The Achiever


We call this type the Achiever, because a three is typically focused on results. And results in the world of a three at bottom mostly means security. She lets that result seeking aspect determine her value. A three does not care much what others think of her. She does not need praise for her achievements, status, fame or flattery, but she does need to feel her own respect for her own achievements.

The praise a three wants is more about others mirroring that she is competent and can make it. That makes her feel very attractive as man or or a woman. Being self sufficient is key to feeling attractive.

A three always wants to feel competent and think others should feel competent as well. “If you just put your effort to it, you can do it”, is her slogan. A three looks super cool and calm, but she is in fact fast and efficient in how she moves about in the world. She has great overview, she sees what needs to be done to get the results she wants. She wants to get things done in order to rest later. She likes to be ahead. This can make her very fast, faster than most people that experience they can’t keep up with her tempo.

She dislikes being burdened by anything or anyone. “Do not slow me down, please. Get out of my way if you do!” A three does not mind being straight forward or harsh, if she feels it is needed.

A three is typically self sufficient, down to earth, efficient, strong, goal oriented and domineering. If you are a three you experience yourself as stronger and smarter than others. This is painful, because most of the time you do not make time for your needs. In a three universe, needs stand in the way of efficiency, and efficiency is always your main focus. As a three, you may not be aware of your feelings of insecurity, nor of you longing for love and support.

If you are a three, you see yourself as a self made man/woman. You do not trust that others will support you, help out or collaborate. If you are a three your focus on yourself and your own results is really strong. You are identified with being fast and efficient, and you do not like to contact the more vulnerable feelings that you get in touch with when you slow down. You may look forward to that part of your life where you will have enough results so that you can just relax. But actually you avoid it in order to keep on feeling strong.

Love and relationships are disturbing for the same reason. Postponing them, a three imagines she will be ok with vulnerability later on.

A three does not want to burden people around her, so she takes care of her own needs and emotions. She always sees herself as the strong and cool grown up in every situation. She does actually long for others to collaborate with her, but it is not easy for her to allow herself even to be aware of that longing.

Since she is so much into being strong and self-sufficient, she forgets her needs and feelings as well as communion and relationships. This can make a three isolated. Part of the problem is that a three sees herself as the strong one with others. So even when she is near others, she does not soften and connect with her needs for long. That way she misses out on the collaboration, communication and relationships she longs for.

Growing up, threes often experience being the strongest in the family. They see themselves as being the security net for others. If others fail to support themselves, the three will step in.

Type three is a heart type, that paradoxically resists feelings. When something painful happens, a three may put her feelings on wait, in order not to risk being inefficient. Emotions get buried and it can be hard for the three, who has efficiently cut off or just refuses to pay attention, to access them again.

Looking for value

If you are a type three you are energetic, ambitious and driven. However, you also love to take it easy and chill out. But the more you obsess about efficiency, and about the most measurable sign of security namely money, the more you drive yourself.

Often threes do not really see their own results and achivments, which are often quite obvious to others. It is like a three is blind to her own achievements. She cannot recall yesterdays achievements and results. She is already on her way to the next goal.

Threes do not want to feel their fear, but their drivenness is really a lot about security. A three feels safe when she can see results, income for instance. Work is where you get results, and where you can measure it in money, so this is a safe arena for a three.

A three knows how to deliver and get things done. So that is how she tries to become secure. She wants to be very sure she can support herself no matter what. That is her inner six child that she tries to calm with the security of money and self sufficiency. But whose real longing is to rest and be secure with others, in cooperation.

Falling in love to is a huge step. For when a three decides to commit, she has to be truly ready emotionally. She may resist commitment even to someone she feels very strongly about because the timing is not right. She knows that when she is in, she is all in.

She resists because opening her heart may feel to her like a major earthquake of (held back) longing. An also because her pattern of always being the strong bread winner can make close relationships more of a burden than a gift to her.

Threes are very family oriented. They are often very close to their original family and longs for one of their own. This gives them security and a feeling of not being so isolated. They love having people around them, not too close but within a nice distance so that they still can produce results.

For the sake of the whole

A relationship is a great vehicle for growth to this type. It is a challenge for a three to express her needs to another person and allow herself to be vulnerable.

Threes need to learn to communicate their needs in relationships. As one three said; “At work I know exactly what I want and I have no trouble communicating it. But at home I don´t know what I want nor what I need, really. And I certainly don´t know how to negotiate with my wife. That makes me feel insecure and I kind of shy away from that and escape to work”.

Knowing that you are a three can help you become free. Understanding your pattern will make you see how your focus on achievements and efficiency keeps you from truly experiencing deeper security.

You will be able to see through your tendency to run from your emotions, cut them off or ignore them, in the name of efficiency. Only being still and present with emotion will lead you to knowing yourself valuable and supported.

If you are a three, the direction of integration is toward point six in the Enneagram. Your inner child aspect is six. This aspect is within you, you need only listen to it and let it guide you.

These are aspects of type six that are helpful to you:

– Uncertainty and vulnerability. A six feels her fear and insecurity. Your inner child wants you to not ignore those emotions, but hold them. This will teach you empathy. Especially with your own vulnerability.

– Cooperation. Sixes always look to the good of everyone. They believe that all can benefit from cooperation, give their best and get their basic needs met. Integrating this spirit of your inner six energy will help you find meaning. You will do things for the good of the whole, not just for yourself.

– Honesty. Your six child does not know how to cover up emotions or pretend to be cool. That part of you will teach you how to be transparent. Sixes are lovers of communication and you need to learn from your inner child to communicate with openness and to express yourself gently. That is, to not play tough. The same goes for your inner communication. You need to be honest and gentle with yourself. Rest when you are tired. Allow fear and longing for love and the need for others. Others are stronger than you think.

Threes at their best are clear, honest and humorous about themselves. When under stress they struggle with issues about self worth and obsess about their achievements. As long as they put their focus there, they will experience a lack of deep value.

So threes are looking for value in places where it cannot really be found. Until they turn from doing to being. Then, they will find that their efficiency and skill can be put to use, making the world a better place for themselves and everyone they love.

When a three truly embraces her own emotions and needs, she reconnects with that sense of unconditional value. Then she can inspire others and give and receive love, knowing that she is not alone, not a self made man or woman, but a thread, an important one, in the web of life.

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