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Enneagram 3 in Stress: Coping Strategies for Achiever Personality Types

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Stressed out woman sitting at her desk

If you're interested in personal growth and stress management, you have come to the right place, my friend.

Over here at 9 wing 1 Coaching, I'm all about self-awareness and personal development. That's why it's crucial to learn all we can about our unique personality types so that we can grow.

If you are an Enneagram Type 3, you are success-oriented, practical, and adaptable. There's not much that can stop you from achieving your goals.

But even the most motivated individuals can experience stress, so knowing how to handle those situations is essential.

In this blog post, I'll discuss how stress can affect people who are Enneagram Type 3 and how to handle it better. I'll cover everything from spotting the signs of extreme stress to using effective strategies and tools to get through challenging situations.

With these tips, you can keep your motivation and focus on achieving your goals, even when things get stressful, because, let's be honest, they will.

Are you ready? Let's get into it!

Table of Contents

Understanding Enneagram Type 3 in Stress

An overwhelmed woman with her head on her desk

Enneagram 3s, you're known as the Achiever! You are ambitious and success-driven.

But did you know that when it comes to stress, your approach might be different from others? That's why it's essential to understand your fears, frustrations, and anxieties to handle stress better.

Enneagram Type 3 in Stressful Situations

In stressful situations, you may focus on your goals and achievements even more than you usually do, driving you to work even harder. You believe that success is the key to happiness, and anything that gets in the way of that causes anxiety.

But try not to let anxiety get the best of you - acknowledging your negative reactions can help you deal with stress more calmly.

When you're experiencing stress, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Ask yourself if you're working towards things that matter to you and if you are putting your time and energy where it counts.

Also, if you can start figuring out the source of your stress, you can start to deal with it more effectively.

Strategies to Manage Stress

A woman holding a coffee and a book to read

Enneagram 3s can benefit from implementing the following strategies to manage stress:

  • Set realistic expectations: Don't set yourself up for disappointment by aiming for unrealistic goals. Instead, try breaking down what you want to achieve into smaller, more manageable tasks that won't stress you out so much.

  • Take breaks and prioritize self-care: Success doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your mental or physical health. Take time for yourself, whether through meditation, exercise, or just relaxing, to recharge and keep a good balance between work and life.

  • Develop healthy coping mechanisms: You can keep a journal to write down your thoughts and feelings. Another idea is to spend some time in nature - it's incredible how much it can help you relax! And if you love a hobby, carve out some time for it. Doing things that bring you joy can help you feel more productive and less stressed.

Remember that knowing your Enneagram 3 personality type and how you deal with stress is vital for keeping your life balanced and relationships strong. When you're self-aware and have healthy ways to cope with stress, you can take on life's challenges easily and confidently.

The Achiever's Reaction to Stress

A stressful woman with her hands on her face

Achievers are highly focused and motivated to excel in everything they do. However, the intensity of such a reaction can sometimes lead to burnout.

So, during burnout, you might find yourself going to an unhealthy type 9, which will cause you to isolate from others who can help you and also manipulate situations for your gain.

  • Not seeing progress: If you're not progressing toward your goals, it can cause anxiety and even more drive to succeed.

  • Feeling like a failure: If you perceive yourself as unsuccessful, it can trigger stress and disappointment.

Coping Mechanisms for Enneagram Type 3 in Stress

An overwhelmed mom playing with her kids in the kitchen

It's essential to recognize these stressors and find coping mechanisms to handle them in a healthy way.

Here are some suggestions to help you manage stress as an "Achiever" Enneagram type 3:

  1. Acknowledge your emotions: Allow yourself to express and explore your feelings during stressful times rather than suppressing them.

  2. Celebrate the small wins: While it's natural to want to excel, it's crucial to be happy about the small victories.

  3. Seek support: Reach out to friends, family, or even a professional to discuss your feelings and get helpful tips for managing your stress effectively.

  4. Practice self-care: Make time for yourself and engage in activities that bring you happiness and relaxation.

Negative Traits When Under Stress

A mom choosing the best fabric near her child

Competitive Nature

As an Enneagram type 3, you might start acting a little fierce when you're feeling stressed out.

