Enneagram personality fears are described as that basic and core dread and dismay that they want to avoid doing in their daily life. All the 9 enneagram personality types have their own set of core fears and desires. These fears act as motivating factors and the person defends them against their core desires.
These fears also tell you why a specific personality type behaves in the way they do. Both fears and desires determine the motivation of the nine types.
In this short post, we will refer to the core fears of all nine types of people according to the enneagram model.
Enneagram Personality Fears
The Enneagram model of personality typing describes nine different types of personality that are made up of core desires and core fears. These act as motivating factors for the personality growth of all types.
The enneagram model doesn’t describe the surface traits of the person only but it delves deeper into those unconscious forces that tell you why you think, feel, and act in the way you do.
The Enneagram personality fears are those inadequacies and dreadful things that each type wants to avoid or escape from in their daily life. The most amazing thing about these enneagram fears is, they are connected to core desires and you can say that both the core fears and core desires go hand in hand.
It means you are doing something just to avoid something else. For example, the core desire of enneagram 9 is to maintain peace around them; therefore their basic fear is conflicts and confrontations. They make all conscious efforts to please others and maintain peace in their immediate surroundings.
In the enneagram system, it is the core motivations that determine the enneagram type number for a specific type.
Now we will discuss the basic fears of all the nine enneagram types.
1. Enneagram 1 fears – The Fear of being evil or wrong
Enneagram 1 is an idealist and believes to follow the path of righteousness. They cannot afford to make mistakes or appear flawed in front of others. They are the reformers whose basic desire is to live a life of ethics and morality.
Type One is keen to set very high standards for themselves. When enneagram Ones cannot meet their high expectations, they feel unworthy and become highly self-critical. Their core fear is the fear of being evil or doing any wrong that can undermine their self-respect and social regard.
Enneagram type 1s are focused to improve their skills and believing in doing what is right. Their moral code of conduct is high and dear to them.
- They have innate fears of being incorrect and wrong
- Fear of immorality
- Fear of not keeping pace with their high ethical standards
- They also fear that they may lose out on their objective evaluation
- Corruption irks them and as such, they fear being corrupt even in their distant dreams
- Enneagram 1s does not like the evil intentions and malpractices of others
2. Enneagram 2 fears – Fear of being unloved
Enneagram 2s are passionate about helping others. They are caring and deeply compassionate in nature. Therefore, you’ll always find an enneagram 2 doing community services to stay connected with the needs of others. These individuals desire value and praise from others.
Twos will always take initiative to feed their altruistic tendencies. As they want to feel valued from deep inside, they have the fear of losing love. These people are sensitive souls and prefer to help others in need. In return, they wish to have praise for their kind acts.
Enneagram 2 fear-
- Being unwanted or socially isolated
- They fear rejection
- They also fear loneliness if they are supposed to live their entire life alone.
- Twos feel hurt and rejected if their kind actions are unappreciated or undermined in some ways
- Enneagram 2s always have the fear of being manipulated by others, so they prefer to keep a distance from those who are not of their type.
3. Enneagram 3 fears – Fear of being worthless
Enneagram type 3s are known as achievers because they are always driven towards goal accomplishment and success. They will work hard even to make the hardest task possible.
Threes are ambitious and believe in excellence. Their effort and hard work are unmatched when compared with others. Sometimes, they are too image-conscious and feel lesser in social situations where they are compared with others. They fear social insults and humiliation.
Enneagram type 3s is impatient. They are also obsessed with high social status without which they feel humiliated and worthless. They desire to achieve success in all its varied forms, otherwise, their fears start making them overwhelmed and moody.
- Enneagram 3s fear losing the admiration and social regard in the society
- The fear of being unappreciated because it undermines their self-esteem. Threes are known for their social image and honor, they fear being left alone in the crowd.
- Feelings of worthlessness make them appear powerless
- Losing social image is not affordable to them
- If they fail to achieve the desired success and accomplishment, they will feel bitter about their self-worth.
- For threes, success is a tool to achieve big things in life.
