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The Challenger


The Challenger


  • Direct

  • Authoritative

  • Loyal

  • Energetic

  • Protective

  • Self-confident

  • Resourceful

  • Motivated by a steady inner drive

  • Making things happen

  • Compassionate

  • Big- hearted

  • Taking care of others

  • Honorable

  • Natural leaders

  • Looking after the interests of others

  • Self-surrendering

  • Courageous

  • Forgiving

  • Honorable

  • Honest

  • Respecting others

  • Seeing the value in differences

  • Dignified

  • Possessing generosity

  • Vulnerable

It is important for you: 

to control, defend your vulnerability, be right, and get things moving in work or play.

You do not feel good: 

when you have a thought that you can be hurt by others and become controlled by them.

The people of this type are self-confident and assertive. They are gifted with an inner strength and unlimited amount of energy which, if used in a thoughtful way, could bring prosperity to them and those around. They love taking on challenges and creating opportunities for others, helping them to expand their capabilities. Naturally, they involve others into their ideas and lead the path to a greater vision. Loving, caring and always taking more on their shoulders, they create an image of the strong person which becomes an authority for a lot of people.


In the early days, children of this type decide that their mother repelled them. They felt betrayed, and there they made the decision to take care of themselves independently. Growing up with the feeling of betrayal, they project this expectation of treason onto people around them. ​

In the childhood of a Challenger, there is one more very important step in the development of their personality; they notice that, in life, the ones who are stronger, more famous and more important, have the ability to push their ideas and solutions on others, regardless of whether they are correct. Therefore, they further strengthen their established belief that "I must be strong" and extend it to “so I can defend the weak.”


In their hearts, people of this type are very delicate, sensitive, and vulnerable. They perceive these qualities as weaknesses and try to hide them from the world. They hide them so well that they themselves forget they have them. They learn through life that you should control your surroundings and the people around you. They are certain that they cannot show their vulnerable side, and that is how they cover their true personality: with the image of being a strong person. They take a lifelong path to prove that they can stand up for themselves and that they are not afraid of anyone.


Eights are individualists; and more than any other type, they try to keep themselves as independent as possible. They try to protect themselves at any cost, holding an inner map which is divided between to “my circle” — those I trust — and all the rest. By having this approach, they tend to look after those who are in their circle, and use others for their greater visions. Eights do not like being under the control of others, and they keep themselves away from being harmed, controlled or violated in any way. They transfer this fear to anyone they meet, unconsciously keeping others at a safe emotional distance.

Eights often feel hurt and rejected (divorced, humiliated, fired, criticized), and it takes a brave heart to admit to themselves their part of vulnerability. When that happens, they take themselves on an inner journey where they face their grief, which helps to reconnect with their hearts. They unlock the inner blocks that were holding them back, and rediscover their strength by feeling connection to everything around them. They understand that being at war with the world is counterproductive, and they see that controlling situations or people are actually a form of imprisonment. Eights rediscover how much they truly care about the people and their tenderness takes over their actions. By letting down their defenses, they come back home where they can finally express their true potential and qualities they dreamed about.

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What other people of your type say about themselves:

  • I have a lot of energy inside me.

  • Intuitively I know what is right and what is not.

  • It is very important to always have challenges.

  • I keep my distance from others; I am afraid to be hurt.

  • I do not like being controlled by others.

  • I love speaking directly.

  • The majority of the time I do not find any barriers to reaching my goals.

  • I rarely make mistakes or fail to achieve my goals when I contemplate and spend time considering my strategy.

  • It is hard for me to apologize and accept my own mistakes.

  • I divide people into two categories: “my people” and all others.

  • My life is a constant battle.

  • I do not let anyone hurt me.

  • I have my opinion on everything in life.

  • Most of the time I have to fight and stand up for my opinion.

  • I discover my boundaries by testing them.

Image by Drew Beamer

Questions to help understand yourself better

Do you think that people are either strong or weak? And do you believe that, in order to survive in this world, you need to be strong? 

Do you think that emotionality, forgiveness and sensitivity means weakness?

Do you communicate in a straightforward manner, and do you value others who act in that same way? 

Do you feel like sometimes people are afraid of you? And for you, it feels like a sign of power and authority?

Do you feel like every day is a battle?

If you answered “yes” 4 out of 5 times, you most likely hold

the dominant personality type of Challenger.

Common mistypings: Type 3, Type 6, Type 7


Material & sexual dominance
Seek power
Stirred by failure
Become intimidating
Unconcerned with image


Social status
Seek validation
Scared of failure
Become devious
Concerned with image


Offer protection
Pressure others
Lucid anger


Need protection
Feel pressured
Irrational outbreaks
Give in


Practices for personal growth:

Pay attention when your behavior hides a desire to protect yourself. Ask yourself, “What am I afraid of? Who is trying to hurt me and how?” We often act on autopilot without questioning the behavior that has been learned in childhood and might not serve us anymore in the present.



Bring awareness into moments when, instead of sharing your true feelings, you are trying to maintain the image of a strong person. A stronger connection emerges when we allow real feelings to be exchanged with others.


Remember, the world is not against you. You are cared about and needed by the people in your circle. By treating them as if they are against you, you create a wall through which you cannot see their true intentions. You do not allow yourself to accept what others really want to give you. Pay attention to those you care about. Share with them how they really matter to you.


Notice when you are using more energy than the situation requires. For example when opening a door or holding something, pay attention to how much force you may be using. When talking to others, try to hear the tone of your voice.


Observe what vulnerability is to you. Allow yourself to experience things that seem weak to you, thus opening and liberating your heart. The vulnerable side of you is already part of every person on this planet; we either integrate it or avoid it by creating false day-to-day behaviors.

If you wish to discover more practices for personal growth,

check out our brand-new exercise book made specifically for Type Eight.

Enneagram Exercises

for personal growth

-TYPE 8-

The Challenger


This exercise book was created uniquely to support the personal growth of Enneagram type Eight.



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