Christianity and Enneagram Podcast Number 3 - The Performer

Series: The Enneagram and the life of Faith

March 08, 2020
Langdon Palmer

Are you a success oriented person? Do you know how to get things done and achieve goals? Are you interested in growing and being all you can be ? If so, you need to take a pause from all your effort and ask a basic question - who am I really, and why do I do things the way I do ? The ancient model known as the Ennegram says that there are basically 9 personality types - and each of us tends to lean toward one of these ways of being in the world. Each type has beautiful, admiral qualities, and each type has an Achilles heel - a deadly sin they are most prone to be seduced by. Today we look at the Enneagram personality type number 3 - the Performer also known as the Achiever. See the show notes for key images and quotes. See for the complete Enneagram series.

Episode Notes


Core Need: To succeed               
Core Desire: To feel valued and worthwhile by others
Core Fear: Being worthless, negated
Self-Image: The Achiever
Primary Temptation: Efficiency
Root sin: Deceit                                                      
Core Question:  “Would you really love and admire the real me?”

“There’s a lot to love about healthy Threes. They are optimistic, resilient people with audacious dreams who inspire others. When they’re spiritually healthy and self-aware they have nothing to prove. They want to talk about your dreams and celebrate your accomplishments rather than flaunt their own achievements or sell you a line… They still love to set goals, rise to challenges and solve problems, but their self-worth is not tied to these things. They try to balance their abundant energy between work, rest, and some kind of contemplative practice, recognizing the importance of being instead of doing. They feel valuable which unleashes a tender benevolence that is focused on the common good… Average threes push achieving to overachieving, spending too much time at work or the gym. They see love as something to be earned, so they quiet their inner convictions, valuing what others define as success and striving to do more and do it better…Unhealthy Threes find failure unacceptable, which renders them unable to admit mistakes and causes them to behave as though they are superior to others. Desperate for attention, they may tell others fabricated stories about themselves and their accomplishments in order to maintain their image.” - Ian Cron in “The Road Back to You”

“Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic selfhood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be.”- Parker Palmer

“We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us … Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.   So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”   -- 2 Corinthians 4:14-18

“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” -Matthew 6:33


(Adapted from "The Road Back to You")

  1.  Develop the practice of silence, solitude and meditation
    Try starting your morning at 
    (it’s efficient!)
  2. Challenge your definition of success, and craft a new one based on your feelings, desires, and values, not those inherited from family or culture.
  3. Take an inventory of who and what gets sacrificed while you’re frantically racing to cross the finish line first – spouse, kids, health, friendships.
  4. Take a vacation and do not bring work with you.

Music Credit: "Can you see the real me" by the Who

Quotes were included from the book "The Enneagram - a Christian Perspective" by Richard Rohr.  

This series draws heavily from “The Road Back to You” by Cron and Stabile

For more resources, go to

Content Copyright Belongs to Langdon Palmer