- Their core fear is when they start realizing that their self-worth and social regard is downplayed in subtle ways
- Fears of losing their image
4. Enneagram 4 fears – Fear of a loss of identity
Type fours desire to build an identity that exclusively matches who they are. These individuals are keen to preserve their self-image and identity so that they feel in control of the situation they are in. Fours prefer to put effort into keeping their self-identity intact. They are in search of an ideal life that is close to perfection.
Enneagram fours fear losing their individuality. They may become insecure if put in an undesirable situation where their image-conscious self is in question. They want to live an impressive life with respect and dignity to cherish for life.
Type fours desire meaning and purpose in life. They are in search of finding a special place for themselves that will wipe their fear of losing an identity that they have dreamt of. As enneagram 4s are moody and self-absorbed, they fear losing their self-identity because it makes them who they are in front of others.
Type fours fear:
- Having no value or personal worth to live with
- Enneagram 4s will feel inadequate if others do not give them their due attention and regard
- Type 4s fear not having a stable self-identity
- Being insufficient, imperfect, or flawed in some way
- Being a commoner is not acceptable to them
- Fear of losing their unique and exclusive qualities
- Fears of being isolated or left alone in the crowd
- Type 4s fear meaningless and purposeless living
- Fears being recognized as ordinary and mundane
- They fear losing the creative talents that actually make them unique
5. Enneagram 5 fears – Fear of being helpless and incompetent
Type 5s are known as the investigators. They’re driven by curiosity and knowledge. People with type 5 personality traits are serious and believe in competency and skill development. They believe in doing things responsibly.
Fives always look to enhance their knowledge base so that they never feel incompetent and helpless. These individuals desire to remain informed about everything in life so that adverse circumstances cannot override them even in the toughest of times.
They fear being overwhelmed by their needs and want to remain prepared in all situations. Type 5s never like conventional ways of living and they desire creative ideas to take over their life’s path at any given moment.
The core fears of enneagram 5s are:
- Fears being incapable
- They become insecure if they find themselves in a situation that is going out of control
- Being stuck in one place can make them feel vulnerable. They may start realizing that their self-worth is going down in specific ways.
- When facing a hindrance from someone or something in life, they fear being caught in situations where no further self-growth is possible
- Fives fear handling emotional situations because they know they are not good at it
- Being incompetent and helpless in adverse situations gives them immense emotional pain than none other
- They fear leading a useless and purposeless life
6. Enneagram 6 fears – fear of losing support or moving in life without a proper direction
Type Six are committed, responsible, and dedicated beings. They are good at understanding troubleshooters in daily life. These people use the power of intuition and instincts to determine the next course of action in life. People with type 6 personality traits prefer to show their loyalty and devotion to just anyone. They seek protection and security in life. Therefore they prefer spending a lot of time building trustworthy friendships.
These individuals prefer to receive an extra dose of assurance from people who matter the most in their life. Eventually, this boosts their self-confidence to greater heights.
Type 6s core fears include the following:
- Sixes prefer bonding, intimacy, and close human connections. They fear being alone and living life in their own lonely shelter
- Fears of losing others’ attention and support in life
- If life goes without a definite direction, they will feel insecure about what is going to happen next. This is because enneagram 6 can only sustain in stable and secure situations.
- They fear living in unpredictability and dismay
- They fear losing guidance and guarantee from others, especially those who are very close to them
- Fear of being unprepared to meet the adversities in life
- Fears facing worst-case situations in life where feelings of helplessness will make them even more weak and vulnerable
- Type 6 fears being under the scanner. They want a safe zone to thrive and prove their self-worth
- They fear spontaneity or sudden changes that may pose threat to their sense of safety and security
- Type 6 fear losing predictable life situations
7. Enneagram 7 fears – The fear of being deprived or in pain
Enneagram type 7 is full of charisma and adventure. They are active, spontaneous, and seekers of pleasure and joy. Type 7s wish to experience each and everything that life has to offer. They are pleasure-seeking and enjoy goodness and beauty all around them. People with type 7 qualities will avoid FOMO in all circumstances.
