I think it is because 3s lack a sense of intrinsic value. they don't grasp the concept of self love and acceptance for it's own sake. to a 3, they think that surely these things are conditional, so they spend their lives looking for positive external feedback. feedback to "measure" their worth or give them worth in the first place. these things could range from
- various abilities (high intelligence, good at sports, possessing a brilliant soprano singing voice)
- high external metrics (such as grades, income etc)
essentially, the 3 is looking for proof
- proof that they are worth something
- proof that they've "earned" what they have. for instance, when a 3 sees a confident person, the tendency is to think "what did he do that makes him so confident?"
in reality though neither of these things need proof. you can to love yourself, you can choose to feel valuable, you can choose to form a positive self concept. and that's all the reason you need, because you choose to.
a healthy, self actualized 3 is one who can get back in touch with this idea of intrinsic value and becomes a human being as opposed to a human doing. they will still be very motivated, ambitious and seek accomplishments, because even a healthy person, this feels good, but this tendency is kept in perspective by the knowledge that they are fine just the way they are and don't need to prove themselves to the world for the sake of self worth.
you're a 3 who is knowledgeable of the enneagram. would you say this is an accurate description?
you're considering 3 as your core type. does this sound like you?