What Your Personality Type Reveals About Your Greatest Personal Weakness

Old habits die hard, but you can overcome them.

Last updated on Apr 21, 2023

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The inner critic is part of your ego. Your ego is your personality. You could not survive in the world without it.

According to the spiritual and psychological theory known as the Enneagram of Personality, sometime in the first few months of your life, you take on one of nine different personality types.

The traits and characteristics of your particular type influence the way you intuitively engage with the world. Knowing more about your personality orientation helps you better understand how you are different from and similar to others. This helps you recognize your greatest personal strengths and weaknesses, make choices in life, and stay safe.


Unfortunately, your inner critic can be a big jerk.

The trouble begins when you reach maturity and become aware of your negative self-talk, stirring up self-doubt. If you do not become aware of your personality type and how it impacts you, you will miss out on much in life.

One way to get a hold of how your inner critic controls you is by learning more about the nine Enneagram personalities.

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How to avoid uninformed choices and lost opportunities

According to the Enneagram Institute, the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI®) test "helps us to see ourselves at a deeper, more objective level and can be of invaluable assistance on our path to self-knowledge."

You get yourself into the most trouble when you make uninformed choices and lose opportunities in life because you are stuck in old habits and thought patterns that no longer serve you.

Your inner critic is part of the ego that tries to keep you safe by keeping you stuck in your personality, acting like it wants to protect you. But your inner critic also prefers the familiar rather than uncharted territory. The familiar is the automatic habits you stick to without thinking.

If you remain imprisoned in your personality's weaknesses, you will be miserable.


With practice, you can begin noticing when your inner critic is talking to you. It's that negative voice telling you that you're not good enough, that you're stupid, and that nobody loves you.

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Here are the greatest personal weaknesses and how to overcome them based on your Enneagram personality type

Type 1: the Reformer

Your inner critic is always complaining that you are not doing it correctly. It is always telling you that you need to improve and do better. It can put a lot of pressure on you by saying to you that something terrible is going to happen if you don’t get it right.

When the inner critic is getting harsh with you, you are more likely going to get tough on others. You think that the poor choices of others are going to reflect poorly on you and that they are going to interfere with all the excellent work you are doing to make the world a better place.


Type 2: the Helper

Your inner critic is always telling you that you are not lovable. It wants to prevent you from being hurt by working extra hard to be accepted. It will also tell you that you have to earn love from those around you and will keep insisting that you need to go out of your way to help others.

It further insists that if the people don’t respond in the way you would like them to you need to go and tell them off. The inner critic will encourage you to confront anyone who is not obedient to you. The inner critic wants to make you feel like a Queen or King and that everyone around you should treat you like that.

In the end, the inner critic will lead you to self-hatred, telling you that the person left you or didn’t do what you wanted because you were not good enough. You were not worthy of their love. It can leave you in a sad place.

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Type 3: the Achiever

Your inner critic is always evaluating your success. It wants you to notice if people are acknowledging how hard you are working. Have you met your sales goals? Have you done everything possible to be the best at what you do?

Whenever you try to slow down, your inner critic keeps pushing you to work hard, not letting you take any time for self-care.

Whenever you achieve your goals, your inner critic will push you to do something even grander. Every new task you take on you will force you to work harder. You will need to change your behavior to fit whatever business or project you are working on.

Type 4: the Individualist

Your inner critic is always trying to compare yourself with others. It keeps insisting that you will never fit in. It will tell you over and over that nobody will ever understand you. It will emphasize that you need to prove to the world how different you are.


Your inner critic will encourage you to indulge in your favorite emotions. Your moods will reflect back to you what your inner critic is harassing you to think.

It will try to convince you that only through your moods you will know that you are indeed alive.

The inner critic is a big jerk because it forgets to tell you that your feelings are always changing. It avoids mentioning to you that staying stuck in depressive emotions for long periods of time only leads to misery for yourself and those around you.


