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The enneagram is a personality typing system that shows how a person can view and interpret the world in one of nine ways based on your enneagram core motivations. It’s an incredibly helpful tool in understanding yourself as well as understanding others.

If you are wanting to find your enneagram type, you can of course take a test but the problem with tests is that they tend to be based on your traits. Traits often do correlate to your type but… traits aren’t what actually determine your type.

What Determines Your Enneagram Type

If traits do not determine your enneagram type then what does? Your core motivations! Each person is wired with one of nine core motivations.

The core motivation is the reason behind your traits. The enneagram doesn’t stop at the surface level traits like many personality test, instead it digs deeper to tell you why you are the way you are.

Enneagram Core Motivations

Enneagram Core Motivations

The core motivations of the enneagram are broken up into two main groups: core desires and core fears. Technically, these both go together or can even be considered one in the same because to want to be something is to fear not being that thing.

Enneagram Core Desires

Enneagram Core Desires

You’ll likely resonate with most of the core desires (or all of them) and that makes sense as all these desires are good things to desire. However, even though you resonate with most or all of these desires, you only have one core desire.

Check out the nine core desires and try to determine which one you would choose if you could only choose one.

Enneagram Type 1 Core Desire: Being Good / Being Right
To expand on those two descriptions, 1’s want to be right, good, correct, responsible, appropriate, accurate, virtuous, and ethical.

Enneagram Type 2 Core Desire: Being Loved / Being Wanted
To expand on those two descriptions, 2’s want to be loved, wanted, needed, appreciated, and seen as kind and helpful people.

Enneagram Type 3 Core Desire: Being Valuable / Being Successful 
To expand on those two descriptions, 3’s want to be valuable, successful, admired, respected, and praised.

Enneagram Type 4 Core Desire: Being Authentic / Being Uniquely Themselves
To expand on those two descriptions, 4’s want to be authentic, uniquely themselves, special, finding their own specific place in this world.

Enneagram Type 5 Core Desire: Being Competent / Being Capable
To expand on those two descriptions, 5’s want to be competent, capable, knowledgeable, self-sufficient, and well-informed.

Enneagram Type 6 Core Desire: Being Secure / Being Safe
To expand on those two descriptions, 6’s want to be secure, safe, protected, have guidance, and reliability.

Enneagram Type 7 Core Desire: Being Satisfied / Being Content
To expand on those two descriptions, 7’s want to be satisfied, content, happy, unrestrained, and free.

Enneagram Type 8 Core Desire: Being Self-Governed / Being Independent
To expand on those two descriptions, 8’s want to be self-governed, independent, and they want to be able to protect themselves (and those they care about)

Enneagram Type 9 Core Desire: Being at Peace / Being Harmonious
To expand on those two descriptions, 9’s want to be at peace, harmonious, connected, untroubled, at ease.

Enneagram Core Fears

Enneagram Core Fears

You’ll likely resonate with most of the core fears (or all of them) and this also makes sense as all these fears are things that pretty much nobody would want. However, even though you resonate with most or all of these fears, you only have one core fear.

Check out the nine core fears and try to determine which one is the most terrifying to you.

Enneagram Type 1 Core Fear: Being Bad / being Wrong
To expand on those two descriptions, 1’s fear being bad, wrong, unethical, immoral, incorrect, inappropriate, and evil.

Enneagram Type 2 Core Fear: Being Unloved / Being Unwanted
To expand on those two descriptions, 2’s fear being unloved, unwanted, not needed, not appreciated, and needy.

Enneagram Type 3 Core Fear: Being Worthless / Being a Failure
To expand on those two descriptions, 3’s fear being worthless, a failure, not valued, not successful, and inefficient.

Enneagram Type 4 Core Fear: Being Without Significance / Having No Identity
To expand on those two descriptions, 4’s fear being without significance, having no identity, being common, being defective, or flawed.

Enneagram Type 5 Core Fear: Being Incompetent / Being Incapable
To expand on those two descriptions, 5’s fear being incompetent, incapable, unknowledgeable, helpless, and ignorant.

Enneagram Type 6 Core Fear: Being Without Support / Being Without Guidance
To expand on those two descriptions, 6’s fear being without support, without guidance, without security, being alone, and being abandoned.

Enneagram Type 7 Core Fear: Being Deprived / Being Trapped
To expand on those two descriptions, 7’s fear being deprived, trapped in emotional pain, being bored, and limited.

Enneagram Type 8 Core Fear: Being Controlled / Being Harmed
To expand on those two descriptions, 8’s fear being controlled, harmed, powerless, weak, vulnerable, and manipulated.

Enneagram Type 9 Core Fear: Being Separated / Being at Loss With Others
To expand on those two descriptions, 9’s fear being separated, being at a loss with others, conflict, tension, being shut out, and overlooked.

If you still are unsure of your enneagram type or are stuck between a few types, be sure to check out my post on how to confirm your enneagram type.