Enneagram Type 7 - The Entertaining Optimist
Epicure, Visionary, Enthusiast, Jack-of-All-Trades, Adventurer, Innovator, Dilettante
Worldview of the 7
You are an upbeat, spontaneous, and energetic person that strives for stimulation by focusing on what is new, novel and exciting. You are eternally optimistic about life’s possibilities. Your creative problem solving skills can make you a grand visionary, breakthrough inventor and inspiring leader.
Your potential problems of focusing and following through with the details of execution can limit your effectiveness in your work and with your team. Your keys to growth include opening to pain and negativity (and the information they provide), and ceasing the spinning of pleasurable future possibilities-- in order to find satisfaction in the present moment.
What You Are Great At
Being optimistic in difficult situations.
Looking on the bright side and seeing the best in people.
Being adventurous, enthusiastic and fun-seeking.
Accepting life as inherently fluid and changing.
Having an inventive, imaginative and creative mind.
Seeing possibility and opportunity even after apparent setbacks.
Inspiring others with big ideas and grand plans for the future.
Charming others and winning them over with playful teasing.
Being a jack of all trades and being self-confident, competent, and willing to try anything.
Letting go of the past and forgiving yourself and others.
Considering multiple options rather than just one course of action.
Synthesizing diverse and complex concepts and systems.
You want to be fascinating, optimistic, stimulated, and enthusiastic; but most importantly, you want to be creative, positive, and excited. You see yourself as fun-loving, and are naturally upbeat. You see possibilities that others miss.
You may have problems with gluttony, always aiming for the bigger, better deal. Under stress, you may be scattered, overly happy, jaded or greedy. At your best, you are inspirational, visionary, playful, loving and joyful.
What Drives You
Driven by the need to have pleasurable, exciting experiences and to avoid being trapped in negativity, pain and deprivation, you crave satisfaction and contentment in life. Not wanting to be limited, restricted or left out, you seek excitement, diversity, freedom, positive energy, and stimulating engagement.
Inner World of the 7
Your core fear is of feeling emotional pain when deprived, trapped, limited, criticized, or when you miss out in a world full of abundance and exciting possibilities. Being disappointed, or being disappointing to others can trigger the crushing experience of being trapped in emotional pain without end and may cause you to prematurely exit situations before gaining the lessons and wisdom that emotional distress can offer.
Your core fear of being stuck in pain can also be expressed as avoidance of negative emotions or anything that limits your freedom. You may fear not having what you want in life, being bored, or missing out on something pleasurable.
To be happy, excited, satisfied, and fulfilled so you can follow your fascinations and your heart's desires.
You need self-confidence, options, and the opportunity to be positive and optimistic. Because you are always on the lookout for the BBD (bigger, better deal), you need flexible, fluid plans.
If you have open-ended plans, you can go with the flow. Flexibility gives you the option to change your mind at the last minute.
The world is full of exciting options, concepts, experiences, and possibilities. Life is too short to get stuck in bad situations or to put up with limitations. There's always a silver lining on every cloud.
Having lots of options and possibilities.
Planning for a pleasurable future.
Passionate pursuit of a meaningful vision.
Creativity & Imagination.
What is new novel and interesting.
Exciting ideas, plans adventures.
What is fun, unusual and collectable.
Funny people and situations.
Colorful and creative art with a sense of humor.
Happy encounters with upbeat, positive and interesting people.
Being Criticized (especially if it is a surprise).
Being trapped (especially in a painful situation).
Being limited or confined.
Being told what to do.
Negative and complaining people.
Being thought of as flakey and uncommitted.
Being trapped in emotional pain.
Following up on the details.
Outer World of the 7
You charm, disarm, and rationalize. You deflect and turn lemons into lemonade. You imagine a brighter future and focus on the possibility of future or imminent fulfillment.
Impact of Strategies
You feel free of restraints, uninhibited, and able follow your excitement. You feel like you can have everything that is of interest to you.
What's Great About You
You are creative, innovative, entertaining, interesting, and infectiously optimistic. You quickly synthesize ideas, reframe problems, and adapt to changing environments.
Attention goes to...
Sevens’ attention goes to a positive future, planning, their imagination and multiple options. Sevens can become paralyzed by options because they are afraid of missing out. They may feel like a child running down the aisles of a toy store who is fearful of choosing one toy and missing out on the rest.
