I am thrilled to have Stacey Pardoe here today to give us a glimpse into the life of an Enneagram One. This begins our foray into the Gut/Anger Triad. Stacey is one of those people whose writing draws you in from the first word. Enjoy her words and leave her some love in the comments.

Dawn is just breaking through barren maples as I settle beside the window.  Thick study Bible open on my lap, my hope is to drink deeply from these words of life so that I might pour out love when the day unfolds.  

I pause to pray before digging into a Psalm, and my eyes are drawn to the smudges on the sliding glass door in front of me.  It seems tiny applesauce-hands found their place in this same space not so long ago.  It takes everything within me not to go get the window cleaning cloth from the cupboard.

Redirecting my attention outside to the deck, my eyes settle on a little boy’s yellow bike helmet on the far edge of the deck – out of place.  Really trying to focus on God and step into soul-silence, I gaze out to the yard, where a plastic crocodile see-saw has been pulled from its place in the shed and left haphazardly in the middle of the yard.  Next to it, there are two weathered basketballs and a plastic golf club.  

I desperately want to still my soul, but in the midst of what feels like a chaotic mess, the battle to focus my racing mind feels insurmountable.

Who is the Reformer?

This is life as an Enneagram Type One.  Known as an Idealist or the Reformer, Type Ones tend to be perfectionists, moralists, and principled individuals.  We focus on right and wrong – good and bad – and we’re always looking for ways to make the world around us better (hence the obsession with the toys strewn throughout the yard).

Type Ones are known for being hard-working, responsible, honest, dependable, practical, and self-controlled.  We are disciplined and have high standards.  Type Ones dream of making things perfect.  We make good teachers, and we are the women you’re seeking when it comes time to plan your wedding or large event.

Unfortunately, Type Ones also tend to be overly critical, resentful, non-adaptable, judgmental, and emotionally repressed.  We struggle with spontaneity, and we are often too rigid.  Our loved ones sometimes feel they can never perform to meet our high standards.  

The day I discovered I was a Type One, I was almost ashamed to admit it.The label “Reformer,” in itself, seemed less gentle and loving than other Enneagram Types, such as “Helper” or “Peacemaker.” #EnneaWhat #TellHisStory @StaceyPardoe Click To Tweet

I felt like a hard task-master in a world where women are applauded for being gentle and loving wives and mothers.  However, seeing this aspect of my personality has also been transformational as I seek to honor Christ with my God-given personality.  

Spiritual Mindsets of an Enneagram One

The following mindsets have helped me immensely as I am to honor Christ as a Type One:

1. Aim for Excellence over Perfection

Type Ones benefit from exchanging perfectionism for excellence.  A like-minded friend once challenged me to overcome perfectionism by “letting it be.”  This means that when I see something small that happens to be out of place in my house, regarding my children, or strewn in the backyard, I leave it alone. I resist the urge to rush to clean a small mess when I’m in the midst of something more important.  

This pursuit of excellence instead of perfection applies to everything from my standards for my house, to my eating and exercise patterns, to the expectations I have for my career and for my children.  I am not aiming to be perfect, I am simply aiming for excellence.

2. Give Yourself Opportunities for Laughter

Type Ones tend to take ourselves very seriously.  We have high expectations for ourselves, and because of these expectations, we sometimes find it difficult to relax.  For this reason, I carve out time each week for sheer relaxation.  I take walks, lounge in the living room with the kids, and watch a slap-stick comedy television show once a week.  Opportunities to relax and laugh are deeply life-giving to my very serious personality.

3. Don’t Take Yourself so Seriously 

Creating opportunities for laughter helps me take myself less seriously.  It’s also important that I don’t burden loved ones with standards that are too high to meet.  I remind myself that life will go on, even if my kids don’t clean the toys to my expectations or flawlessly make their beds.  “Good enough” really is good enough, both for myself and for those I love.

Instead of silently chastising myself for submitting a piece of writing with a grammatical error, I extend grace to myself.  In the same light, when my 9-year-old brings home a less-than-perfect spelling test, I remind us both that we are not aiming for perfection; we are aiming for excellence.

4. Remember where You Find Your Identity

I am prone to find my identity in what I can produce and how well I can perform.  The most powerful reality in my life is the realization that I am not defined by what I do, but by the One to whom I belong.

Above all else, God calls me “beloved” (see Song of Solomon 2:16). This endearing term is the core of my identity.  I am the apple of his eye (see Psalm 17:8).   God’s love was proven for me, once and for all, when he sent Jesus to die for me on the cross (see Romans 5:8).  I do not need to perform or to maintain perfection, because I am sealed as God’s beloved child.  Period.  


Despite the distraction of the mess out my window, I manage to stay put and connect with God through my morning time with him.  And perhaps this is the greatest victory of all: Putting the most important relationship in my life in front of my ongoing pursuit of perfection.  If you know a Type One, or if you are a Type One yourself, my prayer is that you will extend greater grace to yourself and remember that your highest calling is not the pursuit of perfection; your highest calling is to a relationship with Christ.

**Next week our Enneagram series continues with Ruthie Gray, an Enneagram Nine. This is another post you don’t want to miss.

Here is a rundown of the Enneagram series so far and links to catch all the posts you missed.

Enneagram Introduction

Enneagram Two

Enneagram Three

Enneagram Four

Stacey is a lover of the woods, a passionate and imperfect follower of Christ, the mother of three blue-eyed children, the wife of Darrell, and much more.  She writes words about her walk of faith in the in-between moments, and she mentors and teaches the Bible to younger women. 

My blog: www.staceypardoe.com

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