What Is Your Essence?

Do you see your essence in this list:

  1. The Reformer
  2. The Helper
  3. The Achiever
  4. The Individualist
  5. The Investigator
  6. The Loyalist
  7. The Enthusiast
  8. The Challenger
  9. The Peacemaker

A rare few may be able to immediately recognize themselves.  But most of us need a little help.  Here is an easy way to “Learn what you are and be such.” – Pindar

QUEST: Quick Enneagram Sorting Test (© 2003, The Enneagram Institute (Don Riso and Russ Hudson))

Select only one of A or B or C in Group I that sounds the most like you.  Do the same with X or Y or Z in Group II:

  • A. I have tended to be fairly independent and assertive: I’ve felt that life works best when I meet it head-on. I set my own goals, get involved, and want to make things happen. I don’t like sitting around—I want to achieve something big and have an impact. I don’t necessarily seek confrontations, but I don’t let people push me around, either. Most of the time, I know what I want, and I go for it. I tend to work hard and to play hard.
  • B. I have tended to be quiet and am used to being on my own. I usually don’t draw much attention to myself socially, and it’s generally unusual for me to assert myself all that forcefully.  I don’t feel comfortable taking the lead or being as competitive as others. Many would probably say that I’m something of a dreamer—a lot of my excitement goes on in my imagination. I can be quite content without feeling I have to be active all the time.
  • C. I have tended to be extremely responsible and dedicated. I feel terrible if I don’t keep my commitments and do what’s expected of me. I want people to know that I’m there for them and that I’ll do what I believe is best for them. I’ve often made great personal sacrifices for the sake of others, whether they know it or not. I often don’t take adequate care of myself—I do the work that needs to be done and relax (and do what I want) if there’s time left.


  • X. I am a person who usually maintains a positive outlook and feels that things will work out for the best. I can usually find something to be enthusiastic about and different ways to occupy myself. I like being around people and helping others be happy—I enjoy sharing my own well-being with them. (I don’t always feel great, but I generally try not to show it!) However, keeping a positive frame of mind has sometimes meant that I’ve put off dealing with my own problems for too long.
  • Y. I am a person who has strong feelings about things—most people can tell when I’m upset about something. I can be guarded with people, but I’m more sensitive than I let on. I want to know where I stand with others and who and what I can count on—it’s pretty clear to most people where they stand with me. When I’m upset about something, I want others to respond and to get as worked up as I am. I know the rules, but I don’t want people telling me what to do. I want to decide for myself.
  • Z. I am a person who is self-controlled and logical—I don’t like revealing my feelings or getting bogged down in them. I am efficient—even perfectionistic—about my work, and prefer working on my own. If there are problems or personal conflicts, I try not to let my feelings influence my actions. Some say I’m too cool and detached, but I don’t want my private reactions to distract me from what’s really important. I’m glad that I usually don’t show my reactions when others “get to me.”

Find the pair of letters you chose:

AX     Type 7     The Enthusiast: Upbeat, accomplished, impulsive

AY     Type 8     The Challenger: Self-confident, decisive, domineering

AZ     Type 3     The Achiever: Adaptable, ambitious, image-conscious

BX     Type 9     The Peacemaker: Receptive, reassuring, complacent

BY     Type 4     The Individualist: Intuitive, aesthetic, self-absorbed

BZ      Type 5     The Investigator: Perceptive, innovative, detached

CX     Type 2     The Helper: Caring, generous, possessive

CY     Type 6     The Loyalist: Engaging, responsible, defensive

CZ     Type 1      The Reformer: Rational, principled, self-controlled

8 thoughts on “What Is Your Essence?

  1. Sevens (Enthusiasts) are so fun! My dad is a 7w8. Incredibly successful in his careers; a visionary. And, even today, at 75 years of age he and my mom travel the world soaking up all the diverse cultures and pleasures. One of my employers is a 7 – more gregarious than my dad; extremely honest. I have several close friends that are 7s. The energy level is contagious. The world would be a much quieter, slower paced and sad place without 7s!

    1. Josh,

      My daughter is a BY, a Type 4. What a blessing and a curse she can be! She can be the life of the party, but if she is in the midst of “unsureness”, she withdraws, and I ache for her.

      Until I found the Enneagram, I wasn’t able to understand the mood swings and self-degradation. When I read “Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery”, I recognized her immediately (years ago) in the Type 4 Individualist.

      She cried when she read it – to know that there is an explanation and that she is not the only “Individualist” was a huge relief to her. Since then, she has settled in and slowly accepted that she is who she is. And now, at almost 26 years of age, she is an engaging, fascinating woman.


  2. Well, I’m a helper, with maybe a sprinkling of the Enthusiast thrown in there. I vacillated between A & C for the first question – but I think C is really more accurate. So CX = Helper. Makes sense – when I dabbled with the Enneagram way long ago I think I concluded that I was a “2”. That is Helper, right?

    BTW, Debi, this blog turned out to be helpful to me in a very practical way! I applied for a job online the other day and they wanted me to include my Meyers-Briggs type! I would never have known what it was if it wasn’t for your blog and the quiz! Thanks!

  3. Sarah,

    I’m so excited that the MBTI helped with your application! And I really like to hear whenever companies use this valuable tool.

    Another 2! Welcome, Sister, we probably have a fair amount in common .

    See if any of this sounds familiar:
    – As a child we felt like we were not allowed to have our own needs.
    – We have a basic fear of being unworthy of being loved: we feel we must earn love.
    – We desire to be loved – and if we are really having a shitty day, we need others to need us.
    – We resist our own needs and strive to fulfill the needs of others.
    Well, that’s not all that great: those are bad moments.

    Here’s the good stuff:
    – We figure out that taking care of ourselves is ok – in fact it is the first step to truly caring for others (and it’s fun)!
    – We learn to love others with no expectations back from them (I love this one), and in doing so more and more people love us!
    – We become joyous, gracious and humble.

    You may already be there. I reach those heights lots of days, and then on other days, I’m more on the shitty side. But I strive every day to concentrate a fair amount on MY needs so that I am at my best for others.


    ps. I love being a 2!

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