Type 5: the Investigator

Your inner critic is always calling on you to retreat to your inner self. It wants you to stay safe by learning a topic well. It wants you to learn all that is possible to learn and not talk about it until you feel knowledgeable enough.


The inner critic wants to instill in you a fear of being found out that you don’t know enough. It doesn't want you to be embarrassed. It doesn't want you to be humiliated. So to do this, you need to be very cautious about what you say and to whom.

Your inner critic is only concerned with your mind. It will continually dissuade you from paying attention to your body and your heart. The danger is that you can become an island to yourself disconnected from family and friends.

Type 6: the Loyalist

Your inner critic is keeping you alert for all the dangers you and your loved ones face. It will try to keep you hyper-vigilant, watching carefully for any threat that might come your way.

Your inner critic will get you to question your abilities. It will get you to check out any decisions you are about to make with friends, families and so-called experts. You will be compelled to get as many opinions as possible.


It will judge you for experiencing anxiety and get you to try and fix yourself making the anxiety worse and worse. The inner critic's judgment will cause you to try and fix others, making you feel even worse.

When feeling threatened, your inner critic encourages you to protect yourself from being hurt through cynicism. Your cynicism will turn friends, family, and colleagues away from you.

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Type 7: the Enthusiast

Your inner critic will do everything in its power to keep you busy, having fun, and going on adventures. This is all to keep you from feeling any emotional and/or physical pain and it's desperate to keep you away from any problematic emotions.


However, it also causes you to get bored quickly and lets you off the hook if you are bored with a task. It invites you to abandon the job because there is always something more exciting to do, and lets you blow off any responsibility.

The inner critic makes it clear that any person who tries to force them to slow down or force them to complete a task is no friend. Your friend has to be someone who joins you on your adventures and does what you want them to do.

Type 8: the Challenger

Your inner critic wants to protect your vulnerable feelings, emotions, and heart. The inner critic is only too happy to help you put up protective walls to prevent you from being emotionally hurt.

The inner critic is also there to ensure that no one will stop you on any of your projects. It is there to help you to force your way ahead, even if means hurting others.


It is a force to be reckoned with and will blind you to the power you are using. You will have no idea how others are experiencing you.

Your inner critic will make it difficult for you to slow down because only languages are power and force. It thinks that confrontation is the only way to go and makes you nervous about inner reflection because it doesn't want your heart to be hurt ever again.

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Type 9: the Peacemaker

Your inner critic tries to keep you safe by convincing you that you are unimportant and that no one really cares about you. The only way for you to survive is to keep everyone calm at any cost to you.


The inner critic will try hard to make you feel insignificant. If you have no importance to others, you are not going to create any conflict.

It also gets angry with you if you allow any conflict to happen in any group you are part of. If there is a conflict, there is danger and you better fix it.

The inner critic will make it difficult for you to speak your mind because it is too risky. It will insist that calm is more important than expressing your needs.

The trouble is that eventually after days and months of not having your needs respected and wanting to be taken seriously you explode. So, you easily become passive-aggressive.

You have an inner critic and it wants to keep you safe by insisting you stay in your Enneagram type, which it knows best, and fighting it will only make it worse.


But, you can find freedom from your inner critic by learning to notice how it is impacting the decisions you are making in life. The inner critic is a big jerk...until you understand it.

Through your personality type, the Enneagram can point out how the inner critic is operating in your life. The more you are aware of it, the more you are free to choose different options.

The inner critic will never disappear and will often show itself during stressful times. But, with practice, you can befriend your inner critic by paying attention to it and letting it know that you, as an adult, are most capable of making the right decisions.

The more you stay grounded in your three energy centers — the heart, body, and mind — the less need your inner critic will have to mess around with your life.


When the three are working well together, there is no place for the inner critic. It knows you are safe and in good hands. It recognizes that the universe will take care of you.

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Roland Legge is an author, Certified Spiritual Life Coach, and teacher of the Enneagram. He helps people connect to their inner selves and find alignment with their highest purpose and values.