Oblivious to the hum of classroom activity, I turned page after page as silent reading time flew by. In the fifth grade, I was riveted to the story arc of Helen Keller’s life. Only just barely old enough to fathom the complexity of getting an education without sight or hearing, my laser focus had found a heroine in this woman who overcame adversity to graduate at the top of her class and then go on to college.
“I want to do that,” I thought to myself.
So I did.
And that goal-setting, accomplishment-oriented part of me still wakes up every single morning with a plan in place.
The Challenges and Joys of Enneagram Three
Enneagram Threes are the achievers, the performers, the image-conscious do-ers who are driven and defined by our lists and our need to appear successful. “Threes are shape shifters who can switch personas to match the environment,” say Cron and Stabile. On my first reading of the characteristics of all nine Enneagram types, my initial response to each was, “Yes, I am that way… sometimes.” In unhealthy space, this can lead to the behavior of a social chameleon, inauthentic and empty. Healthy Threes, though, employ this sensitivity to understand and to advance the goals and pursuits of others.
What’s the Enneagram?
I googled the term the first time I heard it, not even sure how to pronounce it.
Enneagram: “Any – a – gram”
Named for a nine-sided polygon, the Enneagram distinguishes and describes nine facets of the human personality, nine different ways of being, nine unique manifestations of the image of God on this planet.
I am a Three, which comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a simple visual representation to get you started if this is a new concept to you:
Join me today over at Mary Geisen’s place for #TellHisStory where it’s my turn to tell about life inside the Enneagram Three’s world. I’ve been brutally honest, but am also holding out the hope that all nine spaces on the Enneagram need to hear:
The worst part of us can also become the best part of us as we grow into gospel truth that, yes, indeed, it is true: we have not done enough.
And we never will.
But we are more than the sum of our successes.
We are loved by the God who made us and who knows the person behind the image, the heart behind the goals, and who gave his life to communicate the healing message that we are ever so much more than what we do.
Still under construction,
Have you identified your Enneagram number? If not, you’ll be helped by the series of posts written from inside the skin of all nine numbers. Click here for the overview, and here for Mary’s post on life as a Two. Posts will continue weekly until we’ve covered all nine personality types, and Mary has gathered an inspiring tribe of writers and thinkers to guide you on this Enneagram journey. Whether you’re still pondering, or if you’ve identified your number and are looking for ways to move toward health within it, you’ll find plenty of help with this series.
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