Type 8: Challenger

Lee Bladon 3:09 pm

Enneatype 8: The Challenger

Leader, Protector, Provider, Entrepreneur, Maverick, The Boss

Key Characteristics of Enneatype 8

Assertive, Self-Assured, Strong, Decisive, Active, Wilful, Direct, Independent, Go-Getter, Aggressive, Protective, Resourceful, Industrious, Charismatic, Persuasive, Inspiring, Straight-Talking, Rugged, Vitality, Controlling, Confrontational, Intimidating, Loner, Frosty, Insensitive, Angry.

General Description

Eights believe that strength is the answer to all of life’s problems, so they assert themselves over others to try to maintain control over their environment. They have little tolerance for (what they consider to be) weakness in themselves or others, so they have difficulty being receptive, vulnerable or showing their softer side, or allowing others to do so. Eights use passion, force and aggressive determination to get their own way and to mask their weaknesses. They always want to take charge, and find it difficult to go along with someone else’s wishes, because they don’t want to be subject to anyone else’s will. Eights passionately fight for what they believe in, and they are fierce defenders of (what they consider to be) the truth.

Characteristics of ennetype 8

Self-Preservation Eights

  • Can look like Ones.
  • Strong, direct, confident, independent, protective, productive and prepared.
  • They are survivors, driven by a powerful instinct to take care of themselves and their needs, especially material needs.
  • They are seen as pillars of strength and often assume the role of a guardian.
  • When their needs are not satisfied, they become frustrated and intolerant.
  • They don’t care much for social conventions and can appear unsociable.
  • They know how to do business, to negotiate and get the upper hand over anybody.
  • They would benefit from letting down their defences, expressing more thoughts and emotions, and depending on others for the fulfilment of some of their needs.

Sexual Eights

  • Strong, outspoken, provocative and rebellious, with some anti-social tendencies.
  • They don’t mind being seen as bad, in fact they actually quite like it.
  • They are passionate and intense, and can be charismatic and captivating.
  • They have a desire to serve a worthy cause, but only when they can take the lead or a significant role.
  • They are more emotional than other Eights; usually only showing “strong” emotions, but they occasionally surprise by showing a bit of their vulnerable side.
  • They would benefit from consciously expressing their softer, more vulnerable side, and exploring what lies beneath their need to rebel.

Social Eights

  • Countertype – Can look like Twos.
  • Unlike other Eights, these are friendly, helpful, loyal and supportive.
  • They usually only express aggression in service to others, e.g. protecting the weak or fighting injustice.
  • They are less rebellious than other Eights, but have little regard for arbitrary rules or societal conventions.
  • Having become a protector at a very early age, they have lost sight of their own needs for love, care and protection.
  • They would benefit from learning to consciously protect their inner child (as they protect other vulnerable people), and be open to receiving love, care and help from other people.

Evolutionary Behaviours
(when safe and relaxed)

  • Eights become more open-hearted and caring, like healthy Twos.
  • Eights become more perceptive and objective, like healthy Fives.
Enneagram type 8

Devolutionary Behaviours
(when stressed)

  • Eights become secretive and fearful, like unhealthy Fives.
  • Eights become co-dependent and take everything personally, like unhealthy Twos.

Eights with a Seven Wing

Independent, Practical, Industrious, Outspoken, Persuasive, Charismatic, Confident, Adventurous, Competitive, Exaggerate, Impatient, Impulsive, Intense, Confrontational.

Eights with a Seven Wing

Strong, Steady, Solid, Grounded, Practical, Uncomplicated, Easy-Going, Warm, Intuitive, Confident, Reassuring, Protective, Determined, Authoritative, Strategic, Stubborn.

General Advice for Eights

  • Acknowledge that your need to be in control is a strategy for avoiding your insecurities.
  • Relinquishing control doesn’t mean sacrificing your true power (in fact it is a sign of true strength), so allow other people to have their way sometimes.
  • Rather than using your power to control others, use it to help and inspire others.
  • The world is not against you, so let down your defences, feel your vulnerability and share your intimate feelings with those you really trust.

  Core Beliefs & Strategies of Enneatype 8

Lost Essential Quality: Strength

Essential Strength has a sense of aliveness, vitality, vibrancy, capability, courage, power and forcefulness.

Mental Ideal (Holy Idea):

Truth (True Nature)

The mind’s sense of the lost essential quality – where each individual is a unique aspect of the one ultimate Truth (True Nature).

Emotional Ideal (Virtue):

Innocence

The heart’s sense of the lost essential quality – the innocence, simplicity and wonder that comes from being one with true nature.

Core Belief: 

I am Vulnerable / Not Safe / Powerless / Not In Control

The loss of the essential quality (strength), the mental ideal (truth) and the emotional ideal (innocence) contribute to the development a core belief of being vulnerable to control or harm by others.

Core Motivation (to disprove the core belief):

To Protect Themselves (be Safe & In Control)

In an attempt to correct the core belief (vulnerable) and to reconnect with the essential quality (strength), the mental ideal (truth) and the emotional ideal (innocence), Eights develop a strong desire to protect themselves. They want to be safe and in control.

Mental Strategy (Fixation):

Justice

The ego-mind doesn’t see the one Truth (True Nature), so they become fixated on enforcing their own truth (self-defined justice).

Emotional Strategy (Passion):

Lust (for Power & Control)

They lust for power and control to counteract the vulnerability that comes from the loss of essential strength.

Ego Ideal (what we aspire to be): To be Powerful, Strong & Unassailable

The ego-ideal (to be powerful) is an aspirational idealised idea of ourself that incorporates the lost essential quality (True Nature).

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