Personal Growth Motivations

personal growth motivations enneagram symbol

Personal growth motivations provide important clues to sustainable and successful personal growth.

The following is a quick reference guide for assessing the motivation each Enneagram personality type has, which more often than not works against personal growth. To better understand the intricacies of these complex motives, please click the links of each type below. You may also find it helpful reading the page on Instinctual Subtypes.

Understanding the personal growth motivations for each personality type, especially your own, can be achieved most effectively by studying this in a group setting where the personal growth motivations can be viewed in a live setting. Alternately, you may find the exploration of personal growth motivations to be more effective in a private counseling session.

Personal Growth Motivations Summary

You will discover that each personality type often works against the natural Personal Growth Motivations of the individual.


perfectionist personal growth motivations

Point 1 - Perfectionist
Avoid mistakes - do the right thing - be ethical --- There's a strong motivation to adhere to a rigid set of rules, which leads to suppressing emotions and under expressing instinct. The Perfectionist's need to be right can feel like feel like criticism to others.
Manner and tone is generally precise and careful, not hurried. Sometimes there can be a preachy tone, or know it all attitude. Read more...


giver personal growth motivations

Point 2 - Giver
Sense needs of others to feel important, needed, appreciated, loved --- The motive to be kind and helpful is driven by a manipulative intention, an inability to give without expectation to receive in return. The Giver gives in the hopes of receiving.
Manner and tone is sympathetic, a feeling they are beingnice and giving advice that is often unsolicited. The energy is outwardly directed to the other. Read more...

performer personal growth motivations

Point 3 - Performer
Achieve recognition for accomplishments --- Driven by image, one of looking good to others at the sacrifice of one's feelings. Out of touch with their feelings, they are ignorant of the damage to themselves and those around them caused by pushing feelings away.
Manner and tone is positive, upbeat, motivational toward success for self and others. Performers protray emotion if it's efficient in getting the job done.  Read more...

Romantic personal growth motivations

Point 4 - Romantic
Find love, deep connection - be unique - creative self-expression --- Despite the deep emotions of the Romantic, feelings are under expressed, not wanting to express directly.
Manner and tone can be understanding, warm and full of feeling, or sometimes flat and dry. Sadness may seep through, and the manic types will have a talkative feel to them. Read more...


observer personal growth motivations

Point 5 - Observer
Protect privacy - limit desires, needs - pursue knowledge --- live more in their minds, and over express their thoughts.
Manner and tone is mostly content driven, facts, rational, dry wit, not chatty, often mental, not fully embodied. Read more...


skeptic personal growth motivations

Point 6 - Skeptic
Feel safe, secure, and prepared in a threatening world --- distrust themselves and others, caught in fear, and most out of touch with their thoughts.
Manner and tone is serious, setting limits on themselves, questioning tone, ideologically zealous. When comfortable and safe, the tone becomes soft, warm. Read more...


optimist personal growth motivations

Point 7 - Optimist,
Not be limited - protect self from anxiety - not wanting to miss out --- afraid of introspection, turn to the outside world for adventure and experience, making them under express their thoughts.
Manner and tone is enthusiastic, light, playful, entertaining or simply self-absorbed, mental, good storytellers, positive, quick reframes, ignores the negative. Read more...


protector personal growth motivations

Point 8 - Protector
To be powerful, independent and in control - demands respect --- assertive and hardworking tend to over express their instinct.
Manner and tone is strong, with an edge of anger and assertive tones. Sometimes bossy and telling others what to do with a know it all quality.  Read more...


mediator personal growth motivations

Point 9 - Mediator
Have peace and harmony by over adapting self-forgetting --- most out of touch with their instinct.
Manner and tone is welcoming in their overall energy field, and either quiet and controlled, or scattered. May have difficulty getting to the point of something when they are relating. Read more...