Beginner's Guide to the Enneagram

Knowing and understanding your Enneagram type helps you grow in self-knowledge and thus allows you to have more compassion for yourself and for other people. It is not confirmed where the Enneagram originated, but many believe it has religious roots. Ian Morgan Cron is the modern champion of the Enneagram and his book, The Road Back to You, is an excellent, straightforward resource for those beginning research into the Enneagram.


To get started, you should take an Enneagram test online. There are plenty of free versions available, or you can pay to take the official one. Many people who take the test find that after more research the test results are not always accurate. However, taking the test will give you a good idea of what type you may be and you can use this information to guide your research.


The best way to find your type is by researching, which is actually super fun! If you have instagram, there are a TON of accounts focused on the Enneagram. For beginners, I recommend justmyenneatype to learn more about each type. I also like, enneagramashton, and enneagramexplained to start. If you want to go into more detail, try looking at and kristy.fountain 's pages. 


Another important thing to note is that your type depends most heavily on your motivations. For example, I am a type 4 and that means my core motivation at the center of everything I do is authenticity. I may be a calm and peaceful person, but that doesn't automatically make me a type 9 because the desire for the world to be a more peaceful place is not the main motivation behind my actions. With more research, this will become an easier concept to grasp, I promise! There is so much to the Enneagram, but below is a simple breakdown of the nine types. 

  1. 1. Type 1: The Reformer

    This type has a strong sense of ethics and conviction.

    What they would say about their type: “I’m called the reformer because I’m on a mission to improve the world around me.”

    Motivated by: Integrity

    Fears: Being "bad"

  2. 2. Type 2: The Helper

    This type is naturally nurturing and calming.

    What they would say about their type: “I’m called the helper because I genuinely want to do all I can to help others.”

    Motivated by: love

    Fears: being unloved

  3. 3. Type 3: The Achiever

    This type is highly visible, notable, and adaptable.

    What they would say about their type: “I’m called the achiever because I will take things to a greater level.”

    Motivated by: worth

    Fears: being worthless

  4. 4. Type 4: The Individualist

    This type is whimsical and unique.

    What they would say about their type: “I’m called the individualist because I maintain my identity by setting myself apart.”

    Motivated by: authenticity

    Fears: having no identity

  5. 5. Type 5: The Investigator

    This type is naturally serene and detached.

    What they would say about their type: “I’m called an investigator because I want to dig deep and find all the details and meaning of things.”

    Motivated by: competency

    Fears: being incompetent

  6. 6. Type 6: The Loyalist

    This type is connected, rooted, and dependable.

    What they would say about their type: “I’m called a loyalist because out of all the types, I’m the most loyal to my friends.”

    Motivated by: security

    Fears: having no support

  7. 7. Type 7: The Enthusiast

    This type is sunny, fun, and vibrant.

    What they would say about their type: “I’m called the enthusiast because I get excited about pretty much anything that comes my way.”

    Motivated by: freedom

    Fears: being deprived

  8. 8. Type 8: The Challenger

    This type is assertive, strong, and confident.

    What they would say about their type: “I’m called a challenger because I want to challenge myself and others to go beyond our capabilities.”

    Motivated by: autonomy

    Fears: being harmed

  9. 9. Type 9: The Peacemaker

    This type is neutral, blurry, and removed.

    What they would say about their type: “I’m called the peacemaker because I do all I can to keep the peace and calm for myself and others.”

    Motivated by: peace

    Fears: separation

Hopefully this gives you a better understanding of what the Enneagram is and what your type may be. It's important to remember that only you can type yourself because you know every aspect of you and outsiders do not. As you grow more comfortable with the Enneagram, I recommend looking into wings, subtypes, triads, stances, and your growth/safety modes.