Self Improvement In Enneagram Type 3 (A 5 Point Guide)

This article will look at how the type 3 enneagram can improve their own self by working on different aspects of their behaviour, feelings and thoughts hence improving their overall personality. It will also shine light on how an enneagram type 3 behaves when they are at their best and what is it that pushes them to improve themselves.

How Can An Enneagram Type 3 Achieve Self Improvement?

An enneagram type 3 can achieve self improvement by working on the following areas:

  • Be honest to your own self and others 
  • Take short breaks
  • Do charity work
  • Pursue your interests
  • Don’t be jealous

Before we take a detailed look at these, we will explore what a type 3 enneagram is and what they are like when they are at their worst. This is necessary to understand why self improvement is so important for these individuals!

Who Is A Type 3 Enneagram?

A type 3 enneagram is also called the ‘Achiever’ because of their desire that drives them to accomplish the big things in life. They are very hard working; putting in much time and energy in their work in order to achieve the success they desire!

These individuals are known to be very confident and have high levels of self efficacy, determination and the will to compete with others. However, they are also concerned about how others think of them and their image in the public which is sometimes very stressful.

Basic Desire.

The basic desire of an Achiever is to feel valuable and worthy of attention. They want others to know about their achievements and appreciate them or show them recognition in some way. People with this type usually define the term success according to others views and opinions and they work towards this so called success to gain respect and status in the society. At their best, fulfilling their desire of being the top performer, type 3s are well known and regarded amongst their peers and they are considered sources of inspiration. This is exactly what the achiever desires. At this point, they encourage others and help them move towards their dreams.

Basic Fear.

The basic fear of type 3 enneagrams arises from not achieving what they desire deeply. They want to be worthy of the love and recognition of others; they want to achieve great things that benefit or impress people and hence be celebrated by them. However, deep down, they have this fear that they may fail and not achieve their dreams or successes and this scares and depresses them especially when others are excelling in their life and the eyes of others. This inculcates a sense of jealousy in type 3 enneagrams.

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.

What Can Go Wrong – The Bad Side Of Achievers.

When their personality integrates, usually because their fear has taken over or they are experiencing failure at multiple fronts, the type 3 enneagram’s darker traits come to life.

If they are insecure and feel humiliated, they will try to ensure that others do not succeed either so that others feel it was the situation that caused the failure and not the person themself. If it gets serious, they can become obsessive with ruining things for others especially if it reminds them of what they could not achieve. If they can’t have happiness then no one should!

These individuals are extremely conscious of how they appear to others and if they feel under-recognized they will make desperate attempts to grab the attention of others. They will develop a habit of exhibitionisn and arrogant talk that is centered around their strengths and successes.

How can a type 3 enneagram avoid such unhealthy behaviour? Well keeping in mind their weaknesses, the following section will recommend what behaviors the individual can take to ensure personal growth instead of disintegration!

How Can An Enneagram Type 3 Achieve Personal Growth?

Be Honest To Yourself & Others.

The achiever is obsessed with pleasing others and overlooks what they feel is important or desirable. As time passes they lose touch with their inner selves and develop the habit of ignoring what it is that they themselves desire. This happens because they focus on what others want or what they consider to be the definition of success or true bravery!

It is important for the type 3 enneagram to look into their own self and reflect upon their thoughts and feelings to discern what it is they desire. They will be distracted by what other people feel is important but they must be honest not only with themselves but also others too with regards to what they feel is important or what should be pursued.

Take Short Breaks.

Like we said, the achiever is extremely competitive to the extent that they immerse themselves in their work and forgot about many important tasks like spending time with family! They will involve all their energies and resources into what it is that they do so they can achieve the results they desire. Type 3 enneagrams need to stop and take a break.

In this endless process of working hard, the achiever can overlook their mental and physical health which will affect them detrimentally. In serious cases, they can even experience a burnout or worse, if they do not achieve their end goal they can become extremely frustrated or depressed. So they must be reminded that they need to take a break. It will help them take a step back and look at their work more realistically!

Do Charity Work!

Type 3 enneagrams need to realize that everything is not about them! Also, they don’t have to flaunt whatever good they do. Sometimes it is very healthy to the mind to help others and not show off.  That is the true meaning of humanitarian work. This will not only make them realize that they need to help others and put their needs first but will also allow them to develop the habit of working quietly without exhibiting their accomplishments!

Pursue Your Interests.

Alas! In the pursuit of success and so called happiness, the type 3 enneagram forgets what they really wanted to pursue or capture. They are overwhelmed by what it is that others want that they forget what their own likes, dislikes or interests are. 

Type 3 enneagrams need to take a step back and look at what they want to do in life. This will help them get in touch with their inner self and experience a sense of satisfaction and happiness when they do the things they actually like.

Don’t Be Jealous – Appreciate What You & Others Have.

Sometimes it is difficult not to notice how happy others are when one is depressed or feeling hopeless! Your failures and disappoints while others are doing well magnify one’s unpleasant feelings and thoughts. However! The type 3 enneagram needs to realize that everyone goes through bad times and if they are currently happy, then he or she should be happy for them. No one knows maybe they were going through a very tough time and finally they had a small moment to be happy.

Also, the achiever must remind themselves of the good that has happened to them in the past. They should be thankful so that they become patient in order to stand through the hard times. Good or bad times never stay so one must be strong and resilient.


The article took a look at how type 3 enneagrams can improve their personal growth by working on 5 major areas. The article also appraised the audience of why it is so important for this type to focus on personal growth by highlighting their ‘dark’ side and its effects on others. Lastly, the article provided a brief introduction to type 3 enneagrams.

Frequently Asked Questions: Self Improvement In Enneagram Type 3

When does an enneagram type 3 go into stress?

The type 3 enneagram goes into stress when they are overburdened by the tasks they must complete or experience failure in front of others.

How do you become a healthy type 3 enneagram?

You can become a healthy type 3 enneagram by focusing on how hard you work and appreciate your own self instead of expecting others to recognize your efforts.

Who should an enneagram type 3 marry?

An enneagram type 3 should marry a type 9.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!