What core beliefs may be driving your suffering? At the Kiloby Center, we use insights from the Enneagram to help identify clients’ deficiency stories (our term for the core beliefs that drive suffering). With support, we can learn to recognize the core beliefs that feed our addiction or mental health issues. This is the key to learn to dismantle them.

Here is a list of the core beliefs, or deficiency stories, associated with each of the nine Enneagram Types. You can read more here about how to use the Enneagram as an inquiry support tool, and how identifying your own can type leads to greater freedom and clarity. 

Enneagram Type One The Reformer

Core Belief: “I am unworthy”

The Basic Desire of the Reformer is to be good, to have integrity, and to be balanced. In contrast, the Basic Fear is of being bad or defective. So, The Enneagram Type one believes they must prove themselves to be worthy of love.

Enneagram Type Two The Helper

Core Belief:  “I am unwanted”

At their core, the Helper desires to feel loved. As a result, they avoid feeling unwanted or unworthy. A balanced Type Two can be a powerful force of help in healing in the world. In fact, it was a famous Enneagram Type Two, Desmond Tutu, who said “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Enneagram Twos can inquire into these unconscious fears and thus cultivate a healthy expression of these personality traits.

Enneagram Type Three The Achiever

Core Belief:  “I am not good enough”

Above all, the Achiever seeks to feel valuable and worthwhile. Their Basic Fear is of being worthless. Threes often take on new challenges and projects and may find it hard to just sit and be. Therefore, the drive for accomplishment is ever-present. Oftentimes threes equate value with success. So, they seek to avoid feeling like a failure at all costs. This fear of failure can often be an underlying driver of addiction.

Enneagram Type Four The Individualist

Core Belief:  “I’m Alone”

The Individualist is often terrified that they have no significance. As a consequence of this, they are driven by a Basic Desire to find themselves, and their identity.  Furthermore, Enneagram Type 4’s tend to see themselves as tragically unique. Because of this, they believe they may possess a fundamental difference from others. So, this can translate into isolation and loneliness. With Four being a common Enneagram type, and this being a corresponding basic fear, it’s felt often felt by patients suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. 

Enneagram Type Five The Investigator

Core Belief:  “I’m Incapable”

The Investigator has a great desire to be competent and capable. Consequently, they fear being useless or helpless. Enneagram Fives are often labeled as “pioneers” and “visionaries”. In fact, famous Enneagram Fives include Stephen Hawking, Emily Dickinson, and Albert Einstein . So, fives can learn to meet these basic fears and deficiency stories with presence and inquiry to harness and integrate the associated positive traits. 

Enneagram Type Six The Loyalist

Core Belief:  “I’m not safe”

At a core level, the Loyalist seeks security and support. The underlying fear is of being unsafe and without guidance. Sixes can have wild and active imaginations. As a result, the constant attempts to avoid real or imagined danger can seem debilitating. This serves to further reinforce the deficiency story. Read about one Kiloby Inquiries Facilitator’s experience inquiring into their “I’m not Safe” deficiency story here.

Enneagram Type Seven The Enthusiast

Core Belief:  “I’m trapped”

The Enthusiast seeks to be satisfied and content and to have their needs fulfilled. Their Basic Fear is being deprived and in pain. Because of this, Enneagram Type Sevens are creative, adventurous, and always on the go, so they may face challenges with staying put and settling down.

Enneagram Type Eight The Challenger

Core Belief:  “I’m powerless”

The Challenger wants to protect themselves. Because of this, they desire to be in control of their own life and destiny. They display an overall avoidance of being harmed or controlled by others, and statistics often point to Enneagram Type Eight as the rarest of the Enneagram Types. 

Enneagram Type Nine The Peacemaker

Core Belief:  “I don’t matter”

The Peacemaker fears and avoids loss and separation. So, their Basic Desire is to have inner stability and peace of mind. Because of this, Enneagram Type Nines often find themselves drawn to careers as social workers, counselors, or caretakers.

What is your Enneagram Type? If you aren’t sure, you can click here to take a free assessment. Contact us today at 1-866-KILOBY-5 to learn more about the New Model of Recovery, and the tools and approaches that drive our outstanding success rates at the Kiloby Center for Recovery.


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