Operating System of the 7
At Your Best
You are fun-loving, creative, adventurous, and inspiring person who focuses on the bright side in any given situation--even when faced with apparent negativity or obstacles. You easily reframe challenges into opportunities, and adapt to changing circumstances. Your quick mind readily comprehends the big picture, synthesizes concepts, and generates new ideas and ingenious solutions to complex problems.
Forward thinking and futuristic in orientation, you are great at innovating, planning, and goal setting. You see the world as full of exciting possibilities and want to taste everything life has to offer. Your open mind, ability to multitask, positive focus and multidimensional thinking can make you a great asset to any team in the areas of inspiration, shared vision and purpose, clear and meaningful goals, and continuous learning.
When your focus is so resolutely set on seeking pleasure and avoiding pain you tend to avoid unpleasant feelings by spinning positive ideas or planning for good times ahead. Your natural desire to multi-task can cause your attention to become scattered in too many different directions rather than being focused and directed. Your love of life in all its shapes, sizes, shapes and forms can express itself as “fear of missing out” and endlessly seeking more and more of everything that is of interest to you.
If dissatisfaction or boredom set in, you might go looking for a bigger, better deal, or new opportunity rather than working with what is already available. Because you desire to keep your options open, it may be difficult for you to stop expanding your vision, set limits and complete the task at hand in the time allotted. You struggle with making long-term commitments and tolerating anything repetitious or mundane.
Your positive front and happy face can mask fears of facing emptiness and pain. Seeking new experiences can reinforce a sense of being unfulfilled, and a cycle of wanting and emptiness ensues. if you “move on” too quickly or overlook other people’s needs while meeting your own they can feel unmet, unimportant or left behind.
What Holds You Back
Thinking fulfillment is somewhere else or in the future.
Disliking or avoiding being tied down and only going after what is new and novel.
Being scattered by focusing on too many options at the same time.
Having difficulty keeping promises and commitments.
Leaving when a situation becomes uncomfortable instead of working it out.
Being focused on your own experience and less sensitive to others.
Bending important rules, procedures, or processes and that hierarchy and authority can be sidestepped.
Thinking that attending to details or problems is tedious and small-minded.
Being disappointed when your dreams aren’t realized or reality sets in.
Procrastinating on tasks or projects you’ve committed to.
Avoiding the depths of human experience and missing the transformational aspects of real pain.
Lacking focus or the ability to tame the “monkey mind” and missing important details or pitfalls in overly idealistic plans.
You may cope with negative emotions, experiences, and events by positively reframing them and imagining a brighter future. When aly discouraged, you may feel better by thinking that fulfillment will come around the next corner or with the next new experience.
Emotional challenges may be mentally analyzed or rationalized rather than felt. Pain tends to be avoided by distracting with anything enjoyable, even if it is only in your imagination. You may avoid conflict by justifying yourself, blaming the other, or leaving when uncomfortable.
You may defend yourself through deflection and by reframing negative experiences into positives. You also rationalize by seeing things through rose colored glasses and believing things are the way you want them to be and that you have good reasons for your intentions and actions.
You can idealize by being overly optimistic, and you may live in the mind rather than feel your emotions or full experience your direct experience of life. You may at times feel the need to manipulate people or situations and deny realities in order to keep the experiences positive and pleasurable.
Hot Buttons & Triggers
Feeling trapped, stuck or bored.
Feeling shut down, cut off or limited from options.
Being criticized or made wrong.
Having your intuition, expertise or competence questioned.
Being seen as dull or boring.
Being overwhelmed by commitments and tedious details.
Facing painful emotions.
Having to do restricting, boring and mundane tasks.
Feeling controlled or micromanaged; being told what to do.
Facing conflict in relationships.
Missing out on exciting opportunities.
Expectations and limitations.
Your focus on future possibilities can blind you to what is happening in the present moment or to unpleasant realities that you don’t want to experience. When you passionately cling to the light, the positive and the upbeat, you may not be able to see when your thinking is unrealistic or overly idealistic. It can also keep you from seeing your own foibles, ulterior motives or negative intents.
Over-focusing on needing things to be positive you may miss opportunities to correct problems in the early stages. When you are caught up in “shiny object syndrome” and are focused on getting whatever you think will bring more joy, you become blind to how being scattered, distracted, and overcommitted actually causes pain or becomes a burden to maintain.
You probably also miss that people and projects can suffer when you suddenly become disinterested or exit. Your optimism can make you think things are mastered or finished before they actually are. You might see yourself as “already there,” --avoiding exploration of your depths and the process of growth.
