Type One: The Need to get it Right

The Enneagram and You

You are amazing!  You are unique!  There is no one exactly like you!  You are entirely, you!

You are given in the first few months of life, one of nine ways to survive in the world. Your personality type is critical for your survival. Your ego helps you to see yourself as separate and distinct from the people around you, even your parents.

Your ego gives you a framework to make sense of the world and keep you safe. The trouble begins when we come of age and don’t realize how stuck you are in your type. You don’t understand how your personality is limiting your choices and threatening your freedom in the world.

Each personality type is no better or worse than others. They are just different.  Your type shows you where you are already stuck.  Working with this fantastic tool helps you to escape the limitations of your personality, getting you stronger in all nine types.

In this series of articles, I am going to take you on a journey through the nine Enneagram types.  Remember, you have all nine types within you.

To learn more about how your Enneagram Type Impacts what you observe and see in yourself: Click Here


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Enneagram Type: The Reformer

At Your Best

If you are a type one, you intuitively know there are better ways to function in the world, whether it is your family, club, community, country or world.

You know the world can be better than it is.  You know what needs doing.

Ethics are essential to you. You know that the journey towards justice is just as important as the final destination.  Having integrity is vital to you!

You think carefully about what is the best way to achieve your goals without hurting any person or doing anything destructive.

If you have hurt anyone, you are not afraid to apologize and make amends.

Your life mission is to educate the people of the world into living in greater harmony with each other and the whole earth.

You focus your hunger for social justice on a topic that is of concern to you. This concern can be local or international.

When you are well, you have a healthy perspective. You know that you can not change the world all by yourself.  You understand that the world will never be perfect.

You accept that not everyone is going to agree with your suggestions. You accept that you are not solely responsible for making the world okay.

You are okay knowing that you are doing your best.  You are not hard on yourself.

At your best, you are hardworking, determined, fair, honest, and compassionate. You are a great teacher helping people to see how they can make a difference in the world.

When you Lose Connection with Source

During times of stress, you will get caught up in your ego.  Your ego will remind you that you are good and okay if I do what is right.

The inner critic shows up whenever you try to do something new and different. The voice inside your head will be loud, demeaning, and critical.

To learn more about the Inner Critic: Click Here

As you get more and more stuck in the limitations of your personality, you get harder and harder on yourself.  You never feel satisfied with your accomplishments.

The harder you get on yourself, the harder you get on your family, friends and colleagues at work.

People around you will often experience you as perfectionistic, critical, intolerant and angry.

My Mother

I believe my Mom was a Reformer.  Mom was a generous and loving person.  She was sensitive and intuitive.

She was always concerned about other people. On any holiday, my mother welcomed people to our home so they would not be alone. She was happy to help any person she could.

Even at the end of her life, she was always concerned about her floormates in the nursing home. She always looked out for the needs of others.

Mom could be so hard on herself. She thought our house had to be immaculate.  When she felt it wasn’t up to standard, she would be stressed out. She would even clean up the house in preparation for the cleaning lady.

Mom was a great writer. Her penmanship was beautiful.  Her grammar was perfect. So it disturbed her when her son’s writing was not up to snuff.  She was always correcting my grammar and complained that my teachers were deficient in their teaching.

Mom was a profoundly spiritual woman, not uncommon for type ones.  She was an elder in the Religious Society of Friends. People would go to her for advice and wisdom.

She, like any type one, intuitively knew the best ways to go about everyday life.  For example, she felt the need to rinse everything and stack the dishes in perfect order before the washing began. The rinse water had to be scalding hot to kills any germs. You also had to wash the items in the correct order going from the dirtiest to the cleanest.

Mom had a hard time accepting that people had different opinions than her, especially on topics related to war and violence.  She could get angry with people who had a different point of view than her.

Even though I never doubted my Mom’s love for me, it was hard to hear all her criticism.  At times it felt crushing.


After learning about the Enneagram, I discovered that her criticism was her way of loving me.  It was essential for her that I learn to do things in the right way so I will be safe in the world.  I learned to forgive her.

If you are a type one, an important place to start is to become more forgiving of yourself.  You have too many high expectations for yourself.

The good news is that you are much more than type one. As you get healthier, you get more balanced in all the nine Enneagram Types.

Four  Ways to Get Healthier:

1.     Make sure you take time every day to do something self-nurturing.  You can support yourself by going for a walk, sitting down and having a coffee while looking out the window, having a massage, listening to music or anything else that helps you to relax.

2.     Learn to recognize and work with your anger. Give yourself the space to notice what makes you cynical or sarcastic.  I have learned that cynicism often shows itself to protect oneself from being hurt.

Learn to accept anger as a healthy and acceptable emotion. Discover what is underneath your anger. Is it sadness or disappointment?

Accept the truth that expressing anger does not make you unloveable.

Discover how anger can become a powerful agent for transformation when you use this powerful energy to make change in the world.

3.     At work, make sure your job is a good fit for you. You are not a failure if you need to let go of your current employment to find one that is a better fit for you.

You are not going to do everything perfectly because there is not enough time in a day. Learn to be okay with showing up and doing your best each day.

Learn to focus on your accomplishments rather than rehash your mistakes.  Don’t forget your humanity.  The universes never intended for you to be perfect. It is your imperfections that make you unique.

4.     In relationships, learn to forgive yourself and others for flaws and mistakes. Accept that the people you love are not going to do things in the same way as you do.

Be generous in your praise for others when you know they are doing their best.

Pay attention to the tone of your voice to ensure that you are not turning people off from you because your voice has become too harsh.

Most of all, catch yourself when you start to fantasize about how you are going to change other people.  Remember, the only person you can change is yourself.

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You are Amazing

Remember, all nine types are equally good and equally bad.  As a type one, your job is to get as healthy as you can in your type.

At the beginning of your Enneagram journey, you may only see the negative in your type. Don’t lose hope. As you spend more time discovering who you are, you will find more about the fantastic type one you are.

I am Roland Legge, an Identity Coach here to help you understand what makes you tick through the Enneagram.  You can join my private newsletter list for Free Monthly Advice and access your Free Online Enneagram Test

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