneagram

Their basic desire stems from their fear of not being competent. The desire is to learn so that they are competent and skilled in a certain area that is of much interest to them and not so common or known amongst others. They desire to be different in the knowledge they possess and skills they can employ. It gives them a sense of competence, capability and assurance.

The Dark Side – Lack of Self Improvement.

Although these individuals may seem very intellectual because of how they work out everything in their head, this may take a deep dive if they do not work on their self improvement. Slowly, but gradually, enneagram type 5s start to stay in their head. Because of this they like to test and imagine whatever idea they have in their minds and not practically.

This may seem okay but it allows them to touch upon areas that are unlikely to happen and this will engage in overthinking. They will think of scenarios which may scare them from taking practical steps and what is unfortunate that their thoughts take irrational forms which are dark.

Enneagram type 5s will become isolated from others because they are wound up in their imaginations. They are prone to look into darker things and this will further twist their thoughts causing them to be more and more negative. This is dangerous because they become fixated on their ideas and beliefs. If someone opposes them they will become reactive and take on an antagonistic stance without really considering what the other person says.

If this enneagram does not take care, they will become highly detached from others fearing opposition or aggression for their ideas or thoughts to the extent they can become schizophrenic or even suicidal. 

This, folks, is why they need to constantly focus on self improvement like everyone else!

How Can An Enneagram Type 5 Work On Self Improvement?

Think Less, Work More

This enneagram obviously has a problem with overthinking – a big one actually. The first thing they need to do is realize they have an issue with overthinking. They must monitor their thoughts and determine if they are spending too much time on thinking over the same things.

They can dedicate separate time for thinking over things they are looking into, already researching or finding interesting. However, they need to be very careful in the sense that they actually monitor how much time they are working on the topic. After that, they can encourage themselves to actually take some practical steps on the topic like testing it, asking people what their views are on it or even studying what others have written about it. However, they must be careful not to keep thinking about it and just assuming!

Fact Check

It is important for people with this enneagram type to ensure that they have the right facts with them. Sometimes they like to wander in unchartered territory that may be surrounded with too many false claims or so called facts; this will negatively affect the thoughts of these individuals and it will further cause them to face opposition from people who have their facts correct.

It is important that these enneagrams take out the time to determine if they are taking knowledge from the right places and are not being taught the wrong things. This will increase their confidence in what they learn and also make it easier for them to discuss their ideas with others with less and less opposition.

Small Steps In Planning

This enneagram often runs away from their practical work! They actually look for something that keeps them distracted and involved so they don’t have to do things they find hard to do. For example, there was one person who found it difficult to participate in sports class hence they would skip it and read. They no doubt developed very good reading habits and stored a lot of new knowledge, but they found it difficult to pass the physical fitness tests at the end of the year.

They need to realize that the practical world needs time and effort. If it overwhelms them, they can set small targets for themselves and hence take it easy! This will not scare them if they have too much to do in one go. 

For example, if they are planning to plant new fruits that they have been doing research on, instead of doing all the gardening and planting in one day they can divide it in steps. On the first day they can buy all the tools and seeds and on the second day they can prepare the ground and so on!

Teach What They Learn

One of the problems these enneagrams face is that they become detached from others and fear opposition for their ideas or beliefs. They must realize that in order to avoid these problems that must share their knowledge – bit by bit if it is too complex or new!

This will help them develop tolerance, interaction with others and help them feel competent in their field in an acceptable and healthy way as they are teaching others.

Confront Thoughts

It is important that this enneagram not only keeps a check on the time he spends thinking but also what type of thoughts he has and whether or not they make sense. It is necessary that they identify thoughts that may be negative in any manner for example, the thought may make an assumption about how someone will react to an idea. It is important that before believing in what he thinks, the enneagram backs up his thoughts with actual facts or evidence.

This will prevent them from reaching assumptions easily and forming negative beliefs or thoughts.


This article took a look at how the type 5 enneagram can improve their own self by working on five major areas. Also, the article provided an introduction to this personality type and apprised the audience as to why it is necessary to focus on self improvement.

Frequently Asked Questions: Enneagram Type 5 & Self Improvement.

How can I improve my enneagram level 5?

You can improve your enneagram level 5 by setting up a routine to follow, using evidence to back up your thoughts and setting up small activities for yourself relevant to your practical work.

Why do enneagram type 5s go into stress?

Enneagram type 5s go into stress because they might feel they do not have enough knowledge in a certain area or are unable to learn a certain skill.

What is the desire of enneagram type 5?

The enneagram type 5 has the desire to be competent in life and stand out from others.



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