The Enneagram Type One Woman

As an Enneagram Type One woman, you tend to be pragmatic, hardworking, detailed-oriented, and very dutiful. More importantly, you want to be respectable, to do what is right and what you feel is appropriate. Your idealized image of yourself is of a woman who is rational, orderly, principled, conscientious, and morally upright. You seek to live up to these lofty standards and values, constantly striving for self-improvement and growth and desire for others to see you in this light.

A Strong Sense of Purpose
Gifted with a strong sense of purpose, you have high ideals and like to follow protocol, policies, and procedures. You are sincere, earnest, and diligent and take pride in doing things well. As a Type One, also known as the Reformer or Perfectionist, you value honesty, integrity, and objectivity. Conscientious and methodical, you focus on paying close attention to detail. Earnest and hardworking, you are particular and constantly strive to improve yourself, others, and the world around you.

The Voice of the Inner Critic
You have a strong ‘internal critic’ that reminds you of what you should and shouldn’t do. Out of all of the Enneagram personality types your Inner Critic is the harshest. It convinces you that you have to do everything perfectly and if you don’t deems you incompentent and inherently flawed.

Adhering to Strong Internal Standards
Life for you is about adhering to your strong internal set of standards. You tend to see things as either black or white and expect others to think and act this way. At times, you can be curt, judgmental, and critical of others. Your intention is to help them improve themselves as you are committed to doing.

As a perfectionist, you feel that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right. You can become resentful and angry that you seem to be the only one capable of doing this. It may appear to you that everyone else just goofs off and you always have to be the dutiful and dependable one.

Impact of Childhood
Enneagram scholars speculate that your childhood experiences lay the foundation for these behaviors, views, and motivations. You may have grown up in an environment where high standards and expectations were placed on you. Whether from parents, teachers, or other authority figures, you may have been taught to strive for perfection and excellence in all areas of your life.

If you received a lot of praise when you followed the rules or met your parents or authority figures’ expectations, there is an internal belief that being good and virtuous is the key to acceptance and love.

The Effects of Strict Discpline and Criticism

As an Enneagram Type One woman, maybe you experienced significant amounts of criticism and discipline during your childhood being reprimanded frequently for not meeting expectations or for making mistakes. This can lead to a strong inner critic in adulthood, driving you to constantly strive for perfection and avoid criticism.

Traumatic experiences, such as witnessing or experiencing acts of injustice or immorality, may have also led you to become even more determined to uphold your own standards of righteousness and perfection to cope with or make sense of the trauma.

The Impact of Too Much Responsibility at an Early Age
Did you take on a lot of responsibility at an early age? Maybe you had to step up and take on a caregiving role within your family. This behavior then carries over to adulthood. Do you have a heightened need to take care of everyone and put yourself last? Is your knee jerk reaction to be the “fixer” in your family and at work?

Distorted Desire

In your quest to obtain integrity, and being a good woman, this desire can become distorted and turned into perfectionism. As an Enneagram Type One woman, your growth involves learning to balance your desire for perfection with self-compassion and acceptance. It’s important to recognize that no one, including yourself, is perfect, and that it’s okay to strive for excellence versus perfection. At times mistakes will be made and that is OK. In life, this is how we learn and grow.

The Path of Transformation
The path of transformation for you as an Enneagram Type One, involves disarming your Inner Critic, moving toward more flexibility, and compassion, while still maintaining your core values and principles.

Quieting Your Inner Critic

Learn to quiet your Inner Critic. It replicates all of the critical messages it heard from your parents and authority figures. Begin to challenge this inner dialogue . One simple technique is to simply say, “Stop, I am not listening to you.” Then replace the negative statement with a positive one.

Since this is such an important component for personal growth, I highly recommend reading, Embracing Your Inner Critic: Turning Self-Criticism into a Creative Asset by Hal and Sindra Stone.

Embracing Imperfection
Inner growth involves recognizing that perfection is unattainable. As you lessen the grip of your Inner Critic, the part of you that convinces you that you have to be perfect, you will begin to let go of perfectionism .

Reconnecting to Your Inner Child
Reconnect to your Inner Child that has been repressed for so many years. Take time to think about what made you feel freer, happier, more relaxed and then make a commitment to begin doing what makes your heart sing.

Cultivating Flexibility
You have a tendency to have a strong sense of how things should be done and can become rigid or inflexible when your expectations are not met. Personal growth involves learning to be more adaptable and open-minded, acknowledging that there are many valid perspectives and ways of doing things. Developing greater flexibility will allow you to respond more effectively to life’s challenges and uncertainties.

Developing Empathy
Your keen sense of justice and morality can sometimes lead to judgmental attitudes towards others who don’t meet your standards. Personal growth involves developing greater empathy and understanding towards others, recognizing that everyone has their own struggles and challenges. Building connections with others based on empathy and compassion can deepen your relationships and enrich your life.

Fostering Inner Peace
Ultimately, growth involves finding inner peace and contentment, even in the midst of imperfection and uncertainty. This may involve cultivating mindfulness practices, such as meditation or yoga, which help you stay grounded and present in the moment. By letting go of the need for constant control and perfection, you can find greater peace and fulfillment in your life.

Stepping Onto Your Path of Transformation
Overall, the path of your transformation is learning to balance your desire for excellence and righteousness with greater self-acceptance, flexibility, and compassion for self and others. By embracing your imperfections and learning to live with greater openness you can experience deeper levels of personal growth and fulfillment.

To gain a fuller understanding of the Enneagram and your personality type I recommend reading , Deep Living with the Enneagram: Recovering Your True Nature written by my mentor, Roxanne Howe Murphy,Ed.D, Enneagram scholar, author, and coach.

I am honored to be one of a specialized group of coaches who offer Enneagram coaching. Reach out for a free 30 minute consultation if you are interested in learning more about Enneagram Personality Type One.