Mistaken Beliefs / Trap
It is a cognitive mistake to believe that happiness is something that needs to be pursued or that it comes from pleasurable experiences. True joy and satisfaction come when you aren’t seeking anything, but when you can just stop and notice what is already there. It is also a cognitive mistake to think, “things are okay because you need to think they are,” “things are done because you think they’re done,” or “everything is fine now because it will be fine soon.” You may hold tightly to the mistaken belief that “regardless of what is happening right now, satisfaction and happiness are sure to be found around the next corner.
In fact, avoiding pain and problems often makes them worse. Not facing pain directly can ultimately cause more pain. Actually being “okay” with life may require you to open to all of your experiences and even embrace hurt and negativity.
Growth Journey of the 7
Your transformation journey involves:
You tame your monkey mind and are content with the magic of the present moment rather than an imagined future.
You realize that there is actually fullness (not emptiness) inside you.
You stop seeking happiness in the chase of experiences, and claim joy here and now - because you are already whole and complete as you are.
When you fear being deprived you may feel like a “hungry ghost” and trapped in dissatisfaction. When the need to experience pleasure and avoid pain is front and center, you can be consumed with getting something you want and be unaware of others’ needs. No matter how much you get, you may still feel fulfilled.
In your passionate pursuits, you may become demanding, and insensitive to others’ feelings and experiences. You may go on overdrive and become hyper-actively compelled to move in many different directions at once, overestimating your actual ability to follow through with all of your commitments.
The mind may spin with many seemingly good ideas that you compulsively feel the need to act on. This lack focus can cause you to lose your ability to discriminate and determine what actually needs to be done. When you don’t follow through on commitments, it can compromise your work and relationships.
An Average Day
As you start to see the never-ending cycle of seeking pleasure to try to avoid pain, you become more aware of the fulfillment that lies in opening to all of life’s experiences, including those that seem less enjoyable. Your relationships become more intimate and satisfying the more you can stay with your own and others’ grief, disappointment, pain and hurt. You are more and more tuned into others’ experiences and less self-absorbed by your own need to run from uncomfortable feelings.
Your positive outlook and forward thinking become great assets the more grounded you are in life’s real adventure of loving and growing with others. Able to keep many balls in the air at the same time, you achieve greater focus and mastery of many subjects. You now lead with greater sensitivity, true collaboration, and real results.
In The Zone
Seeing through the need to make things happen to avoid emptiness and negativity, you are able to feel the deep satisfaction and “fullness” in the stillness of the present moment. You are able to connect with others in a deep and meaningful way that does not abandon or dismiss anyone in their experience. Responsive to others, inspiring dreams of greatness, and extraordinarily energized and creative, all options are now truly open to you and others in your life.
Having delved deeply into your own inner dynamics and at home in the entire range of human experience, you may lead others through their own growth journeys and become an inspiring example of how to face one’s own “demons” to realize one’s true potential. Your positivity shines forth as deep gratitude and radiant vision of life as it is now. You are humbled by the beauty of life, from the most “mundane” to the most “divine.”
Keys to Growth
Develop excitement about the discipline necessary for the focus and follow through that enables true mastery.
To further improve your leadership ability, work on long-term commitment and resist the urge to change solely for the sake of change or something new.
Break big things down into smaller chunks and see things through before taking on another new and exciting venture.
Channel your fascination for life and experience into developing deeper connection and going below the surface with people.
Become familiar with the ways you avoid your feelings. For instance, watch when charm and humor are used to deflect from deep experience and conflict.
To further support the team, work on empathy, cooperation, and patience.
To work more collaboratively, really listen to others’ experiences. Don't assume you know. Put yourself in the other person's shoes and try to see your actions from their perspective.
Practice receiving feedback and facing uncomfortable issues directly. Resist the urge to fight or flee when things get tense.
To make even better decisions, focus on values prioritization so that you make the best all-around decision, rather than the most exciting one or the one you are most interested in right now.
When making decisions about where to focus time and energy, choose quality over quantity; become more discerning about your commitments.
Examine your compulsive need to act when feeling prompted by a good idea or stimulating possibility; carefully consider your options.
Notice your tendencies to exaggerate, self-promote, and over-estimate your competencies.
Type 7 In the Workplace
Working with Others
You are energetic, upbeat, creative with a playful sense of humor which is enjoyable to others. Highly expressive, you tend to communicate with passionate enthusiasm that is contagious. You are a true visionary that loves to brainstorm ideas to explore all possible options.