For example, you might become super competitive. You'll feel like you need to win and be the best, even if it means sacrificing your relationships or your own health. Does that sound familiar?

When you become competitive, you end up working so hard to achieve goals that you forget about everything else going on in your life. This can lead to burnout, exhaustion, and feelings like you're not good enough.

I'm Not Worthy

It's normal to feel like you're not good enough, especially if you're not acknowledged for your hard work and accomplishments. But when that happens, it's important to remember that success doesn't define your worth. Surrounding yourself with people who support and appreciate you for who you are is key.

Image Conscious

You also might feel like you're always trying to create a perfect image, whether in your personal life or at work. This can make it tough to show your own emotions since it might not fit the image you're trying to portray.

But dealing with your feelings is crucial instead of just pushing them down. If you don't, you could turn to unhealthy ways to cope, which could lead to long-term chronic stress down the road.

Relationships During Stress

 A woman on the phone sitting next to a man

If you're an Enneagram type 3 and feeling stressed, it's essential to consider how it affects your relationships.

When stressed, you might focus more on your accomplishments than your friends and family. It's like you have tunnel vision, and you're on a train straight to your goals.

What if you channel that drive for success toward your relationships? It could lead to stronger friendships and partnerships.

It's also super important to keep a good balance with your social life. Don't overbook yourself, but also don't avoid hanging out with friends altogether. You want to ensure you can still work towards your goals and maintain those meaningful relationships, especially when things get tough.

Motherhood in Times of Stress

A stressed mom on her computer next to her two kids

As a mom with a type 3 personality, you may be all too familiar with how stress affects you.

It's common to experience physical symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and muscle tension or emotional symptoms like anxiety, frustration, and dissatisfaction.

The pressure to maintain a flawless image at home and in your career can make things even more difficult for you. Understandably, you might find it hard to ask for help or admit when you're struggling, which can lead to more stress and feelings of isolation.

To manage stress, you must prioritize self-care and recognize that your worth isn't solely based on your achievements. Setting realistic goals, delegating tasks, and taking time to rest and recharge can all be incredibly helpful.

It might be challenging to let go of total control and allow others to take on some responsibilities, especially if you tend towards perfectionism.

However, by taking care of yourself, you'll be better able to show up for your family and pursue your goals with renewed energy and focus.

Remember, you're doing your best, and it's okay to ask for help when you need it.

Influence of Enneagram Wings on Stress Behavior

A sad and stressed woman

When dealing with stress, your Enneagram wings can also play an essential role in shaping your behavior. As an Enneagram type 3, you may lean towards the Enneagram 2 or the Enneagram 4 wing. Understanding these influences can help you better manage stress.

Wing 2

Suppose you lean more towards an Enneagram 2 wing. In that case, you might be extra nurturing and supportive when stressed. Your attention will be on caring for others and ensuring their needs are met.

You might also get too involved in their problems, which could leave you feeling overwhelmed and emotionally drained.

To avoid this, try setting boundaries and taking care of yourself first, even though you care deeply about others.

Wing 4

On the other side, if your Enneagram type 3 leans more towards the Enneagram 4 wing, you may become more emotionally sensitive and crave self-expression. You may need to spend more time reflecting on your feelings and exploring them deeply.

This can be good if you don't get too caught up in it. Use your creativity and emotional intelligence to develop new solutions to problems.

Just remember to stay grounded and present in the moment.

Self-Actualization for Type 3

A beautiful confident girl

As a Type 3, your journey towards self-actualization and self-acceptance can seem daunting, with several potential challenges.

But don't worry, you've got this Achievers!

Just focus on growing as a person, boosting your self-esteem, and building confidence.

You Are Worthy

You are not just your achievements or success, my friends.

You are valuable just by being you. Allow yourself to experience failure as a learning opportunity rather than a blemish on your personal brand, and your self-esteem and confidence will grow as a result.

Look beyond your work and focus on what truly matters to you. Cultivate relationships and interests outside of your job. Doing so will create balance and a deeper sense of fulfillment.

To boost your self-esteem and confidence.

