9 Enneagram Types with 9 Fears and Desires {Enneagram Series #3}

Discover the nine types of the Enneagram, including the nine core fears and core desires associated with each type.

Enneagram_9 types

Welcome to this series on how to practice the Enneagram for spiritual growth. Find the series introduction and index here.

  • Every Monday-Friday in February—a different aspect of the Enneagram and a spiritual exercise to practice
  • Every Saturday—a summary
  • Every Sunday—a quote graphic

Below are the nine Enneagram numbers or types. (Note: “numbers” and “types” are used interchangeably when talking about the Enneagram).

Included also are brief descriptions of the core fears and core desires associated with each number (more later in the series).

As the series progresses, discover which number best fits you. Then you can tap into the spiritual growth track that suits you best.

More Than a Number

The Enneagram (pronounced ANY-a-gram) includes nine basic personality types. But that doesn’t mean there are only nine types of people in the world. God made no two people exactly alike.

But we’re not all totally different either. We have more in common with some people than we do with others. Some think or feel or act more like we do than others.

Two general guidelines when working with the Enneagram:

1. No one IS a number.

We identify with the traits of a number, but we aren’t a number. Even though we say it this way as shorthand—“I’m a 5 or she’s a 2”—no one is a number.

To be more accurate, we’d say, “I identify most with the Fives, and she identifies most with the Twos. But frankly, that’s too wordy so we shorten it to, “I’m a 5, and she’s a 2. 

Just keep it in mind. We don’t want to become a label or put one on anybody else.

2. You include ALL the numbers.

And secondly, nobody is a 100% pure type. Even if a type’s description seems to totally capture your personality, you are still more than that one type.

We identify most closely with one type. But we contain traits of ALL nine types. We’re a whole person, not 1/9 of a person. We lean heaviest in certain directions, which is our dominant number, but all the types are in us.

Nine Enneagram Types with Fears and Desires

As you read through each name, remember this:

The Enneagram is about WHY you do what you do, not just WHAT you do.

Ask yourself:

  • Are there any numbers I automatically rule out?
  • Which two or three numbers best fit me?
  • More importantly, which numbers describe my inner motivations for my behaviors? Look at the core fears and core desires.

The following labels, fears, and desires are combined from multiple sources (including Your Enneagram Coach) to give you a fuller picture of each type. Read tomorrow’s post #4 for complete descriptions of each type.

Type 1—Perfectionist

Other Names: Reformer. Improver. Moral Perfectionist. Machine.
Core Fear: Being wrong, bad, inappropriate, imperfect
Core Desire: Having integrity, being good, right, balanced

Type 2—Helper

Other Names: Giver. Supportive Advisor. Parent.
Core Fear: Being unloved, unwanted, needy
Core Desire: Being loved, appreciated

Type 3—Performer

Other Names: Successful Achiever. Winner.
Core Fear: Failing to appear successful, being exposed as incompetent
Core Desire: Being admired, successful, valued

Type 4—Individualist

Other Names: Romantic. Tortured Artist.
Core Fear: Being without identity, misunderstood, flawed, inadequate
Core Desire: Being authentic, unique, special

Type 5—Investigator

Other Names: Observer. Investigative Thinker. Detective.
Core Fear: Being helpless, incompetent, without resources
Core Desire: Being independent, competent, knowledgeable

Type 6—Loyalist

Other Names: Questioner. Loyal Guardian. Oracle.
Core Fear: Being unprepared, afraid, being blamed, without support
Core Desire: Security, guidance, having help

Type 7—Enthusiast

Other Names: Epicure. Entertaining Optimist. Party.
Core Fear: Missing out, being deprived, trapped, bored
Core Desire: Fun, happiness, freedom, contentment

Type 8—Challenger

Other Names: Boss. Protector. Protective Challenger. Dragon.
Core Fear: Weakness, vulnerability, being controlled
Core Desire: Being in control, protecting self and others

Type 9—Peacemaker

Other Names: Peaceful Mediator. Wallflower.
Core Fear: Conflict, feeling shut out, losing connection
Core Desire: Peace, stability

For more helping in identifying your type, read Enneagram Series #4 on February 4. On Series #5, get links to free and paid Enneagram tests.

Spiritual Practice #1: Find God by Paying Attention to People

“Spirit is an invisible force made visible in all life.”
– Maya Angelou

The spiritual practice for today is to:

Pay attention to personalities

Look around for people with traits similar to yours. Look for people who are different.

Each person is made in God’s image. Each person reflects something of his nature.

Find God in the people around you, both in similarities and differences.

Who did you last talk or text with? (Check your phone now, it’s okay.) How do you see God in that person? Can you let them know that? How do you see God in yourself?

What benefits do you see in people being alike? In being different? What appears to be a disadvantage to you? Do you struggle to give grace for that?

Pray for clarity in seeing individuals as unique, yet related. Thank God for including us all in the same human family, each liked and loved by God exactly as he made us.

Recognizing our Enneagram types can help us also like and love each other more authentically. Giving and receiving love among ourselves is one way to give and receive love from God.


  • Which Enneagram type(s) do you most relate to?
  • Which type(s) do you have the hardest time relating to?
  • Who has most shown you God this week? How?

Please share in the comments.

See the Enneagram Series Index here

Enneagram for Spiritual Growth

Subscribe to the blog here

Previous: You Are God’s Masterpiece {Series #2}

Next: 3 Ways to Find YOUR Enneagram Number + 9 Healing Attitudes to Accept It {Series #4} 

9 thoughts on “9 Enneagram Types with 9 Fears and Desires {Enneagram Series #3}

  1. Martha J Orlando

    I think it’s so important to remember that we can’t be defined by a number or overriding trait, but that we are somewhat a mix of them all. Helps to connect with others, that’s for sure!
    Blessings, Lisa!

  2. Theresa Boedeker

    It is interesting how we contain things from each number, even though we identify more as one number. I thought I was one number, but now I am wavering between two different numbers. And they are not right next to each other so they are not my wings.

  3. Beth Steffaniak

    Oh yes, I’m very familiar with the Enneagram, Lisa. My husband and I taught on it at a marriage workshop last October, trying to help couples navigate these differences and sometimes similarities. My husband and I are case in point. He’s a 1 with 8 as his wing. I’m a 5, with a 1 as my wing! Many times it’s our similarities that get us in trouble in marriage–not so much our differences! 😉 I’m intrigued by how you’re going to be unpacking this, my friend! It’s a very interesting topic and discussion!

  4. Denyse Whelan

    Interesting isn’t it , this way in which we want to figure out more about each other and ourselves.

    Thank you for linking up for Life This Week #174. Next week’s optional prompt is 6/51 Interesting 10.2.2020. Hope to see you again there too. Denyse.

  5. Elena Wiggins

    I am loving this series! And I especially like that you said we aren’t a number, we closely identify with a number, but yes, that’s just too wordy! And I also love that you remind readers that who we are in Christ, our identity as imagers of God gives us purpose, not a number that we hide behind. It’s a tool, not an identity. I most identify with 9s and one of my 2020 goals is to better understand this type, so this series is wonderful!

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