Enneagram Type 7 – Enthusiastic Visionary
Enneagram Sevens have the motivational need to experience life to the fullest and avoid pain. Sevens value a sense of freedom and focus on optimism, being inspired and taking opportunities as they present themselves. Sevens approach life as an adventure and appreciate being playful and spontaneous. At their best, others will experience Sevens as content and serene, when they are able to embrace sobriety and become present to themselves and the world around them. At a less healthy level, others may experience Sevens as impulsive, uncommitted and unfocused as they are distracted by their insatiable search for fulfilment and a fear of missing out.
“The future is full of exciting possibilities and I must experience it all! I’m ok; I deserve what I want. What’s next? I must move forward; I must have my freedom.“
The gifts of the Enneagram Seven include:
- Optimistic: The Seven’s focus on what brings joy, happiness and pleasure to life enables them to exude optimism.
- Flexible: As Sevens are attuned to possibilities and like to keep their options open, they will be adaptable in the face of change, setbacks and challenges.
- Future-Oriented: By focusing on what is next, the Seven’s enthusiastic and visionary qualities enable them to both anticipate and create an exciting future.
- Practical: At their best, Sevens combine their ideas with a practical and productive focus that enables them to make things happen.
- Adventurous:As a playful, versatile and spontaneous person, Sevens savour their freedom and like to explore new territories and experiences.
Typical Thinking Patterns:
Sevens have an active mind that moves between and connects ideas with ease. This type wants to devote their energy and time to the things that interest them, and responds instantaneously to stimulation. The Seven thinking style, therefore, combines quick mental processing with a high need for mental stimulation. They want options and hate feeling that their choices are being limited or that they are being constrained in some way. The Seven thinking style allows them to accumulate a breadth of knowledge across a wide variety of fields. This generalist knowledge can enable creativity and innovation as they have an abundance of knowledge to connect and draw on. Sevens are stimulated by their ability to generate and share a multitude of ideas with others. When they encounter new information, they will process and integrate it quickly, often learning as they go along and in the “doing”.
Typical Action Patterns:
Sevens get bored easily and mundane or repetitive tasks can get them down. They will, therefore, actively seek excitement and try out new things, often leaving tasks unfinished as they initiate something new. Sevens want to create momentum in life and act decisively to keep things moving forward. They enjoy the rush of adrenalin that comes with excitement and trying something new. Under pressure Sevens will multitask, juggle plans and may be inclined to take on more than is realistic. The body of the Seven is probably just as active as the mind. This embodiment of energy may manifest as busy body language and constant movement – most Sevens dislike sitting still for more than a couple of minutes. To others it may seem as if Sevens are restless, always juggling tasks or on their way somewhere else.
Typical Feeling Patterns:
Sevens resonate with the positive side of the emotional landscape and their expression of themselves will mostly be upbeat and energetic. Others are likely to experience Sevens as joyous, optimistic and enthusiastic. When Sevens experience or tune in to uncomfortable and negative emotions such as anxiety, boredom, fear or sorrow, their instinctive response is towards positive possibilities and plans for the future. This allows them to escape and override discomfort. Sevens may also be quite adept at “reinterpreting” negative experiences to frame them as positive opportunities or learning experiences. This form of rationalisation can make it difficult for a Seven to take full personal responsibility when things go wrong, but also helps keep them on a positive track. Sevens don’t like having their abilities questioned and can become angry when people do so. They are likely to actively work to shift the mood towards something more positive and light when things get heavy, or try to lighten the mood by telling jokes.
- The Seven is very quick to synthesise and learn new information and skills. They may, however, overestimate the extent to which they have truly mastered and absorbed this knowledge. They may position themselves as an “instant expert” without having the depth of knowledge that is required for true expertise. This may lead people to question their capability and authenticity.
- The Seven needs to be active and engaged and their highly active body language, communication style and thoughts may be stimulating to them, but can be distracting and frustrating to others. If their style results in fidgeting or pacing, people may not properly pay attention to their ideas. The Seven may not be aware of the extent to which this impacts others and group processes.
- Their active and quick mind may lead Sevens to assume that they know what other people are going to say. As a result, they may not listen fully to what people are really saying.
- Sevens may want to feel totally accepting of themselves, but constantly avoid the things that will enable them to feel this way. In rationalising mistakes, moving towards positive emotions and seeking excitement, Sevens may be keeping themselves from experiencing themselves as whole.
- Sevens may mask fear and unwillingness by expressing and tuning in to boredom. When they feel terrified about something, they may end up tuning in to the ways in which this opportunity will limit them to avoid facing their fears.