In-Depth Description of Enneagram Type One

Common Descriptive Names: (1) The Perfectionist, (2) The Reformer, (3) The Moralizer
Unconscious Fear for type One: Of being imperfect (bad, no good, defective, corrupt, etc.).
To compensate for their Unconscious Fear an Unconscious Desire arises:
Unconscious Desire for type One: To be perfect, balanced, virtuous, impeccable, etc.

As our personality was forming in early childhood we each developed limiting subconscious beliefs
about ourselves, others and the world. For example, your mother or father might have yelled at you
“Get your hands out of there!” or “You should be ashamed of yourself!” or “Stop being such a cry
baby!” If you had really loving parents you might have heard, “Don’t touch that, it’s hot!” or “Don’t do
that, you might hurt yourself!” We also developed limiting beliefs about others. Growing up you may
have heard, “I don’t want you to play with those kinds of kids” or “Salesmen are sleazebags” or
“Politicians are so duplicitous and two-faced.” We also developed limiting beliefs about the world.
Newspapers and television constantly bombard our minds with reports of scandals, crimes, wars,
economic crises, natural disasters, and political corruption. Does this help us believe the world is a
loving, safe place to live? Of course not. One way or another, none of us escaped childhood without
some limiting subconscious beliefs. Your Enneagram type identifies some of the strongest
subconscious beliefs that you’ve developed over time based on your distorted perception of reality.

Limiting Subconscious Beliefs for type One:

• The world is imperfect.
• The world would be a better place if people were more principle-centered & acted from their
• I’ll be condemned if I deviate from my ideals and high standards.
• I can never be out of control (or else I’ll be led astray by strong subconscious impulses and
• I’ll be severely reprimanded if I make mistakes.
• I’m responsible for making everything right.
• To be loved I must be perfect.

Core Coping Strategies for Ones:

(where Ones focus their attention because of their subconscious
• Comparing self to others and judging self and others
• Indirectly displacing anger through correcting errors and/or championing social causes
• Discerning the “right” thing to do (working hard, being honest, moderate, thrifty, etc.)
• Getting things “right” (own inner critic berates them if they don’t)
• Being self-controlled
• Being extremely loyal
• Maintaining high standards and the utmost propriety
• Seeing the flaws – Ones have great critical powers
• Suppressing anger, real feelings and “bad” impulses
• Being ultra-responsible and reliable (“I must…, I ought to…, I should…”)