Enneagram Type 8: Do You Really Know Yourself?

Enneagram Type 8

Enneagram Type 8 – The Challenger

What makes Enneagram Type 8 ‘s act the way they do? From their basic desires to their deepest fears, this article covers everything you need to know about Challengers.

Short Description: Key Personality Traits

Driven by their willpower, Challengers thrive to make their mark on the world. Due to their straight-forward and assertive nature, being in control of important decisions comes easy to them. However, their dominating side often overpowers their emotions making them short-fused and to some extend incapable of showing vulnerability with others as well as themselves.

Center of Intelligence

Brain IconInstinctive Center – leading with gut-feeling

Focus of Attention

Focus IconProtecting themselves and others

At Their Best

Thumbs Up IconInspiring

At Their Worst

Thumbs Down IconControlling

Basic Desire

Sun IconBeing in control
Being protected

Basic Fear

Cloud IconBeing controlled
Being weakened

Key Motivation

Motivation IconFeeling respected
Coming up with practical solutions
Being in charge and self-reliant
Physical exercise

In-Depth Description: Do You Really Know Yourself?

Challengers do not only enjoy challenging themselves, but also the people they care about. For them, challenges are opportunities for them to grow and become a better version of themselves. To protect themselves and their loved ones from potential harm, Challengers will constantly work on themselves to become stronger, quicker, and more assertive.

Another characteristic that defines Challengers is their underlying need to be in control. No matter which path Challengers decide to follow, it is extremely rare to find a Challenger that is not in charge. However, this is not the only trait that explains why Challengers often take on leading positions. Another reason is that even though their fearless determination can sometimes be overpowering to others, they can be very persuasive. Due to their capacity to voice themselves quickly and confidently, building a trusting following comes almost naturally to them.


Source: Pexels.com

However, once Challengers are in an authoritarian position it can be hard for them to value other’s opinions which can lead to interpersonal tensions. Challengers might feel misunderstood and rejected when such tensions arise as they do not understand other’s dissatisfactions since in their heads, they are simply looking out for them. Due to their basic fear of being out of control these situations are particularly difficult for Challengers.

Even in their personal lives, Challengers will often build up a wall as not to get hurt by others. By increasingly not giving into their emotions, being vulnerable around themselves let alone around others is almost unthinkable for an average Challenger. However, once they achieve emotional growth, they can be extraordinary and honorable leaders who aim to build the best world possible for the ones in their charge.

Common Addictions Enneagram Type 8 ‘s Might Face

Challengers might struggle more than other types with the following:

  1. Ignoring their physical health and medical check-ups:
    Challengers already feel like there are simply more important things to focus on in their fast-paced life. Due to their high protective spirit, Challengers often don’t want to be confronted with anything that could potentially indicate a weakness.
  2. Narcotics:
    It is not unusual that Challengers fall into a narcotics addiction.
  3. Alcohol and tobacco:
    To relieve some of the pressure from constantly pushing too hard, Challengers often rely on alcohol and tobacco. Due to their high stress-levels it often occurs that Challengers suffer from heart conditions that could potentially lead to strokes.

Please, do not be afraid to reach out for help if you are experiencing any of these issues.

5 Common Enneagram Type 8 Careers

Challengers are often found in the following jobs:

  1. Lawyer
  2. Business Owner
  3. Director
  4. Advertising Executive
  5. Marketing Strategist

Don’t see your job here? Share with the community in the comments how you are shaping the world in your career!

Enneagram Type 8 Growth Suggestions

Challenge yourself to attain higher personal growth with these 5 Challenger recommendations:


Source: Pexels.com

  1. Allow yourself to be vulnerable:
    Being vulnerable does not mean being weak. Once you can comfortably show and stand for your imperfections you will not only gain more respect from others but also build trust. You don’t have to share everything with everyone you meet, but make sure you are not shutting off people you care about and most importantly not yourself.
  2. Incorporate other’s decisions too:
    It can be hard for you to let others take even little control over a situation. However, by constantly dominating your surroundings, others will likely start to feel the need to defend themselves. And don’t worry, just by letting someone else take the shots from time to time you are not sacrificing your power and often very little is at stake to begin with.
  3. Listen to your body:
    Your body is not just a vessel; it is the machine that fuels your vitality, so take care of it! Your constant need to challenge yourself harder and harder cannot make you forget about your human needs. Make sure you stay healthy both physically as well as mentally.
  4. Learn that you are dependent from others too:
    Whether it is in your personal or in your professional life, people are nothing without their friends and leaders nothing without their followers. Understand that building trust takes time and that relationships you have worked on are far more valuable than numbers or facts.
  5. Take a breath every once in a while:
    The world will not end if you take a quick break. Allow yourself to take off all that pressure you carry during the day and you will notice a big improvement in your temper and in your decision-making.

10 Famous Enneagram Type 8 Celebrities

You are not the only Challenger! Here are our top 10 Challenger celebrity picks:

Fidel Castro - Enneagram Type 8

1. Fidel Castro – Former Prime Minister of Cuba

Source: Fidel_Castro_-_MATS_Terminal_Washington_1959.png: Warren K. Lefflerderivative work: Damiens.rf / Public domain

Richard Wagner - Enneagram Type 8

2. Richard Wagner – Composer

Source: Franz von Lenbach / Public domain

Mikhail Gorbachev - Enneagram Type 8

3. Mikhail Gorbachev – Former President of the Soviet Union

Source: Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library / Attribution

Ernest Hemingway - Enneagram Type 8

4. Ernest Hemingway – Writer

Source: Unknown photographer / Public domain

Aretha Franklin - Enneagram Type 8

5. Aretha Franklin – Singer

Source: Atlantic Records / CC0

Donald Trump - Enneagram Type 8

6. Donald Trump – 45th President of the United States

Source: DOD ph oto by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr / Public domain

Winston Churchill - Enneagram Type 8

7. Winston Churchill – Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Source: Russell and Sons / Public domain

Frank Sinatra - Enneagram Type 8

8. Frank Sinatra – Singer

Source: Unknown author / Public domain

Franklin D. Roosevelt - Enneagram

9. Franklin D. Roosevelt – 32nd President of the United States

Source: US Government / Public domain

Matt Damon - Enneagram

10. Matt Damon – Actor

Source: nicolas genin from Paris, France / CC BY-SA

Let us know which celebrity surprised you the most!

Do You Have Any Related Questions or Stories?

Now that you know everything about your Enneagram Type, make sure to spread the knowledge by sharing our article!

We also encourage everyone to share their related stories in the comments so we can all learn and grow from each other every day!

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If you liked our article, you can also check our Hatha Yoga Guide or the 10 Twin Flame Signs You Might Be close To Meeting “The One”!

Thank you for being you – Hope to see you around!

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