How to Be More Authentically you as an Enneagram 3

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on October 06, 2022

While authenticity is something that’s supposed to come naturally, many of us struggle to be authentic in our day-to-day lives. When you add social media into the mix, it becomes even more of a challenge.

For Enneagram Type 3s, authenticity can be especially hard to achieve. You’ll recognize Type 3s from their perfectly polished appearance and their flawless Instagram showing off a dream life filled with beautiful places, people and things. This type struggles to be genuine because they’re too busy constructing an idealized image that will be the envy of everyone around them.

What this means is that Type 3s can often feel lost or hollow. They’ve spent so long cultivating an image of who they think they should be that they’ve forgotten how to be themselves. 

To help you develop more awareness of who you are and what you stand for, you need to go through a step-by-step process to find yourself. That means spending time reflecting, observing and actively learning how to assert your needs. 

Here are five ways you can find, know and (re)learn how to be authentically you as an Enneagram Type 3.

1. Take time to reflect

Type 3s possess a chameleon-like personality that lets them blend in with the people around them and shapeshift to fit perfectly into different social circles. With all this changing and adapting, it can be hard for Type 3s to know exactly who they are and what they stand for.

To be more authentically you, you can start with a period of self-reflection. Try to look inwards to help you understand yourself a little better and find the source of your problems with authenticity.

Try using these prompts to help:

  • What situations make you feel sad, lost or angry?
  • What situations make you feel happiest?
  • What activities, spaces or people make you feel most alive?
  • Who in your life makes you feel most like yourself?
  • What does authenticity look and feel like to you?

As with all Enneagram types, Type 3s are shaped by the experiences they have throughout their life. For many people, authenticity is gained or lost as early as childhood. There may have been situations or environments that made you feel like you couldn’t be your authentic self and that stopped you from showing off who you truly are.

To understand yourself better, try to delve deep and reflect on your experiences up to this point. There is no shortcut to being more authentically you. You have to take the time to explore yourself and what authenticity feels like to you.

2. Study your personality type

As well as reflecting on the people, places and situations where you feel most authentically you, it can also be helpful to learn more about your personality type.

As an Enneagram Type 3, there are certain traits and characteristics that are a core part of your personality type, including your need for attention and admiration and your fear of failure. By learning and understanding these aspects of yourself, you can get a better idea of why you act and react the way you do in different situations. You can also start to recognize the healthy and unhealthy behaviors associated with your Enneagram type like jealousy, social climbing and ruthlessness that can come out when you feel threatened.

For an even more detailed picture of your personality type, it’s also a good idea to look at the wings of your Enneagram type to find out how they feed into your core Type 3 personality and how this might impact your behavior. 

This step is important to help you learn more about yourself and get to know your personality objectively. Think of it like stepping outside your head and looking at yourself as a casual observer.

3. Use daily intentions

When you’ve decided what authenticity looks like to you and taken steps to understand how your personality type shapes how you act, you can try to shift your behavioral responses little-by-little. Start by setting daily intentions to help shift your mindset in a positive, productive way while guiding your actions.

For example, some intentions to help you be more authentic might include: 

  • I accept myself as enough
  • I intend to embrace myself as who I am
  • I intend to do my best today
  • I will accept my flaws and see myself as beautiful
  • I will look for the positives in every situation

The trick to setting intentions is to follow these three principles:

  • Make it positive: Your daily intentions should always be positive and uplifting, avoid self-criticism or negative statements.
  • Keep it simple: Ideally your intentions will be one-line phrases that are simple and easy to remember for the best benefits.
  • Be flexible: Don’t be afraid to change your intentions over time and adapt them as you grow and shift your behavior.

Choose the intentions that feel right to you and use them to change your mindset and your behaviors bit-by-bit every day.

4. Find a supportive community

Our personalities don’t grow in a vacuum. To be more authentically you, you need to look at the people you choose to surround yourself with. 

Often your social circle will have a big impact on how fully you can be your authentic self. For Enneagram Type 3s, this is especially true. Type 3s are acutely aware of who they socialize with. They’re masters at forming social connections and work hard to preserve advantageous social circles – but this doesn’t necessarily leave space for authenticity.

To be more authentically you, it’s important to find a community of people who will support you through this journey. Find people who share your core values and who you can truly be yourself around. Part of this process might also include taking a step away from people who bring you down.

You might find it helpful to align yourself with a mentor or someone you admire to help you learn how to be more comfortable in your own skin.

5. Practice assertive communication

If you’re going to be your most authentic self, you’ll need to know how to voice your needs and opinions. That means learning how to express yourself assertively. 

Your ability to communicate honestly and openly is an essential part of cultivating more authenticity in your life. For Enneagram Type 3s, this is easier said than done. Type 3s feel a strong sense of awareness of politeness and social niceties that can make them unwilling to say no or cause upset. They feel the need to conform to the group they’re in and that makes being honest and authentic more difficult. 

The trick is to start small and then work up to bigger challenges in self-expression. For example, you could start with telling the truth about why you don’t want to go to a social engagement. Be honest and open and see how you feel afterwards.

It might be uncomfortable at first but you can slowly work on being more authentically you. You might even find people open up to you in new ways when they find out they can trust you to be honest and open with them.

When you become more authentically you, it can change your social life for the better.

Small steps to be more authentic

It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to become authentically you overnight. For many Type 3s, it takes some practice and patience. You have a lot of in-built behaviors to relearn but with small steps and lots of self-reflection, you can open up the path to living more authentically and honestly.

Elizabeth Harris

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and ghostwriter. She’s an anthropologist at heart and loves using social theory to get deeper into the topics she writes about. Born in the UK, Elizabeth has lived in Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Dubai before moving most recently to Budapest, Hungary. She’s an ENTJ with ENFJ leanings. Find out more about her work at

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About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.


DANIEL DEGU (not verified) says...

This chapter is more advantegius for our selves 

DANIEL DEGU (not verified) says...

This chapter is more advantegius for our selves.

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