Take some time for self-reflection and mindfulness. It helps to tune in to your inner emotions and figure out why you do things the way you do. The Enneagram can help with building your self-awareness. This way, you can improve a deeper understanding of yourself while giving yourself a pat on the back for your accomplishments.

I know that sometimes you can get caught up in wanting to be the best and achieve everything all at once, but that can lead to stress and burnout.

So, take your time and be patient with yourself. Remember that self-development and growth is a process, and it takes effort and dedication to get there. Enjoy the journey of self-improvement and feel proud for EVERY. SINGLE. SMALL. VICTORY.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do Type 3 Enneagrams cope with stress?

If you're a Type 3 Enneagram, you probably handle stress by setting goals and becoming more productive. It's important to realize when you're pushing yourself too hard and give yourself a break. Try doing some self-care activities or contacting friends or family for emotional support. Trust me, it'll help you deal with stress better.

What are common stressors for Enneagram 3?

Common stressors for Enneagram 3s include feeling like a failure or when people don't appreciate your hard work. It can also be challenging when you're super busy with work and need more time for your friends and family, but you don't know how to stop working.

The key thing to remember is that these are everyday stressors for your type, and it's important to take steps to deal with them before they start to overwhelm you.

How does stress affect an Enneagram 3's relationships?

When someone with an Enneagram 3 personality type is under a lot of stress, it can affect their relationships. They might become so focused on achieving their own goals that they forget about the needs of their significant other, their other family members, and friends. This can cause a lot of emotional distance and make it tough for their loved ones to connect with them.

Talk openly with your loved ones to keep your relationships healthy and carve out some quality time together.

What are healthy ways for a Type 3 to manage stress?

If you're a Type 3 and feeling stressed out, there are some healthy ways to deal with it.

One way is to practice mindfulness - paying attention to the present moment without getting caught up in worries or distractions.

Another tip is to set some boundaries between your work and personal life so you can take a break and recharge.

Don't be afraid to reach out to friends and loved ones for support, too - they're there to help you through tough times.

Finally, doing things you enjoy and find relaxing, like running or meditating, can also help you feel better.

What are signs of an unhealthy Enneagram 3 in stress?

An unhealthy Enneagram 3 in stress may become directionless and indifferent like the unhealthy type 9. You might need help to concentrate on your goals, and you might beat yourself up for any little mistake you make. This could cause you to distance yourself from people who matter to you and feel more isolated.

It's essential to be aware of these signs and reach out for help or support if you're struggling.

How can Enneagram 3s balance work and stress?

Enneagram type 3s, making sure you're not letting work stress bleed into your personal life, is crucial. You can do this by setting clear boundaries. Remember to take breaks, delegate tasks, and avoid taking on too much at once. Putting yourself first is key to balancing work and relaxation in your life.

How do you comfort an Enneagram 3 in stress?

As an Enneagram 3, striving for success and recognition is natural, but this can also lead to stress and burnout.

If you notice a type 3 in stress, offering them words of affirmation and reassurance can be helpful. Remind them of their inherent worth and that they don't need to prove themselves to anyone. Encourage them to take a break and prioritize self-care, even if it means stepping back from their usual responsibilities for a while.

Additionally, offering practical help or assistance with tasks can alleviate some pressure and allow the type 3 to focus on their well-being.

What triggers an Enneagram type 3?

As a type 3 in the Enneagram, you usually get triggered by situations that make you feel like you're not achieving enough. Criticism, rejection, or failure can also set you off. You also tend to stress out when your hard work and achievements go unnoticed or unappreciated. When that happens, you usually become more competitive, work harder, or try to prove yourself to others.

At the end of the day, you are an "Achiever," and that's incredible!

You are special and will accomplish so much, but the number one thing you need to remember is that all those accomplishments aren't as important as you. Your success is not worthy of love. You are! You're a child of God, and you are enough just the way you are.

Find Your Enneagram Number E-book Sheets

I hope you found this blog post informative and helpful. If you want to figure out your type, click here to find the perfect test for you.

If you want to learn more about yourself and become the most confident person you can be, then let's talk.

Please click on the "Free Enneagram Coaching Consultation" button down below.

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