Enneagram and NLP

While it seems as if our personalities are fixed and unchangeable and based upon some as yet undiscovered gene, it is possible to use NLP to break free from the limiting patterns that undermine our potential.

NLP can get at the root of some of the patterns or it can be used on some of the lighter habits.

Below you’ll find a number of different techniques.

Type One Personality


Type One tends to have a judge in their head who judges every action in terms of good or bad (though mostly bad). When this personality analyzes their judge, they find that it’s sometimes a parent, or someone in authority, a god, or some aspect of themselves that seems superior. (Sometimes all of them show up.) This judge makes life hell for this type because it’s job is to point out what’s wrong and this is never-ending.

Fortunately with the help of NLP, the judge can be altered, so that it no longer has such an adverse effect on the life of the person with this personality.


If we actually ‘see’ the judge in our heads and if he is in colour we can turn him into a black and white image as a way to reduce the belief that the judge is real and must be obeyed.

Or we can turn the judge into a sepia colour, like old photographs and fade and shrink him, making it even harder to believe.


There are a number of submodalities we can change. Keep playing until the entire belief in the judge/god/authority figure is altered.

*Submodalities are components of our thoughts, which can be visual, auditory and kinesthetic.

Visual Submodalities you can change are







Colour/Black and White




Surprisingly, its when we change these submodalities (rather than the content of our thoughts) that our responses change.

– One of the concerns this personality may have is that without their judge, they’ll become reckless or immoral. However, beneath this judge lies a wiser aspect of ourselves we can trust implicitly.

Personality Type Two


Sometimes deep beneath our ‘mature’ selves we find we have an aspect of ourselves from childhood that is wanting something that’s been denied.

WE all have different aspects of ourselves and its useful to divide our consciousness in this symbolic way. It’s as if a part or our consciousness is fragmented and it’s helpful to help those aspects of ourselves, rather than deny, fight, suppress, stifle or judge.

For the Two Personality especially, there can be a memory that in childhood their needs were overlooked and as a way to cope and survive they turned their valid neediness into looking after everyone else’s needs.

It helps this personality type to get in touch with their inner child and find out what it needs by asking it questions. Keep the questions going until the inner child is happy and satisfied.

Q. What do you want? A. To feel needed.

Q.What will that give you? A. I’ll feel cared for.

Q. What will feeling cared for give you? A. I’ll feel wanted.

Q. What will feeling wanted give you? A. I’ll feel loved.

Q. What will feeling love give you? A. I can then ‘just be’.

Q. Is there anything else you want? A. No.

Usually the person is completely at peace at this point. The inner child is no longer being resisted or fought against.

Using the metaphor of an inner child as a way to create a ‘whole’ allows a person to be at peace with all aspects of themselves. It’s also one of the ways to change patterns in our behaviour that weren’t in our best interests.

Personality Type Three


The Personality Type Three tends to be rushing around, achieving success, in the belief that if they just win enough trophies or accolades or contests, or have the right material goods and image and career THEN others will love them.

So its useful for this type to analyze just who exactly they’re trying to impress to receive love. Sometimes these people are no longer even alive but this type is still trying to produce results to get love and approval.

When they’ve discovered who they may be picturing in the back of their minds, they can alter the way they picture these people. (Sometimes we carry all sorts of people with us in our heads and we seriously need to know that this is an illusion.)

Again, one way is to change the submodalities such as Colour to Black and White, and then make the picture Unfocused to the point where it’s difficult to see.

You need to actually do this in your head to discover the difference. There can be enormous relief when we stop carrying crowds of people in our minds. For the Three Personality especially, they can begin to choose activities they will enjoy rather than activities to impress everyone else. They may even discover life isn’t all about their achievements but can be deeper and richer when they see beyond their own shelf of trophies.

Personality Type Four


Beneath the Four Personality lies a sense of shame. This shame can manifest in all aspects of life and its worth examining so that it doesn’t limit them.

