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Taylor Shea West

Enneagram and You: Type One, The Reformer

“I’ll write an anthem worth repeating.” 

Welcome to week two for Enneagram and You with Taylor. First, I’d like to say thank you for the amount of love shown for this series already. I can’t wait for the weeks to come. 

Like I stated previously, this week we’ll be covering enneagram type one, usually referred to as ‘The Reformer’. During this article I’ll cover the basics of a healthy type one and unhealthy type one without information overload. You’ll find tips to bring out the best of your type, book and song suggestions, along with a few encouraging quotes for everyday life. With that being said, let’s jump right into it. 

Type Ones, aka The Reformers or The Perfectionists, are notoriously known for having a strong sense of what’s ethically right and wrong. Ones believe they must be good and right to be worthy of love. Most reformers are advocates for change. They’re always looking for ways to change the world for the better, though are constantly haunted by the fear of making major mistakes or being defective. There are two different types of ones; a One with a Nine-Wing, known as ‘The Idealist’, and a One with a Two-Wing known as ‘The Advocate’. 

A Type One with a Two-Wing is someone who shares most personality traits with a One but shares some with Two tendencies. A Type One with a Nine-Wing is someone who shares most personality traits with a One but shares some Nine tendencies. 

A few examples of well-known type ones are Michelle Obama, Meryl Streep, Hilary Clinton, Harrison Ford, Tina Fey and Emma Thompson just to name a few.

With the examples provided, you can see how Ones are constantly driven to do the extraordinary changes that the world needs. They want to be useful to the world as a whole as if it’s the duty to reduce and eliminate the cluster and clutter that they see in the world. 

Now it’s time to discuss the healthy levels of a One and the unhealthy levels of a One. We’ll start with the healthy version of a One.  

Healthy Levels

At their best, Type Ones are extremely wise. They are able to accept that is transcendentally realistic. They’re very inspiring, hopeful, self-disciplined and mature. Although they are extremely dissatisfied with reality, Type Ones become idealists. This brings the feeling that it is up to them to improve everything wrong in the world. Healthy levels take this urge and do their part, but in ways that are humanly possible without tearing themselves down on the things they cannot accomplish at that time. On average, Type Ones are critical of themselves and others. They are afraid of making mistakes or causing mistakes that could harm themselves or the world around them. 

Unhealthy Levels

Now for the not so healthy ones. Don’t worry, if these apply to you – I’m here to recommend tips and tricks to boost yourself back to the best you can be. Unhealthy Type Ones can be extremely self-righteous and intolerant. An unhealthy Type One tends to believe they know the truth; everyone else is wrong. They begin to obsessive over imperfections and mistakes of others, making them hypocritical. These habits can form severe depressions, panic attacks and overall constant anxiety.

Going through the many levels of your type can feel like a personal attack. Trust me, my first experience reading about how I can be as an unhealthy three made me really over think it. Though I want the purpose of this series to be to help you become the best you can be. Discovering the best version of you is exhilarating, though the journey there can be tough. Don’t fret, it’s a journey you’ll thank yourself for. 


The first thing I turn to when I feel myself not being the best version I can be? Books! Honestly, they help me a ton. I usually start my mornings out with a cup of coffee and a self-help book. Here are a few suggestions for my Reformers out there.

  1. It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst 
  2. The Beautiful Chaos of Growing Up by Ari Satok
  3. How to Be an Imperfectionist by Stephanie Guise 
  4. Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle
  5. Letting Go Of Leo by Simi Botic
  6. The No-Self Help Book by Kate Gustin PhD


Music is also a HUGE part of how I better myself. I try waking up each morning with my Alexa playing a playlist of feel-good songs for me. Though you can jam to these tunes at any time of the day. Try listening to some of them while you read! Here are just a few that remind me of the Type Ones in my life. 

  1. Atlas: One by Sleeping At Last (Okay, this one may personally attack you, BUT it is specifically made for Type Ones, by Type Ones.)
  2. Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield
  3. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye
  4. I’m Good by Mowgli’s 
  5. Where Do We Go from Here? by Madaila
  6. Under Pressure by Queen
  7. High Horse by Kacey Musgraves 
  8. I Guess I Just Feel Like by John Mayer 
  9. People Need A Melody by The Head and The Heart 
  10. Let It Go by James Bay
  11. Big Picture by James TW
  12. Do It Myself by The Backyardigans (Laugh now, but my Type Ones will get it.)

(GIF from giphy.com)


Another thing I can suggest to The Reformers are reminders to keep around you. Set them as your lock screen, write them on sticky notes or make your own designs for décor. The possibilities are endless. I’ll link some fun lock screens below from Pinterest.


Be proud of your type! Rock it with pride. Here are some fun items you can purchase based on your type.

Coffee Mugs:

Home Decor:

Fun Stuff:


The last thing I will recommend to you is Sleeping At Last’s podcast over Type Ones. I won’t lie, it will feel like a personal attack in the beginning. Though it’s for the good! They go into a deep dive with a professional who will explain why you feel the way you do as a One, at which level you are at. They also explain the lyrics behind your particular enneagram song. I’ll link it here

Are you still with me? Good! I hope I was able to breakdown a Type One without fully overloading you. There are so many websites, podcasts and books to help you better understand your type. I encourage you to explore to your heart’s desire! One thing I want to leave you with is this: Rome was not built in a day. You cannot hold the world’s problems that you cannot physically fix, on your shoulders. Remember you are human, mighty and inspiring to all of us. 

Until next week, go forth and conquer!

Taylor Shea West

Murray State '21

Taylor Shea West is a Journalism student at Murray State University with a minor in Criminal Justice. If she's not obsessing over Marvel films, listening to new music or finding a way to get to Australia, you can usually find Taylor learning lines for a new short film. Catch up on the latest with Taylor on her Instagram as @taylorwestofficial
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