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I was asked recently what would I tell young threes who are just learning the enneagram.  There is so much that is pertinent that it would take several pages.  But limited to a few paragraphs, then I would encourage them to give up their identification with success or failure.  You are not valuable when you succeed and your value does not go away when you fail.  You are a divine human being who has value that is separate from your competencies, skills or successes.  This is anathema to a three.  If you cannot separate yourself from your achievements then you will not believe that you are worthy of love.  You are not loved because you are worthy but rather you have intrinsic value as a human being.

Threes would also do well to exchange doing for being.  If we are producing, then we think we are more valuable.  If not producing then we are developing skills that help us to produce. I have never met a 3 that didn’t have multiple skills.  Academics, arts, scholarship, athletics, business, or professions will do for a 3.  They just want to be  better than others at these thing.  Value, according to a 3, is hierarchal based on achievement.  If a 3 could enjoy an activity alone, noncompetitively and without comparison that would be a very healthy 3 indeed.  If a 3 could enjoy time alone not even in activity that would be impressive.

I welcome all 3’s to the enneagram and hope that they absorb the understanding that is available to them.  Maybe they can learn to live and love, separate from their remarkable achievements.