They wish to have an unrestrained life where stuck and sticky feelings are not present. These individuals fear monotony and seek novel things. They are creative problem solvers and fear getting stuck in only the tried and tested methods of doing things.
The core fears of enneagram 7 are:
- Fear of missing out
- Being left out amidst all
- The Fear of being deprived of the best opportunities
- Fear of being exposed to emotional pain and suffering
- Sevens fear getting stuck in life. They feel it will die out their creativity and innovative skills
- Limited resources to explore, and work with in daily life
- Sevens fear monotonous living and an uninspired lifestyle
- Fears losing the excitement and exuberance that they are used to in everyday life
- Being an enthusiast, they see life in various colors, not in black and white. This means they prefer novelty and hate singing and doing the same thing every day
- Too much discipline gives them pain because it restrains their ever-changing mindset
- Fears of being stripped of freedom and happiness
- The fear of losing their curiosity and zest for life
8. Enneagram 8 – The fear of being harmed or controlled by others
Type 8s are known for their willpower, determination, and resourcefulness. They always wish to control their immediate environments and at the same time take charge of their own life. Being an enneagram 8, you’ll aspire to be brave, heroic, and confident in all walks of life. Sometimes, this desire can make you a dominating and intimidating person that others may not like always.
Enneagram 8s are driven by their need to control and dominate the social space. They desire to always be in command and fear being controlled by others. They also desire to earn respect from others by being just and fair.
Self-governance and freedom of thought and opinions are their first love. People with type 8 traits never like pointless rules. They choose to remain free of biases and rules that are not worthy to be regarded for any human good.
Type 8 fear change that can alter them in finer ways, instead they prefer to follow their own definition of perfection and excellence.
Some of the core fears of enneagram 8 are as follows:
- Fear of leading a weak life that is dependent on others
- Fear of losing autonomy over one’s thoughts, feelings, and actions
- The fear of losing regard
- Eights fear being harmed
- They also fear being overpowered by strong people in life
- Type 8s also fear being helpless and powerless
- If they lose control over people and situations, they may feel insecure and threatened from deep within
9. Enneagram 9 – Fear of loss. Fragmentation, and conflicts
Type Nines are motivated to avoid conflict and live a peaceful life. In order to fulfill this objective, nines never shy away from doing what they think is best in dealing with confrontations and arguments. These people are peace-loving in nature. They hate to get into trouble or invite disagreements just to prove themselves right.
People with type 9 traits are flexible and easygoing. To maintain serenity all around them, they try to please people and take them in their stride. Some of their core fears are as follows:
- They fear being isolated or left out in the social space
- Nines fear criticism and blaming tendencies of others directed toward them
- They fear social rejection
- They fear being unloved and unattended to by others
- Type 9s fear confrontations and conflicts
- People with type 9 characteristics fear being overlooked and not attended to, appreciated, or looked after by others when they needed them the most
- Fear of discord and tension keeps them far away from getting into any sort of hidden conflicts
To Sum Up
The Enneagram model of personality typing gives a clear and vivid description of nine character structures that are unique as well as connected to the other two types lying adjacent to the main enneagram type.
Each of these personality types is motivated to do certain things in life while avoiding others. They fear choosing certain options in life because it makes them feel uncomfortable.
The enneagram fears are those subtle weaknesses that when appearing on the surface can cause problems in their individual nature. Therefore, it is desirable to keep these fears at bay and move ahead with growth and development.
Chandrani is a former school psychologist and teacher by profession. She is a post graduate in Applied psychology with focus in clinical and health domains. Her passion for writing, kindled during school days have now become a full time freelancing endeavor. For her, writing is cathartic and keeps her mentally agile. Her lovable niches includes psychology, parenting, spirituality, lifestyle, and love and relationships. Her work depicts her perspectives about various experiences that she came across; unleashed a richer and deeper meaning of life. "Let me leave an aftertaste in the minds of few, if not many who need to find a path of absolute bliss, happiness, and inner peace."