Threes are defined by their desire to be significant and to distinguish themselves through their achievements. They are unsure of their innate self-worth, and look for validation through their accomplishments. To others, they appear confident, ambitious, and goal-oriented. Threes are typically very image-focused; it is important to them that others see them as successful.

Threes fear being insignificant or a failure. To cope with this fear, they look for ways to win in life, reassuring themselves that they are valuable.

Defining Characteristics of the Enneagram Type 3

  • Acutely aware of social niceties
  • Impressive range of accomplishments
  • Extremely busy and on the go
  • Jam-packed schedules and meetings
  • May have interests in improvisation or acting
  • Refined taste in outer appearance
  • Charismatic; makes good first impressions

Not sure if you're an Enneagram Type 3? Take our free Enneagram test.

What are Achievers like?

Polished and sophisticated, Achievers have a particular taste for the nice things in life. They have the capacity for huge chunks of productivity to reach their goals and high standards. Their goal is to be remembered and appreciated for their discoveries and creations—to be the best. Smart, ambitious and typically well-dressed, Achievers hit and exceed targets left and right. Their performance and dedication is admired by others and may even inspire them to take action. Achievers typically have schedules chock-full of fun events and professional meetings to keep themselves busy and on the go.

What are the Achiever’s core values?

Recognition, accolades and status are the pinnacle of the Achiever’s lifestyle. They’re goal-driven; equipped with the Type A mentality and a relentless drive for self-improvement. Productivity and achievement take the cake as Achievers’ core values. Getting things done is more important than too much planning and “wasted” time spent daydreaming.

How can I recognize a Type 3?

With refined tastes and an impressive drive to accomplish more, Achievers are socially adept conversationalists with a talent for beating deadlines and looking crazy-good while doing so. They’re poised and intuitively know what to say during any situation. They can make friends with just about anyone. Achievers may have top-notch Instagram feeds, a seemingly ‘perfect’ life, and the charm to prove it. Males and females often portray an image which aligns very strongly to their gender identity (i.e. masculine or feminine). When asked about their five-year plan or career goals, they typically have a well-thought-out mental map of where they want to be.

What are Achievers like under different levels of health?

At healthy levels: Achievers are driven, kind and willing to lend a helping hand. They can push organizations to new, uncharted territories with talent and ease. With a natural charisma and knack for recognizing the potential for their brilliant ideas, Achievers succeed in the workplace and beyond. They’re highly adaptable and can push themselves to inspire others and successfully reap the fruits of their labor and creativity. With a witty sense of humor and goofy side, they learn to take life with ease and prioritize their work-life balance. They’re organized, on top of their game and willing to take constructive feedback.

At average levels: Achievers are busybodies, searching for new goals to accomplish and flashy ways to flaunt their expertise. They’re almost always on the go with new projects to finish and people to collaborate with. The looming fear of failure propels them to keep up their momentum and continue working hard. Social media becomes a place for constant comparison and expression, which can lead to excessive self-promotional content or arrogance. Achievers are dead-set on being first place in whatever they put their minds and hearts to—whether that’s a career goal or project.

At unhealthy levels: Achievers become extremely jealous and view every interaction in terms of a competition and may be prone to one-upping others. They seek approval and reassurance from others—when this is not fulfilled, they begin to despair and shut down. The once driven and go-getter becomes lazy, unfulfilled and prone to developing low self-esteem. Eventually, an Achiever may choose to reject their sense of self and may develop intense mood swings. Many Achievers report feeling like a “hollow shell” after years of curating an image of who they’d like to be. This can lead to major shifts in career, relationship or lifestyle. At their worst, they backstab ruthlessly and destroy others’ reputations solely for their own benefit.