Self Improvement In Enneagram Type 1 (A 5 Point Guide)

This article will highlight how an enneagram type 1 can improve their own self and how. It will also provide a brief introduction to this enneagram type and point out why it is necessary that they work on their personal growth!

How Can An Enneagram Type 1 Self Improve?

An enneagram type 1 can self improve by working on the following:

  • Learn to accept beauty in flaws
  • Practice meditation
  • Everything is not objective
  • Set practical and not unrealistic standards
  • Incorporating flexibility in life

Before we look at each area in detail, the article will introduce the readers to what an enneagram type 1 basically is and what form they can evolve into if they move over to their ‘dark side’. Only then can we understand the importance of self improvement in this context.

Who Is An Enneagram Type 1?

The enneagram type 1 is also known as the Reformer because of their desire to change the world for the better – they believe they are on a mission to set things right! They are rational and idealistic and can be described by the terms self disciplined, purposeful, possibly perfectionists and hold values high.

These individuals are always on the move to make things better but they have this fear that they may make a mistake. Nonetheless they strive to produce perfect output and this may make them over critical of not only their own self but that of others too. This also causes them stress and anxiety as they are worried things may not go as planned – which is usually the case when it comes to life!

People with this enneagram type know the meaning of sacrifice. They may seem very disciplined to others but they are burning with passion and desire. It’s just that they know how to keep a control on themselves but look out – they might explode anything and this will give away their image of being in control! However, this personality type has the ability to forego what it is they desire in order to achieve the greater good for all.

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.

Basic Fear.

These individuals believe in values and strong morals hence they have the fear that they will be corrupted by their innate desires and feelings. They feel they will become evil or defected and abandon the mission they have undertaken. 

This is possibly their fear because of the intensity of their desires that rage inside of them and how they struggle to keep a lid on them. They do not let their desires distract themselves or take over them but yes they do fear this may happen one day.

Basic Desire.

Deep down, this type wants to achieve the perfect balance in life where they feel at peace and complete but at the same time embark on their mission to a better world. They want to be good and have integrity and be honest not only to themself but to others as well. 

This desire is relevant to their inner chaotic state which is constantly struggling to push them to their knees so they give in to their inner desires and leave the pursuit of the bigger goal.

The Dark Side Of Enneagram Type 1.

At their worst, these enneagrams can become so self righteous that they will do everything they can to rid themselves of people who do not meet their moral standards! They will push away those whom they love and enter into an endless battle of who deserves to be with them. They become perfectionists who want to do things perfectly and there is no room for error. If they are not able to do so they can experience episodes of depression.

Sometimes their philosophy backfires on them. Because they are so keen on doing things perfectly, their focus shifts to identifying those who do not meet that standard or are wrongdoers hence they say one thing but do the other now.

Their approach to being righteous, good and someone who achieves goals can be very inflexible and intolerant to the extent that they set unrealistic goals for themselves and others which ends up in an endless circle  where they set goals and kick people out.

How Can Enneagram Type 1 Work On Self Improvement?

Learn To Accept The Beauty In Flaws.

It is important to understand there is some good in everything with some exceptions of course! Even in the mistakes we make there is something we can learn from! When we experiment and end up with different outcomes from the goal we learn about new phenomena, ideas and methods to do different things which will help us widen our horizon and things in creative ways when required.

Enneagram type 1s need to understand that everyone has their own way of doing things and there will always be a difference of opinion of way when it comes to practical tasks. We must learn to accept these differences and make things work. These differences help create beauty and diversity, promote new ideas and lead to better solutions. Even if someone makes mistakes we must understand that it takes time to perfect a certain act and that can only happen not just with practice but patience too. Patience is very important.

Practice Meditation.

From the sections above, the readers must have realized that the one issue with type 1s is how they think and process their thoughts, feelings and desires. They are in a constant battle with themselves not to mention they think in a negative way. This can cause them anxiety especially if they keep focusing on how they are not meeting their goals in the perfect way they imagined to.

It is important that these personality types control how they feel and think and the best way to do this is to meditate. Sometimes we just need to give our mind a break and let it wander in the endless unknown. Let it remain empty and realize your bodily experience without any external influences. These practices allow the type 1 enneagram to calm down, relax, reset their perspective and prepare themselves for a new day.

Everything Cannot Be Objective.

Type 1 enneagrams must understand that everything in life cannot be viewed in an objective manner – there will always be grey spots which we must accept and live with until we are able to figure them out. Hence they must accept people who have different views because as a species we are still understanding how the world works and anyone could be right or wrong. 

So next time if someone has a different opinion or way of doing things, actually listen to them and don’t get all heated up because they said something you don’t agree with!

Set Practical & Realistic Standards.

The goal of achieving true success is when you choose the right journey. It is not only the outcome that matters but the journey as well because that is indeed what shapes you. It is important that type 1 enneagrams look towards long term success which is not in bouts but is consistent. This is only possible if they set realistic goals that can be achieved. It will make it easier for others to stay with type 1s in their journeys.

The best way to do this is by taking input from their partners before they declare a worthy objective! Set SMART goals.

Incorporating Flexibility In Life.

One thing that all enneagrams must remember is that success is not guaranteed so they must be ready to incorporate failure or the ability to change their route into their lives otherwise they will fall into a deep sense of loss, failure and possibly depression. If this happens again and again it will make it difficult for them to get up and start again!


This article took a quick look at what areas an enneagram type 1 can work on in order to promote self improvement after which it highlighted the basic fears and desires of this type, how they behave in their worst form and what they are generally like. The article then took a deeper dive and explained the five areas of self improvement in more detail.

If you’ve enjoyed the ”Self Improvement In Enneagram Type 1” mentioned above, I would recommend you to take a look at ”Can Enneagram type 1 be messy?” too.

Frequently Asked Questions: Self Improvement In Enneagram Type 1

Why does an enneagram type 1 go into stress?

An enneagram type 1 goes into stress when they feel like they don’t have control on their surroundings. 

How can an enneagram type 1 become healthy?

An enneagram type 1 can become healthy by working more and thinking less, setting realistic goals and accepting others’ way of work.

How to apologize to an enneagram type 1?

You should apologize to an enneagram type 1 in a short and concise manner.


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