Good day, person reading this post!
I would like to share some personal thoughts on what identity means to me as well as my perspective on the debate of the assumption of the questionable authenticity of enneagram type 3s. I welcome anyone to chime in, especially any other self-identified type 3s!
1. How I know who I am
Being a serial-overthinker and probably too introspective for my own good, I spend a lot of time in my head analyzing both the decisions of others as well as my own decisions in the interest of understanding motivation. While I will never presume to understand another person completely, I know my own heart. I know what wakes me up in the morning and I know who is important to me. Like any other human, my identity is formed from a combination of my own self-perception and the feedback I receive from others. This doesn't mean that I allow others to define or constrict me, but I aspire to use their feedback as a constructive reality check. It's important for me to know that others understand what I'm trying to communicate.
For those who believe Type 3s must be the most out of touch with their inner sense of self, I would argue they may be the most in touch. To become the best, you have to know exactly what you're starting with.
In my vocabulary, lazy is an insult. Part of me is envious of others who can kick back and relax without a mental sand-timer counting down until a task needs to be completed and life return to a faster speed. Simultaneously, there is a part that is relieved that relaxing feels so uncomfortable with me. I wonder sometimes if my body believes itself to belong to a shark, as though I would die if I stopped moving.
3. On why changing so often is my "normal"
To be able to pinpoint behaviours, habits and processes and be able to change them is a liberating thing. For me this means I can be the person I want to be. I can be the most authentic and truthful version of myself because I choose to act and live with intention. It's not because I mean to deceive or take advantage of anyone else. It honestly has very little to do with anyone else. It has to do with who I want to see looking back at me in the mirror, being able to wake up knowing I'm on my most honest path to my goals and dreams. Being the friend, sister, athlete, _____, I most want to be. Giving to life/others the best/most I can.
These significant changes usually correlate to the strategy I've mentally mapped to achieve a new goal. If I want to compete in a marathon, I need to live like an athlete in body and mind. If I want to discover a new talent or opportunity, I need to immerse all my effort into it. I want to dive off the cliff with the right combination of bungee harness or swimming skills, depending on the challenge ahead.
4. Faking it to make it
Change takes time, and the best way to achieve change is to live as though you have already changed. Live as the person you want to be. Maybe this can account for the sense of "fake" others perceive in some type 3s. Maybe sudden change or adaption is an innate skill type 3s share. Everyone makes changes in their lives, like eating more healthy food for example. I think I can just flip my "change switch" with more ease than others.
I'm pretty cocky, headstrong and overconfident. Might not make me the cuddliest teddy bear, and I'm working on being aware of social situations where peace is more important than being the best and trying to practice more humility.
However, if I want to achieve things that are larger than life and I don't believe in myself, how should I expect anyone else to?
6. Enormous amounts of conflict
When the conceptualized "image" of who I want to be does not jive with the goal in mind, there is a significant amount of inner conflict. When this is happening, there are some very special people in my life (who love me despite how annoying I am) who can call me out for being fake, that they are worried I am lying to myself. This is a huge clue for me to ask "why is (a) or (b) important to me? is it really what I want or just what I think I want? could I be doing it to make someone else happy?" and then deal with that as gracefully as possible.
Ugh too much information, but I'm curious to see if it strikes a chord with anyone or helps to deconflict anyone who thinks we 3s are just big fat liars. (We're really just delusional-idealists)