Since this type is in touch with their feelings, shame usually shows up as a kinsthetic energy in the body (such as deep in the pit of their stomach, or solar plexus or heart area.)

Since the energy doesn’t feel good it’s normally labeled as something negative. When the four consciously experiences the deepest emotion lurking beneath all the others, it’s normally labeled as Shame.

Yet when we take off that label and experience it as just energy it suddenly becomes something else. Again, this exercise has to be experienced for this change to happen. Mostly, when we allow an energy to have a different label our experience of it changes.


The illusion of shame will have had a detrimental effects upon this personality. Yet when the shame is consciously sought, felt and experienced as a ‘tingling’ energy, then the illusion is exposed as an illusion. Normally, this energy is then experienced as an enjoyable energy and they feel freed from the horrible sense of being inadequate and shameful.

A multitude of negative patterns can change after this exercise.

Personality Type Five

Enneagram type five with fear

Enneagram type five with fear

For the Five personality, fear is often found lurking beneath a tower of knowledge.

Again this fear can be actively and consciously searched for. Once located you can apply the changes to the kinesthetic submodalities.

You can change the






Pulse rate






Changing the submodalities alters the experience of it and the consequences.

Or, if the emotion is experienced as energy only, this changes the experience of fear and the patterns that have stemmed from the fear.

Usually the five type has divorced themselves from their emotions and it may take a little digging to dive deeper than their analytical thoughts to uncover their emotions.

Personality Type Six


This type usually complains (and for good reason) about the number of doubts they have spinning in their mind.(This type too, usually has fear beneath their thoughts.)

The doubts show up as voices in their head questioning everything they do and everything they’re told. The doubt makes this type feel uncertain as to what to do and it holds them back from acting upon their desires in life, which severely limits them.

The doubts though can be altered by altering the Auditory Submodalities.

You can change the






Turn it into a song or another person’s voice (including Donald Duck)




With the doubts no longer believed to be imperative questions that must be answered to find a safe and secure solution, this type can now allow answers to arise organically and intuitively.

Personality Type Seven


One way to wake up from the illusions created by the personalities is to label the trances when they arise. For instance the type seven can be repeatedly hypnotized into believing that the future will be better than the present and that they need to leave their current job or partner to access this brighter future that they’re dreaming about.

Labeling the illusion as a trance helps us to wake up from the trances and return to the present moment. Labeling it frees us from feeling we have to act upon it and frees us to make better choices.


Personality Type Eight

We can also use the NLP linguistic challenges to break up the enneagram illusions that we create with our language.

When someone generalizes (often found when we use the words, everyone, anyone, all, no one, nobody) and its creating anger or sadness or another negative emotion, we can challenge the linguistic illusion as a way to break the trance.

So for instance, in this case where this person is furious because ‘EVERYONE’ has annoyed them . . . we can challenge them by asking . . . . Really? Everyone?

Usually this lessens the negative response because we’ve woken up to a more realistic version of events.

Of course, you’d want to challenge this type of personality with caution or at least make sure you’re in rapport first.


Personality Type NIne


From NLP we discover that first there is a trigger and then we have an habitual response to that trigger. It’s liberating when we free ourselves from habitual responses, especially when they limit our choices.

When the Nine personality is asked to do something or feels pressured or uncomfortable, their unconscious and habitual response is to go numb to any uncomfortable feelings by eating or smoking or watching tv or following routines or doing any activity that allows them to zone out.

Beneath the numbness lies anger and rage.

If you are a Nine and find yourself numbing out by any of the above activities, this is the time to allow the anger and rage to be present and experienced consciously.

While it may not seem very peaceful or loving, it is important to feel these emotions. This will allow you to be free from the habit of numbing out. Even though numbing out seems loving and peaceful it’s normally detrimental to you and to the real peace you could be experiencing.

But first, become conscious of your anger.