Enneagram Type 3: Successful Achiever
Performer, Motivator, Achiever, Producer or Status Seeker

© 1995-2017 Katherine Chernick Fauvre


Threes want to be competent, productive, accomplished and dynamic. More importantly, Threes want to be good at what they do and to look good doing it. Threes see themselves as ambitious, competitive and industrious. Threes would like others to see them as a winner with all the signifiers of success. Threes' idealized image of themselves is that they are triumphant and victorious.

Threes are goal-oriented. They live by the motto “Why do when you can overdo!” To say that they are self-confident, ambitious and motivated may be an understatement. Threes want to be seen as the very example of the person who has it all together and is on their way to the top. Threes take great pleasure in crossing tasks off their ‘to do’ lists after quickly finishing them.  Threes may even write down a task on their list that is already completed just so they can enjoy the sense of accomplishment they feel when it’s crossed off. 

Concerned about having prestige and status, Threes quickly adapt to whatever role is expected of them. Seeking success through appearances, they are likely to place continuous pressure on themselves to maintain an enviable image. Threes do this by controlling their emotions, being efficient and maintaining a focused, single-minded attitude. A natural born performer, Threes try to do their best and to be an ‘all star’ at what ever they attempt. 

Continuously seeking attention and admiration, like a strutting peacock, they aren’t afraid to showcase or promote their talents and ambitions. As there is no second best for them, they keep trying until they reach their goals. They strive for, and often develop, finesse. Their high level of self-confidence, enthusiasm and energy tends to rub off on everyone around them. Their positive attitude is often motivating to others. Always on the go and energized by starting new projects, they can achieve a great deal, but are also at risk of burning out. As soon as Threes reach one goal, they are on to the next.


Threes need to be the best at whatever they do. They love the sound of applause and the accolades that are given for a job well done. Threes also need others to praise and acknowledge their achievements. Looking successful in someone else’s eyes is what motivates them to push themselves harder and accomplish more. Always one to seek attention through their personal achievements, it is difficult for Threes to relax, stop being the peacock and become part of the herd. 


Threes avoid failure, nothingness, being second best or appearing like they cannot accomplish what is expected of them. The Three may repress or swallow their emotions, seeing them as speed bumps that slow them down on the way to reaching their goals. This can cause their emotions to come up and surprise them at unexpected times. Because they have a tendency to mistake what they do for who they are, they can become a human “doing” instead of a human being. Threes can become anxious and fearful that their carefully crafted image of the successful, on the go, efficient ‘doer’ might be unmasked.


A true taskmaster, Threes' virtue lies in their veracity and sense of industry. Self-confident, energetic, positive and enthusiastic, they generally excel at and reach whatever goal they set. Their efficiency makes them an overachiever who can accomplish a great deal. Often they are the model of success, and they have a natural ability to motivate and charm others. Threes love the natural high that the feeling of success can give, and enjoy teaching others how to thrive and achieve their own goals. They are able to help others see what they need to do to polish their image and put their best foot forward. 


The Three's vice is vanity.  They have a tendency to be overly self-promoting. They can confuse their image with who they really are, engaging in a form self-deception. As they push harder and harder to complete tasks, they may even appear robot-like because they have begun treating themselves like a machine. Trying to stand out and be number one can be exhausting for the Three. It can also be hard to ask for help or pay attention to their deeper feelings. They may feel like they always have to greet the world with a smile so that people will smile back at them. Threes also want others to admire them and tell them that they have done a good job.


The Three's attention goes to performance, prestige and seeking status for approval. Hyper focused on their audience, they adapt to the expectations of others. They want to be the very image of success wherever they are and with whatever they do.

Spiritual Path

The Three's spiritual journey is to reclaim their sense of honesty and restore their hope. Threes should remember that everyone loves a performer– while they are performing– but this is not the kind of love that lasts. Their spiritual growth will come when they learn to be authentic and be true to the moment. 


Type Threes need to remember they are a human being, not a human doing, and that they are loved for themselves, not for their accomplishments. They need to remember that when they feel efficient and robotic, they have lost touch with their heart.


The Enneagram Type 3 with the 2 Wing, desires to appear as dazzling. They see themselves as flashy, supportive, caring, cheerful, fun and friendly.

The Enneagram Type 3 with the 4 Wing, desires for others to see them as professional. They see themselves as elegant, polished, fun and (at times) moody and quiet.

Famous 3s

James Baker, Joseph Biden, David Bowie, Dick Clark, Johnnie Cochran, David Copperfield, Corporate America, Courtney Cox, Cindy Crawford, Tom Cruise, Nora Ephron, Werner Erhard, Mrs.‘Debbi’ Fields, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bryant Gumbel, Mark Harmon, Jesse Jackson, Modern Japan, Michael Jordan, Henry Kissinger, Carl Lewis, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Vince Lombardi, Rob Lowe, Joan Lunden, Ali MacGraw, Elle MacPherson, Reba McEntire, Demi Moore, Queen Noor, Oliver North, Elvis Presley, Burt Reynolds, Anthony Robbins, Diane Sawyer, Arnold Schwarzenegger, William Shatner, Cybill Shepherd, O.J. Simpson, Duchess of Windsor-Wallis Simpson, Will Smith, Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, Kathleen Turner, Jean-Claude Van Damme, George Washington, Raquel Welch, Vanessa Williams, Marianne Williamson, Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Wood, Tiger Woods.

© 1995-2017 Katherine Chernick Fauvre