What is the Enneagram? And how do I find my number?
These are the two questions I get asked most often when I tell people about my enthusiasm for the Enneagram—and rightly so. Even with its gained popularity in recent years and the vast amount of books, social media accounts, and podcasts talking all things Enneagram, it’s still an abstract and curious system for many.
Perhaps it's because there is no one (right) way to find your Enneagram number; it took me almost a year to discover mine. Despite taking all the tests and reading numerous books, I was never quite certain where I belonged (ironic).
But then I listened to a podcast interview with an Enneagram 4, and listening to him was like hearing my own thoughts spoken aloud. As he described his deepest desire (to belong and be understood) and his greatest fear (insignificance), something clicked. I knew I'd found my number.
But I could have never orchestrated that moment. I had to be patient and work with a handful of resources throughout the journey, which is why this isn't a one-size-fits-all system. Some people find their number quickly, while for others, it can be a sifting process that takes years. Only we know what our deepest desires and fears are, so we have to be honest with ourselves and look inward to find our number. This requires a bit of work, active participation, intentionality, and the willingness to go deep. But the reward is finding our number.
Before beginning your journey, it's helpful to understand what the Enneagram is (and what it's not). For starters, the Enneagram isn't a personality test or a quick typing system. Neither is it about mottos and memes, as fun as they may be—those idiosyncrasies don't reflect our internal wiring.
Rather, the Enneagram is a nine-point number system (ennea is Greek for nine) meant for self-knowledge and internal growth. The origins are debated among experts, but we do know it was modernized and brought to the west by Claudio Naranjo in the 1960s. As for how the numbers work (also called "types"), most teachers believe we get our number during childhood, and that the core fear and desire central to each type stem from our earliest experiences. Since the way we think, feel, and interact with the world is rooted in these core motivations, discovering our type then allows us to understand ourselves and others better, ultimately living more mindfully.
Ready to find your number? To start, here's a quick snapshot of the nine types with their correlating desire and fear. Be sure to read more in-depth descriptions here, and then use the resources below for even more support in finding your number.
Type 1: The Reformer | Desires to be good; fears being defective
Type 2: The Helper | Desires to be loved; fears being unworthy
Type 3: The Achiever | Desires to be valued; fears being worthless
Type 4: The Individualist | Desires to be understood; fears insignificance
Type 5: The Investigator | Desires to be capable; fears incompetence
Type 6: The Loyalist | Desires security; fears abandonment
Type 7: The Enthusiast | Desires contentment; fears pain
Type 8: The Challenger | Desires control; fears being harmed
Type 9: The Peacemaker | Desires inner stability; fears separation
—How To Find Your Enneagram Number—
Unlike other personality surveys and self-identifying tools, learning your Enneagram number is not as simple as taking an online test—but it can be a helpful place to begin your journey. If means allow, I recommend taking more than one test to compare results, and then using those results as a launch point for further exploration and learning.
1. The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator
Cost | Free – $12
To date, the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator is the most popular Enneagram test online. With 144 questions, it takes approximately 40 minutes to complete with the results scoring your top three Enneagram numbers.
There is also a free version of this test if you're unable to pay at this time. While it's not as comprehensive, it can help to point you in the right direction.
2. The Essential Enneagram Online Test
Cost | $10
The Essential Enneagram Test is a paragraph-based test in which users respond to nine paragraphs, selecting the ones that most resonate. This is the online version of the survey offered in David Daniels' book “The Essential Enneagram,” and at an affordable price point, it's a great place to start your Enneagram journey.
Use code THEGOODTRADE2020 for $2 off
3. The Integrative Enneagram Questionnaire (iEQ9)
Cost | $60 (standard); $120 (pro)
A bit more of an investment, the iEQ9 test has two test options: standard and pro. Both assessments measure your number, subtype, center, wing, and levels of integration. (You’ll learn more about those terms as you dive in.) But the pro option takes your results a few steps further by evaluating things like your team behavior patterns, decision-making style, and coaching relationship. Both are comprehensive and used by Enneagram practitioners around the world.