Open-minded and flexible you thrive on variety, spontaneity, and new challenges. You love to use metaphors and stories to keep things interesting.
On the other hand, when something loses its fascination, you tend to quickly move on to something new and may leave unfinished work and cause others to be disappointed. You love to be in constant motion and have many balls in the air, but the commitments required to keep them in the air can be overwhelming to you and others. Multi-tasking can also delay project completion and cause inefficiency.
You want to have fun at work by engaging with others, generating exciting new ideas, and keeping things moving in a way that feels interesting and productive. You work best in a fast-paced environment that offers interesting challenges, the ability to learn on the job, the freedom to be spontaneous and “wing it,” and keeps things on the cutting edge.
You are at your best when your projects are in the formative stages or just getting off the ground – when you still feel a sense of unlimited possibility and potential. You have a knack for analysis, making unexpected or novel associations between ideas, and synthesizing different streams of information in nonlinear, complex systems. Not liking the sense of being held down by strict deadlines or commitments, you may prefer open-ended agreements that can be revisited and renegotiated at your will.
You work less effectively in a work environment that is highly structured, rigid about deadlines, and restricts your creativity or freedom. Enjoying coming and going as you please, you may side-step those who hold you to expectations or schedules. You can be easily bored with routines, repetitive tasks, and anything that feels mundane.
At times you can be overly idealistic and emphatically pursue an unrealistic idea and only shift when you believe that new information warrants a change. Following through, attending to details, meeting deadlines, and delivering outputs can all be challenges for you. Being questioned, challenged, or made to feel wrong by others can unexpectedly deflate your idealized positive sense of yourself and trigger rebelliousness and/or defensiveness.
You are an egalitarian and enjoy shared authority where you can feel free and unobstructed. You may be open to taking direction when you feel your ideas are considered and valued and when you have a chance to weigh in on the issues at hand. Sometimes overvaluing your own ideas or contributions, you may get yourself into trouble by trying to maneuver around someone else’s higher authority or position.
Constructive feedback can feel like criticism and dismissal of your potential. When you feel someone else’s agenda is being pushed on you, it may trigger your fear of being trapped without any options and cause you to be rebellious.
Wanting to stay positive, you may be elusive and/or avoidant about conflict, especially with authority. You may manipulate or charm your way into others’ good graces and into good standing.
You lead with charm and energy, inspiring others with big ideas on how to make the future brighter. Others readily follow your excitement and innovative ideas, particularly when projects or initiatives are in the early phases and people feel they are contributing to something great. You like to lead by developing plans and then delegating the execution of mundane tasks and details to others.
When something no longer holds your interest, you generally move on to the next frontier, which can cause others to feel abandoned and unimportant. If they are left “holding the bag” or have to complete details you leave undone, they can begin to see you as unreliable or untrustworthy. Your preferred management style is “hands off”.
You give others lots of freedom and prefer to hire independent, talented people who can do what you expect of them with minimal supervision. This style may at times be empowering but at other times, it can seem insensitive because it can be interpreted as uncaring about the challenges team members are facing, which can feel demoralizing and unsupportive.
Richard Branson, Tim Allen, Antonio Banderas, Terry Bradshaw, Michael Caine, Joseph Campbell, Jackie Chan, Chevy Chase, Cher, George Clooney, Joan Collins, Francis Ford Coppola, Katie Couric, David Crosby,, Peter Fonda, George Foreman, Michael J. Fox, Cary Grant, George Hamilton, Tom Hanks, Richard Harris, Goldie Hawn, Ron Howard, Mick Jagger, Thomas Jefferson, Steve Jobs, Magic Johnson, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Michael Keaton, John F. Kennedy, Don King, Larry King, Timothy Leary, Loretta Lynn, John Madden, Ricky Martin, Meat Loaf, Eddie Murphy, Jack Nicholson, Peter O’Toole, Regis Philbin, Brad Pitt, Dennis Quaid, Ram Dass, Lee Remick, Geraldo Rivera, Linda Ronstadt, Charlie Rose, David Lee Roth, Rosalind Russell, Babe Ruth, Martin Scorsese, Martin Short, Sissy Spacek, Steven Spielberg, Robert Louis Stevenson, Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Lily Tomlin, Dick Van Dyke, Vince Vaughn, Voltaire, Betty White, Robin Williams.