Books & Podcasts
Now that you have your test results, here are a few recommended Enneagram books and podcasts for further learning. Comprehensive education is essential to understanding your number, so I encourage you to read about and listen to all nine types, not just the ones in your test results. Learning about all the numbers is essential to discovery as it can often be a process of elimination. Likewise, engage with a variety of books and podcasts, as every teacher will have something different to offer you on this journey. Most importantly, try to stay open and curious.
Enneagram Coaches, Classes, & Teachers
If means allow, I recommend working with a trained Enneagram expert, especially if you're still struggling to identify your number despite tests and resources. A certified teacher can guide you through deeper questions and reflection prompts, and they can also explain Enneagram terminology, like triads, wings, and stances.
You can work with Enneagram teachers online or attend groups and workshops. Additionally, many therapists are learning about the Enneagram and beginning to incorporate it into their practice, so you may even find your therapist is trained in this work.
But if you're looking for someone new, here are a few of my favorite Enneagram teachers offering online coaching and video resources:
1. Chichi Agorom
Offerings | Type discovery sessions, online workshops, process groups
Through her business, Thin Space Collective, Chichi Agorom offers typing discovery sessions, group workshops, and five-month-long process groups for an even deeper understanding of the Enneagram. Chichi is trained in The Narrative Enneagram tradition, which prioritizes story and felt experiences.
2. Abi Robins
Offerings | Embodied Enneagram coaching, group workshops, typing interviews
Abi Robins (they/them) is a trained yoga therapist and Enneagram teacher taking a holistic approach to Enneagram coaching. Through their business, Conscious Enneagram, they offer free consultations, as well as typing interviews in addition to ongoing coaching and group workshops. Robins also hosts an online group for those wanting to explore the intersection between the Enneagram and their Queer identity.
3. Jessica Denise Dickson
Offerings | Type interviews, Enneagram connection sessions for BIPOC women, online meditations, one-on-one coaching, workshops
Jessica Denis Dickson is a Life Empowerment Coach offering individual sessions, group training, and half- to full-day workshops. She also hosts Enneagram Connection Sessions for BIPOC Women, as well as online meditations and video classes. I recommend starting with her Type Interview to help with finding your Enneagram number.
4. Reneé Rosario
Offerings | Pre-recorded online class
Reneé Rosario is a core faculty member of The Narrative Enneagram, and her pre-recorded online course features panel representatives of the nine Enneagram types. There are four classes in total available on Vimeo (watch the trailer here).
Use code THEGOODTRADE for 50% off
5. Gina Gomez
Offerings | Individual coaching, online classes
Author of "The Enneagram and You," Gina Gomez is an Enneagram coach and facilitator working with women to discover their core values and motivations. She offers coaching sessions, as well as online classes. Don't miss her Enneagram Couple's Guide, complete with worksheets to better foster intimacy with your partner.
6. Evan Barbee
Offerings | Type interviews, workshops and panels, coaching for individuals, couples, and families, corporate training
Evan Barbee is a self-proclaimed Enneagram purist, and she believes the tool is "best understood and explored in the context of one's own life and experience." After having studied with the Enneagram Institute and The Narrative Enneagram, she now works as a coach, guiding individuals, couples, and families on their discovery journeys. She's also the founder of ENNEALAB, a Nashville-based group offering panels and workshops to the local community.
7. Leanette Pokuwaah
Offerings | Intersectional Enneagram coaching, POC-centered workshops and retreats
A first-generation Ghanaian woman, Leanette Pokuwaah is an Enneagram writer, coach, and teacher helping to uplift the voices of people of color. She offers POC-centered Enneagram workshops, as well as one-on-one intersectional coaching through Enneastories. She is also the founder of Instagram account Enneagram in Color.
8. Annie Dimond
Offerings | Type discernment and coaching work
Annie Dimond is an Enneagram teacher and coach living in the UK. She's also trained in The Narrative Enneagram tradition and offers workshops, retreats, and coaching through Enneagram For Wholeness.
If you’ve already explored your Enneagram number, share your learnings in the comments below! If you haven’t yet, what are you excited to discover?
Kayti Christian (she/her) is an Editor at 网站名称. She has a Master’s in Nonfiction Writing from the University of London and is the creator of Feelings Not Aside, a newsletter for enneagram 4s and other sensitive-identifying people. Outside of writing, she loves hiking, reading memoir, and the Oxford comma.